Faith or Law?

February 26, 2016

 

Faith or Law?

Galatians 3:1-5

You foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you? Before your very eyes Jesus Christ was clearly portrayed as crucified. 2I would like to learn just one thing from you: Did you receive the Spirit by observing the law, or by believing what you heard? 3Are you so foolish? After beginning with the Spirit, are you now trying to attain your goal by human effort? 4Have you suffered so much for nothing—if it really was for nothing? 5Does God give you his Spirit and work miracles among you because you observe the law, or because you believe what you heard? 

What we believe and have conviction for in our lives can come at a high price.  In many times and various places it could cost you your livelihood, your possessions and even your life.  With that kind of a price tag you want to be pretty sure that what you believe is right on and that it is worth the price you pay.  The Galatians were such a people.  They began their faith as they heard the gospel and embraced it by faith, but now the apostle Paul finds them mixing the law and faith.  They are getting caught up in the doctrine that the liberty of the gospel of Jesus Christ is not sufficient in itself, but must be supplemented with works and the keeping of ordinances.  This was a battle that Paul had to war with on many fronts throughout his life.  If Paul ever had a thorn in his flesh, this was a major one. If anyone would have thought that faith alone in Jesus Christ was not sufficient for our salvation you would think it would have been Paul.  Having been raised and trained in the rigors of the Mosaic Law as a Pharisee, his whole life had been built upon this premise.  It is obvious by Paul’s passionate apologetic of the gospel that he no longer sees the law as a necessary component of our faith and salvation.  He in fact, strongly views the legalism brought in by the Judaizers as an undermining of the faith that stands in Christ alone.  

Some might argue will if you have faith and the law isn’t that even better?  Don’t we have the best of both and isn’t that more pleasing to God?  

The reason that Paul is so passionate on this point is that the law is based in man’s righteousness.  The whole reason that God gave us the tutor of the law was to teach us that man’s righteousness would always miss the mark of God’s righteousness and holiness.  If the law had been sufficient we would not have needed Christ.  Our faith in Christ bases our righteousness in Christ and not in ourselves.  The Law leads us to believe that by our goodness and observances of the law we obtain favor with God.  Yet the Bible teaches us without faith it is impossible to please God.  Our faith cannot be in us; it must be in Him.  Roman 10:1-4 bears out this truth, “Brothers, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for the Israelites is that they may be saved. 2For I can testify about them that they are zealous for God, but their zeal is not based on knowledge. 3Since they did not know the righteousness that comes from God and sought to establish their own, they did not submit to God’s righteousness. 4Christ is the end of the law so that there may be righteousness for everyone who believes.”

When Paul speaks of the two laws in Romans 8:1-4 he says, “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus 2because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death. 3For what the law was powerless to do in that it was weakened by the sinful nature, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful man to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in sinful man, 4in order that the righteous requirements of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the sinful nature but according to the Spirit.” The Law doesn’t work because it is dependent upon our goodness.  Faith in Christ works because it is dependent upon His goodness which is imputed to us by faith and not by works.  When we mix the law with faith we put ourselves again under the law of sin and death.  The only way that we abide in the law of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus is through faith in His finished work upon the cross.  When we say we still need the law, observances and ordinances to supplement that faith, then we are in affect saying, “Jesus, you are not sufficient for our salvation.”  Any of us who are still putting ourselves under the law need to strongly consider that.  We will never enter into the fullness of God’s Holiest while we are still clinging to the former things.  Hebrews 9:8 says, “The Holy Spirit was showing by this that the way into the Most Holy Place had not yet been disclosed as long as the first tabernacle was still standing.”  The new wine was never meant to be put into old wineskins.  Luke 5:37 says, “And no man putteth new wine into old bottles; else the new wine will burst the bottles, and be spilled, and the bottles shall perish.”  The Old and the New Testaments are two different covenants; they were not made to be mixed.  

