Saturday, November 11, 2017

Receiving His Righteousness, and the Rest is Added Unto Us

I was meditating on this verse in Jesus' Sermon on the Mount in Matthew:



"Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? 32(For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. 33But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you." (Matthew 6:31-33)

I found this passage difficult to understand, because wasn't I supposed to take care of myself, wash myself, etc?

It's only in the last five years that I have learned what we are men are without Jesus: Dead.

He is our life (Colossians 3:4), and He has called us to receive His Life (John 10:10; 14:6)

Righteousness produces life in us!

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

and




"For if by one man's offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ." (Romans 5:17)

We do not just receive life, but we reign in life!

How about that?!

Furthermore, Jesus relies on key examples to show how our Loving Father takes care of the birds and the flowers:

"Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment? 26Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they?" (Matthew 6:25-26)

The birds of the air are fed by our Daddy God. He cares for us far more than He cares for the birds. WHY? Because He gave His Son for us!

"In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him." (1 John 4:9)

Notice that God our Father not only set His Son for us, but wanted us to live through Him!

Paul affirms this wonderful revelation, which is still so missing, so lacking in churches today:?

"20I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. 21I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain." (Galatians 2:20-21)

Notice how Paul compares righteousness by faith versus righteousness by the law--which cannot be, since Jesus had to die on the Cross for us to receive righteousness.

Now, at one point in my life, I noticed that I was receiving manifold blessings.

Yet when I came across this passage in Matthew 6:33, I was worried: "How do I seek His righteousness?"

The answer would come to be about three years after that, when I learned what righteousness is all about.

First, Paul explains how we become justified:

"38Be it known unto you therefore, men and brethren, that through this man is preached unto you the forgiveness of sins: 39And by him all that believe are justified from all things, from which ye could not be justified by the law of Moses." (Acts 13:38-39)

We cannot be justified through ourselves, but rather we are justified because of Jesus.

Then there's Romans 5:17, which talks about how we receive--keep receiving the gift of righteousness. OK, then why does it say in the Gospels "seek" and in the Letter to the Romans "receive."

In fact, we are made the righteousness of God in Christ! (2 Corinthians 5:21) We are not seeking righteousness, but we have been made the righteousness of God.

We are as righteous as Jesus Christ Himself!

"Herein is love perfected among us, that we may have boldness in the day of judgement, because as He is, so are we in this world!" (1 John 4:17)

There has been a change, church!

Jesus died on the Cross, fulfilling the Old Covenant and enacting a New Covenant, which He accomplished through His blood:

"Likewise also the cup after supper, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood, which is shed for you." (Luke 22:20)

and

"And to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel." (Hebrews 12:24)

What was the one thing that had kept me in bondage, then, in those earlier years?

I kept thinking that God's presence in my life would come and go depending on how I felt, or what I was thinking. I was not thinking the right thoughts or feeling the right way, if I did not ensure that my mind was on him at all times, then He would go away and I would have to struggle to bring Him back.

That is outrageous! I cannot be condemned for anything. His peace will never depart from me!

"9For this is as the waters of Noah unto me: for as I have sworn that the waters of Noah should no more go over the earth; so have I sworn that I would not be wroth with thee, nor rebuke thee.

"10For the mountains shall depart, and the hills be removed; but my kindness shall not depart from thee, neither shall the covenant of my peace be removed, saith the LORD that hath mercy on thee."

God will never be angry with me again!

Why? Because He has granted me His righteousness!



"14In righteousness shalt thou be established: thou shalt be far from oppression; for thou shalt not fear: and from terror; for it shall not come near thee.


"17No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, and their righteousness is of me, saith the LORD."

"Their righteousness is of me!"

So, I no longer fear for the future, because I know that He is already there, having declared the end from the beginning. I also recognize that my righteousness is not dependent on me. No matter how I feel, no matter what I am thinking, no matter how I may fail or do wrong, He has me in His hand:

"Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness." (Isaiah 41:10)

Notice that fear is dispelled because of His righteousness!

