Posts

Showing posts from May, 2013

The Fear of Grace, A Poem By Greg Stier

The fear of grace it robs us
Of the joy we once had in Christ.
It turns our eyes from Jesus
To look deeply down inside.

And what we see it scares us.
We see sin and self and lust.
When it comes to being saved
It says we’ve missed the bus.

It points to all the lingering sins
We wrestle with everyday.
It whispers doubts about our salvation.
And shouts we’ve missed The Way.

Those who bow their trembling knees
To this Satanic fear of grace
Replace the joy of their salvation
With a slap to Jesus’ face.

A slap that says “Grace must be earned!”
We must turn and try and cry!
There’s no free lunch in this world
Pick up your cross and die!”

So we try and fail and try and fail.
Then we try and fail again.
But it’s too heavy for us to bear.
We’re forced to live in secret sin.

But our failure brings us to our knees
And helps us know our need.
It drives us to utter helplessness
So we can finally live our creed.

The creed of Sola Gratia,
The creed of faith alone,
Reminds us Jesus carried the cross
T…

How much are you loved by God?

Does God love you as much as He loves Jesus? The answer is a RESOUNDING YES!

"Really...God loves me as much as He loves Jesus?...Come on Regular,
you have done gone and lost all your marbles."

People, such is His Love and Amazing Grace.

Read the words of Jesus..."I do not ask in behalf of these (the
apostles) alone, but for those who believe in Me through their word
(that's you and I).... What was His reason for this prayer? "that the
world may know that Thou didst send Me, AND didst LOVE THEM, EVEN AS THOU DIDST LOVE ME (John 17:20). It cannot be any plainer than that, you are BELOVED by God as much as Jesus was and is.

That realization ought to destroy all the God fears that religious
tradition has you fearing. God is not out to get you, He is not out to
hurt you, He is not out tp punish you, He is not dangling you over the fires of hell like a spider on a web waiting for you to sin so he can shake you off. He is out to LOVE YOU because of His Amazing G…

What role should the law play in the life of a Christian?

I came across this question and answer on Grace Church website and found it to be to the point.

What role should the law play in the life of a Christian?

Start Quote. It is important to know that the law was given as an intermediary to the advent of Grace. While it revealed an aspect of God’s holiness, it did not reveal His mercy or redemptive plan. Just as importantly, the law did not have the power to change the heart.

When Christ fulfilled the law, and atoned for our sin through His death, the holiness of God as well as His righteousness and purity became engraved upon the hearts of all who would believe (notice the scripture does not say “of all who would behave”).

“Now He (Jesus) said to them, “These are My words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things which are written about Me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled.” (Luke 24:44)

The Old Covenant “law keeping” became nullified for the Christian under the New Co…

Though the Bible is Fascinating, Bible Fascination is Idolization.

The fascination with and the idolization of the bible by the fundamental and evangelical spectrum of religion, minimizes Jesus while maximizing the bible.

"Well we do not elevate the bible over Jesus," you may respond.

How often have you heard from well meaning fundamental or evangelical people..."If your looking for truth, read the Bible. If you want peace, read the Bible. If you want a better relationship with God, read the Bible. If you want all answers to life, read the Bible. If you want to know God's plan for your life, read the Bible. If you want to know the future, read the Bible."

The thing is, you may know the bible inside out and able to quote it backwards, but be a legalist to the point of being spiritually dead. Bible reading is important but it is not our source of spirituality, Jesus is. "If your looking for truth, ask Jesus. If you want peace, you will find it in Jesus. If you want a better relationship with God, go to Him …

Jesus..."The Word of God."

"The word of The Lord came to Abram in a vision, saying, 'Do not be afraid Abram.'" (Genesis 15:1).

Was it the bible that spoke to Abram...No.

Was it scripture that spoke to Abram...No.

The scripture was not written, nor was the concept even a figment of man's imagination to compile scriptures into a book called the bible.

