Posts Tagged ‘Truth’

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It seems like forever that I’ve heard this:  As Jesus was dying on the cross of Calvary, His Father turned His back on Him. Is this true? A lot of you may be thinking – “Uh… didn’t Jesus say ‘My God My God, why has hast Thou forsaken Me?'” And I would say – yes – He did say that in Mat. 27:46.

So why do I question that the Father actually did forsake His son?   If you read the verse again, you will notice that is was not a statement but actually a question being asked.  Jesus, while He was fully God, was also fully man. He, at this moment, was carrying the weight of the world’s sin, sickness, depression and a host of other undesirable things that keep us in bondage. At that moment, it is worth noting that this is the first and only time Jesus addresses the Father as my God.

This, my friends, is what sin, sickness, and disease does to us. It makes us feel as though we are far from our heavenly Father. But let’s get back to the question at hand:  Did the Father forsake His only begotten Son?

I think the answer is found in Psalms 22. Jesus was actually quoting this Psalm on the cross. Let’s look at it now.

1 My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? why art thou so far from helping me, and from the words of my roaring?

As you can see, this was what Jesus was quoting on the Cross.  But if we continue to look at Psalms 22, we see that the whole chapter is a prophetic view to the crucifixion. Let me pull out a few more obvious verses that will show you what I see.

14 I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint: my heart is like wax; it is melted in the midst of my bowels.15 My strength is dried up like a potsherd; and my tongue cleaveth to my jaws; and thou hast brought me into the dust of death.  16 For dogs have compassed me: the assembly of the wicked have inclosed me: they pierced my hands and my feet.17 I may tell all my bones: they look and stare upon me.18 They part my garments among them, and cast lots upon my vesture.

T0his is clearly about the crucifixion. But wait – we are looking for answer to the question that Jesus asked.  For too long, we have made our own interpertion of what the Father actually did.  Remember, Jesus asked a question.  So where is the answer?  If the Father raising His Son on the third day after they had defeated hell, death and the grave wasn’t a good enough answer for you, let’s finish out Psalm 22 and see if we can find the answer (this time from the NKJV in verse).

21 Save Me from the lion’s mouth ad from the horns of the wild oxen! YOU HAVE ANSWERED ME. (capitals are mine for emphases)

So what’s the answer? If we continue to read down to verse 24 we find the answer – and yes, my friends, this is good news.

24 For He has not despised nor abhorred the affiction of the afflicted; NOR HAS HE HIDDEN HIS FACE FROM HIM; BUT WHEN HE CRIED TO HIM HE HEARD.

My friends, this is the answer to the question that Jesus asked. The Father did not turn his back on Him. He did not hide His face from Him because of all the sin that was on Him, but when He cried, the Father heard Him. If we continue to look at scripture  we find that the Father was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them 2 Cor.5:19.

This is good news! Really it’s great news.  The Father never left His Son – not even the moment He carried the weight of the world’s sin. You see, He promised never to leave us or forsake us.  Nothing can separate us, and nothing could ever separate the Trinity. NOTHING.

You may ask, “Why does this matter?” It matters because Jesus was the expressed image of the Father. To think Jesus loves us one way and the Father  loves another, or that He might turn His back on us when we sin, is something I think needs to be corrected in our thought process towards our Heavenly Father.  Sin, my friends, has been dealt with at the cross.  It can no longer keep you from the love that your Father has for you. The only thing that will keep you from that love is a refusal to receive it. Grace is on the table.

It’s time to eat!

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The New Covenant in a nutshell.

Well honestly, I don’t think we can fit it in a nutshell, but I’ll try to keep this as short as I can. We all know that Jesus’s blood was the blood that forged the New Covenant.

Matt. 26:28, “This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.”

It’s all about the blood of my Savior. But what are the terms of the New Covenant? The word covenant is simply contract, and if there is a contract there must be terms to this deal. And this is were the Good News begins.

You might ask, “Why did we need a New Covenant with God if we had an Old Covenant with God?” Was something wrong with the first one? No, there was nothing wrong with the contract itself, but God had found fault with the people (Heb.8:7-8). The Law couldn’t make anyone perfect, but it left us tired and worn out trying to please God. My friends, God is much more interested in pleasing You than He is about you trying to please Him.

So the New Covenant has come. It is the Covenant that the blood of Jesus has made for us. The terms of this contract are found in Hebrews 8:10-13.

10 This is the covenant I will make with the house of Israel after that time, declares the Lord. I will put my laws in their minds and write them on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people.11 No longer will a man teach his neighbor, or a man his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ because they will all know me, from the least of them to the greatest. 12 For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.” 13 By calling this covenant “new,” he has made the first one obsolete; and what is obsolete and aging will soon disappear.

