Tag Archives: Jesus

The Source Is Important

I have been involved in a discussion among many pastors and leaders about the question of what is repentance and in the act of “accepting Jesus” your sins are forgiven. The question was proposed by someone whose heart I love and asks from the perspective of seeing his identity as a Messianic Jew. “Many of you folks bank an awful lot on the idea that if you ‘accept Jesus,’ your sins are forgiven. I’m not disagreeing with the idea, but am curious what ‘Accepting Jesus,’ means to you. Is it just coming to an intellectual understanding, praying a prayer, or living a life of submission TO him and Faith IN Him?”  He continued on with his question by stating, “As I read through the gospel, there is more emphasis in the Scriptures on changing your life to follow the pattern of a scripture obedient life. When I compare it to what most Christians say, repentance is no more than saying you are sorry, with no obligation to change your actions and attitudes. What does Repentance mean to you? and what does Accepting Jesus mean to you?”

It was interesting to see all the various responses, and yes there was a wide range of them. From those which were almost militant in thought, as to what you must do, to the other extreme of what I think our questioner was getting at in that as long as you believe that is all that matters. I agree in small part with that believing is what matters, but I do believe that if we believe the truth there will be change and fruit. I think part of the problem with this question starts with identity, in that the one proposing the question themselves has not yet come to the revelation of God as our source. Paul put it literally this way, “Where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scythian, bond nor free: but Christ is all, and in all.” Paul was trying to convey the fact that their was no value in one’s flesh, specifically in this case their ethnicity, but only in Christ. I find it difficult anymore to identify myself in anything outside of in Christ. When one does find their value in their flesh then they also bring into their relationship with God all the hindrances or limitations associated with the mindset of that culture.

America has a great issue with this as it constantly tries to segregate people by placing values on their ethnicity. I recently read something that a black brother of mine wrote where he was trying to help the black culture break free of their mindset. He stated that he was not an African-American, nor was his father or his father’s father. The fact was they were all Americans. He, his father, nor his father’s father came from Africa nor ever visited Africa. Just as whites do not declare that they are English Americans but just Americans. Yet America as a nation continues to do it racial profiling all the time. Just look at any job application or some other sort of government sponsored program. There is always the section of asking your racial background. Are your white ,black, Hispanic, Native American etc. I think you get the point.

God never has desired for us to define ourselves based on the flesh but based on him as our Father. God is the source of our identity and when we look outside of that single truth then there is the propensity to find value in ourselves over God. Wait a minute, isn’t that the source of all sin? After all this is what caused Lucifer to fall prior to man existing. But a point I wanted to make was that my friend who identifies as being a Messianic Jew then has inherited certain attributes with his identity. In this case I am talking about finding value in what one does. Please note that in his question and thoughts that he proposed, there was nothing about letting love transform you. It was worded as submission and obedience.

And this is the point that I wanted to make in that there are at least two paths we can go on to achieve what appears to be the same goal. Obviously there is the first which we have eluded to, which is to find value in ourselves in what we do. For instance yes we can choose to submit ourselves undo God and do good things. This can be done through willpower just like any good soldier, but even though their may be the appearance of good fruit, or righteous works, it does not glorify God but man’s ability to try to reproduce God. I guess one of the big questions here is the motivation behind what one is doing? Is it out of love or is it motivated by some other source. This is extremely important for the person who is manifesting the fruit because if the fruit which is being produced is not of God then it only bares witness to their independence from God and drive a wedge deeper into their relationship with God.

See the person asking the focal question here is more interested in the fruit than the source. Therefore they find value in the fruit regardless of its source. But the truth is that the source is more important than the fruit. I always look at this sort of subject from another aspect as well. Think about Adam and Eve prior to the fall. What were the demands on them? We think that there is value in what we do, but the reality for them was the only value that existed was them experiencing the goodness of God by simply existing and receiving his love. I do think that in some ways because of the introduction of sin into mankind that there will be more to ones life than this, but this is a good foundation to start from.