This was so new to me.

He is my life. He lives in me and around me. I never have to worry about Him being there for me, because He has promised to never leave me or forsake me.

"10For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people:

"11And they shall not teach every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for all shall know me, from the least to the greatest.

"12For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more."

I never have to worry about failing, because righteousness is a gift from HIM--and He invites me to keep receiving it!

So, now we can come back to Jesus' promise to us from the Sermon on the Mount:

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

Every day, I learn more about this gift of righteousness. So much wrong thing which I used to subscribe to, and now it's all being washed away! Even when I fail, I am still righteous. Even when I sin (verb), I am still righteous (adjective), because I receive His righteousness (noun).

Thank you, Jesus!

Monday, November 6, 2017

Jesus' Sacrifice for Us is Fresh and New Every Day

19Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, 20By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh; 21And having an high priest over the house of God; 22Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.

The above passage outlines everything that Jesus, our High Priest Forever, has done for us.

We know that the blood of Jesus cleanses us still, to this day, and forever (1 John 1:9)

But that word "new" in the passage "new and living way" speaks not just of unique or different, but "fresh", as in a sacrifice that has been freshly killed.

We need to think of the Blood of Jesus not as something that has been shed, then dries out, but as blood which is alive.



In fact, another passage testifies that the Blood of Jesus speaks!

"And to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel." (Hebrews 12:24)

The blood of Jesus is alive! His blood cleanses, His blood speaks.

Through His blood, we receive His grace and His righteousness, which both cause us to reign in life (Romans 5:17)

We have promises even in the Old Testament that God's mercies are new every day!



22 It is of the Lord's mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not

23 They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness. (Lamentations 3: 22-23)

Why is this true in our lives?

Because Jesus' sacrifice for sins for ever is FRESH, as though He was just sacrificed right now!

Meditate on this promise, and recognize that His promises are true in your life today--RIGHT NOW!

Saturday, November 4, 2017

The Sin Greater Than Sodom: Rejecting the Grace of God and His Righteousness

"And thou, Capernaum, which art exalted unto heaven, shalt be brought down to hell: for if the mighty works, which have been done in thee, had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day." (Matthew 11:23)

Capernaum, now in ruins


Jesus had performed mighty miracles in many large cities.

Yet the people, the Israelites, the men and women under law, refused to believe on Jesus.

The same especially held true for the religious leaders, who were committed to Moses, yet refused to recognize that "The Prophet great than" he had arrived. (Matthew 21:31)

This verse is astonishing though, if we really permit what Jesus is telling us to settle into our hearts.

If Jesus, the Holy, Only Begotten Son of God, had performed His miracles in Sodom and Gomorrah, the hellish profligate cities overrun with sexual perversion, then those cities would have been saved.

Why?

Because then God our Father would have found righteous people.

Remember the standard which Abraham had offered to God when he had plead for Sodom and Gomorrah?

"And the LORD said, If I find in Sodom fifty righteous within the city, then I will spare all the place for their sakes." (Genesis 18:26)

God was looking for righteousness, not sin.

There was only one righteous man in the city of Sodom: Lot, the nephew of Abraham:

"15And when the morning arose, then the angels hastened Lot, saying, Arise, take thy wife, and thy two daughters, which are here; lest thou be consumed in the iniquity of the city." (Genesis 19:15)

and

"[God] delivered just Lot, vexed with the filthy conversation of the wicked: 8(For that righteous man dwelling among them, in seeing and hearing, vexed his righteous soul from day to day with their unlawful deeds;)" (2 Peter 2:7-8)

What was happening in all the cities where Jesus was ministering?

They rejected Him, His grace and His gift of righteousness!

Self-righteousness is an offense to God, worse than any other sin, even sexual perversion like homosexuality, adultery, or even transgenderism.



