Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Living By His Endless Life, Not the Law

"And it is yet far more evident: for that after the similitude of Melchisedec there ariseth another priest, 16Who is made, not after the law of a carnal commandment, but after the power of an endless life." (Hebrews 10: 15-16)

This passage really jumped out at me.

Notice that Jesus is made a High Priest Forever by the law, but rather through the eternal life that He is (John 14:6).

In the same way, every one of us who believes in Jesus--we are made priests, kings and priests, because of Jesus' death and His eternal life.

"But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light:" (1 Peter 2:9)

How did we become priests?

Jesus took us into Himself.

We left our dead selves in Adam, and became alive in Christ!

"But not as the offence, so also is the free gift. For if through the offence of one many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many. 16And not as it was by one that sinned, so is the gift: for the judgment was by one to condemnation, but the free gift is of many offences unto justification. 17For 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: 15-17)

How do we live today?

We live through His life!

"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. 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)

We have no life, nor power to live, through the law.

The was never meant to be a guide for living, but rather a standard to show our need for a Savior, and for life!

"Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin." (Romans 3: 20)


"[God] also hath made us able ministers of the new testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life." (2 Corinthians 3:6)

Jesus was made High Priest Forever not through the Old Covenant of the law, but through the New Covenant of grace, in which we receive His life, and all things with it! (Romans 8:32)

Let us receive more of Jesus, allowing Him to flow and bless every aspect of our walk!

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Because of Jesus, We Expect Victory

"But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God; 13From henceforth expecting till his enemies be made his footstool." (Hebrew 10: 12-13)

When Jesus sat down, He purged all our sins forever (Hebrews 1:3)

As King of Kings, and our High Priest Forever, He know rests, and watches all things become His footstool.

Did you know that we are also seated in Christ, with Him?

"But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, 5Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) 6And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:" (Ephesians 2:4-6)

We are seated with Christ in heavenly places!

John stated more clearly for anyone who still does not understand the new standing, the new glory we have in Christ Jesus:

"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)

So, just like Jesus, we need to trust our loving, heavenly Father, that whatever challenges or problems we face, He is taking care of them, and bringing them under our feet!

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

Friday, October 7, 2016

Our Father the Husbandman: He Cleanses

"Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit." (John 15:2)

Behold the second part of this blessed page.

The original sense which readers draw from this is a sense of pain, like being cut or buthered.

This verse definitely communicates change, particularly the removal of bad things or impure elements from our lives.

Yet the removal is through cleansing, not cutting.

The word "prune" is the Greek word "cleanse."

We are cleansed as we listen to God's Word!

""You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you." (John 15:3)

And then:

"For them I sanctify Myself, so that they too may be sanctified by the truth." (John 17:19)

And also

"Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; 26That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, 27That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish." (Ephesians 5: 25-27)

God is all about cleansing us, not cutting, maiming, or hurting us.

Be cleansed by the washing of His word, and bear more fruit for Him!

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Our Father the Husbandman: He Lifts Us Up

"Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit." (John 15:2)

This verse is one of the most misconstrued in the New Testament.

Because of the misunderstanding readers fall into, many come away with a sense of fear, dread, or outright depression.

"If I don't bear fruit, God will remove me! He will take me away!"

The truth is, that work "take away" is from a Greek word which also means "lift up."

Farmers tending a vine do not pull off or throw a part of the vine if it's not bearing fruit.

They lift it out of the dirt, off the ground, and allow it rest on the trellis once again.

In fact, God the Father has lifted us up, and has lift us so high that we are now seated in heavenly places with Christ Jesus!

"But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, 5Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) 6And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:" (Ephesians 2:4-6)

Notice that God the Father lifted us up, just as Jesus was raised from the dead and seated at His right hand:

"The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool. (Psalm 110:1)

God is not in the business of throwing us away when we are poorly performing.

Why is it that so many struggle? Because they are not resting in His life, power, and grace:

"Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief." (Hebrews 4:11)

Let us rest in God's power, let us rest in the new life and identity we have through Christ Jesus.

And we will bear much fruit for Him!

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Jesus is the Vine: Branches Are One With the Vine

"I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing." (John 15:5)

Many of us--as modern readers rendering an understanding of the ancient agricultural world--will miss a deep revelation in the above passage.

When we think of branches, we think of separate sticks, parts, portions which can exist, or at least fall away, from a tree.

Yet with vines, there is no clear or abrupt distinction between the branches and the vine which holds those branches.

In effect, the branches cannot help but identify completely with the vine, for the branches would not exist.

This issue of identity is crucial to the Christian walk

We are not called to imitate Christ through efforts and physical miming.

We are called to identify with Christ, because we have become partakers of His nature:

"Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust." (2 Peter 1:4)


"For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father." (Romans 8:15)


"And it shall come to pass, that in the place where it was said unto them, You are not my people; there shall they be called the children of the living God." (Romans 9:26)

Let us not forget that Jesus during His earthly ministry served His Father because He allowed His Father to work through Him:

"17But Jesus answered them, My Father worketh hitherto, and I work.

18Therefore the Jews sought the more to kill him, because he not only had broken the Sabbath, but said also that God was his Father, making himself equal with God.

19Then answered Jesus and said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise" (John 5: 17-19)

Notice that Jesus declares: "The Father works"

He did not see Himself operating in His own effort, but fully identifying with His Father, and His Father working in Him!

There are more statements which affirm this blessed dependence demonstrated by Jesus as the Perfect Man walking in this imperfect earth:

"I and my Father are one." (John 10:30)

and then:

"Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works." (John 14:10)

Just as Jesus was one with His Father, so today we are one with Jesus!