Jesus is now our example and when we study Jesus we see that he did not do anything to prove himself but out of a response of God’s love which compelled him to right the wrongs. I look at this way in that there are thousands of charities which do many good things. Some feed the hungry, provide water to arid areas or healthcare to those in need. All of these are wonderful acts of kindness, yet even Jesus gave us the concept that we can eat food or drink water and yet still die. If any act of charity, or love, is not done so in order to glorify God, then it is done for the wrong reason. This does not mean that I am not thankful in some ways for those who provide such humanitarian relief, because in aiding to extend ones life hopefully they will hear, receive and believe the gospel. But instead of humanity looking to one another as their source w as believers should be the ones taking the lead and be the conduit for their needs between them and God. All in hopes that they too would believe on Jesus for eternal life.

See I do think that one’s life is changed when they believe in Jesus as their savior, but I believe that true change is effortless and comes by knowing who one is in Christ and receiving the love of God. No one who really understands the basics of the bible doubts that God is love and therefore Jesus is the very embodiment of love. God’s love was the only source of motivation for Jesus to do what he did, as even Jesus declared that he only did what he saw the Father do, and said what the Father said. His motivation was not to do good out of independence to prove himself, but to do good to glorify our Father in revealing the Father’s love toward us.

In response to the main question then repentance and accepting Jesus to me is to simply no longer believe that there is value in what I do, but that in Christ I have been made complete. I find my source of value in God and realize that not because of anything I have done but because of Jesus, reconciliation has taken place in my relationship with God. Many have gotten to this point and then deviate from it to go in the wrong direction. From here many feel a sense of obligation to do something in order to maintain or sustain this relationship. That is simply not the case and to the degree one believe this is to the degree they devalue what Jesus accomplished.

The fact is it is all about God, his love for us, and what he did to draw us back into a relationship with Him in seeing God as our source for life. I really find it hard to hear someone say they serve God because of how religion has perverted this. I receive no value in serving God. What I do, I do because of the love I experience in my relationship with God. It is this love then that compels me to help others in hopes that they too will experience this great love.

Something that I have always kept in mind since coming to a revelation of God’s grace, is that Jesus, paraphrasing here, said that if we are in union with him then he will produce fruit in us and through us. This is one the reasons in which I have learned and continue to grow in, resting in God. I was as guilty of this as anyone else, but I am amazed that we find it hard to believe that God, who spoke into existence the heavens and earth, all that we know, see, understand and yet to discover, would abundantly provide for us, care for us and love us. Jesus did not tell us to produce fruit but to bear fruit, which is a major difference. People who are trying to produce fruit are dwelling in themselves as their source for fruit, but those of us who are fruit bearers simply allow fruit to happen by resting in God. It is a wonderful transition to make as now I can fully attest that Jesus’ yoke is easy and burden light. I have experienced this truth so many times that I now find it hard to see any value in what I do, which is a good thing.  As Jesus said, “Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit”

I hope that when you read this last paragraph that it is not taken as religion does in see that they have to do things to make God happy. That is so contrary to the point that they are polar opposites. The fact is Jesus is literally saying that as we learn to rest in him, out of our union with him because of times of intimacy we will bear fruit. It is this type of fruit that glorifies our Father because it comes effortlessly out of our union with God. It bears testimony to his goodness and loving kindness and not to mans ability.

This is a little longer than I had planned but I wanted to make sure that I clearly differentiated between works that give the appearance of good fruit and the manifestation of good fruit through someone with God as the source.


Sin Is No Problem For Those In Christ

The greatest liberty one can experience is that which we have in Christ. Jesus did in fact come and he took away not just my sins, nor just yours, but the sins of the world. So you may in fact ask the obvious question, “Why is sin such a problem then? After all we see the effects of sin constantly revolving around us.” This a is very valid and true statement but the manifestation of sin in our lives does not come from the power of sin itself but merely from our lack of understanding of our righteousness in Christ. I want to touch on several things about sin so that you can rest assured that sin is not your issue as a believer but what you believe is.