The interpretation of scripture and the subsequent compilation of the bible is a product of man yet, the word "bible" is not even in the bible, nor does it sate or imply that it is the word of God.

Therefore, "the word of The Lord" had to be exactly that...the word that The Lord SPOKE to Abram.

John says: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and with-out Him nothing was made that was made.” (John 1:1-3).

It is impossible...unless you live in delusional delusions...to attribute the word "Word" t…

Is the "Living Word:" "The Bible. Part 3.

Because people’s entire faith is in the Bible instead of Christ they base the status of their relationship with Christ by how much time they spend reading and obeying the Bible and doing other religious disciplines. People feel guilty for not studying it every day of their life or they feel justified because they spent a lot of time doing the doings. They think that God would be upset with them for missing daily Bible reading, not praying enough, but He is pleased with them if they spend a lot of time doing it. The cycle goes on and on until it becomes a permanent snare in their relationship.

The deluding shadow of performance based Christianity is always there to put people in their place the moment they show confidence, contentment or joy because of grace living, they agree you are saved by grace but the maintaining of your salivation is based on what you do. We are constantly pressured to "be in the word" and the more time spent in it, the better. No matte…

Is the "Living Word:" "The Bible. Part 2

Is it biblical to call the Bible "The Living Word of God"? 

Because the Bible contains some of God’s words does that make it the Word of God? The Bible doesn't make that assertion about itself. The Bible does say in John 1:1; "In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God", then it goes on to say in verse 14, "The Word became flesh". The Bible outright tells us that JESUS is the Word, not the Bible. There wasn't even a Bible compiled when this passage was written. If we believe that the Bible is "The Word" of God are we wrongly exchanging Christ for the Bible?

Jesus said "I will build MY Church" yet today we have many different buildings known as churches called by various descriptive names, that in no way resembles the Church that Jesus said He would build, claiming to be a “Bible Church”. The name tags over the doors alone make known our intentions and biases. We are no different …

Is the "Living Word," "The Bible. Part 1.

Image
The Bible is the written word that points to the LIVING WORD but, it is NOT the LIVING WORD...JESUS IS THE LIVING WORD! The Bible read through the lens of Jesus and the cross...instead of reading it as a rule book to follow through religious eyes...is the only way to get a true picture of what God is like and what the true Gospel is."

The above post prompted this response from one individual. The quote is quoted as it was written without any editing.

Start Quote..."The Bible is a living book: For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. (Heb.4:12)

The Bible is a preserved book: The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the word of our God shall stand for ever. (Isa. 40:8)The Bible is the Word of God: LORD stretched out His hand and touched my mouth, and the LORD said to me, &q…

Enough Said!

Image
Enough Said!

Grace the Teacher.

Image
Titus 2:11-12, For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age...

Who is it that teaches us? The GRACE of God.

It not living by what is called the Holy Spirit feeling or the "Holy Ghost" goose bumps you feel throughout your body during the Sunday-go-meeting; it is living by the divine influence of God leading you into victory in every area of your life in daily living.

Submitting to the leading of the Holy Spirit is not just about what takes place on a Sunday morning. Jesus said the Holy Spirit would lead us into all truth!

God is calling us to come in the greater place of victory and triumph through His GRACE and LOVE.

The Bible.

Image
The Bible is the written word that points to the LIVING WORD but, it is NOT the LIVING WORD...JESUS IS THE LIVING WORD!

The Bible read through the lens of Jesus and the cross...instead of reading it as a rule book to follow through religious eyes...is the only way to get a true picture of what God is like and what the true Gospel is.

Jesus ia for UNITY.

Image

The God of scripture LOVES people.

Image

Grace Waters to Swim in.

Image
Believers who believe that a the Law mixed with Grace is the Gospel are wading in water up to their knees only. This wallowing in shallow grace waters stirs up the mud of the law that they stand on and muddies the Gospel of Grace that was so clearly revealed to Paul that in preaching any other gospel than the Gospel of Grace and Truth that is through Jesus is to "fall from Grace."

