Offense and the Teacher; Your Longest, Strongest Vein of Ore; Your Place of Infinite Reserves; Functioning In a Place of Woundedness; Single Dynamics As Litmus Tests for Determining Redemptive Gifts; and Part of the Place of Offense In Discovering Our Design

What follows is a series of somewhat random thoughts, but it deals with a series of dynamics where people have been obsessing with this gift’s weakness or that gift’s Achilles’ Heel.
OFFENSE AND ONE OF THE GIFTS:  TEACHER
I have to say, I have a friend who is a Teacher, and I think the potential for offense in Teacher would be because people often have a crappy perception of Teachers.
We have a whole lot of “new treasures” in the body that came through the other gifts, and the Teacher’s love of the old can be a source of great offense.
I am irritated, exceptionally vexed, that the Teacher’s love of the old is such a stumbling block that gets mistaken for a religious spirit.
In a healthy Teacher, the offense for others would be low.
Imagine our nation without Baltimore for Catholics, or Pennsylvania for Quakers.
ONE-DIMENSIONAL ASSESSMENTS AND TWO-DEMINSIONAL VIEWS OF THE GIFTS
Now, backing up to a larger frame, looking at the RG’s from one aspect creates a two-dimensional view of the gifts, especially if we are looking at one aspect of us that is a hangup.
If we are looking at this as a “which gift is the most offensive?” then you are talking about Prophets all day long.  Same for the question of condescension.
But, I would urge a whole heaven of a lot of caution when it comes to making snap decisions based on one trait.
And in the case of each of us, the overarching quality cannot be quantified in one sentence; a test won’t reveal a whole lot when wounding or personal biases with respect to the gifts or other issues are in place.
I can make all sorts of claims for myself for four of the gifts, but ultimately I have to know what I am, even if this or that person is right or wrong.
And we can get so caught up in the teaching on the Gfits, that we forget to be our own people and come up with our own stuff, our own revelation.  And, lest we forget, people like Arthur do get it wrong from time to time.  People like Megan and Sandy do get it wrong.  People like John Mosley to get it wrong.  And people like David MacNelley do get a whole lot wrong.
I would urge all sorts of caution in using those single qualities to identify this or that gift.
THE PRIORITY OF DESIGN
But ultimately, our greatest strength comes down to, what is our design?  Design is way more important…
Finding your transmission and engine, are vastly more important than knowing your gift. Get the design and what makes you come alive and the gift will follow. The disproportionate ROI.
And if your transmission does not exist, then you have one option, either do without, or get greasy and design and build your own transmission.  That is what the Wright Brothers did.
In what area of your life does the golden-glittery-oil drip?  For you, where is the work the most effortless?
My spiritual mom would probably push in the area of our effortlessness in part to help us out.
MANY FACTORS MORE IMPORTANT THAN ONE MAJOR FACTOR
And I would exhort us to look at a number of factors, and especially where the ROI is.
Now, for some of us who have had NASTY trauma, the process is harder, and espeically when brain or neruo trauma is present, the path to a place where we are not bumping into others is going to take some time.  And there are a variety of factors that can cloud the journey, the mining job, the digging around under the earth in order to come up with our gemstones that describe us well.
But really, what Dad is trying to do is pick us up in His lap and take us each on a journey to find the treasure in us.
SHORT-CIRCUITING THE JOURNEY BY FOCUSING ON ONE FLAW
So, in short, this is no easy process.  But it can become a glorious adventure.
We can, however, shot-circuit the process by focusing on one issue, one flaw, one sin, one pattern.  Many patterns and many aspects reveal the multi-dimensional nature of the gemstone.
And offending people can come from wounding, or scandal, or sin, or design, or family, or Leviathan, or any number of factors.
But recall two things,
1) “how I began this life is not necessarily how I am going to finish this life”.
2) Every single stinking thing that is wrong with us, is on G-d’s to-do list, whether He has to tell us that those things are part of his design, whether wounding, or sin, or devil, or affliction, or chain, or cell, or dimension, or portal, or whatever.
And recall from earlier this week, I said that He died to roll back not just our sin, but everything that is off-kilter or wrong with the universe.
Every sin was laid to Christ’s account, and he willingly took it up, and His death was and is and will be sufficient to redeem every wrong thing you ever did, every wrong thing that was ever done to you, every sin of the enemy that twisted the original design of everything, and everything else.
His death is sufficient to redeem the entirely of the cosmos, and forever separate His and our enemy from us forevermore.
So, take heart and be encouraged.
THE CAPACITY AND TENACITY TO PUSH THROUGH
One other thing: for those of y’all who are further down the road and are far more healed or whole, please take a couple of us wounded souls into your circle and walk with us.
I have one PRECIOUS brother who, when I met him, had MASSIVE negative 5th head of Leviathan at work in areas of his life.  For some reason, I suck at the Principle of Stewardship in my own eyes, and yet for some reason, his 5th head DID NOT TOUCH me at all.
I was able to talk through that clown, and it irritated that entity that I had the grace to ignore him and minister grace to this man’s spirit.
I was able to walk in the face of the presence of that negative head, call it my tenacity or pigheaded stubbornness, but his friendship is more valuable that the negative stuff he put off.
I have this built-in capacity to not be affected by those sorts of things and still walk with others.  Things I don’t get.
And I have a loyalty and trustingness which is unusual for a Prophet or an Exhorter.
And it took years of being pummeled by the enemy, sexual assault by the Jezebel Spirit to get where I am.
THE VEIN OF OUR DEEPEST STRENGTH
The bottom line: each of you has a vein or ore, or a specialty, or a long game, or a deep vein of emotional or spiritual ore that is deeper than anything the enemy can reach the bottom of. For me its loyalty. Play to that one strength in working with that person, brother or sister, rough edges and all, and go in the strength of that bread, because that is the one place in you that is most unbroken where the grace is the strongest and deepest.
Each of you has a place where the earth is turned up as by fire, no lion knows the path to that place, and no devil or twisted serpent can touch it.
Run there with the L-rd and use it as a regular place of refuge from which to strike.
It was put there for a reason.