To start with it is important to know and understand that people often think that they are defined by what they do and because they believe it it becomes their false reality. The fact is we are designed to function from what we believe and not by what we do. People who have not received the forgiveness of God that comes by accepting Jesus and his finished works have no problem resting in who they believe they are. Specifically what I mean is one who is not a believer in Christ goes about doing what is known as sin without any great effort because to them it is just a part of their identity. Even those who seek help in many occasions are never really set free because they are labeled by what they want to overcome. An alcoholic goes to AA and is told that they will always be an alcoholic and are encouraged to acknowledge themselves in just such a fashion. “Hello, my name is Whoever, and I am an alcoholic.” This is just total crap because by making this part of ones identity they can never get past it. But a believer has been given a new identity in Christ and therefore their quality of life can instantly change upon understanding what their new identity is.

A believer is not a sinner saved by grace though they may have sinned before receiving forgiveness through Jesus. No a believer is a saint, who sometimes because of not fully understanding their identity may occasionally make poor decisions, but it is always a decision to sin. It is not as in the days prior to the death of Jesus for the atonement of sin where sin entered one out of desire from within their heart and they had to fended off by willpower, also known has behavior modification which is commonly practiced today even in most Christian churches. Jesus overcame sin for us because man was constantly susceptible to giving in to sin.

Today sin has been defeated and one who is in Christ can choose not to sin, but the strength to make this choice easier rests in resting in God and receiving His grace. It is the grace of God which is the empowering force enabling one to experience the quality of life that God desires for us to each have. Paul taught us that the Law empowered sin and one way that this occurred is that the Law clearly defined sin, it gave it substance and Jesus clarified the Law that the Law is not just a physical action but violation of the Law starts with in the heart. In much the same way this is one way that the grace of God empowers us because it defines for us the righteousness we have received in Christ and empowers our heart to persuaded of the truth of how God sees us which is our identities in Christ.

If we struggle in this world it is only because we have not fully believed who we are in Christ and freely received His forgiveness. I can humbly say that I am learning to accept who I am based on who God alone says I am, not anyone else or even trying to receive my identity from things I have done. This has made the changes in my life effortlessly and though I am still growing in the revelation of the totality of who I am in Christ it remains effortless. There is no behavior modification tricks or the struggle of dealing with willpower or searching my inner soul for peace. In fact any change that we make to our lives through our own efforts is only going to last as long as we are willing to work at it and your life currently is proof of that. This has been a red flag to me as to whether or not the fruit that I have experienced in my life thus far was born out of intimacy with God and resting in Him or if it was just something that I tried to carry out on my own.

This revelation is not new but has been lost and as it re-emerges to be more common I believe the gospel will once again become a beautiful message that will entice the hearts of many. Just as Paul preached to all the known world in his time of ministry and was accused of turning the world upside down because how the sheer volume of people believing, I believe that when the gospel has Paul and the others taught is shared this world will again be turned upside down by the love of God. Many may say that the gospel has been taught since the first century church but I would greatly disagree with that. Even in the scriptures Paul warns the church about another gospel which is not really another gospel but a perversion of the truth. Jesus put it simply that you shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free. This is quite effortless and yet much of what we hear today being taught as the gospel does not set us free but only simply exchanges the bondage that one is experiencing. The real gospel of Jesus will set you free and empower you, to this I can bear witness.

A wonderful fruit of all this is once you fully understand that sin is not an issue and you really start to experience your identity in Christ then the old you who was so judgmental about everyone else did ceases to exist. Paul literally said that he judged no one and in fact he did not even judge himself. Why? Because he saw everyone has God sees them. Some still lost to the fact of the forgiveness that has been extended to them and their righteousness in Jesus. Others only receiving some insight but getting lost in the world of religion. But all have the same opportunity to freely receive and experience the life that they were created for. This creates a passion not to condemn and judge but to save by loving and encouraging others and revealing the truth about their identity as children of God. It gets harder and harder for me every day to see someone in some sort of pain or turmoil and not drop everything to see if I can help. You may ask, “Well why not go ahead and do that?” I am growing still is one reason and another that I learned very quickly is not everyone wants help all the time. I do try to encourage as often as I can but I realize after going through the scriptures and seeing that in most cases those who received help, got it because they were seeking it. There are not many where either Jesus or any disciple just arbitrarily started revealing the Kingdom of God to people.


Are we the working bride of Christ?