Through the Old Testament we gain many wonderful insights into examples of man’s interaction with God, God’s nature and revelations of the principles and purposes of God, but we see them consummated and fulfilled in Christ.  In Christ, we live out of His righteousness by faith.  When the Word tells us that we are the righteousness of Christ, it is telling us that when the Father looks upon us, He sees us in His Son who is without spot or wrinkle.  How do you stand before God today, in your righteousness or in His?

Blessings,

#kentt

Living Out of the Unseen

October 29, 2015

2 Corinthians 4:18
So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.

Living Out of the Unseen
Natural eyes, physical sounds, human reasoning, life circumstances, what others tell us, five senses, human conditions, perceptions, surroundings and our understanding all feed into what we perceive as real. In the moment and with all that processes through our being, that may be what seems real and factual. As believers, the word teaches us that there is a realm beyond just human natural perception. This realm is not ruled and governed by the same principles that govern our earthly realm. This realm is not dictated by earthly facts or circumstances. This is a realm that God wants us to more and more operate out of, because it is the realm of the kingdom of God and its principles are truth. Its government and dictates are spelled out in the Word of God. It supercedes that which is natural, for what we currently perceive and understand as reality is passing away. It is temporal, but that which now unseen will take its place for it is the eternal.
Currently, we see in part the invisible realm invading the natural realm, but until it has ran its course in fullness of Father’s time, we will not experience the fullness of the currently unseen realm made manifest. 1 Corinthians 15:50 tells us, “I declare to you, brothers, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable.” In this present corruptible world we can not inherit the fullness of that kingdom which is incorruptible until death is swallowed up with life. This is currently taking place in measure even now as Christ comes forth in us and we live out of His life. His life is swallowing up the death in us.
Before the apostle Paul says this he gives us understanding of the state that we have been in and that which we are moving into. “If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body. So it is written: “The first man Adam became a living being”; the last Adam, a life-giving spirit. The spiritual did not come first, but the natural, and after that the spiritual. The first man was of the dust of the earth, the second man from heaven. As was the earthly man, so are those who are of the earth; and as is the man from heaven, so also are those who are of heaven. And just as we have borne the likeness of the earthly man, so shall we bear the likeness of the man from heaven.” Now while we may see Jesus as the last and only Adam to presently demonstrate the fullness and likeness of the man of heaven, the Word of God and the message of Christ reorients the mind of the believer to not just be operating out of this earthly realm. Ephesians 2:6 says, “And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus.” Colossians 3:1-4 declares, “Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.”
In light of these scriptures we can see how our spiritual position has changed as we have died to the old Adam and are raised up in the last Adam. In that spiritual identification we see that God has positioned us in heavenly places and in that unseen realm that is eternal. From that position, what does He tell us to do? ” Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.” While our physical perspective and position hasn’t changed, our spiritual position has. Now you tell me, which one does God want us to live out of?
Romans 8:5-11 teaches us this, “Those who live according to the sinful nature have their minds set on what that nature desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. The mind of sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace; the sinful mind is hostile to God. It does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so. Those controlled by the sinful nature cannot please God.
You, however, are controlled not by the sinful nature but by the Spirit, if the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ. But if Christ is in you, your body is dead because of sin, yet your spirit is alive because of righteousness. And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit, who lives in you.” You can see where we run into conflict; we find ourselves in two different states, but in Christ we have made a declaration and a statement of faith to disenfranchise and disown our former natural man even while we still abide in this earthen vessel and have put on Christ and identification with His eternal life. That is the position we are to operate our physical lives out of. Even though we don’t see the fullness of that yet manifest we are as Romans 8:22-25 states, “We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what he already has? But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.”
In that patient hope we aren’t focused on the temporal, corruptible and that which is passing away, but we are embracing the eternal as we declare and decree by faith the Word of God and its promises. It is out of these kingdom principles we now live, move and have our being as we walk by the Spirit and live no longer according to the dictates of the flesh. We are a new creation being made conformable in the likeness of Him who has translated us from darkness into His marvelous light, from death into His incorruptible life.