““Surely there is a mine for silver,

and a place for gold that they refine.

Iron is taken out of the earth,

and copper is smelted from the ore.

Man puts an end to darkness

and searches out to the farthest limit

the ore in gloom and deep darkness.

He opens shafts in a valley

away from where anyone lives;

they are forgotten by travelers;

they hang in the air,

far away from mankind;

they swing to and fro.

As for the earth, out of it comes bread,

but underneath it is turned up as by fire.

Its stones are the place of sapphires,

and it has dust of gold.

“That path no bird of prey knows,

and the falcon’s eye has not seen it.

The proud beasts have not trodden it;

the lion has not passed over it.

“Man puts his hand to the flinty rock

and overturns mountains by the roots.

He cuts out channels in the rocks,

and his eye sees every precious thing.

He dams up the streams so that they do not trickle,

and the thing that is hidden he brings out to light.”

Job 28:1–11

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Who Takes Away…

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Okay, so, I am not a fan of word studies as they are frequently practiced (so that we can increase learning only and not fully understand ramifications). In my last post, which was somewhat acerbic, I made much of the reality that I do not care for imcomplete, partial, unfinished gospels.

And word studies are best done in context.

While words do have meanings independent of other words, those meanings can be stretched to abuse real meanings, and support all kinds of whacked ideas. That is, words have meanings individually, but their meanings are primarily found in how the interlock with other words.

For example, the various words in Hebrew that are translated “praise” are things we should handle lightly and in their proper contexts.

As with everything in our faith, goosebumps do not necessarily mean something has changed; our metric as followers of Christ is, “did something measurable, verifiable, sustained take place?”.

So, I am not putting this out there as the beginning of a new dogma that is unmoveable, and I have no interest in abusing the text of Scripture. Rather, I want to provoke us to consider deeply the writings of John.