     I am not sure many people really have the understanding in what it means to be the bride of Christ, or at least in relation to works and fruit. Just as when a husband is intimate with his wife the wife conceives and bares fruit in the form of a child, so we as the bride of Christ out of intimacy with Jesus will bear fruit. As Jesus said it is the Father’s good pleasure that we bear much fruit, yet many take this has we are to constantly be doing things and that is totally missing the point. When we try to do good works, produce good fruit, then we are like an adulteress who seeks to conceive outside of her husband in order to bear fruit. Much like Abraham tried to have a son not by faith but out of works.

     The only true good works or good fruit that is produced has to come from God and then manifests through us because it is born of God. We were created by him, through Him and for Him, not for what we can do but for His good pleasure. If we take our focus off of the fact that we exist to be one with Christ Jesus, in total union with him, then we look towards the direction. Again no bride can conceive or produce and bear fruit of herself but must be intimate with her husband. We see that even Jesus proclaimed that the mighty works which were witnessed that he did he said that it was not him that did them but the Father through him by Holy Spirit. And Just as the Father did many great things through Jesus now Jesus desires to do great things through us, his bride.

     Do not prostitute yourself by trying to do good works out of your own effort, which is only a testament to ones self-righteousness, but conceive through intimacy with Jesus that which causes you to effortlessly move with compassion and bear His fruit. Ephesians 2:10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them. Many will say, “See we are to do good works” but it says we were created in Christ Jesus unto good works. We are not to go about doing anything independent of God. Again look at Jesus, though it states he went about doing good when we see what happened those in need sought him out. He did not go door to door asking if anyone needed anything. And based on scripture we can conclude that there were times where not many good works happened because they did not seek him.

     If I were to feed a million people this is what many would consider a good work, and if we can we should. But if we fail to glorify God in the process, if we are not moved by compassion to reveal the love of God to those in need, then the only thing we have done is to prolong their death and the loss of their soul. In doing good works, if the only thing we are thinking about is doing something for good works sake then it is pointless. We should never be doing anything because we feel like it alters God’s view or opinion of us, for he fully loves every single person. Therefore if what we do only influences that which is temporal but does not cause others to glorify God then most likely one is doing it to soothe their ego. There are many philanthropists who spend billions of dollars in helping out those in need, yet if not one single person turns to God it was all for naught.

     If we though are a bride and moved by compassion that is produced in us by Jesus to reach out to those in need then we being humbled will confess that it is Christ in us that has done this wonderful thing. In all things we must give God the glory, for He truly is the only one who deserves it.

All Things Are Permissible But Not All Beneficial

1Co 10:23, “All things are lawful for me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but all things edify not.”

Paul said that everything is permissible but not everything is beneficial. Living a life where the manifestation of sin is still dominate in your life because you are focused on sin is still living in bondage to sin. Being free from the Law does not benefit us if we feel a freedom to live a life contrary to the plan and purpose of God, but in being free from the Law we are free from condemnation, guilt and shame. If sin then does manifest it does not have the power over us it once had which is to drive us away from God and try to dissolve our relationship with God from our point of view. Without guilt, shame and condemnation we never have a desire to question our relationship with God and see Him in a false way as someone who is judging our value based on what we do, but know that His love for us never waivers and is always unconditional giving us a desire to not let sin rule our lives but love rule our hearts.

Being Christ like?

