Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Spiritual Adultery

2For the married woman is bound by law to her husband while he is living; but if her husband dies, she is released from the law concerning the husband। 3So then, if while her husband is living she is joined to another man, she shall be called an adulteress; but if her husband dies, she is free from the law, so that she is not an adulteress though she is joined to another man. 4Therefore, my brethren, you also were made to die to the Law through the body of Christ, so that you might be joined to another, to Him who was raised from the dead, in order that we might bear fruit for God. (Rom 7: 2-4)

Here, the Apostle Paul is using the analogy of marriage to explain our relationship with the law. We were born into this world married to the law. How did that happen? When Adam ate from the law tree (tree of knowledge of good and evil), we who were in Adam, got married to the law system (Mr. Law). The law system or legalism is a system of knowing what is right and wrong, and then observing those rules to make spiritual progress. It is based on our performance.

Being married to Mr.Law is a miserable life because he is always condemning and critical (2 Cor 3:7, 9). He points out our faults, but never does anything to help us live a godly life (Gal 3:21). It is a lifetime of struggling in vain against sin and attempting to achieve righteousness.

How do we get free from this marriage with Mr.Law? When one person in the marriage dies, the other person is set free from that relationship. But Mr.Law is not going to die. Therefore, Rom 7:4 says that, we were made to die to the law through the body of Christ, thereby setting us free from the marriage with Mr. Law, so that we might be joined to another man (Mr.Grace). Gal 2:19 says that Paul died to the law so that he might live unto God. When Christ died on the cross, our old man that was married to the law, died with Christ. We are now born again in our spirits and are married to a new person Mr. Grace (Jesus Christ). Therefore we have NO RELATIONSHIP with Mr.Law or the system of religious rules.

Mr. Grace never condemns us (Rom 8:1), he loves us and adores us. He gives us a wedding gift – the gift of righteousness (Rom 5:17b). He offers us a life of rest, free from our toils and labors (Matt 11:28, 29). Grace says that we are blessed, not because of our performance, but because we are in Christ and what He has done on our behalf.

Now, what happens when we fail to fully understand our relationship with Jesus Christ? What happens when we feel like we need to observe certain religious rules to please God and make spiritual progress? We begin to flirt with our ex-spouse (Mr.Law) again. What is it called when we are married to one, but involved in an affair with another? It is called ADULTERY. Remember, Christ loved us so much, that He took us with Him on the cross, so we could die to the law, be set free from that relationship, and as a result be joined to Him. We don’t want to turn our backs to His love and commit spiritual adultery. Let us therefore be conscious of our relationship with Him and His life in us, thereby resisting the lure and deception of spiritual adultery.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

CAUTION: This may turn you religious world upside down!!

I thank God for a friend who introduced me to the true Gospel(GOOD NEWS) of the grace and unconditional love of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. I have provided links to two topics, that I first listened to as a babe in this gospel. These messages RADICALLY transformed my life. Since then it's been a wonderful journey of mining into the knowledge of Jesus and His finished work and the new identity He has given me. I guarantee you, that these messages will challenge you to the core, about Christianity as you know it and you WILL be delivered from the chains of religion. I DARE YOU TO LISTEN!
CAUTION: This may turn your religious world upside down.

Click on the images below.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Self Righteousness or His Righteousness - Daniel Alexander

But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. – Matthew 6:33

Religious people have this tendency to focus on self-righteousness. They sometimes come to the conclusion that, since they have not done “big” sins, they are good. And they happily condemn and judge the so-called “big” sinners. But the call is to seek His righteousness (right-standing with God), not ours (Matthew 6:33).

Let us see how the Word of God views sin:

James 2:10-11 – “For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all. For he that said, Do not commit adultery, said also, Do not kill. Now if thou commit no adultery, yet if thou kill, thou art become a transgressor of the law.”

Some may scoff at this verse, saying that they have neither committed adultery nor murdered anyone. But Jesus warned, “You have heard…You shall not commit adultery.’ But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman with lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart,” (Matthew 5:28). If you have ever looked at another person with lust, Jesus calls this adultery. Jesus was making this point to the self-righteous religious crowd who heavily gave weight to the external actions, but sin originates from within (James 1:13-15).
Murder. Jesus warned, “Whoever is angry with his brother without cause, is in danger of judgment,” (Matthew 5:22) and the Bible says, “He who hates his brother is a murderer,” (1 John 3:15). God sees hatred in the heart to be as wicked as murder. If you hate someone, God sees you as a murderer. It does not matter how justified you are in your sight, but as per the Word of God, you are in sin.

James 4:17 – “Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.”
When was the last time you saw a broken down car on the highway and passed by them without offering a helping hand? The Bible calls this sin.

Romans 14:23 – “…for whatsoever is not of faith is sin.”
We do a lot of things each day solely depending on our senses. The Bible says, whatsoever is not of faith is sin!