Notice the underlines I will, I will, I will, I will. It seems God has done all the work in this new contract. So if God has done it all, if it really is finished, what is our part? Our part is trust. Trust that He is who He says He is, that He has forgiven our wickedness and our sins He remembers no more. Read that again slowly. He has forgiven our wickedness, and our sins He remembers no more. That is just plain Good News that is the what the Gospel is all about. God says “I will,” and we believe.

David said:

Romans 4:7 “Blessed are they whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered. 8 Blessed is the man whose sin the Lord will never count against him.”

It is finished! The Lord is not counting, keeping track, taking score, or watching for every sin you commit. You do not have to hide from Him because of sin. Because of His forgiveness and because of His grace, we now have the ability to overcome sin by boldly approaching the throne of grace and receiving the love, mercy, and grace that is available to all who believe.

Grace and Peace,

Chad

None but Jesus.

Posted: December 7, 2012 in Faith, Trust
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I think Charles Spurgeon said it best “None but Jesus.”   What a statement!  Yes, you all shake your head and say Amen!  I can hear it now as the congregation begins to stir.  Some say COME ON!  Some say PREACH IT PASTOR!  Ah yes, we all love our Jesus.

Lately though, I’ve been hearing something that sounds nothing like Jesus.  I recently received a revelation of pure Grace from the Holy Spirit, and now when I listen to those same sermons I hear something that I hadn’t noticed before.  The pastor is still preaching from the bible, the message still tickles the ears, and it still sounds pretty good, but there is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death (Proverbs 14:12). 

Before this revelation, I would sit in church and hear a little bit of Law and a little bit of Grace; a little bit of Moses and a little bit of Jesus, and I didn’t mind at all (or usually even notice).  Now, with my heart so desiring to hear pure grace, the mixture of the message in this way is no longer tolerable.  These little bit o’ this, little bit o’ that-style messages come across as harsh, glaring, blatant legalism that bring nothing but the death mentioned in Proverbs and the curse Paul talks about in Galatians (Chapter 3, verse 10).

I realize that the flesh often just wants to stay in its comfort zone.  It wants to know what rules to keep.  It sometimes seems simpler to just do A and avoid B, obey the rules and God will be happy with us, than it is to rely upon the completed work of Christ.  This is exactly the sort of thinking that is “what seemeth right unto a man” and we’ve already learned where that leads.  Death.

Personally, I think following the leading of the Holy Spirit is a much better choice, as it leads to Life.  I understand that walking in faith, rather than by sight, can be challenging and even frightening at times, but when Jesus is preached it all sort of just falls into place.

Which brings me back to Spurgeon’s “None but Jesus.”

Let me explain;

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. (John 1:1)

I think we can all agree that John was speaking here of Jesus.  He is the Word of God.

So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. (Romans 10:17)

Paul says that faith comes by hearing the Word of God.  The Word of God is Jesus Christ.  Thus, faith comes by hearing Jesus preached.  So, let’s build our faith and preach “None but Jesus.”

It’s really simple math.
Grace + Law = Law and Law = Death and Curse.
Grace + zero = Grace and Grace = Truth and Life.

In closing, I’ll leave you with the great Spurgeon quote I’ve been using:
“I sometimes wonder that you do not get tired of my preaching, because I do nothing but hammer away on this one nail. With me it is, year after year, ‘None but Jesus!’ Oh, you great saints, if you have outgrown the need of a sinner’s trust in the Lord Jesus, you have outgrown your sins, but you have also outgrown your grace, and your saintship has ruined you!”

Grace and Peace

Chad

Three months ago I began a process of healing. I found myself with a torn ACL and meniscus. Although this could have been a terrible time, it has been one of the most interesting, exciting and illuminating in my life.

I know sitting around with your leg in a brace, not being able to do what you have been used to in the past doesn’t sound like much fun, but let me explain.

Most of my days have been spent just unraveling truth from the Word of God and spending time in His presence. The greatest thing He has shown me is TRUST. I am learning to trust more and more in the finished work of the Cross than ever before. It really all hinged on His righteousness.

I feel I should explain that while I have been recovering I have been unable to perform my regular duties at work.  Naturally, this has caused a significant loss of income. I say this not for any sympathy but to show you the goodness of my Father and His promises.

Before my surgery, the doctors told me that I would most likely be completely unable to attend work throughout most of my recovery period, but by the Grace of God I was given favor and a light duty desk job to help with the bills.  I knew in my heart that everything would work out just fine but I also knew that I would have to Trust Him like never before for finances just to get by.