Consider God's damning remarks toward Israel before the Babylonian captivity:

"48As I live, saith the Lord GOD, Sodom thy sister hath not done, she nor her daughters, as thou hast done, thou and thy daughters. 49Behold, this was the iniquity of thy sister Sodom, pride, fulness of bread, and abundance of idleness was in her and in her daughters, neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and needy." (Ezekial 16: 48-49)

and

14I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted." (Luke 18: 14)

Paul laments for his Jewish brethren, because they were still trying to establish their own righteousness by works, rather than by faith:

"1Brethren, my heart's desire and prayer to God for Israel is, that they might be saved. 2For I bear them record that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge. 3For they being ignorant of God's righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God. 4For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth." (Romans 10: 1-3)

For these reasons, God was especially severe to the Israelites. In effect, when anyone thinks that they can keep God's standards through their own efforts, they are in fact rejecting God's standards, since they cannot be kept:



"But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away." (Isaiah 64:6)

It's important for us to recognize that there is no sin that can stop God's grace in our lives.

Except the sin of rejecting God's grace and trusting in our own righteousness--and that sin exceeds the abysmal, officious evil of Sodom and Gomorrah!

Monday, October 23, 2017

Only You Can Let Not Your Heart Be Troubled ... and Cast Your Cares on Him



"Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid." (John 14:27)

For the longest time, I used to run to other people to make me feel at peace.

Oftentimes, I would run my fears and worries through other people, usually my mother and father.

For a short while, that worked.

Then I found that even their calmest assurances were not enough.

They never could be.

Consider also this passage:

"Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: 7Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you." (1 Peter 5:6-7)

Notice how Peter exhorts his fellow believers to keep casting our cares on Him.

We should not be looking to other people to calm our hearts. We must not go about casting our cares on other people.

There is only One to whom we must cast our cares, and His name is Jesus!

"28Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. 30For my yoke iseasy, and my burden is light." (Matthew 11: 28-30)

Jesus did not say: "Go to your friends and neighbors with your troubles." Jesus did not say: "Run to your pastor with your problems."



He said "Come to me."

Why will we not do that?

Because we do not believe that He cares for us.

Because we do not believe that He has already bequeathed His peace to us.

We need to believe Him! We need to see Him as He is, so that we may rest in His peace!

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Jesus Loves Me, and Gave His Life ... for Me!

"I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me." (Galatians 2:20)

I used to think it was kind of hokey for me to play up the idea: "Jesus loves me as though I am the only one."

Yet indeed Jesus loved me and gave Himself for me!

True, we read and believe that God so loved the WORLD, that He gave His only Son:

"... that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." (John 3:16)

Yes, you and I are a "whosoever."

But we should not settle for seeing ourselves as just one face out of millions upon millions.

Our Daddy God sees us as little children, as His own Son!



"Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world." (1 John 4:17)

God sees us as His own precious Son!

He loves me! He gave His Son ... for ME!

Do you really believe that?

Or do you diffuse and disperse His love for your as though it's something generic?

He is your Daddy, and He wants you to see yourself as His Beloved Son!

This is the love that we need to know about, to be more invested in!

"14For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, 15Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, 16That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man; 17That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, 18May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; 19And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God." (Ephesians 3: 14-19)

We need to understand how much He loves us!

I need to understand this!

Monday, September 25, 2017

His Life Guides Our Life

We are not set free through our own efforts.

If we were able to set ourselves free, then we would never be in bondage to begin with!

"If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed." (John 8:36)

We are set free by Someone Else.

If He has set us free, then why not allow Him to guide is in turn through every other part of our lives?

"And let the peace of God (lit. Christ) rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful." (Colossians 3:15)

Before Paul writes about Christ Jesus' peace guiding us, He reminds us who our life is:

"When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory." (Colossians 3:4)

So, if He is our life, does it make sense for us to try and figure things out in our lives, as though God is holding back from us, or that He does not want us to be guided by His peace?