As I was reading, doing my Koine assignment this morning, I noted the phrase “behold the Lamb of G-d who takes away the sin of the world (John 1:29).” This phrase, spoken by John the Baptizer, is the intro to the ministry of the Messiah. And we love to read, G-d sent his son because he loved the world.

What gripped me was the word used for “world”. It is not what I think of as the earth in terms of ground, or the biology, but rather the world in terms of the cosmos.

ἴδε ὁ ἀμνὸς τοῦ θεοῦ ὁ αἴρων τὴν ἁμαρτίαν τοῦ κόσμου.

Translated roughly

Behold the lamb of G-d, the one taking away, the sins of the world/cosmos/universe.

And then I wondered about the phrase, “not only our sins, but also the sins of the whole world.”

And sure enough, the same word.

Now, granted, I will concede that the earth, where humanity dwells, is the crux of the matter with respect to our L-rd’s death. But consider the possible depth of redemption. We have a Luciferian rebellion, and we have those who are condemned because they chose to live a Christless life.

What if Christ’s death was sufficient to take into account EVERY sin ever executed against the L-rd for all of time, everywhere in the universe?

He dies for everyone, once for all, and including those who will never choose him.

Now, am I pleading for universal reconciliation.

Absolutely not.

But what if the redemption of creation means that G-d took into account the rebellion of Lucifer, and Jesus died to handle the issue of that rebellion. So the effects rendered by the cause of Lucifer’s rebellion were even accounted for.

You are talking full redemption of all creation.

And as a result, G-d, in his grace and mercy of making redemption available for all, even those who will continue to incite rebellion, is fully just in every judgment he makes.

And no one, not even the enemy, is without excuse.

Again, let me be quick to say, I am not making a case for universal reconiliation, or that Satan will be saved, etc.

However, what I am looking at is that Yeshua’s death was sufficient to account for ALL sin. Sin against Him by terrestrial beings, and by celestial beings.

It is the enemy’s incessant, continual, hard-hearted arrogance that keeps him in place, warring against the L-rd, and thus it is that pride that will keep him from reconciliation. But all of his acts against the L-rd were held to Yeshua’s account and all of his nasty work will be undone, for all eternity, everywhere in the cosmic scheme of things.

Behold the Lamb of G-d, who taketh away the sins of the κόσμος.

Not just our sins, but all sins.

Every place where sin has a grip on creation, all of those effects will be rolled back and dealt with.

When he redeems, He leaves no part out of that process.

The Exhorter works the Principles, and brings the causes to bear on the effects.

And because He has skin in the game, he can bring about change, because of the full pain He embraced.

As a result of this, He truly is the Sabbath Rest.

For he is our God, and we are the people of his pasture, and the sheep of his hand. Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts, as at Meribah, as on the day at Massah in the wilderness, when your fathers put me to the test and put me to the proof, though they had seen my work. For forty years I loathed that generation and said, “They are a people who go astray in their heart, and they have not known my ways.” Therefore I swore in my wrath, “They shall not enter my rest.”

Psalms 95:7–11

Concerning Pastor Brunson

This is a miscarriage of Revelation 12:11.

καὶ αὐτοὶ ἐνίκησαν αὐτὸν διὰ τὸ αἷμα τοῦ ἀρνίου

καὶ διὰ τὸν λόγον τῆς μαρτυρίας αὐτῶν

καὶ οὐκ ἠγάπησαν τὴν ψυχὴν αὐτῶν ἄχρι θανάτου.

Look, gang, the posts welcoming him home are more of the same. Again, and again, and again. And if you want to know what our issue is in this nation, look at tarrifs and sanctions.

My irritation is not in his release. It is in the lack of a full gospel. I am viscerally angered when we worship at the cult of comfort and refuse people the grace of martyrdom, and so fulfill the fullness of the opportunity afforded to others.

If you plant and pastor a church and spend 23 years in a nation, then your intents are clear, and relying on Uncle Sam to bail you out is evidence of a cult of comfort and a refusal to accept the gospel of fullness. The whole gospel.