I truly believe in tithing 10% of my income to my local church, and it is the first thing I do when I receive each paycheck, so it really began to bother me when the tithe money just wasn’t there.  This is not to say that I was not trusting God with my finances, so all you pastors and preachers please relax before you become short of breath or choke on your coffee.  I simply said that the money just wasn’t there.

I do get it. Tithe 10%, the first fruits. So how can I say it wasn’t there? Well something was going to have to be late or unpaid. I have discovered He is God the Father not the Godfather. So as I was on my way home and began talking to my Daddy, letting Him know that it was really bothering me that I felt like it wasn’t there to give Him the first 10%. He brought up my biggest lesson again. TRUST. He said “Can you trust me with your finances even if you don’t tithe? My response was just one of peace, of course I could. He promised if I would seek first the Kingdom and His righteousness all these things would be added to me. Mat. 6:25-34

The next morning I received a phone call letting me know I had an extra $500 waiting on me. Not because of anything I had done or not done, but just because He is good.

My question to you today, can you trust Him? Even when you’ve done right, even when you’ve done wrong, or even when you’ve done nothing at all? Can you trust that His grace is sufficient even though you don’t deserve it?

Which Son are You?

Posted: November 1, 2012 in The Prodigal
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For the last 2 months I have been constantly thinking of the parable of the prodigal son. I’ve actually tried to write on this topic several times before but didn’t feel like I had a firm grasp on what the Holy Spirit was giving me at the time. I understand the princeable of the the parable as it is often taught, but I really love to peel back layer after layer getting as much truth as I can out of the Bible.

The following will be a two parts of a three part series written originally by Phil Drysdale with some added by yours truly. You can find the original articles here, here and here.

It fascinates me that the parable of the prodigal son had two sons in it. We often focus so much on the son that turned his back on the father because that is the analogy for the one that is “lost”. However this parable was never about unbelievers… there were no unbelievers that Jesus was speaking to. He was speaking to the Jews, who at this time were the people of God. We forget that it was Paul who preached to unbelievers!
I think in light of this we should really be looking at the parable in a more introspective manner rather than at unbelievers outside the church (although I do agree the underlying principles of God’s acceptance etc are very applicable).

There are two sons in the story who aren’t connected to their father. They don’t seem to know what they have. One son is not finding any value in his relationship with the father and is definitely not enjoying himself, so he asks to be cut off from the father and pursues pleasure and entertainment in the world. The other son however, seems to be equally disconnected from the father and is working hard to gain his attention in the hopes that he might be noticed.

What can we learn from each brother?

The younger brother

There are many people in the church today who are like the first son, they are disillusioned, the church promised the world and they aren’t interested… they try and try to please God to gain His favour and attention, to grow to be more and more holy and they fail miserably because they are doing it based on their own efforts to keep the law. This leads them to leave and to pursue pleasure and acceptance in the world – this might not be a literal leaving, many of these people are in the church, you and I know them… you and I sometimes are them. Our prayer is that at some point, like this son, they realize that their own efforts to fill the void are useless and they need to return to God. Hopefully this time round they have a revelation of who they are, because this type of Christian is most commonly created by churches that teach law, works and effort – any church that tells you that you need to please God or that God will be unhappy with you if you fail to keep his law will be producing these types of Christians.

The older brother

The older brother is fascinating though, it is a different result caused by the same type of preaching. This brother continues to strive and work hard and doesn’t give up! There is no relationship created with God here, it only drives a wedge further between you and God when you try to work for His affection (1 Cor 15:56, Gal 5:4). This son is the saddest thing to see, as a son all along he doesn’t know it and worst still falls into resentment and betterment when other people allow grace to embrace them. When his brother comes back and accepts the grace of his father this son is filled with rage because he “deserves” more, not knowing that his righteousness is like filthy rags (Isaiah 64:6).

This is a dangerous breed of Christian, not only do they not accept grace for themselves but worst still they try to tear down those who do! They are like the Jews who became Christians and would go to the gentiles trying to convince them to follow the laws of the Old Testament that they might be right before God. Paul is regularly rebuking these Christians.

How it affects me

I often find a works mindset creeping in and effecting me in the ways of both the parable’s sons from time to time. This parable helps sober me and ask God to renew my mind to the reality that I am a son, it was nothing of my own doing and I deserve it just as much as everyone else… which is not at all 🙂 (Thank you Jesus!)

My prayer is that we can renew our minds to the reality of Christ in us, that we realize our sonship and become a third son in the church. One who believes in what Christ did for us on the cross, not because we deserved it or loved Him enough, but because He is good and loved us first. Believing too that He loved the guy we don’t really like and think deserves it less than us too!

Who am I?

Posted: October 24, 2012 in Identity
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Earlier this week I made this statement. I was taught who I was supposed to be but no one ever told me who I was.