Of course not!

"Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid." (John 14:27)





And

"Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come." (John 16:13)

For the last two months, I have not held a steady job. At one point two months ago, I panicked so greatly, as though I had to strive, struggle, and figure out what I wanted to do next in my life. The whole future seemed like a black whole, or a nebulous question mark.

Where am I going? What am I supposed to do?

Even as I write the above question out, another Scripture comes to mind:

"Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me" (John 14:6)

He is the way!

There is no reason for me to fret about what directions I need to take or next steps I need to make:

"Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure:" (Isaiah 46:10)

and

"The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD: and he delighteth in his way." (Psalm 37:23)

There is no reason for me to fear or worry about my future. He has already prepared the way for me, just as He ensured that Jacob and his family would be saved--and through him all the world would be saved through Jesus Christ!

"And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing:" (Genesis 12:2)

and

"13And, behold, the LORD stood above it, and said, I am the LORD God of Abraham thy father, and the God of Isaac: the land whereon thou liest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed; 14And thy seed shall be as the dust of the earth, and thou shalt spread abroad to the west, and to the east, and to the north, and to the south: and in thee and in thy seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed. 15And, behold, I am with thee, and will keep thee in all places whither thou goest, and will bring thee again into this land; for I will not leave thee, until I have done that which I have spoken to thee of. 16And Jacob awaked out of his sleep ..." (Genesis 28: 13-16)

I trust Him to take care of me, because He said that He would.


It is not my job to figure out the way that I need to go. It's my responsibility to see more of Him--the Way, the Truth, and the Life--and allow Him to lead me.

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Rahab The Harlot was Righteous! But How? By Faith!

Rahab was a harlot, which in today's langauge means that she was a prostitute.

Yet for God, righteousness is never based on what we do.

It's all about believing on Him!

"And he believed in the LORD; and he counted it to him for righteousness." (Genesis 15:6)

Righteousness is all about faith, trusting God and His Word, not our flesh and our efforts:

"Behold, his soul which is lifted up is not upright in him: but the just shall live by his faith." (Habakkuk 2:4)

Let's not forget God's promises to us through His prophet Isaiah:



"14In righteousness shalt thou be established:
...

"17No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, and their righteousness is of me, saith the LORD." (Isaiah 54: 14, 17)

Righteousness is not something that we create, but rather something that God establishes us in. We receive it!

Consider in the 17th verse that God tells us "Their righteousness is from me."

It's not our own. In fact, our own attempts to create righteousness or to do righteousness are a double failure:

So, how was Rahab the harlot righteous?



Consider what she said to the Israelite spies who entered Jericho!

"And she said unto the men, I know that the LORD hath given you the land, and that your terror is fallen upon us, and that all the inhabitants of the land faint because of you. 10For we have heard how the LORD dried up the water of the Red sea for you, when ye came out of Egypt; and what ye did unto the two kings of the Amorites, that were on the other side Jordan, Sihon and Og, whom ye utterly destroyed. 11And as soon as we had heard these things, our hearts did melt, neither did there remain any more courage in any man, because of you: for the LORD your God, he is God in heaven above, and in earth beneath." (Joshua 2: 9-11)

Let's look at the powerful testimony of this woman of faith!

She knew that God had given the land to the Israelites.

She heard and believed what God did to the Red Sea, and He destroyed the heathen kings in the Promised Land. She also affirms the pre-eminence of the LORD!

But there's more:

"12Now therefore, I pray you, swear unto me by the LORD, since I have shewed you kindness, that ye will also shew kindness unto my father's house, and give me a true token: 13And that ye will save alive my father, and my mother, and my brethren, and my sisters, and all that they have, and deliver our lives from death." (Joshua 2: 12-13)

She not only belived in the One God, but believed Him to be gracious!

In other words:

"But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him." (Hebrews 11:6)

So, let us review.