The Law doesn't allow us to succeed when we fail to keep it...Grace does! Where sin abounds, "grace much more abounds" and we can freely access it by faith.

Paul received this Grace Gospel Message by revelation from Jesus, (Gal. 1:12).

Paul preached this glorious Grace Gospel message to the believers in Galatia, but to his surprise, not long after these believers turned away from the Gospel of Grace and in doing so they were turning away from Jesus and His Gospel to a different Gospel by reverting back to Judaism and the bondage of the law. They were trying to resurrect …

Validating God's Presence.

Image
The acid test for an assembly of believers gathered in the community of humanity that validates that God is in the midst of His people is not the gifts of the Spirit in operation, rather, His presence is best understood and validated by the Fruit of the Spirit in operation with grace and truth evidenced in the life of believers while they are assembled and in their daily living of life.

In much of the assembling that is called "church" the emphasis is placed on the power gifts to validate the programmed production. Though in the presence of God there may be gifts of the Spirit in operation to meet needs of people, inordinate emphasis on programs and production can be and is, manipulated by the star performers to validate "their ministry performance" as being of God. This has led to the deception of many in their validating the work of man as e work of God.

I am convinced that the production that God desires in the life of believers is fruit bearing th…

Jesus is the DEFENDER of GRACE.

Image
People who live under the Old Testament Law, have their blow-guns ammunitionized with out of context bible verses to fire at people who live in Grace and believe that Church is the manifestation of the Gospel in daily living as the community of the redeemed in the community of humanity.

Such people have a "form of godliness but deny the power thereof." Such are steeped in self-righteousness and are experts in the letter but are dead in spirit, they twist the scripture so as to discredit the Grace Gospel of Jesus Christ. They are continuously trying to defend the Law by diminishing and obscuring Grace.

Not to fret, Jesus is the GRACERS strong defender. Some of these "Law Keepers" believe that putting on the "whole armor of God" is to fight against GRACERS so as to destroy God's message of GRACE, and they take much spiritual pride and spiritual elitism in doing so.

Colossians 2:14, reads; Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, whi…

Is there a balancing act between Law and Grace?

Is there a balancing act between Law and Grace?

Some Law promoters deem that there must be a balance between Law and Grace. Balancing the two is actually mixing law and grace which means that believers are under law and grace. This is completely contrary to the teaching of Paul to whom grace was revealed to. “For sin shall not be master over you, for you are not under law but under grace” (Romans 6:14).

According to Paul...the law gives sin its power; “The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law” (1 Corinthians 15:56).

According to Paul...the law is letters of death engraved in stone. “But if the ministry of death, in letters engraved on stones, came with glory, so that the sons of Israel could not look intently at the face of Moses...” (2 Corinthians 3:7).

That is right! The Ten Commandments is not of faith, the law made nothing perfect, the law was weak, the law was an avenue for sin to increase.

Grace gives us  righteousness, grace brings us into union with God, grace rev…
Image
The playing field at the beginning of our spiritual journey on earth is level.

The playing field at the finish of our spiritual journey on earth is level.

What is misunderstood by institutional hierarchy is that the playing field between the beginning and the finishing of our spiritual journey on earth is LEVEL ALSO.

How to determine if you are living in GRACE.

Image
When we feel and act on the need for self-justification by defending ourselves and blaming others when we are caught in a fault or accused or suspected of doing wrong is proof positive that we are NOT LIVING in GRACE.

Because of Grace we can trust Jesus for our justification. The self-justification...sought because of the law...ended at Calvary.

According to Romans 3:24, we are "being justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus."

Therefore, fighting for self-justification is a fight that is unnecessary and an admittance that we do not believe that Jesus finished His work, even though He said; "It is finished."

No one can bring a charge against God's elect because God is the one who justifies. Therefore, there is no need to play the blame and shame game because self-justification has been unnecessary.

Be the Church.

Image
DOING Sunday morning participation in event-driven meetings is not necessarily the Church in action.