Ok I know this may be what many call just a matter of semantics, but since this is one of the purposes of being able to communicate your thoughts online here is my two cents. Lately I have seen several quick little one liners about being like Christ and though I think in most cases I know what they mean it does bring up a good point in the difference in being Christ like versus being like Christ. Now if you are among the vast majority then you probably asked yourself already if there really is a difference and of course the answer is a resounding yes. If one were to try to be like Christ then in an extreme since of this they would probably wear only a robe of sorts and well try to literally impersonate or imitate Jesus so that one thought they were talking to Jesus. But to be Christ like is to have the nature of Jesus manifest through you as you and not you trying to be someone else. When I think of this in a practical and biblical way I look at Paul, aka Saul of Tarsus. Paul was one of the most Christ like people historically depicted in the bible in my opinion. Upon his conversion from Saul to Paul and receiving the revelation that Jesus gave to him personally we never see Paul stop sharing the good news and letting everyone know about our Father. Jesus willingly was driven to reveal the true nature of God our Father to everyone who would listen and we see Paul who was willingly driven to reveal Jesus to everyone as well. Paul also though in the bible had some imitators known as the seven sons of one Sceva who, not by faith but by being Paul like, tried to cast out a demon in one person. In which since this was not by faith, which in essence would be Christ like, their desire had no power and the one demon whooped the seven in that they fled naked and wounded.
I do understand that in some cases when we are Christ like we also will appear to be like Christ, but my point is that I want us to not think about the old slogan “What would Jesus do?” because it is not about the doing but as Jesus said he did nothing but the Father did through him. Just has Jesus told us that we can do nothing on our own but if we abide in him he will do what needs to be done through us. Paul is accredited by many of doing many wonderful works, but he would be the first to tell you that he did nothing of himself but Christ in him and through him by the power of Holy Spirit did all things. And in being humble this way Paul then was Christ like for as we just mention that Christ himself said he did nothing of himself, for he was as a man, but God through him did all things.
This does not mean that we should not do good when we can, but when we do if possible make sure it is God who is glorified and not ones self nor even the works which were done. Paul did many good things that any person could do, but we never see him boasting about nor ever seeking glory for himself but always trying to remain humble so that God would be praised.

Jesus Is A Reflection Of Us

      “Every human life is equally valued and represented in Christ. He gives context and reference to our being as in a mirror; not as an example for us, but of us.” Every since I read this quote by Francois du Toit I have had to reevaluate the way I look at things in my relationship with God. I have really been  blessed in that I have had the privilege this past year of doing nothing other than studying the Word and listening to others. Thankfully this path started out in a message of grace and God’s unconditional love, which I have come to realize that is the only way  love can truly exist or it is a counterfeit. In retrospect month after month the revelation that God really loves me and there are no strings attached has continued to grow and now after 14 months of experiencing this growth I finally think that my heart has been prepared to not only hear but to start believing the truth. It seems like it has either taken this long to finally hear something that caused a paradigm shift in what I thought or that my heart was finally softened to be able to agree with what my mind and ears were hearing; quite possibly both worlds colliding for just such a time for this.

 I can honestly say that in these past 14 months I have spent well over 3,500 hours just reading, praying, and listening to teaching that has helped condition the soil of my heart. In all that time I have learned that God is love, in fact it is the very essence of his existence, and all throughout the bible this love manifests in pointing to his Son Jesus. In these past months the religious theologies and doctrines I grew up with have been challenged, debunked and purged out of my belief system. I would not say 100% of them as there were things that I believed to be true which still remain true and very foundational basic concepts. Occasionally in this process something that I was not aware of still pops up, but in these cases there is not much of a struggle because it was usually hard for me to believe much of the things I had originally learned seeing that it did not bear the fruit of Christ. Yesterday was one of these days, when I read that quote. I had known from reading and hearing that we are complete in Jesus yet even with everything I have come to believe in just being a son, just existing in the way God desires for us to walk for the maximum fulfillment of life, I had not realized I was still trying to become like Jesus. But when I read, “…not as an example for us, but of us.” I had to change my focus and beliefs about myself and just like Adam quit trying to become who I am already.

 The first scripture that I thought of when I had this shift was Romans 8:29 “For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.” I will not debate this but the simple fact that God predestined us means that it was his will or desire for us and not something where we have no choice in the matter. After Jesus went to the cross everyone from that point going forward became a new creation and here is a simple why. Adam made a choice to try to become like God and in doing so sin entered into the world through his unbelief. I think we are missing something here because even though man could not keep the law for righteous requirements, as Adam instantly proved, we know that is was not impossible to do because Jesus did. My point is that it was not impossible because of the law itself but because of man. With that said now as a new creation the law cannot come into play at all because Jesus removed the law, so if in ignorance we try to fulfill it in some capacity, it has no bearing on our righteousness. We also have a born again spirit. Some debate on when this occurs and personally I think this was a one time event that occurred already at the cross. Personally my opinion, and that is all it is, is that just like being born through the womb in that we had no choice in being born again spiritually we had no choice. Some think that being born again is equated with believing on Jesus for eternal life and no where in scripture does it state that. Jesus said that unless one is born of a woman and Spirit they cannot enter in the kingdom of Heaven and Jesus in fulfilling prophecy made this possible. The reality is though whether it was at the cross or if it occurs when one believes does not matter as long as it did  and because until one believes nothing is going to change in their lives anyhow.