Abraham was made righteousness because he believed in the LORD. Abraham took God at His word that He would bless Abraham and make Him a mighty nation--that the Dragon Slayer who would crush the head of Satan would come and redeem all mankind (Genesis 3:15).

Rahab believed in the LORD, too, recognizing His mighty deeds and the good works that He intended to do for Israel and for the world.

Notice, therefore, that we are not made righteousness based on anything that we do, and our righteousness is not removed from us based on anything that we do.

It is a gift!



"For if by one man's offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ." (Romans 5:17)

Then:

"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)

And of course, the writer of Hebrews identifies Rahab as faithful!

"By faith the harlot Rahab perished not with them that believed not, when she had received the spies with peace." (Hebrews 11:31)

AMEN!

Do You Esteem Your Woes Greater Than Your Savior?

"He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?" (Romans 8:32)

God our Daddy (Romans 8:15) gave up His Son for you and me.

Yet so many of us look at our circumstances, are difficult decisions, our hard times, and even our sins and failures.

We esteem what we have been through or what will face as greater than what Jesus did for us.

Do you really think that God does not care about what you are going through?

Check out how much our loving Father knows about us:

29Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father. 30But the very hairs of your head are all numbered.31Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows. (Matthew 10: 29-31)

He knows how many hairs we have on our heads!



Check out how well He keeps close to us, too!

"O LORD, thou hast searched me, and known me.

2Thou knowest my downsitting and mine uprising, thou understandest my thought afar off." (Psalm 139:1-2)

There is nothing that is hidden from His view, and our concerns are very much His concern!

Peter reminds his readers to see our Loving Father as fully invested in caring for us, too!

"Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: 7Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you." (1 Peter 5:6-7)

Do not think that the concerns you face, or the hardships you are facing, are of no importance to God. Do not think for one second that the challenges before you are too great for your loving Father, either:

"Behold, I am the LORD, the God of all flesh: is there any thing too hard for me?" (Jeremiah 32:27)

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Enemies Will Gather, But By God's Grace They Will Fall--For Your Sake

Behold, they shall surely gather together, but not by me: whosoever shall gather together against thee shall fall for thy sake." (Isaiah 54:15)

The last verse of Isaiah 54 speaks of "No weapon formed against you shall prosper."

But we also have to recognize that our enemies, our opponents will gather together on their own. They will "surely gather".

That is a double intensive statement, literally "gather gather" in Hebrew.

Expect it, folks--there will be bad people who join together to oppose you.

But ...

"Not by me".

Never, ever think that when there are many voices, forces, opponents to you--that they have come from God.

That is why we must be established in righteousness--not just believe in it, not just think about it, but know and believe without a doubt that we have been made the righteousness of God in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:21).

There's greater victory which comes to those who are attacked, who find evil forces gathered together against them:

"Whoever gathers against you shall fall"

They will not win, beloved. They cannot win--and we cannot lose:

"Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us." (Romans 8:37)

and

"Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world." (1 John 4:4)

Why will they fail?

"For your sake."



Because Our loving Father, our Daddy God, cares for us!

"Because he hath set his love upon me, therefore will I deliver him: I will set him on high, because he hath known my name." (Psalm 91:4)

and

10For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people:

11And they shall not teach every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for all shall know me, from the least to the greatest.

12For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more." (Hebrews 8:10-12)

Friday, August 18, 2017

Anne Graham Lotz: Still Foolish and Slow of Heart to Believe the Gospel

Anne Graham Lotz, the daughter of celebrated pastor and evangelist Billy Graham, has often declared that God is going to judge America. I have vehemently criticized this diminution of God’s grace, especially how she disregards the power of Jesus’ blood, which cleanses us of our sins forever (1 John 1:9). Lotz once claimed that God was hiding from us because of America’s many sins, and that judgment was coming! Click here for my full remarks on her warped, misplaced theology.

Why does Anne Lotz have lots of judgment coming out of her mouth and pen?       