Sharing and caring with the across-our-path people we meet is BEING the Church.

Church is a lot more about BEING in life living, than it is DOING in event-driven meetings!

Opposites.

Image
Jesus was rejected.
Religion wants to be respected.

Jesus was regarded as radical
Religion wants to be recognized as reasonable.

Jesus was accused of having demons.
Preachers are acclaimed for having degrees.

Jesus put no stock in the praise of men.
Preachers in the church world thrives on it.

Is it any wonder that the nominal Christianity of the nominal institutional church has so little influence on people for Him?

Follow Jesus' example.

Image
Jesus preaching in a dialoguing style demonstrating His love and grace.

Hell Fire and Brimstone monologuist fear mongering preacher.

Which style would you prefer to sit under?

It is Finished

Image
The criticism heralded by Law-Keeper adherents against the Gospel of Grace, is based upon a delusional misunderstanding of the the scriptures, especially the scriptures regarding the finished work of Christ on the cross that was invoked because of His resurrection.

The Gospel of Grace is RESURRECTION SANCTIONED, and RESURRECTION EMPOWERED as the means of the community of the redeemed affecting the community of humanity towards God and His righteousness.

Spirit Led.

Image
Hey Mr. Music Leader, you were certainty led by something other than the Spirit this morning!

IT IS FINISHED!

Image
If we do not accept, comprehend and understand the finished and complete work of Christ on the cross and His subsequent resurrection, we will NEVER unlock the storehouse of revelatory knowledge and understanding regarding the graciousness of God's Amazing Grace, Mercy and Love.

The Gospel is more than Jesus dying to save us and bless us, so WE can bless others along our journey to heaven! Being subjected to that kind of gospel renders focus on me and what I can do for God in order to gain heaven.

Jesus died and gave His life for us...to give His life to us...so He could live in us...to live His live through us. This Gospel is all about Jesus, what He has done and what God can do through us as we travel our earthly journey bringing heaven's atmosphere to earth.

If you are a PROFESSOR you should be a POSSESSOR!

Image
I find that many believers are professors of Christ, but their actions and behavior exemplify they are not possessors of Christ nor Christ being possessors of them.

This makes them FALSE PROFESSORS!

This make them a ...

Believers and the Law.

Image
The Law, given to Moses was important because it was given as a prerequisite to the coming of Jesus as the fulfillment of prophesy and the subsequent revelation of the Mystery of the Ages...the revelation of God's Grace. While the Law revealed God's holiness...it did not reveal His plan for the community of humanity regarding redemption or His mercy. Neither did the Law have the ability or the power to transform man from the inside out. The Law demanded self-effort obedience to external rules and expectations that was based on a external conformation which was impossible to do. The Law did not have the power to change the heart thus, the reason for Christ fulfilling it.

When Christ fulfilled the law, and atoned for our sin through His finished work on the cross and His resurrection, God's righteousness and holiness was imputed to us and engraved upon the hearts of all who would "behave right"...SORRY for that phrase, must be the influence of my law …

RESPECT

Image
If we would RESPECT people we do not understand or even agree with...instead of making judgements based on our philosophical assumptions...not only would we see them in a different light and we would cause their reaction to us to be different, that would improve our life as well as theirs.

Let's look for the good in people we meet and show them respect.

Is the Gospel Preached the Gospel of Truth?

Image
Has the truth of the gospel, by in large, gone unrealized in its fulness, truthfulness and power?

Unless people move into a relational understanding of what Jesus accomplished on the cross and His resurrection, people will continue to be short changed regarding the good news of the gospel of God’s grace, love, freedom and power provided through the gospel of Jesus Christ!

Some people give lip service to the gospel as being good news. They then preach and teach as if it is bad news...”God hates sinners”, “God will get you for that”, “disobey God and He will punish you”, “God will strike you with plagues and sickness if...”, “God is a angry with you,” “God is a hating God” “God is a killing God,” “God is a revengeful God”, "repent or you will end up in HELL FIRE".