 O.k. so I know I said a few things on this one scripture but I still did not say why this scripture stood out first. The reason it did is like I said I was inadvertently trying to become like Jesus or as the scripture here says conform to his image, and though this is a way of interpreting this scripture it is correct to say that God designed us to be like his Son, remember we were created in his image and likeness. So we are not becoming like Jesus, we are like Jesus and Jesus made it possible for us to live like him. In this being predestined to conform or as I said designed to be like Jesus, we know Jesus coming was a part of the overall process for us as sons to be able to be who God designed us to be. We know that Jesus played a part in this overall process of mankind’s design because he was the lamb slain from the foundation of this world, meaning that he was to be sacrificed before man was even created. In that Adam failed, because he could fail, Jesus came and by removing sin, fulfilling the law for righteousness and destroying the works of the devil making it impossible for mankind to fail, because our quality of life and our relationship with God have nothing to do with what we can or cannot do but solely on the fact if we believe on Jesus. Our works have no bearing on our identity and the only thing they can do is reflect what we believe to be true in comparison to the truth.

 Romans 8:18 “For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.” This made me wonder if this great revealing was based on our unbelief in the fulness of our identities. What if I choose to believe and am fully persuaded in my heart that Jesus and I are one in union and walking in that understanding choose to believe that Christ in me is the hope of all glory, the physical manifestation of the goodness of God. Col 1:25 Under these circumstances could this glory that is to be revealed actually reveal itself now and not in some distant time? I guess the point that is so important for me to understand and to make to you is Christ is an example of who we already are and that by simply believing we can allow who we are to surface. We have Jesus as our example, not to become like him by changing what we do, but he is our example of who we already are and has we believe in the truth and walk in it we by default will conform to his image, which is God’s desire for all of us.

 Paul said in Romans 12:2 “And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” I have heard many teach on this saying that we can attain three different levels of God’s approval and I never agreed with that, even if they say they are preaching the grace of God. I really believe Paul is trying emphasize the point here in by changing what we believe about ourselves, specifically our identities, so that in simply being who we are created to be we will prove not only to ourselves but to others the entire will of God for our lives. Looking at Jesus we all know he faced persecution and scripture tells us that as believers we will, but this is not supposed to influence our identities and I always see Jesus just being Jesus. He isn’t trying to be a healer as he is healing. He is not trying to be loving as he is love. These are attributes that just because he is in the room they are going to flow out of him and these same attributes along with others are the very essence that make us who we are because we have become one with Jesus. The same Spirit that dwells in Christ dwells in us. 1 Corinthians 6:17 “But he that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit.”

 I read some details on the life of John G. Lakes, which probably many of you know who he is, and the one thing I noticed was the transformation in his life over the years in going from one who did not necessarily believe in healing to one who understood that there is no excuse for not being whole. I think this renewing of his mind came about in seeing time after time the finished works of Jesus take effect and manifest in the lives of others regardless of what they believed or where they were at in the circumstances of their lives. There is the reality that Jesus took sin out the equation so the effects of sin have no place manifesting in the life of a believer, but also just as importantly Jesus bore the effects of sin upon himself so that whatever has manifested in the life of anyone, whether they believe or not, has been redeemed in his body broken for us so they are whole. We are God’s only limit because of what we choose to believe. Jesus plainly said that these signs will follow those who believe and just after that the statement was made the scripture continues on by saying that they went forward preaching the Word with signs following. Mark 16:17,20

 I wanted to bring this up because as believers we tend to think that because we intellectually accept something as true then we believe it. This is part of the equation but what we believe in our heart is really what matters. If I say that I believe that by Jesus stripes we are healed and I am not walking in total health then I have to humbly accept the fact that my heart is still be persuaded of that fact. Jesus said if we have faith the size of a mustard seed and we say to that mountain move then is will move. Mat 17:20 Point being the evidence of faith is not in commanding the mountain to move but that it went. I also therefore think just as Mr. Lake grew in the revelation that wholeness and life is a part of our identity in Christ we too need to grow in our identities.