Blessings,
#kent

We Have the Mind of Christ

September 22, 2015

1 Corinthians 2:14-16
But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know [them], because they are spiritually discerned. For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ

We Have the Mind of Christ

What a bold statement that the apostle Paul makes here when he says, “But we have the mind of Christ.” If you or I were to come out and say something like that many Christians might consider us heretics. It is made clear by what is written preceding this that we can’t make this statement if we are walking and reasoning out of the natural man. It is after we live and walk in the Spirit that we become spiritually minded and put on the mind of Christ. We can discern that the man who is not centered in the mind of the Spirit is often one that is a mixture of flesh and spirit. Most of us have seen or heard of someone who thought they were “the Christ” and were caught up in a God complex where they spoke as God. We all know of Jim Jones and David Karesh, for example, that led many astray and to a tragic end. Paul is not speaking in this context, because we never see ourselves as “the Christ”, we see that we are in Christ with the Lord Jesus being our head and yet He is bringing us into His likeness in mind and in being. Many are so afraid of identifying with Christ that they rob and deny the power of what He has called us to be in Him. Apart from Him we can do nothing, but as a part of Him all things are possible. Our faith is taking what God’s word says and counting it as so, even when the physical world and natural evidence doesn’t support it. Faith is what bridges the gap of time and space and the eternal. In Christ and in the flesh we stand between two dimensions and we are trying to reconcile who we truly are. In the natural we often see evidence in us that is often contrary to what we know we should be, but our faith renounces the old, repents of the shortcomings, sins and mistakes and then embraces God’s word and promise as to our true identity. Satan is always trying to convince us of who we are not, through feelings of unworthiness, condemnation, keeping our eyes on the natural man. Christ is saying to us, “Count that former man of the flesh as dead, as crucified with me upon the cross. Identify with me in resurrection life, for the power of sin over you is broken. You are a new and spiritual creation that no longer has to be subject to the law of sin and death. You have been called to be the children of God who walk after the Spirit and put no confidence in the flesh. As a part of your faith in identifying with me I am imparting my life to you and through you by My Spirit that dwells in you.”
God’s word provides our pattern of thinking and living. His Spirit is guiding and leading us into all truth. He is exploring our inward parts and revealing those areas that still need to line up with His nature and character. The difference is that the Spirit doesn’t bring conviction in us to condemn us, but to transform and change us. It is the man of the soul that must come into submission and obedience to this man of the spirit. As this happens our spiritual mind becomes more and more a way of our daily thinking and reasoning, for the natural gives way to the mind of the Spirit.
We have the mind of Christ, but it is our choice to embrace it and put it on by faith that leads to good works and righteousness.

Blessings,
#kent

Blessed are the Peacemakers

September 15, 2015

James 3:17-18
But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. 18Peacemakers who sow in peace raise a harvest of righteousness.
Blessed are the Peacemakers