The fear factor, scare factor tactic of the judgmental actors may be a good motivator for cementing control of people they want to corral by keeping them living fearing God, but it does little to promo…

Some people will LIE about you.

Image
Sometimes it is better to be called something you are not than be like the people who accuses you of something you are not!

Pharisacial Arrrogance!

Image
One of the Pharisees' (religious sect) problems was spiritual pride. They were so blinded by their arrogance and their preconceived notions, they couldn't believe anyone who hadn't been through their "seminary" was qualified to teach them anything. Is this kind of arrogance prevalent in the religious world today?The Pharisees, like many religions today were ignorant of achieving right standing (righteousness) with God through the simple act of receiving His forgiveness by grace and were trying to earn salvation by their own do;s and dont's. No one can fulfill God's commands (Rom. 3:23) except Jesus (Heb. 4:15). Therefore, to be righteous, we must put our faith in Him and what He has done for us, not what we can do for Him!

The Reflection of Fault Finding.

Image
If I feel gratified and superior in finding faults in others there is a great probability that I have far greater faults in myself that I am trying to hide to make myself feel better than the one I find shortcomings in. Understanding this, I ought to be extremely careful in my assessments and modest in my expression of censure...because I am really telling people around me my own shortcomings!

It is wiser still, and more in accordance with the Spirit of Christ..for me to find good things in others, and to be silent regarding their faults.

What I say about others is the window that people look through to see the person that I am.

May the reflection of my talking reflect the character of Christ so that others will sense His love and kindness!

SIN

Image
Those who are judging people because of their sin seem totally unaware of their own sinning.

The BIG sins of the sinner, as to the way they think, such as smoking, lying, drinking, stealing etc. requires condemnation to hell as far as they are concerned.

The sins that they themselves commit, does not make them unfit for heaven...at least as far as they are concerned!

I wonder...is the religions idea of sin God's idea of sin?

Isn't it strange that some of the sins that are big to the law keepers are not even mentioned in the bible, yet some of the practices they practice are!

Giving is Rewarding.

Image

Religion Binds...Grace Frees.

Image
Jesus came to set us free from sin, free from our selfishness, free from the opinions of others, free from religion...He came to set us free indeed.

"It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again with the yoke of bondage." (Gal. 5:1)

For many believers still in bondage to religion thus, in bondage to self and the opinions of other people the effect of God's Grace escapes them. Like the people to whom Paul wrote to in Galatia, life as a believer has become a burden, as a "yoke of slavery." The Gospel which was to lead us to freedom has been neglected and believers are in deep bondage because of the blame and shame game of guilt and condemnation because religion is based on the Law Gospel of the Old Testament.

We are warned by Paul in Galatians 3 that people who have experienced the freedom that Grace brings can still be drawn back into the bondage of the law. O foolish Galatians, who …

Question asked.

Image
Question Asked...Why are you so critical of Religion?

Questioned answered.

I realize the position I take and the opinion I share regarding religion is not religiously correct, religiously popular nor religiously comfortable, and I am aware that it may cause me to be religiously despised, but share my belief I must or I will be unfaithful to myself and to God.

Stephen understood the truth about the temple thus, one of the reasons he was stoned was the religious leaders did not like it or condone it. He said to them; "It was Solomon who built a house for Him. However, the Most High DOES NOT DWELL in houses and temples (buildings) made with hands; as the prophet says" (Isaiah 66:1,2). "Heaven is My throne, and earth the footstool for My feet. What kind of house can you build for Me, says the Lord, or what is the place in which I can rest? Was it not My hand that made all these things?" Acts 7:47-50.

It is not the "buildings" themselves that cause…

Judge and be Judged.

Image
Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again. (Matt. 7:1-2)

Image
Storms.

If you are tossed on life's stormy sea, unable from the wind and waves to break free. Don't worry... all storms never come to last, they come to pass. Trust in your Jesus to help you through and He will provide comfort for you. Rest and trust, the waves will  cease and He will guide you to the port of PEACE.