 It is quite possible that most of us deal with what we call the chicken or the egg debate. We can dwell for eternity on the debate of which came first, though I did find it amusing that a while back I saw something that “scientifically” that had proven the chicken itself did. Anyhow it is quite possible in how we relate to faith that we stumble across a barrier. I am not giving justification to this issue just pointing it out. In many cases we find faith never becomes active in the life of a believer until they see faith in action. And there may be something to this in that this may just be how some people function in their learning. Jesus did several acts of faith before sending out his disciples. There are also a handful of scriptures that basically saying that upon seeing they believed. This does not mean that everyone who sees something will believe it, but that is their choice to make. And in the relationship aspect of things between us and God the sooner one believes the truth the better off they will be because if they have to wait till they see a miracle to believe then they are just existing in life and not living it in the quality that our Father has created for them. Basically no matter how good one who does not believe thinks they have it, it cannot compare to the quality of life we can have from God.

 God has designed all things in this world with us in mind so that to whatever measure is possible in its fulness we could continually walk in and experience the goodness of God. I have heard many say that I am just living in a dream looking for some imaginary utopia or Garden of Eden but I know that there is a reason behind all of humanity seeking such things. God designed us to live in an environment like this and as part of our design to exist in a state of just being which is basically a normal life from God’s perspective for us, otherwise why would we all desire something similar. We only seek after something that is lost, and if something was never a part of our life to begin with, that is also not there now, we would never desire to seek it.

 In writing this and thinking about the what this means to me I noticed something that stood out. Every time we do the works that Jesus said we would do in His name and not through our effort, it affirms our identity as sons of God. Fruit is produced out of simply being a son and believing on Jesus which continuously grows the bond we have between us and our Father. So everything that manifests as a byproduct in our lives of just being a son of God reinforces our relationship with God and everything we try to do out of our own effort starts tearing down this relationship. When we lay hands on the sick and heal it is a way of receiving affirmation that we are sons. I am not stating that this is the point of healing nor even a desire from God in any way but just stating it as a fact.

 Hopefully this has inspired you to think about your life from a different perspective. I know it has caused me to start looking forward in life from a different point of view and caused a new desire for me to clean off the mirror I have of Christ so I can see more and more each day who I am already in his reflection of me.

Sin Is Not your Problem – What You Think About Sin Is

     I could be really blunt and some this up in one scripture John 1:29  The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world. What John declared is part of the simplicity of the gospel message itself and one of the most important to accept so that you can experience the quality of life that God desires for you and Jesus has given to you. Jesus is not removing your sin but sin the entered through the one man Adam has been removed and this is why we are to have no more conscience of sin. I am going to try to not write page after page of trying to show you the difference between what religion preaches in the majority of churches today as opposed the truth in the relationship that through Jesus we have been reconciled unto our Father. This is why Jesus said to call no man your father because in having been born again you have only one Father and that which has happened through the flesh ceases to be influential to your existence. The only reason this is not also ones reality or better said possibly their experience is if the have chosen not to believe the truth in their new identity whether in ignorance or defiance.

     Let me say that I am talking specifically about trespasses against God and not against one another. I will say this though that it is a fact that the only reason people sin against one another is because the person committing the offense does not have the revelation of their true identity in Christ and know experientially our Father’s love. To the degree that you understand and experience the love of God for oneself is the empowerment to see the value of others through the eyes of God. When we appreciate God’s value for humanity you will no longer look at any man in the flesh (by what they do) but through the love of God.

     Paul spoke about this very thing 2 Corinthians 5:16  Wherefore henceforth know we no man after the flesh… If you have not understood that we through Jesus have been made free from sin then you will look at man and judge them based on what they say and do to evaluate their righteousness. But those who understand the gospel message understand that our righteousness is not based on our performance or self-righteous effort but it is a gift of God and we simply just need to realize that righteousness through Jesus is a part of our identity. Not something to attain or maintain but just walk in. I believe in this thought though lies the trap of religion in that they are always trying to make some declaration of what you must do to be instead of acknowledging who you are regardless of what you do.

