Saturday, October 24, 2009

Can You Go Too Far With Grace? - Steve McVey

Those who are afraid of the message of the grace walk have sometimes suggested that you can go too far with grace. They're afraid about getting "out of balance" with the message. It is from out of that unfounded fear that this lie finds expression. The fact is that grace is a Person. His name is Jesus. So to say that you can go too far with grace is like saying that you can go too far with Him. It simply isn’t possible.

"But if you teach grace the way you are, people will think it's okay to sin," some have said to me. That kind of fear shows a lack of understanding about what grace does in a person’s life. When God’s grace really takes hold of us, it does the exact opposite of encouraging sin. It causes us to draw near in love and faith to God, which is where we find a greater desire to walk in a way that honors Him.

Read the full article here.

What's wrong with knowing good and evil (eating the fruit from the tree of knowledge of good and evil)?

God did not want man to live by knowing what is good and evil, or right or wrong, and thereby doing good and avoiding evil (this tree represents the LAW - what to do and what not to do). God knew that man, by his own strength, will power and determination would always fall short. Instead, He wanted man to live off of the tree of life, (which is the very life of God in us). Adam and Eve were created in the very image and likeness of God (they were already like God) and they had the very life of God in them. But man chose to become (like God) what they already were (like God) by their own self effort. God had made man perfect and saw that His creation was GOOD. Yet man wanted to become like God by knowing good and evil and then doing the good thing (keeping the LAW). Only God is capable of doing that and that is why He wants man to live by His life inside of us. Satan deceived man into thinking that he could become like God, independant of God by His own self efforts, when in reality man was already created like God. Satan himself tried this when God has already placed him(satan) in a very high position. Lucifer was the covering archangel over the mercy seat, he was right there, infact above the mercy seat where God sits. But he was not happy with that, he wanted to ascend above God and become like God by His own self effort. In other words he want to be something that God had already made him to be and he wanted man to do the same. This same deception of Satan is still working in the church today.

Let's fast forward some thousands of year. Jesus Christ came to reverse what happened in Eden. He came as the last Adam and as our representative fulfilled every LAW perfectly, took our sins and died for them and rose again victorious and is in His glorified body at the right hand of the Father. His perfect sacrifice has made us holy, righteous, sanctified and perfected for ever(heb 9 and 10). Paul says that "I am crucified with Christ, it's no longer I who lives, but Christ lives in me." We had a co-crucifixion with Christ 2000 years ago. Now it is no longer us, but Christ HIMSELF is living in us by the Holy Spirit. We are to live by His life (tree of LIFE) in us leading us, animating our actions and thoughts. We are freed from the LAW (knowing good and evil and thereby doing good and avoiding evil). All religions basically teach a set of moral principles (good and evil) and command men to become holy by observing those. But true biblical Christianity is not living by laws or moral principles, but living powered by the very life of God in us. Jesus said several times in the N.T. that He has come to give us life and that He is that very life. When He comes inside of us, the Bible says, we become one spirit with the Lord. We are a brand new CREATION, holy and completey righteous. The Bible says we are "complete in Him". Now mind you this spiritual act has taken place in our spirits (which is our true self). God is a spirit and sees us in the spirit. Now God, by His one perfect sacrifice, has made us Holy. We look at our five senses and our thougts and conclude that we are unholy, and are trying to become holy by keeping the law and by our own self effort. This is the deception that Satan is still playing in the church 6000 years later. Eve was not tempted to do something bad, she was tempted to be like God or godly. This is what is being preaced is that we have to become godly by obeying rules and commands, when God has already made us godly and holy. He obeyed on my behalf perfectly and when I believe in Him that obedience or righteousness is imputed to me. We have the very DNA of God in our spirits when we are born of Him (born again). We need to live out of this new identity that God has given us and let His life in us (which is holy and righteous) manifest in our minds and bodies. We have to renew our minds to this spiritual reality of what took place at the cross (our co-crucifixion) and the reality of His life now in us. It's NO LONGER I, BUT CHRIST LIVES IN ME. Just yield to him, moment by moment and you will see an automatic transformation in your actions and thoughts. The price has been paid for the redemption of our souls and bodies, but our souls(mind, will and emotions are being renewed) and our bodies will be changed in the future.

Look at yourselves as how God has made you. Righteousness has been given to you as a gift, not by our doing good or avoiding evil. If righteousness could come by our works, the Bible says, then Christ died in vain. He needn't have come and died. You may say that if we don't have any laws then we won't have any guiding principles in our life. We don't need the law, but the very life of God in us becomes our guiding principle. The bible says that the law is not for the righteous. Let's trust God to be who He is and His perfect work He has done in us. As we behold ourselves as He has made us to be, we will be changed in our souls and bodies, from glory to glory by the indwelling Spirit of God. Let's get away from Satan's deception of "I am not holy, blessed etc...but I will be by knowing good and evil, right and wrong and then doing the right thing." "I will become holy by my fasting and praying and Bible reading, I will become blessed by obeying and sowing and reaping." NO! I will read the Bible, pray and fast to know Him and what He has done for me by His finished work and to grow in that relationship. I will give money to the work of God and the poor because I am already blessed by God, NOT to become blessed. You see the difference is very subtle and satan is using religion to trap people in his mindset of "I am not, but I wlll become what I do". This is what Paul preached against and Christ railed against the religious people of His day who woudn't come to Him (the eternal life), but was trying to get eternal life by searching the scriptures to see what to do and what not to do(John 5:39 and 40). I am afraid that the modern day church is doing the same thing. Instead of focussing on Jesus who is our very life and living by His life and our new identity, the church is focussed on 10 steps to this, 7 steps to holiness, prosperity etc. Religion is all about what YOU must DO,DO,DO, but real christianity(GRACE) is about what HE HAS DONE IN YOU. Next time you listen to a preaching, check how many times Jesus is mentioned in that preaching. Paul says that "we preach Christ crucified"- that's it. JESUS is the answer, not religious or biblical principles. Would you trust and yield to Him to let Him live His life throught you?

THE NAKED GOSPEL - Andrew Farley

Please download this book for FREE by clicking here. You can also buy a copy for yourself by clicking here. It is a MUST read for every Christian! As Andrew puts it, it is "Jesus plus nothing. 100% natural. No additives.It's the truth you may never hear in church. The Naked Gospel is a chapter-by-chapter assault on the churchy jargon and double talk of our day. It puts forth a message that is simple but life-changing. With a fresh take on Scripture and unapologetic style, The Naked Gospel will challenge you to re-examine everything you thought you already knew."