You see growing up I had the most amazing and caring parents a young man could ever ask for. I was the son of a preacher man, the child of an angel, and you know what they always say about preachers kids; their always the worst. Yes, this really is a stereotype, but in some sense it is true.

I was always taught who I was supposed to be. Do this, do that. Act this way when company comes, and my favorite, don’t embarrass me in the community. I was a Hutchinson and this is how we do it.

Now don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with giving your child instructions on how he should act or behave. I actually encourage it because the lack of discipline in this day and age is very obvious in society.

So what am I talking about? Well, somewhere down the line when I was a child, I gave my heart to the Lord. I was always taught how to be a good Christian, but this looked a lot more like learning how to be a good Hutchinson. You know, do this, don’t do that. It really sounded more like, thou shall and thou shall not. Then if I ever forgot I could always go to the dining room where the Ten Commandments hung proudly on the wall. Now I am not bashing the Ten Commandments or the law. The Law is holy. The only problem is man by himself can not live by them. If you do all you will find is sin and death. (Romans 3:20; 2 Corinthians 3:9) When you try to live by the law it frustrates Grace. (Galatians 2:21)

So what’s the solution? We all know how we should act, so how do we do it? It all comes from your identity and letting the Holy Spirit lead you.

So, who am I in Christ?

I am God’s child. (John 1:12)

I have been justified. (Romans 5:1)

I am united with Christ. We are one in Spirit. (1 Corinthians 6:19-20)

I am adopted by God. (Ephesians 1:3-8)

I have been redeemed and forgiven of ALL my sins. (Colossians 1:13-14)

I am complete in Christ. (Colossians 2:9-10)

I have direct access to the thrown of Grace (Hebrews 4:14-16)

I can’t be separated from God’s love. (Romans 8:31-39)

I am God’s temple. (1 Corinthians 3:16)

I may approach God with confidence. (Ephesians 3:12)

I have received the gift of Righteousness. (Romans 5:17)

I am greatly loved by God. (Romans 1:7, Ephesians 2:4, Colossians 3:12, 1 Thessolonians 1:4)

It is not I who live, but Christ who lives in me. (Galatians 2:20)

When we know who we are and how to be lead by the Holy Spirit we will do more on accident then we could ever do on purpose. The next thing we need to learn is now to be lead by the Holy Spirit. We’ll talk about that more in another post.

To put in Chad’s english:

I’m a saint, not a sinner saved by Grace. I used to be a sinner who died with Christ and now I am a Saint! I am forgiven! For yesterday, today, and tomorrow. I am holy in Christ. My old life is gone, I am a new creation. I am loved. I am a son of the most high God.

Grace and Peace unto you,

Chad

We all remember this one. The young woman pulling petals off the flower and thinking each time. “He loves me, He loves me not, till the last one was pulled. So what did the last one say?

This reminds me of the mindset of Christians today. When we do something good, we pull the flower petal that says “He loves me.” When we do something bad, we pull the other one that says “He loves me not.” At any given moment we could leave this earth. Oh no! What was the last petal we pulled? “He loves me not”. Then we have choice #2. We try so hard to do the right thing, only to fail and pull another He loves me not petal from the flower. At the end of the day or at the end of this life, did I get to pull one more of those good ones or bad ones?

Honestly this sounds like a Law- based approach to relating to God. Do something good and get blessed. Break the Law and get cursed. Does God really relate to us this way? For a long time, without even knowing it really, this was me. Until the day I threw up my hands and said “God trying to serve you and do what’s right is impossible. At least the world has pleasure attached to it.”

Yes its true, the world and sin are fun for a season and honestly more fun than all that religious stuff I was doing. You see it all goes back to having the right diet. I was eating from the wrong tree both times. For more on the right diet click here.

Welcome the Rose of Sharon, the flower of the New Covenant. As I began to pull petals from this flower, to my amazement they all said the same thing: HE LOVES ME. But today I messed up, I did something I know that I shouldn’t have done. When I go back to the Rose and grab my petal, to my surprise it always says “HE LOVES ME.”

Now, in no way, am I condoning sin, but at times in our lives we all fall, stumble and make mistakes. So our only hope is in Hope Himself. He is the one that walked out the perfect life. Jesus hung on a cross taking everything we deserved. His arms were wide open not folded with a snare. Today his arms are still wide open saying “I love you.”

We all, at times, I think try to impress God with our love for Him. Trying to compete with the lover of your soul is hard work. If you want to impress God only your faith in Jesus will do.

So next time you pull a petal from that flower make sure it’s from the Rose of Sharon. Put your faith in Him and watch as you turn the petal over. It will say “HE LOVES ME, HE LOVES ME, HE LOVES ME.”

Grace and Peace,

Chad