     Man fell trying to do something to be like God, not believing he already was as much as he could be. The adversary used the same tactic on Jesus in trying to get him to prove his identity. Well the adversary did not stop with Jesus in that he continued on with his deception by teaching religious leaders to practice the same thing. Trying to gain their identity by being like God instead of teaching your identity as sons of God in Christ. While I mentioned a little on believing, just in case one is not aware the “unpardonable sin” that every thinks is so mystical is quite simply not believing the witness by Holy Spirit that Jesus is the Son of God and his finished works. For he who believes on Jesus shall not perish but have eternal life, which starts as soon as you believe not in the future, and this is life eternal that they may know God (be in a relationship with Him) and Christ Jesus.

    Simply another way to put all of this is that because I believe in everything Jesus there are things that happen simply because I exist and walk in my true identity as a son of God, but I can not do anything in order to attain that same identity. Jesus never did anything to prove his identity to man or the devil, but because of who he is many wonderful things occurred by his hands which bear witness to who he is. One of the things that he did then, and only he could do, was to be the final sacrifice for sin. In being the final sacrifice for sin then you must understand that sin has been removed because if sin has not been totally removed out of the picture in humanity then Jesus did not complete what he came to do. This is the reason why I stated that sin is not your problem, but what you think about sin is. If you believe that sin is even an issue to be dealt with then you will never be able to walk in the liberty that we have in Jesus. Not only will you think that there is something that you could fail at but you will also find it difficult to walk in the simple fact that since sin no longer exists the effects of sin no longer have rights to exist. To too many this becomes a humongous grey area because they evaluate the finished works of Jesus based on their experience instead of what Jesus has done for us being their experience. As in they see people sick and dying or possibly some infirmity in their own life, all of which are very real, and instead of accepting the fact that these things have no place or right to exist because sin itself has been eradicated they plead with God in hopes that He will do something. Wrong answer. We are to speak to these circumstances and declare them unlawful so the law of the Spirit of life takes over and rights the wrongs.

     Again if you believe that sin is an issue then you will never fully be able to walk in your true identity nor be able to walk in the benefits we have as sons through Jesus because you do not trust that God is competent and capable of destroying the works of man through fulfilling the violation in righteousness. I do not say these things lightly or in arrogance because everything that I talk about I have walked in or I am growing in now, and I do not claim to ever have experienced calling God incompetent myself though apparently that is what I did. I know I, nor probably you, have never thought about it that way, but by realizing this it is part of what helped me realize just where I was in my relationship with God.

     I am not saying that everyone should just go around and do anything they want, knowing that it is contrary to the nature of God which is love. Just as Jesus spoke that if we love God and our neighbors as ourselves then sin is never an issue. Love is who we are to be because we were created in the image and likeness of God. Jesus is the very image of God and one major reason is that he is the very embodiment of love. It is the desire of God that we conform to the image of Jesus which is love. But to try to become love on our own is impossible and frustrating. In order to become the love of God so we can share His love we have to receive it first by just believing in His love. Then the more that the love of God permeates your life the less sin or being sin conscience is an issue because you become love conscience.

     So if you do something that would be considered of a sin nature after believing on Jesus I want you to notice something first. Prior to believing if you had done this would you have rejoiced at your success or even cared about the consequences? But now as a believer you have noticed that you wished you had never done this same thing and this is because it is a sign that as a believer God has replaced your stony heart with a new heart and that new heart does not want to violate the love of God. So what do you do? You run to Papa and tell him thank you for forgiving you and loving you no matter what. You continue to believe in His love for you and grow in that love and then as you walk in your identity as a son you may not realize it but because your relationship with God grows stronger, and the love of God becomes the strongest attribute of your identity, sin no longer is even an issue in your life. Love is stronger than sin and the more God’s love is your life the less sin can even begin to penetrate into your life.

     Hopefully now you have realized then that sin is not an issue in your life, even if you do things that are considered sinful. The real problem is understanding your identity as a son of God and most importantly believing in the greatness and vastness of God’s love so that you are the very embodiment of God’s love just like Jesus. This is the main reason that the law is ineffective against sin because the law tries to restrain sin by behavior modification which just leads to frustration and then to lawlessness. But love conquers all.