Evangelist Anne Graham Lotz said she is learning to forgive herself after dealing with guilt and self-blame stemming from the death of her husband, Danny, back in 2015.

This is a startling admission from an evangelist. God so loved—not condemned—the world, that He sent His Son (John 3:16-18).

Lotz needs a reminder of what the Gospel is!

Be it known unto you therefore, men and brethren, that through this man is preached unto you the forgiveness of sins: 39And by him all that believe are justified from all things, from which ye could not be justified by the law of Moses. (Acts 13:38-39)

In Christ, we are justified from all things. We are forgiven from all our sins. There is a judgment to come, but it will be for those who did not believe on Jesus. It will have nothing to do with individual sin, since all sins have been paid for at the Cross.

Neditate on this profound yet still disputed truth about God’s grace—Jesus died for all sins for all time:

13And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses; 14Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross; (Colossians 2: 13-14)

Where were your and my trespasses when Jesus died on the Cross? They were all in the future!

Yes, the Blood of Jesus covers all sins, and to this day Jesus our High Priest Forever serves as our Mercy Seat (1 John 2: 1-2).

Paul identifies something else nailed to the Cross with Christ Jesus: “the handwriting of ordinances that was against us”, i.e. God’s law. God’s Law, the Ten Commandments, was not bad, but we are in that sin has fully corrupted us-and we need complete redemption (Hebrews 8:8; Galatians 3:13)



God provided us a death from God’s law through His Son Jesus:

4Wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ; that ye should be married to another, even to him who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God. 5For when we were in the flesh, the motions of sins, which were by the law, did work in our members to bring forth fruit unto death. 6But now we are delivered from the law, that being dead wherein we were held; that we should serve in newness of spirit, and not in the oldness of the letter. (Romans 7: 4-6)

Following from Lotz’ misunderstanding of the Gospel, no wonder there are many Christians in the United States who still labor, mired in guilt. And for proof of this fatal misunderstanding, look no further than Anne Graham Lotz’ latest blog post:

…Forgive as the Lord forgave you.   Colossians 3:13
Guilt is our friend. If you are like me, it’s a friend you don’t want showing up on your doorstep.  But, more than likely, without it you and I would go on in wrongdoing until becoming dominated and defeated by it.

WHAT?! Guilt is NOT a friend!
Jesus did not die on the Cross for us to hold onto guilt or shame!

How many passages from the Old and New Testaments should I list to blast this evil lie?!

Fear not; for thou shalt not be ashamed: neither be thou confounded; for thou shalt not be put to shame: for thou shalt forget the shame of thy youth, and shalt not remember the reproach of thy widowhood any more. (Isaiah 54:4)

And

For your shame ye shall have double; and for confusion they shall rejoice in their portion: therefore in their land they shall possess the double: everlasting joy shall be unto them.” (Isaiah 61:7)

And

“There is now therefore no condemnation in Christ Jesus,” (Romans 8:1)

Lotz fails to quote Colossians properly:

Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye.

As Christ—our anointed, glorified Savior—has forgiven us, so do we forgive others. We do not forgive ourselves. Our forgiveness has been paid for at the highest price: the blood of God’s own Son. We have great glory in the full gift of righteousness granted to us, which God our loving Father invites us to keep receiving (Romans 5:17).

What about Lotz’ charge that guilt keeps us from sinning? That is completely unbiblical:

For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, 12Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; (Titus 2:11-12)

And

“Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance? (Romans 2:4)

We should not be surprised that people preach condemnation when they in turn feel condemned.


Lotz’ misunderstanding of the Gospel is a travesty. Evangelists must declared the Gospel to its fullest, and not fear the reproach of men (Romans 1:16; 6: 1-3). At least we know why Anne Graham Lotz has preached condemnation and retribution, completely out of line with God’s Word: she is like many Christians, still “foolish and slow of heart to believe” (Luke 24:25) concerning God’s grace and truth.