Regardless of what the religious crowd wants to make you or themselves believe, not one of us is righteous (Romans 3:10). Our righteousness is as filthy rags (Isaiah 64:6). All of us have sinned and come short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23). In God’s eyes, there is no small or big sin. Sin is sin, even if it is a “white” lie or a cold-blooded murder. To be perfect in God’s eyes, we have to score 100 out of 100. There is no silver star for 99.999 out of 100 (James 2:10-11). The truth is, no one (you, I, our friends, parents pastor or anyone) can achieve this with our own effort, no matter how sincere we are in our effort, which is precisely the reason why we needed a Savior. His name is JESUS. If the perfection that God requires of us to be in His right-standing could be achieved by our good works and by keeping the law, Jesus did not have to go through the gruesome torture and crucifixion (Galatians 2:21). Since it is humanly impossible to reach God’s righteousness with our effort, Jesus fulfilled the law on our behalf and while we were sinners, Christ demonstrated the height of His love for us by paying the penalty for our sins with His own precious and sinless blood (Romans 5:8). In the past, people sacrificed animals to temporarily cover their sins, but Jesus' perfect sacrifice on the Cross wiped away the sin - once and for all (Hebrews 10:10-14, 9:28). We stand the great risk of negating this awesome grace for us that is in Christ Jesus, if we think we can earn and keep our salvation by our feeble efforts to keep the law (Galatians 5:4).

Praise God for His gift that we cannot earn with our works. “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.” (Ephesians 2:8-9). We are justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus (Romans 3:24).

Let us wholeheartedly stand each day in His righteousness that Jesus made us to be (Romans 5:17-19).

If you have not yet received this precious Gift of Salvation, do not waste another minute, for you may not have a tomorrow. Get Saved, Now!

For more articles by Daniel visit

Friday, August 14, 2009

When Faith is Frightening - Peter Youngren

The following is an article written for the St Catharines Standard Newspaper where Peter is a regular columnist.

Believers in Christ accept that something utterly amazing happened at the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Once and for all, God put the punishment for the world’s sins on Jesus. The phrase “the world’s sins” is all inclusive from Hitler’s murders to a gossiping church member; all was put on Christ. To millions this carries a profound meaning for their daily life, and they believe that what happened at the cross has power to transform people from the inside out. The message of what Christ did is commonly called “Gospel”, which means “Good News”.

Here is where it gets fuzzy. What is the good news all about? Is it good news that if you do your best, God will do the rest? Or is the good news that God gave Jesus as an example of good living, and those who follow Him will be saved? Surprisingly the answer is no on both counts! The most famous verse in the entire Bible simply says, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life”, (John 3:16). There is only one condition, “believe”, nothing about us doing our best, or our attempts to walk in the footsteps of Jesus.

“Believe” is a verb and “faith” is a noun, two sides of the same coin, and two words that to some seem weak and to others even frightening. Why? Because believing puts the focus away from our performance; faith has nothing to do with our effort, our good attitude, diligent studies, or our attempt at impressing God with our humility. Faith is not about what we need to do, but it is simply to put our trust in what God has done for us. We are relying on someone else for the payment of our debt and that can be nerve-wracking. I’m relaxed when I drive my car, but let someone else take the wheels and suddenly my anxiety level rises. Faith frightens some, because it means to rely on another.

Faith is to trust in God’s grace. Grace can have no strings attached to it, it must be free; it has nothing to do with bargains, or the idea of “you do your part and God will do His”. Grace is not a contract, or a negotiated settlement between God and man. If it was, it would depend on each of the contractually bound parties to fulfill their respective obligations. A contract is not rooted in love, but in the performance of those who are party to it. God’s idea is not to transform the world or an individual through a contractual obligation, but through unconditional love. There is no tit for tat, grace is a free gift, and yet it empowers. The unconditional grace and love of God gives us the capacity for genuine moral improvement; without it, all we can muster is polishing the outside. Grace makes us honest, vulnerable, transparent and open to change because of the good God has done for us through Jesus. No need for cover-ups or pretense. After all, we are not trying to prove our own ability; we are trusting in God’s unconditional love. This removes the idea of us earning credits with God. We simply surrender to another, and the good another has done is credited to us. Frightening? Maybe, but also totally liberating. Best of all, faith itself is a gift, not the result of our effort, that way we can’t even take credit for believing. Since it’s all free, why not ask for it? You can, if you want to.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

What is your Worth?

Matt 13
45Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a merchant man, seeking goodly pearls:
46Who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had, and bought it.

In this parable, Jesus talks about the “pearl of great price”. Who is this pearl of great price and what is the worth or value of this pearl?
The worth of something is established by what someone is willing to pay for it. If we put up a pearl for sale, its worth is determined by how much someone is willing to pay for it. So if someone pays X amount of dollars, then we say that, the pearl is worth X amount of dollars. In other words the value of that pearl is equal to the value of the money paid to acquire it.