Romans 14:7 says, “For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.” Peacemakers are a kingdom people who sow after the spirit and not after the flesh. Their intent is to reap a spiritual harvest of righteousness peace and joy in the Holy Ghost. There are not a lot of peacemakers out here in the body of Christ. Most of us have our own agendas, our own opinions, doctrines of men and will to see things go our way. Therefore our agenda isn’t peace; it is warfare, perhaps not physically, but often verbally and psychologically. We want to manipulate things our way, because that is the way we think they should be. But when you think one way and I think another and when we both think that we are right, are we going to have peace? No, we are both going to strive to establish our own opinion as right.
A peacemaker works out of the wisdom that comes from above. He or she grasps a concept that life isn’t just about the here and now, but what perpetuates into eternity. Their concept isn’t about their way; it is about God’s way. Strife, envy, division and disunity cannot accomplish the purposes of God. That is why the enemy tries to sow them in our midst. We so often speak, move and find our expression out of the emotions of our flesh rather than out of the peace and spirit of the Lord. We need only to look to the Holy Spirit to see the example of the peacemaker. The Holy Spirit is with us to help us, comfort us, teach us, empower us and guide us into peace and righteousness. The Holy Spirit is often referred to as the perfect gentleman. He doesn’t override our will. He doesn’t force us to learn of Him. He won’t force comfort on you if you don’t want it. The Holy Spirit, as awesome and Holy as He is, is not forward in His dealing with us. He will work with us when we are yielded to allow Him to have control, but He doesn’t force His control upon us. Hopefully we are wise enough to realize that we are far better with Him than we are without Him. Yet how many of us keep the Holy Spirit locked in the closet while we continue to do things our way and for our own end? If we are peacemakers we are going to operate like the Holy Spirit. We can’t force peace on those who are bent upon war. Often they must go their own way until they come to the end of themselves, but the mature ones will always be there ready to help, assist, comfort, counsel and move in God on your behalf, but their nature is considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit. They are not judgmental or prejudice in their dealings, but are impartial and sincere. The end and the fruit of what they do is righteousness. They are not in this walk for themselves; they are in it for you and me. If we are one of them, then that is where our heart must be also. One of the definitions of a peacemaker from the Lexicon is this, “of Christianity, the tranquil state of a soul assured of its salvation through Christ, and so fearing nothing from God and content with its earthly lot, of whatsoever sort that is.” Are we at peace with God and man? Are we at peace with ourselves and with what God has given us? If we are not at peace how can we be a peacemaker? Find your rest in God, the Holy One. When you are at peace with Him and in your relationship with Him, then you are in a position to communicate that peace through your life, words and actions. You will stand in the gap to reconcile men to God and to one another. The body of Christ is in great need of a lot more peacemakers who walk in the Spirit and the love of the Lord. If you want to win your argument and your way by being louder, more aggressive and insistent or through the use of manipulation and subversives, you may win the battle but you will lose the war. In order to get your way you may end up proving yourself to be the enemy of God rather than His friend.
Matthew 5:9 says, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God.” If sonship is what you long for, then learn to be a peacemaker.

Blessings,
#kent

When I am Weak

August 20, 2015

When I am Weak

Psalms 6:2
Have mercy upon me, O LORD; for I [am] weak: O LORD, heal me; for my bones are vexed.

Show me Thy ways and I will aspire to walk in them,
Impart unto me Your strength that I might carry them out,
Give me Your heart that I can have like passion and commitment,
Take my will that Yours may be done.

Father, we often faint in the heat of the day,
Our eye dims and our desires begin to stray.
Please take my hand and lift me up,
I keep wanting to sink in this miry clay.

Life can be good, but it is also hard,
It is not always easy to keep up my guard.
Often I grow discouraged with myself,
I want give up on my spiritual health.

Like a diet gone bad,
Sometimes I just want to give in to sin.
“Ah, what’s the use?
I’ve already blown it again.”

Yet the cross compels me not to give up,
It can’t be in vain that Christ drank from that cup.
I can not give place in my weakness to sin.
Would I drive those nails in His loving hands again?

Lord, I cry out in my weakness to You,
Help me not my old ways to pursue.
They never brought me peace or joy before,
Help me, oh Lord, not to open again that door.

You know my frame, that it is weak,
But my eyes are on you, and it is You that I seek.
Let it be no longer I that lives,
Help me lay all on the altar to freely give.

For my death, You give me Life.
For my heartache, you give me Peace.
For my sin, You give me Righteousness.
For my failure, You give me Salvation.

Your Word have I hid in my heart,
That I might not sin against Thee.
It mirrors Your Love and Grace,
When my eye grows dim and I fail to see.

Keep my feet in that narrow path,
I want to know Grace, not judgement and wrath.
Grace that takes me to a higher standard than law,
Grace that restores me in those times I fall.

Lord, You are my everything,
Without You I really have nothing.
Help me when I grow frail and weak,
May it be Your Life within me and Your words that I speak.
Kent Stuck

Blessings
#kent

The Pathway of Life

June 12, 2015

Proverbs 12:28
In the way of righteousness [is] life; and [in] the pathway [thereof there is] no death.