I don’t do partial gospels. And whine all you wish about this man and his family and how dare I say something against his release. And go ahead and unfollow me. But do so knowing this…

We are so quick to pay lip-service with the Blood of the Lamb, and the Word of our Testimony, but it is absolute idiocy when that is all we pay, and we refuse the third part of that verse.

You overcome ultimately, by not loving your life so much that you shrink back from death.

And this is a key item right here.

The question of preference between civil religion and the kingdom. And we show that we do it all the time when we say, “well maybe it was not this person’s time to die”.

No, you still did not get it. Go read what the Mercy has to say, and read it until it gets embedded into you.

And stop refusing the fullness of the gospel.

I am not into partial, half-baked, three-quarters-baked, Cult-Of-Comfort, carnal Exhorter Christianity.

From my mother’s womb, I was into the wholness of the gospel. And nowhere do we get the gospel and the kingdoms of this world more confused with the Gospel of the Kingdom and His Kingdom than here in this meddling Prophet nation.

And when we rescued Saeed Abedani, look at what happened. Jay Sekulow got involved, and we got him back, and then he and his wife divorced.

And refusing someone the responibility to bear martyrdom when they so obviously know–and we know that that is part of the cost (but we don’t know that here in America)–is blatantly wrong.

If you violate the principles by trying to use other principles to get your way, you are opening the door to the very thing that you did not want.

And Muslims will not be won by our sanctions, tariffs, or anything else, but our death and our blood being shed.

Period.

“The blood of the martyrs is the seed of the church.”

-Tertullian-

The Redemptive Gift of Yeshua

So, there is still a lot of curiosity, and I could never exhaust this topic.

But, there is still floating around this idea that Our L-rd was a combination of all seven RG’s, based on the early teachings of our mutual friend, Arthur Burk.

Let me say, unequivocally, that He was born fully-G-d and fully man.  With a soul like our, that was singular, and with a spirit like ours, that was divided into seven portions.

And let’s look at the textual evidence first.  Setting aside what Arthur said, let’s look at our main sources for understanding on the life of the Son of G-d.

The Gospels.

I would like to consider a couple of texts for our purposes, starting with Matthew 11.

We know John the Baptizer was clearly hardwired with the Redemptive Gift of Prophet.  And he was hardcore.  John Sandford, in his book that sets the standard for our understanding for the Office of Prophet, The Elijah Task, made the observation that the Baptizer had a camel-hair shirt that was turned inside out, and that this was a way of putting his skin into a place of continual flagellation.  Anyone who has touched a camel would get an understanding of such a garment would afflict the skin.  It is not the softest material.

John breathed the judgments of G-d on the Pharisees repeatedly.

He also never, never associated with people in crowds by choice.  He was in the lonely places of Judea, and the crowds had to come to him in order to speak to them, and he was a fireball to ANYONE to whom He spoke.

Now, look at our L-rd, Messiah Yeshua.

He was in the lonely places by choice and by need, but he also spent his ministry with people constantly.  He was a General Contractor, and by nature of that job, dealt with people, subcontractors, owners, tenants, and other people incessantly.  And He went to Zacheeus out of the crowd and in the midst of the crowd.  And He compelled specific people to come with him, including Matthew, the…

TAX COLLECTOR…

And the wedding feast in Cana, when He bartended to a bunch of inebriated wedding guests.

And the friend……

Of sinners….

And he spoke to them, as a man speaks to his friend….

And He wept….

Over the man Lazurus…

As a man weeps for His friend…

And we with unveiled faces….

Beheld His glory…the presentation of the Man who was full of Grace and Truth.

And He made known to them, the nature of His Father, their Father…

He knew and processed the nature of G-d, who is a good Father.

He was not a machine Ruler, though He understood the principles of Freedom and Sonship.

He was a social without exception Exhortery Exhorter.

He suffered much pain, and dealt with the Exhorter’s Principle in the hardest manifestations.  And possessed His birthright.

