Archive for September, 2012

For too long now many of us have had the wrong diet.

Ok, this isn’t a nutrition blog, so what am I talking about?

Let’s start here:  Gen 2:9 “And out of the ground the LORD God made every tree grow that is pleasant to the sight and good for food. The tree of life [was] also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.” You see, there were two particular trees in the Garden of Eden, and all of them were pleasant to look at. 

So what’s the problem? Gen 2:16Gen 2:17And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, “Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat;”but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.” Don’t eat the tree. Why? You’ll die. But if good and evil fruit are on the same tree, why wouldn’t God tell Adam to just stay away from the bad fruit?  Why not just let Adam eat the good fruit from the tree?

I’m going to show you.

Let’s take a look at a few commandments you know the Law that Moses came off Mt. Sinai with:

Thou shalt not kill = good.                                                                         Murder = evil

Thou shalt not commit adultery = good                                                  adultery = evil

Thou shalt not steal = good                                                                        Thief = evil

We would all say the Law is good. Yes, but the opposite of good is evil, and they belong on the same tree remember?  God told Adam, “For in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.” In the New Testament,the Law is described this way:

Act 15:10 a yoke no one could bear

2Cr 3:7 ministry of death

Hbr 8:13 obsolete

Gal 3:12 the Law is not of faith

Hbr 7:19 the law made nothing perfect

Rom 3:20 the Law is the knowledge of sin

Look at that, all this time we thought the Law was good, but is was also the knowledge of Sin (evil). So if the Law represents the tree of knowledge of good and evil, where is the tree of life? Look to the cross and find Jesus, He is the way, the truth and the Life, if you will, the Tree of Life. After we find Jesus and receive salvation by grace through faith, we have a tendency to return to the wrong tree hoping to please God. With a good heart and good intentions, all we do is end up finding sin and feeling condemned.

So without the Law, how do we live as a Christian?  Gal 3:11 “But that no one is justified by the law in the sight of God [is] evident, for ‘the just shall live by faith.'”  The same way you received your salvation and righteousness is the same way you live from:  The steady diet of the Tree of Life. Eph 2:8 “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; [it is] the gift of God.”

Grace and Peace unto you,

Chad

I just read a great new book by Paul Ellis entitled “The Gospel in Ten Words.” What an eye-opening book of the simplicity of the Gospel! Contrary to popular belief, the Gospel really is good news. Although it has been made out to be exchanging one set of rules for another, it actually is exchanging one set of rules for life.

This book will challenge the religious and excite those looking for a relationship with Jesus and our heavenly Father. We know God is always with us, but some of us have had trouble actually obtaining that deep, close relationship. This book can change that for you, as it did for me, and open up this relationship. I could go on, but I’ll let the book speak for itself. At the end, Paul gives a summary of the entire book in ten clear statements. They are as follows:

  1. The gospel is not a solicitation to impress God with your love; it is the passionate declaration of your Father’s undying love for you.
  2. The gospel is not an appeal to engage in soul- searching and fault-finding; it is the emphatic declara- tion that you have been completely and eternally for- given through the blood of the Lamb
  3. The gospel is not merely a promise of a ticket to heaven; it is the power of God to bless you with his saving and abundant life here and now.
  4. The gospel is not an advertising brochure for the trea- sures of the kingdom; it is the thrilling revelation that the Lover of your soul desires to share his life in wed- ded union with you forever.
  5. The gospel is not an invitation to accept Jesus; it is the stunning announcement that he accepts you.
  6. The gospel is not a sign-up sheet for sanctification classes; it is the definitive announcement that in Christ you are holy indeed.
  7. The gospel is not a list of things you must do to in- herit eternal life; it is the blessed announcement that the righteousness you need to enter the kingdom of heaven comes to us as a free gift through faith.

8. The gospel is not a reform program for bad people; it is the liberating declaration of new life for those who have died.

9. The gospel is not a half-baked hope that you can extend your old, broken life indefinitely; it is the joyful announcement . that in Christ the old has gone and the new has come.

10.The gospel is not a vague notion that you get to rule and reign after you die; it is the royal announcement that the reign . of the King is within the reach of faith. The kingdom of God is at hand.

If any of these statements is not what you think the Gospel is, or they challenge your thought process, I urge you to test your belief! Grab a copy of this book and let the truth of the Gospel pour over you as you experience the love the Father has always wanted to give you.

You can find this book at Amazon at the following link: The Gospel in Ten Words.

I would also like to give you a link to his blog here: Escapetoreality.org

For a while now I have been seeking.

Seeking what?

Honestly I didn’t know, but I’ve worked really hard doing it.

What a difference the Gospel of Grace makes.  You see, I knew I was saved, and I had faith that Jesus died for me, right? I knew His blood washed away all of my sins.

What I didn’t know was how to be righteous, holy, sanctified, justified, and all that other stuff Christians tell me I have to do to be a “good Christian.”  I have been told do this and do that and “You’ll get there!”  Well, all that got me was tired and frustrated.  Joy, peace, and rest – I had – but only sometimes when I felt like I had been good enough.

Then, I began to read the Word of God.

It’s so simple.  How did I miss it all this time?

Let’s start here in Matt. 6:33:  “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.”

First you can’t have a Kingdom without a King.  Our King is Jesus, King of Kings and Lord of Lords.  So we found out that the Kingdom is Jesus.  Now we have to seek His righteousness.  What part of IT IS FINISHED didn’t I get?

2 Cor 5:21:  “For He made Him who knew no sin [to be] sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.”

Rom 5:1:  “Having been declared righteous, then, by faith, we have peace toward God through our Lord Jesus Christ,”

Did you see that Jesus took all my sin so I could become the righteousness of God in Him?  Have faith.

How about the part in Romans that talks about “having been declared righteous by faith through Jesus.” Having been – that’s past tense.  Nothing else to do to become righteous.

If you’re seeking righteousness through your own works, or your own behavior, you’ve missed it.  Maybe if I help the old lady next door, if I go visit someone that’s sick, or if I never miss a church service…  then maybe I’ll be righteous.  Granted, these are all good things, but that’s not His righteousness, that’s yours (i.e. self-righteousness).

So here it is:

Jesus’ part:  Live a sinless, perfect life.  Get beaten, humiliated, bloodied, spit on, crucified, then take all your sin and die.  Defeat sin, death, and hell, and be declared the King of Kings by God’s standard.

Your part:  Believe in your King and be declared righteous because you are now in His kingdom.

Grace is a gift that Jesus paid a high price for.  Enjoy.  Relax.

IT IS FINISHED!