The Pathway of Life

The Word teaches us that the way of life is the way of righteousness. In that pathway there is no death. Today, when we walk in Christ we are walking in life. There is spiritual life and power resident and at work in your life. If we think that somehow that righteousness comes from our natural man we err and do not walk in the truth. It is because we died and were crucified with Christ and now, in spirit, we have been raised with Him in resurrection life. Romans 8: 10 tells us, “And if Christ [be] in you, the body [is] dead because of sin; but the Spirit [is] life because of righteousness.”
The Apostle Paul speaks to this attitude of righteousness in his life in Philippians 3:8-11, “Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ 9 and be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith; 10 that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death, 11 if, by any means, I may attain to the resurrection from the dead.” The way of righteousness is the way of a Christ centered life where we endeavor to walk by the Spirit and not by the flesh. It is the spiritual law and principle of life that we find clearly defined in Romans 8:1-8, “There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. 2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death. 3 For what the law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh, God did by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, on account of sin: He condemned sin in the flesh, 4 that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. 5 For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. 6 For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. 7 Because the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be. 8 So then, those who are in the flesh cannot please God.” Condemnation at work in our life brings death, but in Christ there is no condemnation for He has washed us in His blood and forgiven all of our iniquities. He has raised us up in the newness and righteousness of His life. 1 John 1:9 says, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” It is the blood and our fellowship with Jesus that restores us and keeps us in the paths of righteousness and life.
Let us keep ourselves with all diligence in the pathway of righteousness and life. The Lord Jesus Christ has gone before us to make the way for us to walk in that righteousness and enjoy the benefits of His divine life that is resident within us. In the pathway of righteousness there is no death except to that former way of life, which was death.

Blessings,
#kent

The “Be” Attitudes

June 3, 2015

Matthew 5:1-11
Now when he saw the crowds, he went up on a mountainside and sat down. His disciples came to him, 2and he began to teach them saying:
3″Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
4Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.
6Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.
7Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.
8Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.
9Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God.
10Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
11″Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. 12Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

The “Be” Attitudes

” Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”
Why would I want to be poor in spirit? When I become rich in my own eyes I become prideful. I am no longer in a place of need, a place of seeking, openness, wanting and searching. Psalms 51:17 says, “The sacrifices of God [are] a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.” Psalms 34:18 says, “The LORD [is] nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit.” The poor in spirit is a condition of heart that is receptive and desiring of the richness of God’s presence and will in their lives.

“Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.”
Mourning is a yearning, hurting and grieving of all that is not conformed to the will and the purpose of the Father. It is the state of a repentant and contrite heart. It is always crying out for Abba Father. It is always travailing until Christ be formed and brought to birth in fullness. It is the mourning of the death that still operates through sin and all that is in our lives that is less than Him.

“Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.”
The meek shall inherit the earth, because their strength is not outward, it is inward. It is the strength of Christ under the control of the Holy Spirit. It is a strength that is not flaunted or boasted of. It is a strength that is, because He is. It gives place to others, it submits to authority, it exalts others above itself and it gives honor where honor is due. It is often not recognized as strength by natural standards, but is the greatest strength by divine standards.

“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.”
When we pray, “Give us this day our daily bread” we do not pray for mere physical substance. We are praying for Christ to fill us, for He is the bread of life and we must partake of His flesh and His blood daily if we are to have His Spirit life living and operating through us. Jesus told His disciples in John 4:34, “My food,” said Jesus, “is to do the will of Him who sent me and to finish his work.” That needs to become our place of hunger and the fulfillment of that hunger is operating in the will and purpose of the Father. Those who hunger and thirst for this righteousness will be filled.

“Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.”
Mercy is the heart of God. James 2:12 exhorts us, “Speak and act as those who are going to be judged by the law that gives freedom, 13because judgment without mercy will be shown to anyone who has not been merciful. Mercy triumphs over judgment!” Romans 2:1-4 reminds us, “You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgment on someone else, for at whatever point you judge the other, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgment do the same things. 2Now we know that God’s judgment against those who do such things is based on truth. 3So when you, a mere man, pass judgment on them and yet do the same things, do you think you will escape God’s judgment? 4Or do you show contempt for the riches of his kindness, tolerance and patience, not realizing that God’s kindness leads you toward repentance?” If you desire mercy, show yourself merciful, forgiving others as God through Christ gave mercy unto you.