Because He will not rest until His Father’s house is FULL OF PEOPLE WHO ARE HIS FAMILY.

NONE!  ALL!!

G-d is willing that NONE should perish.  G-d is willing that ALL should come to repentance.

That none should perish.

G-d loves cities.

Who told you this, David?

20 years ago, an Argentine Exhorter by the name of Ed SIlvoso told me this in a church in DeLand, Florida, named First Assembly of G-d, pastored by an Exhorter.

Yes, yes, Exhorter, it is your job to mess up the church with the new revelation that the body is missing.

That His house may be FULL…

 

11:00 in, gang.

“What we see in Scripture is process. There’s one snippet that we have as an example of process, and that is G-d’s passion for cleansing the land from death.  It is going to take seven months after the Battle of Armageddon for the specified teams to find every piece of human flesh and bone and give it a proper burial.  That is process. The King doesn’t just come in and fix Israel overnight.  He takes the remnant of people that are left after the tribulation and gives them process tasks, and I believe that the Millenium is going to be a process of the church learning from Jesus Christ, who is the ultimate Exhorter–He walked in the Redemptive Gift of Exhortation–we are going to learn from Him principle after principle about how to heal our ecological mess, and today we need to LEAN INTO it, not with the fear and the panic that the ecology movement is perpetuating, not with a sense of lack or poverty, but with biblical principles.

Arthur Burk, The Majesty of His Artistry, Disc 5, Cut 7, “Measurable, Verifiable, Sustained Change, Timestamp 1:32-2:47

And the Exhorter’s playing field is the Principles, and showing cause and effect.  It is not the Prophet, who is designed to use principles to build with.  But the Exhorter is designed to do principles nonstop.  Lots and lots of Principles and Revelation.

Moses, Solomon, and Paul were all Exhorters, and they FLOWED in Principles.

And the Sermon on the mount and the parables are Principles all.

And, here is a final piece. Listen carefully.  Every fight that He picked with a Pharisee was over a principle that He was giving to them, to help fill out what was missing from their theology.  They, Teachers, missed the one thing.  Hello, Philistines.  This is why the Exhorter and the Teacher go so well together, hand in glove.

So, there you go, gang.

This is my analysis, and this happens to also be Arthur’s analysis.

Enjoy it.

Giggle.

#mischief

A Proper and Astounding Exegetical Hermeneutic of Romans 8:31 and Some Consequences of Choosing the Wrong Adversary

This video is what a Teacher/Exhorter combo looks like leading worship.

 

I think one of the best hermeneutical expressions of Romans 8:31 is found in the Amanda Cook cut, “You Make Me Brave”, from the CD of the same name.

You are for us.

You are not against us.

Rather than drawing the focus to “the big, evil others out there who could be against us”, this simple line maintains the focus on the L-rd, who is definitely in our corner, as at a boxing match, or race, cheering us on.  It focuses on the relationship between the Father and His sons, us.

We have so many expressions of “G-d is on our side” that often let the focus drift to the idea or implication that those enemies of the moment that we have are also His enemies, while failing to realize that “if our enemy has a drivers’ license and a Social Security Number, we have the wrong enemy” (Ed Silvoso).

It is completely needful that we have an understanding that our enemies, as in the demonic forces, are not a match for G-d’s surpassing power.  But if we assume a victim mentality or enshroud ourselves in a victim spirit, and assume that people we don’t like are people that G-d is against, when the L-rd Yeshua died for them, in the same fashion He died for us (while we were yet sinners-Romans 5:8), and we assume that G-d is going to hurt those who hurt us, and we behave as spoiled brats when He does not get them back for hurting us, then we might need to reevaluate Romans 8:31.

Cook, a worship leader in Redding, California, on the other hand, does not have our enemies in view, but rather our relationship with G-d, which is transformed from an adversarial relationship in Romans 5:6-9 to a relationship that is affectionate in Romans 8.

Provided we walk in the spirit….

There is a multifaceted dynamic present in Romans 8 that I covered in brief in my previous post that shows the reality of being “in the Spirit” as opposed to “in the flesh”.