Jesus protect me.

Image
Notice the Pictures.

A Man asking for protection from the placard caring people standing for "christian causes" who claim to be Jesus followers.

I imagine Jesus continuing the conversation this way,

"I will son...but, they are not my followers, they are Law followers, all who call themselves Christians don't know me...they are still bound and controlled by the Mosaic Law which I fulfilled and set them free from. They started out in Grace but have been deceived by religion to mix Law and Grace without realizing that Grace plus something equals NOTHING, by doing so they have "fallen from Grace" If they would only receive my GRACE they would love people as I love them."

It is Finished...The Great Transaction is DONE!

Image
Why do so many people who claim to be Jesus believers NOT SATISFIED with what Jesus accomplished?

Hundreds of years before the sacrifice of Jesus Isaiah made a statement that is overlooked by non-satisfied-Jesus-believers. Verse 11 of chapter 53 reads: As a result of the anguish of His (Jesus') soul, He (God the Father) will see it and be satisfied.

This verse leaves no doubt that Father God is COMPLETELY SATISFIED with the FINISHED work of Christ on the cross. Therefore...who are we not to be satisfied with His finished work.

The rest of the verse reads: By His knowledge the Righteous One my Servant, will justify many as He will bear their iniquities.

Father God deems the finished work of Christ is ENOUGH, and is total and complete. It cannot be added to and no one can take away from it. Jesus could cry from the cross "IT IS FINISHED", because God His Father was SATISFIED!

Why are so many believers not totally satisfied with Jesus in the same way our Father is completely sa…

Amazing Grace how Sweet the Sound.

Image
If believers would get a revelation of God's AMAZING GRACE and truly begin to understand its meaning, the "good news" gospel would captivate them to where they would forsake all their religious icons and live out the amazing reality of God's Amazing Grace and realize that event-driven-meetings is a poor substitute of its truth.

His Amazing Grace is the Gospel...yet most professing believers are not gripped by its truth...Thus its truth has not been demonstrated to the people of the world. Yet God's Grace is the great need, not only of the people of the world, but the religious people who claim "not" to be of the world.

The lack of our receiving God's Grace and consequently our failing to live in its truth in presenting His Grace to the people of the world, is the foundation for many of the issues believers face with regards to the fulfillment of the "promises of God" being "yea and amen to them that believe."

Lying Saints.

Image
“Christians don’t tell lies – they just go to church and sing them.” - A. W. Tozer

I believe it would be more correct to insert the word "only" between don't and tell and replace the word just for "also".

Christians don't "ONLY" tell lies - they "ALSO" go to church and sing them. - G.C. Regular. But suffice to deal with singing lies now.

Take phrases sung from this well known song for instance.

All to Jesus I surrender,....Really!
All to Him I freely give;...Truly!
I will ever love and trust Him...Honestly!
In His presence daily live...Do you factually!

I surrender all,
I surrender all.
All to Thee, my blessed Savior,
I surrender all....Come on now be HONEST!

All to Jesus I surrender,
Humbly at His feet I bow,...Some Proudly bow!
Worldly pleasures all forsaken;...Sure you have!
Take me, Jesus, take me now...you want to board the next train to glory!

The trouble is not with the song, but the lack of honesty by the people singing it. ME …

Devotion.

Image
Devotion as a response to God's Grace and devotion as a response to the Mosaic Law is not one and the same.

Devotion as an outflow of God's Grace is devotion based on what God has done for me.

Devotion based on the Mosaic Law is devotion based on what I do for God with the thinking that I will be be accepted by God and gain His favor and the favor of of the people in law based religion.

All my striving to keep the law is legalism and results in death and self-righteousness and when we fail in some point of the law guild and condemnation sets in.

Living as a loved child of God is a response of simple faith and trust in Jesus who has imputed His righteousness to us by His Grace and His Grace alone.

"For the letter of the "LAW" kills, but the Spirit gives life"

Living by the Spirit is living by Grace!