“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.”
What makes us pure in heart but the cleansing blood of Jesus? As all sinful and impure motives are cleansed away our lives should have no motive or agenda other than the receiving and the expression of His life in us. His love is pure and when it fully captures our hearts it makes all things pure in us. 1 Peter 1:22 says, “Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, [see that ye] love one another with a pure heart fervently.” In His love and purity we see Him.

“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God.”
Peacemakers are a restoration people. They restore breached and broken walls and relationships. They bring reconciliation where division has been present. They help restore man back into a right relationship with his God and Savior. The sons of God reconcile a lost creation back to its God. They walk by the Spirit to accomplish the work of the Spirit.

“Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. 12Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”

Those who suffer for righteousness sake see a glory and hope beyond this natural man. The natural man will not suffer long for that which is spiritually discerned, but the spiritual man who knows the hope that is before him is willing to pay the ultimate price even as Christ paid it for him. Romans 8:17-18 says, “Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory. I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.” Jesus says in John 16:33, “These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” In the world we will have suffering and tribulation, but nothing can separate us from the love of God and we are more than conquerors through Him that loved us. No matter what the cost our life is His

These “be” attitudes are the make-up of kingdom people who have the vision of a spiritual kingdom and walk. They won’t make sense to the natural world, because they are not the attributes of the natural, but of the spiritual man. These are the foundation stones upon which we must live and build our daily lives as we are being transformed into His image from glory to glory (2 Corinthians 3:18). Let these attitudes so be in us as they were exemplified in Christ.

Blessings,
#kent

2 Corinthians 5:21
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.

Garments of Righteousness

When you came to Christ, you made an exchange. He took your old filthy garments of sin, which He died for on the cross and exchanged, through faith and by His grace, the garment of your sin for the garment of His righteousness. What we could never do or earn to bring us into right standing with God the Father, Christ has done for us through the cross.
There are days when you are going to feel so condemned, so unworthy and so unrighteous. There are days when you feel only failure, defeat and discouragement. Remember it is not about your self-worth, but about your God-worth and what God has called righteous, who are we to call it unrighteous. Our defeat comes when we relinquish to the feelings of self. We are not who the accuser says we are. We are what God says we are “the righteousness of God in Him.” If we want victory, we must get our eyes off of self and on to Him. We must stop living in the cemetery of the old dead man and start living in the sanctuary of the Life-giver. When we set our eyes upon Him, we see what we are and what we are becoming. It is Christ that is now our value and our worth. There is none that can devalue Him. His blood cleanses us from all unrighteousness and maintains our right standing in Him.
Here is what the Lord would say to you who are discouraged. Isaiah 61 says, “The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me, because the LORD has anointed me to preach good news to the poor.
He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, 2 to proclaim the year of the LORD’s favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, 3 and provide for those who grieve in Zion— to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the LORD for the display of his splendor. 4 They will rebuild the ancient ruins and restore the places long devastated; they will renew the ruined cities that have been devastated for generations. 5 Aliens will shepherd your flocks; foreigners will work your fields and vineyards. 6 And you will be called priests of the LORD, you will be named ministers of our God. You will feed on the wealth of nations, and in their riches you will boast. 7 Instead of their shame my people will receive a double portion, and instead of disgrace they will rejoice in their inheritance; and so they will inherit a double portion in their land, and everlasting joy will be theirs. 8 “ForI, the LORD, love justice; I hate robbery and iniquity. In my faithfulness I will reward them and make an everlasting covenant with them. 9 Their descendants will be known among the nations and their offspring among the peoples. All who see them will acknowledge that they are a people the LORD has blessed.” 10 I delight greatly in the LORD; my soul rejoices in my God. For he has clothed me with garments of salvation and arrayed me in a robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom adorns his head like a priest, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels. 11 For as the soil makes the sprout come up and a garden causes seeds to grow, so the Sovereign LORD will make righteousness and praise spring up before all nations.”

Blessings,
#kent

Galatians 3:2-4
2I would like to learn just one thing from you: Did you receive the Spirit by observing the law, or by believing what you heard? 3Are you so foolish? After beginning with the Spirit, are you now trying to attain your goal by human effort? 4Have you suffered so much for nothing—if it really was for nothing? 5Does God give you his Spirit and work miracles among you because you observe the law, or because you believe what you heard?