We are transformed from adversaries to friends.  And it is not our adversaries in the natural realm that G-d is against, but rather our adversaries in the spiritual realm.

Let me also put a second spin on it. Repeating from above, G-d is not against our natural adversaries, but our spiritual adversaries.

Further, G-d is against HIS adversaries in the natural realm.

And we should exercise caution in assuming we know who His adversaries are in the natural realm, given He died for all of us while we were against Him.  The handing out of labels is something that G-d takes very, very seriously, and we should exercise caution when considering the option of labeling others when He has not labeled them.

This dynamic right here is one specific reason why developing a hard heart keeps us from seeing clearly.   Hard hearts can clearly see their rights, but they often cannot see the subtleties of G-d in a situation.

Look at the context of Matthew 19:1-10.  The text of Matthew 19:1-10 is in dealing with divorce because of adultery.

Looking at the context, which is Matthew 18:21-35 (and add to this the parallel topic passage of Luke 17:1-5), Yeshua dealt with unforgiveness in interpersonal relationships. This segment that covers offended hearts that have grown crunchy toward the Gracious King leads into the discussion on divorce, and is tied to that passage in Matthew 19 by way of Matthew 19:1’s transition; Matthew 18:21-35 is the frame for Matthew 19:1-10.

The issue is not whether we can divorce those who have cheated on us and remarry, there is no question that we can.  The more sensitive and subtle issue in this passage is making sure our hearts are in a soft and tender place.

Consider this, which formed the basis for our discussion in home group this past Sunday on the Bait of Satan.

Abishai, in 1 Samuel 26, was ready to run Saul through with the spear.  The L-rd had put Saul, Abner, and the entire army with Saul into a deep sleep from the L-rd (1 Sam. 26:12). He was poised with Saul’s spear over the king.  And at this time the L-rd had departed from Saul.

Why did the L-rd put this army, and this wicked king, into a deep sleep?

“Answer: to test David.”

“To see if David is going to be another Saul.  Is he going to remain a man after the heart of G-d, or is he going to take matters into his own hands?” (John Bevere: The Bait of Satan Lesson 3, “My Father, My Father”).

The L-rd never spoke during this passage, and David, who knew the heart of G-d because of all of those years with the sheep getting close to G-d, understood what the silences of G-d meant, and what a deep sleep means.  He had the opportunity to be delivered from this wicked man, and yet, he chose to honor him as the L-rd’s anointed.

As a matter of fact, when Saul was slain, David commanded all Israel to learn a song that said, “SAUL and Johnathan, beloved and lovely…”.

Now, does that sound like the heart of a man who was offended (knowing Mercies the way we do, no one usually takes up an offense faster for another party than a Mercy)?  Not at all.

David still treated Saul with an above-and-beyond attitude even when Saul pursued him.

And his heart remained soft.

Our hearts as well, in dealing with our enemies, should not grow dull.  But remain soft and pliable.  Tears, weeping, mourning, brokenness are what help that process.  When we turn from our adversaries and turn to G-d, then in that moment we can receive clarity as we are laying in Papa’s lap dealing with our strong emotions (Psalm 39:12, 56:8).  This is how we transform pain into productive pain, by asking G-d to step into the midst of our pain and helping us to process it in order to see where He is at work in it.

If we can step away from a betrayal or from an adversary with a heart that seeks G-d and what He is doing in the midst of a painful process, then we can grow, and that process will help to ensure our hearts stay soft.   But so many people get wound up in their rights as believers, that the heart suffers, which is a major reason why subsequent relationships falter beyond the first.  And this is not just in marriage, but also in friendships with college roommates, brothers, best friends, family members, etc.

This that I have written is the one hand.  On the other hand, I will concede there is a time and a place for sarcasm, for mocking, for responding with a sharp response to those who have hurt us.  But these responses should not come at the expense of our hearts hardening.  It was a hard heart that decimated the nation of Egypt.