We are familiar with this parable being taught as Jesus being the pearl of great price and that we need to pay a price to obtain Jesus and to make it to heaven. We have heard it said that we need to do this and do that and the whole rigmarole of religion, to be worthy of Jesus and His kingdom. There is nothing further from the truth. Our best efforts will always fall short of His glory and His standards. There is no price we can pay, no sacrifices we can make, no amount of religious works we can do to gain His acceptance. All such attempts are futile and will never amount to anything close to His value. He is priceless. If we could pay our way to heaven with our works and by following all the rules and regulations of religion, there wouldn’t be any need for Jesus to die on our behalf. Paul says in Gal 2:21 that if you could become righteous by keeping all the rules and laws, then Christ died needlessly.

Let’s look at this parable from a grace perspective. Sin separated man from God. The righteousness of God demands that sin be punished; and the penalty of sin is death. This means that you and I would have to face God, the righteous judge, and be condemned to eternal destruction. God also knew that you and I would never be able to save ourselves by any of our self efforts. So, what did God do to save us, and at the same time punish our sins? John 3:16 says that God loved SO loved the world (you and me), SO much that He gave His only begotten son that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. Jesus became the perfect sacrifice, the lamb slain before the foundation of the world for our sins. Our sins were placed on Him and He bore the wrath of God and OUR sins were punished in His flesh (Rom 8:3).

What was the price God paid to redeem or purchase you and me? He gave His very best, His only Son, His very life, which cannot be compared to millions of dollars or all the wealth in this world. So you are EQUAL in value to Jesus, because that is what God paid to redeem you. In God’s eyes, you are as precious as Jesus. YOU ARE THAT PEARL OF GREAT PRICE! He paid with His life and blood. Jesus gave up His glory, riches and domain, and suffered humiliation, even to the death on the cross, to pay the ransom for us (Mark10:45). You are His purchased possession. You are apple of His eye. You are graven in the palm of His hands. You are most precious in His sight. Quit looking at yourself as worthless and start looking at yourself through God’s eyes.

There is a false sense of humility when one says, “Oh! I am a poor old sinner saved by grace” or “I’m not worthy to receive God’s blessings”. Quit looking at yourself and how you don’t measure up. Look at what God did for you through Jesus, knowing very well, that you would never measure up.

Religion will say that you are not good enough, you need to do more and become better to become worthy of His kingdom. Religion focuses on what we need to do but God says,” Look at what I have already done in you through the finished work of Christ on the cross.” He says, “You are a saint, you are righteous, you are holy, you are loved and accepted in Christ, you are royalty, you are that pearl of great price, you are precious.”

Monday, August 10, 2009

Beware of the leaven (yeast) of the Pharisees and the Sadducees

Matt 16:6 Then Jesus said unto them, Take heed and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees.
Matt 16:12 Then understood they how that he bade them not beware of the leaven of bread, but of the doctrine of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees.

Here Jesus warns His disciples to beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees. Verse 12 shows that the leaven speaks of the doctrine of the Pharisees and the Sadducees.
The Pharisees and Sadducees were the religious people of Jesus’s time. We see that Jesus was not against the sinners, prostitutes and tax collectors, but He was against these religious people. Doesn’t that seem strange that He would do so? If Jesus was here physically on this earth today, what would He say about the modern church?
The doctrine of these religious people was that they could attain righteousness by doing the works of the law. In John 5, Jesus tells them that they were seeking eternal life in the scriptures, but they failed to understand that the scriptures were pointing to Him as the only way to salvation or eternal life. They were looking for “do’s and don’ts” in the scriptures to be able to fulfill them and thereby attain righteousness by their performance. Jesus called them “hypocrites, snakes etc.” They observed the laws outwardly but their inside was full of darkness. Jesus shed light on the righteous standards of the law and showed every single time that the religious people fell short of those standards. So rather than falling on God’s mercy and grace they wanted to trust in their own performance to attain righteousness. Doesn’t this sound like the modern church? They try to grow in righteousness and holiness by their own works rather than depending on the grace of God who is the indwelling Christ in every believer. They try to comb the scriptures to find every single law from Genesis to Revelation and make additional laws and put this heavy burden on the people.
The Apostle Paul in his epistles lashed out against such religious people who wanted to mix their legalism with the pure gospel of the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. He calls them “wolves.”Writing to believers in the Galatian church, he asks them, “You foolish Galatians, who has bewitched you? After starting your Christian lives in the Spirit, why are you now trying to become perfect by your own human effort?”In chapter 5 He tells them that, “if you are justified by the law(performance), then you are cut off or severed from Christ! You are fallen from grace!” That’s a very serious statement! He further tells them that “a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump”. A little leaven or doctrine of legalism (even a little bit) will leaven the whole lump. Grace and legalism cannot be mixed.
We are saved by grace, made righteous by grace, live by grace, kept by grace, sanctified by grace, perfected by grace. This is the pure unadulterated message of the gospel of grace. Rom 11:6 says, that grace is no longer grace if your works are involved.
In conclusion, let us not nullify (invalidate) the grace of God (by mixing it with legalism), for if righteousness comes through the Law, then Christ died needlessly. (Gal 2:21)

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