12 December 2012

The Headless Church (The Body-less Savior)

And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:
Ephesians 2:6 KJV
As far as God is concerned, there is one Body - the church, with one Head - Christ.

It's we who separate the two.  The verse above says that we were raised up together with Christ.  We were raised from the dead with Him.  It doesn't say that He was raised and then we were raised later.  It says we were raised together.

Then it says that God made us - Christ and the body - to sit together in heavenly places.

Being seated shows that authority was given.  Being seated in heavenly places shows that authority over all things has been given.  That authority wasn't given only to Christ, as some prize that He will impart at a later date.  That authority was given to us and Him - together.

We, so often act as a body without a head - seeking for God to make the change for us or perform the miracle on our behalf.  That's backwards!  

That. Is. Backwards.

We are to make the change that is needed.  We have the authority to carry out the miracles.  

Do we worship a Savior without a body - some head floating around somewhere - disconnected?

Or are we connected to Him - through this verse for one?

Does He have no hands? no feet? no body?

...He has made us to sit together...

We are one. He and me. One.

11 December 2012

Tuesday Teaching - Justification

Because man rebelled against God and entered into sin, there is a separation between man and God. We are all sinners by nature and are therefore condemned by a just, holy and righteous God.

As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.Romans 3:10-12

The only way for us to be reconciled back to God is for Him to transfer our guilt upon Himself. The death of Jesus Christ made this transfer, forgiveness and reconciliation a possibility.

For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.2 Corinthians 5:21

We receive justification by the grace of God (Romans 3:24, Titus 3:7), through the blood of Jesus Christ (Romans 5:9, Hebrews 9:22), and by faith (Romans 5:1-2, Galatians 2:16).

Justification results in the following:

Removal of the penalty of sin:
Saying, Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered.Romans 4:7

Removal of condemnation:
There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.Romans 8:1

Peace with God:
Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:Romans 5:1

The righteousness of Jesus Christ is ours:
For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.2 Corinthians 5:21

04 December 2012

Tuesday Teaching - Repentance

One major hindrance to true repentance will be self-confidence. While self-confidence is an excellent trait to have for life in general, it can get in the way when it comes to repentance before God. True repentance calls for a renunciation of self-confidence and it will initiate a God-confidence; being confident in God to meet all your needs and fulfill all your desires, believing then, that His Way is the only way.

All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.Isaiah 53:6

Our own way will lead us astray. Following our own ideas, desires and direction will lead us away from the Power needed to live a victorious life in Christ. Following our own way will put us in a place void of God's protection and blessing. We need God in order to make it. We need to follow His Way to stay with Him. Repentance is where that all starts.

And the children of Israel said unto the LORD, We have sinned: do thou unto us whatsoever seemeth good unto thee; deliver us only, we pray thee, this day. And they put away the strange gods from among them, and served the LORD: and his soul was grieved for the misery of Israel.Judges 10:15-16

If we follow the example of the Israelites in this scripture, we see three things which are necessary for repentance.

First, we see confession. Confession is self-explanatory. You must say, with your mouth, what you have done wrong. Confess your sin before God. Yes, He knows what you did - or didn't do, but you must confess it to Him. There is so much power in the spoken word. We will look at this another time.

Secondly, we see a turning away from sin. If you are truly repentant, you will make every effort to not continue in sin; especially the same sin. In most 12-step programs for addiction recovery, there is a common teaching that gives instruction on how to effect true change in your life.

Change people, places and things.

There may be certain people, places or things that you need to change in your life in order to bring about the change that you really desire in order to bring about and demonstrate true repentance.

Third, they chose to serve God. This is where you start new habits, make new friends, take up new responsibilities. All of this shows a placing of real confidence in God and discarding your own self-confidence.

The Bible says that we must repent and turn towards God (Acts 26:19-20). We must turn from our idols and serve God. (1 Thessalonians 1:8-9)

03 December 2012

How Do I Tell Them?

By now, someone has crossed your mind, who you think may not be going to heaven. When we first get saved, we are so over the top that we usually scare people away with our new-found faith. We want so badly to tell others that we push them away with 'the gospel'. God's message of love is so gentle. He is a gentleman. He does not push and neither should we.

If however, you come across someone to whom you need to explain what has happened to you, there are some simple scriptures to use. They are known as the "Roman Road". Note: if someone does not believe the Word of God is true, then you are dealing with foolishness and you will need more experience and knowledge of God and His Word before truly dealing with that person. But here are a few scriptures you can use to explain your conversion to others who are receptive to the Word of God.

For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; Romans 3:23 
 We all have sinned and fall short of God's purpose for our lives - to know Him and walk with Him.
For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Romans 6:23
Wages are just payment... due reward... what one has coming because of labor. The just payment for our sin is death. Death here means a spiritual disconnect. When we are still in our sin, we have no life with God. We are alive physically but dead spiritually. If we continue in that condition, we will be separated from God for all eternity.

But God demonstrates his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.Romans 5:8

In a demonstration of His love for us, He gave His own life.
For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.Romans 10:13

Pretty simple here: Call on Him and He will save you.

That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.Romans 10:9-10

That's it really. No rocket science; faith and confession is all it takes to become a child of God. Only believers will ever understand the change that takes place following the conversion experience. Give your testimony of what happened with you - the burden being lifted, the emptiness filled, the chains broken. Your testimony will be attractive to others and that will open their hearts to receive the Word of Truth.