Thus, as we are engaging with the L-rd being for us, let us remember to keep the focus more on our interaction with Him rather than focusing on how vile is the person who wounded us, and lest we turn someone into G-d’s adversary that G-d does not treat that way.

 

The Power of Romans 8

Off the top, for those of us that believe Romans 7:14-23 still applies in fullness to those who are in Christ, we do not understand that Romans 7:25 and ALL of chapter 8 applies to those who are in Christ way more than the lion’s share of Chapter 7.

Good, now that I have that off of my soulish chest….heh, I will move onto the point of this post.

Romans 8 shatters the lies that we are made to believe that we are under the bondage of sin as believers.

Romans 8 says that we are NOT OBLIGED to sin.  That means we are not bound to the obligation to sin.   Again, let that sink in, gang.

Verse 12.

Imma post it in Greek first because the Greek is just lovely.

Ἄρα οὖν, ἀδελφοί, ὀφειλέται ἐσμὲν οὐ τῇ σαρκὶ τοῦ κατὰ σάρκα ζῆν,

And my translation:

So therefore, brothers (including sisters), we are not debtors to the flesh, to live according to the flesh.

You are not a debtor to the flesh.

You owe the flesh nothing.

You are not required to sin.

You are not guaranteed to sin or required to sin a little each day in order to certify your humanity.   Now, will we screw up.  Yes.  And for that, we have 1 John 1:9.  But is it your doom to live and dwell in sin as a sinful screw-up the rest of your redeemed days.  Let me savor this response.

Nnnnnooooooo…….

Just no.  Just stop it.   Stop with the incessant thinking that you are required to sin because you are a human.  Stop with the idiotic mindset that sin is your usual way of existing.  Yes, we all know there is going to be the mess-up, but the reality is as you become more Christ’s and become more IN Christ, you will sin less.  Moreover, our position in Christ is seated in the heavens above the fracas of the natural realm and above the fracas of the demonic realm.

Following our initiation and baptism into Christ, water baptism being the primary means of healing and deliverance for new believers, sin goes from being something to which we are in bondage, to something that is a choice.  Your will is released from bondage following your conversion and baptism, and now sin becomes a choice rather than a destiny.

The other nature gets kicked out increasingly and the process of increasing being-set-apart begins to take hold.  And yes, you are faced with hundreds of choices and decisions with respect to sin.  Are you going to let it have its way or are you going to choose in the direction of your destiny.  As you progress in Christ, a natural affect of that consequence is that you will indeed sin less.

Therefore, we are moving from a place where sinning is the rule to a place where sin is the exception.  We were designed to flow in a victorious and overcoming lifestyle of being his bride and his son.

Gang, this is not even a contest.  We were redeemed, and we need to begin pushing the envelope and instead of settling for a lifestyle where we tolerate a little bit of sin ans normal and natural each day, we need to challenge ourselves and begin pushing to see how far we can go in affection, depth, holiness, sanctity, tenderness, and height of relationship.

Sin is not a guaranteed destiny of yours, but rather it gets reduced to an option.

If any one is in Christ, they are a…

New creation…

Beloved friend, you are new in Him, and he adores you a whole lot.

You are not required to sin, but now you have the capacity and the anchor that will stabilizes you in order to enable you to choose the right path.

Just as the Holy Spirit enabled the Upper Room Disciples to speak in tongues, so you to have the power and enablement within as a follower of Jesus to walk in the manner that befits a son of the King.  In Romans 8, you are given a litany of exhortation that shows what it looks like to be in Christ.