He is the Vine, and we are completely identified with Him, depending on Him for everything!

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

We Do Not Repay Debts to Jesus -- For Jesus Paid Every Debt

I was sharing about the wonderful Gospel of our Lord Jesus.

We receive all things from God the Father through His Son Jesus!

Then the man I was talking to told me: "Every day, I wake up with a sense of debt. I owe God so much for everything that He has given me."

I uickly responded: "We cannot repay any debt to God. We never had anything to begin with, and everything we receive now is a gift from Him!"

Nothing we have is based on works we have done, but the Work which Jesus did!

"1What shall we say then that Abraham our father, as pertaining to the flesh, hath found? 2For if Abraham were justified by works, he hath whereof to glory; but not before God. 3For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness. 4Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt. 5But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness. 6Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works. "(Romans 4:1-6)

David explained how fruitless it is for anyone of us to claim that we are giving God anything:

"But who am I, and what is my people, that we should be able to offer so willingly after this sort? for all things come of thee, and of thine own have we given thee." (1 Chronicles 29:14)

and also in the Psalms, God speaks to us:

"I will not reprove thee for thy sacrifices or thy burnt offerings, to have been continually before me.

9I will take no bullock out of thy house, nor he goats out of thy folds.

10For every beast of the forest is mine, and the cattle upon a thousand hills.

11I know all the fowls of the mountains: and the wild beasts of the field are mine." (Psalm 50: 8-11)

Everything belongs to Him!

Let us not think that we did not owe God something.

We all had the debt of sin, through Adam.

But Jesus not only paid for our sin debt, he overpaid, and continues to cleanse us from all sins because of His blood!

"[Jesus is] the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high;" (Hebrews 1:3)


"And 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; 15And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it." (Colossians 2:13-15)

Instead of thinking of our life as a response of debt to God's goodness, let us keep receiving His twin gifts of righteousness and grace (Romans 5:17), that we may reign in His lie, and bring glory to Him. just as His Son brought glory to God the Father in dying for us, rising for us, and living as our perfect standard at God's right hand!

Monday, October 3, 2016

We Don't Give Our Lives to Christ. He Gives us Life--HIS!

I hear this phrase a lot in churches:

"I just shared the Gospel with this man. He gave his life to Christ."

At the end of services, the pastor will often say to the audience:

"If anyone of you does not know Jesus, I am inviting you to come down today and give your life to Christ."

These statements are well-intentioned.

But the truth is--we do not give our lives to Christ.

We do not have a life to give.

We need life!

"And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins;" (Ephesians 2:1)

I get such a tingle, such a sense of joy every time I realize that He is my life, and Jesus, the Way the Truth and the Life--is committed to caring for me every step of the way.

We need to wake up every day with a sense of true joy and peace in our lives.

Why would we not? Jesus is our life! He is infusing our day with Himself!

"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. 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)

"Yet I live .. yet not I."

What is growing in grace all about? It's about letting His life flow through us!

"12Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. 13For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure." (Philippians 2:12-13)

Fear and trembling does not mean that we should live every day with a sense of dread and foreboding, but rather excitement and great joy!

Why would we not? For He is working within us!

I can't express my joy about this enough. We are not called to give our lives to Christ.

We don't have any, because of sin.

We receive His Life, because we believe on His sacrifice!

Sunday, October 2, 2016

It's More Than Knowing Him--You Need to Know that He Knows You!

In many church circles, we are taught that we need to strive and struggle to know the Lord.

Yet under the  New Covenant, He causes us know to know Him!

"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)

"They shall all know me."

We do not have to strive to know Him. 

We really need to start understanding how much He knows us!

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

2Thou knowest my downsitting and mine uprising, thou understandest my thought afar off.

3Thou compassest my path and my lying down, and art acquainted with all my ways.

4For there is not a word in my tongue, but, lo, O LORD, thou knowest it altogether.

5Thou hast beset me behind and before, and laid thine hand upon me.

6Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high, I cannot attain unto it." (Psalm 139: 1-6)

Indeed, it is too wonderful!

And yet, we need to take in, to meditate on how much our loving Father loves us and cares for us!

Notice what Paul prayed for the Ephesians, who already had a large vision of God's love for them!

"And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God." (Ephesians 3: 19)

Notice also how Paul deliberately corrects himself when addressing the Galatians, who had started going back under law:

"But now, after that ye have known God, or rather are known of God, how turn ye again to the weak and beggarly elements, whereunto ye desire again to be in bondage? 10Ye observe days, and months, and times, and years. 11I am afraid of you, lest I have bestowed upon you labour in vain." (Galatians 4: 9-11)

We need to stop seeing our growing knowledge of God's love for us from the perspective of works, of striving, of a searching effort.

God has been in the goodness, blessing, and loving business of caring for us since the very beginning. Even before God created the heavens and the earth, He prepared His Son to be our redeeming sacrifice!

"18Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; 19But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot: 20Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you, 21Who by him do believe in God, that raised him up from the dead, and gave him glory; that your faith and hope might be in God." (1 Peter 1: 18-21)

Who can forget the blessed affirmation of love and protection which God gave to the prophet Jeremiah--and remember, this was under the Old Covenant of bulls and goats:

"Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations." (Jeremiah 1:5)

Can you and I even begin to comprehend how great He is? Before Jeremiah was formed in his mother's womb, the LORD knew him!

How much more, then, do you think He knows and cares for us, having given His Son to die for us, to live for us, and to be one with us?!