Legalism Seeks to Nullify Faith

The law is a static force, which is good in itself, but serves only to show man his weakness outside of God. The law in and of itself doesn’t stand as our salvation, but rather our condemnation. Instead, it is faith that is the dynamic force in union with the Spirit of God that produces life changing events and substance. ‘Without faith we know that it is impossible to please God.’
Most of us aren’t steeped in Judaism, but we might be surprised how much we try to please and earn God’s favor by our works rather than by our faith. We allow others to impound us or we put ourselves under bondage, rituals, ceremonial and dietary restrictions, the keeping of days and numerous other legal restrictions that allow us to feel somehow more superior and holy than those that do not observe and keep such things. The Word plainly tells us that righteousness is not of the law. Galatians 3:21-24 says, “Is the law, therefore, opposed to the promises of God? Absolutely not! For if a law had been given that could impart life, then righteousness would certainly have come by the law. 22But the Scripture declares that the whole world is a prisoner of sin, so that what was promised, being given through faith in Jesus Christ, might be given to those who believe.
23Before this faith came, we were held prisoners by the law, locked up until faith should be revealed. 24So the law was put in charge to lead us to Christ that we might be justified by faith. 25Now that faith has come, we are no longer under the supervision of the law.” The Law then was but an instrument and a tool to prepare us for Christ, who is our righteousness by faith. The Law was not an end in itself. Verses 26-29 goes on to say, “26You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus, 27for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. 28There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. 29If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.” Our position in God is not about who we are, where we came from, what sex we are or what race or background we come from. Our position in God is “Sonship” through faith in Jesus Christ. Our position is in Christ and He in us. It is out of this position that we will move into our full inheritance in Christ. This is why we must put on Christ by faith and no longer live out of the mentality of our natural minds that perceive us as separate and away from God. We are united with Him and it is our faith that lays hold of this truth and lives it out to produce victory and overcoming in our lives. This is the place we must learn to abide; the place of living out of His Spirit and His Life. This is the truth that declares we are the seed of Abraham and heirs according to promise. It is no longer the identification with the flesh and our goodness. That is legalism. It is our identification with “Christ in us” that will set us free and lead us into the expression of righteousness and justification that is by faith alone and no longer by works. Our works will be the fruit and expression of our faith and no longer the means of obtaining our goodness and righteousness.

Blessings,
#kent

Our Guide

May 6, 2015

Psalms 48:14
For this God is our God for ever and ever; he will be our guide even to the end.

Our Guide

Running the course of this life encounters many obstacles and challenges. Each one of our lives are different, with different circumstances and different challenges. How do we navigate life successfully and gain from it the results that are everlasting? Psalms 48:14 reveals that to us. There is One that we can lean upon, trust in and rely upon to guide us through the maze of our lives.
Isn’t it a peace and reassurance to know that our God holds our destiny and purpose in His hand. If we are willing to fully trust and obey Him, He will lead and guide us into it. God’s Word lays the foundation and principles that order our steps and imparts His wisdom to us that we might know the way of life and walk therein. Even when we have departed from His ways He does not cast us off or judge us as unfit. His grace is not to be abused, but isn’t it wonderful to know that even in our mistakes and disobedience we can be forgiven and restored. We may change and be moved, but He isn’t. His Word never fails or changes and He stands true to all that He has promised to be to us.
If we want true success in our lives, If we want true fulfillment. If we want righteousness, peace and joy to pervade our lives then we must hold fast to God as our guide. There are many gods in this world. People worship and serve many different objects and deities in their lives, but there is and always will be the one and only true God, creator and redeemer, who can impart to us spiritual life that supercedes all that is passing away. He is our Rock, our Fortress, our Shield and our Defender. He will guide us through the darkness. His Word is a light unto our path and lamp unto our feet. He will direct us and keep us where others fail. He is our steadfast hope, the anchor of our souls; “for this God is our God for ever; He will be our guide even to the end.

Blessings,
#kent

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