  1. Freedom from sin’s legal hold and right to your life. 8:2
  2. A capacity to live by the Spirit. 8:5
  3. The mind controlled by the Spirit. 8:6
  4. Capable of pleasing G-d because you are in the Spirit. 8:8
  5. Belong to the Father. 8:9
  6. Alive and in righteousness. 8:10
  7. Indebted to no flesh or to sin. 8:12
  8. Capable of putting to death the deeds of the flesh. 8:13
  9. Capable of being led by the Spirit. 8:14
  10. Capable of being sons of G-d. 8:14
  11. Adopted is your relaity. 8:15
  12. You have the inner witness of the Spirit if you are in Christ and in the Spirit. 8:16
    1. Now, you need to follow the Spirit and cultivate a relationship with the Spirit in order to strengthen this inner witness and discernment, but He is present and able to provide you with that inner witness.  But it is something that you have to be sensitive to and cultivate.
  13. You are heirs. 8:17
  14. You are capable of handling suffering. 8:18
  15. You are what all creation longs for. 8:19
  16. We are expressions of the hope of creation. 8:20
  17. We are being redeemed in our bodies. 8:23
  18. We are assisted by the Spirit when we are weak. 8:26
  19. You have a friend who will help you to search your heart for everything G-d wants to fix or repair in you.  All that is damaged or wounded or out of alignment, is on G-d’s to-do list. 8:27
  20. You are not subject to the enemy’s accusation or condemnation.  You do not have to be subject to your own condemnation.  G-d has such a lovely and strong and multi-facted destiny of hope for you.  G-d, being on your side, means the enemy of your soul, the devil himself, and all of his hordes, cannot and will not ultimately prevail, while there is still a “yes” in your spirit to the L-rd, no matter how weak that “yes” is.
  21. That is what is meant by the inability of the enemy to separate you from the L-rd.  It’s not merely a separation to hell.  It is a capacity of the L-rd to tighten the relationship He has with you and you have with Him so that there is not a seperation in this life.  Paul is not merely talking about condemnation to hell.  He is talking about the interactions you have with G-d in the here-and-now. 8:38-39.

Gang, This, this right here, is the power in Romans 8.  We are not merely secure in His hand and made safe from hell, but we are secure in the present moment, from one moment to the next.

 

From Anne Hamilton

Let me give some perceived background of context for this post:

We have might have an idea that covenants are nothing more than the exchange of goods and services enhanced by an agreement. That is a very shallow understanding of the concept of covenants

Anne Hamilton is a woman to whose works I was introduced by a precious Exhorter:

She raises some fascinating points here. And for clarity’s I will be happy to answer questions about this post.

Get ready, gang as this is a little more abstract than most TPH offerings. You might need to read it a few times. I know I had to, but there are some real gems for the miners who persevere:

At the risk of clearing out my entire friends’ list, I must express my deep concern over the confusion between covenant and trading. I’ve read the books. I’ve watched the videos. I’ve been to the seminars.

And at the end of the day, I have realised that “trading” is being used indiscriminately, as if it sometimes means “covenant” and sometimes not.

Covenant is essentially and radically different to trading. Covenant is about oneness. That’s what differentiates it from contract, pledge, vow, exchange or trade. ONENESS. Covenant happens to be about exchanging gifts as tokens of love, so it might look like trading in some respects. But the difference is ONENESS. If I buy a car, I don’t want to trade money for vehicle and wind up having to take care of the seller’s family for life. In a trade, it’s not about gifts – it’s hopefully about “ethical” exchange.

Much spiritual trading in my view (here goes my friends’ list – just unfriend me, don’t abuse me because that will open at least one of us up to retaliation by the spirit of Leviathan) is simply about unbelief in the atonement.

It’s a natural human inclination to want to help Jesus out when we’ve prayed and prayed and prayed and still things haven’t gone the way we wanted. What can we “do”? Confess? Repent? Forgive? Renounce? Trade? Go to the courts?

We are so inventive in finding ways to enhance the atonement. Repentance and forgiveness only “work” by the grace of God. He requires them but, in truth, they don’t add a single thing to the all-sufficiency of the sacrifice of Jesus. They are more about tokens of love than anything else – about telling God that, yes, broken as I am, I am committed to the relationship. And that, in my heart of hearts, I cannot believe in the atonement without wanting to “do” something to help Jesus solve my present crisis.

The only fallback position in this case is, I think, encapsulated in the words of the centurion: “Lord, I believe – help my unbelief.”