Thursday, February 28, 2013

Who's Counting? The Honest View of Christians & Sins in The New Testament

This is the most honest view of sin I can write. It legitimately considers what the whole of the New Testament says about "sin" in regards to Christians. Most people seem to think that "a sin" is some mystical pencil mark that exists in a ledger in heaven that God looks at & decides how to punish you for if you don't fess up about it. But Christians do not have any sin accounts with God. Sins were covered in the old covenant. In the new covenant sins are "taken away."

What do you do with accounts? You charge & withdraw. What does God not do?
2 Corinthians 5:19 says, "God does not charge the world with sin." Romans 5:13 says, "God does not charge people with sin where there is no law." Then Romans 10:4 says, "Jesus Christ is the end of the law for all those who trust Him." Romans 4:8 says, "Blessed are the people whom the Lord will BY NO MEANS charge with sin." Such a people exist, they are His children.

Jesus has taken our sins away as far as east is from west (Psalm 103:12). That means they are eradicated. You won't see anywhere that it says we have to repeatedly confess sins to have them taken away either, they are all eradicated forever when we first get saved. Your sin & wrath account is closed eternally. You cannot rack up sin thus you neither need to confess sins or repent of them to get them taken off of your account as so many falsely teach.

Christians are Sinless in 4 Ways
1. Judicially:  God, the judge, does not charge them with sin (see 2 Corinthians 5:19 & Romans 4:8 above).
2. Legally:  Jesus has ended the law for all Christians. Christians are not under the law & they are dead to the law thus the law cannot condemn them & charge them with sin. (see Romans 5:13 & 10:4 above & Romans 6:14 & 7:4).
3. Spiritually (by birth):  Whoever is born of God cannot sin & is not able to produce sin (see 1 John 3:5-6,9 & 5:18). Jesus makes clear in John 3 that your spirit is the only part of you that is born of God. A Christian's spirit is also "one Spirit with God" (see 1 Corinthians 6:17).
4. Positionally:  A Christian's identity is "IN Christ." In Christ there is no sin (see Colossians 3:3 & 1 John 3:5). A Christian's identity is not "IN the flesh" but IN the Spirit (see Romans 8:9, Colossians 2:11, 2 Corinthians 5:16-17).

Christians are Not Sinless in 3 Ways
1. Mentally & Emotionally:  A Christian can choose to charge themselves with sin & count their actions as sins (see James 4:17 & Romans 14:22)
2. Physically:  A Christian can "sin against their own body" by allowing the deeds of the flesh to manifest (see 1 Corinthians 6:18 & Romans 8:13)
3. Relationally:  Scripture still speaks of "sinning against brothers," sin meaning harming them, treating them unlovingly (see 1 Corinthians 8:12 below & James 5:16).

Sin is defined by who is counting it as sin or who is pressing charges. Romans 4:8 says, "God will BY NO MEANS charge His children with sin." But scripture is clear that we can count sins against ourselves & others. If we counts sin against ourselves or others it is not bound in heaven but it is an experiential & relational reality here on earth. God would rather us not be what Hebrews 10:2 calls "sin conscious" meaning He'd rather us be like Him, not labeling our & others' actions as sin & not keeping a record of our wrongs & others' wrongs.

Sinning Against Christ as the Body
"By sinning against the brethren and wounding their conscience when it is weak, you sin against Christ" (1 Corinthians 8:12)
You can't exclusively sin against God. But Christ and His body are one. When you act without love toward a brother you are acting without love toward Jesus & the Father. Harming a part of the body also stresses the body. The pain caused to one brother can easily affect others.

Jesus said to Saul in Acts 9:4 "Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?" Saul had not met Jesus up to this point but he had persecuted His followers. Jesus was identifying Himself with His body. Jesus said in Matthew 25:40,45 "Whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me." Jesus identified Himself with His brothers and sisters.

But this does not mean God is marking things you do down as a sin or calling you guilty because of it. God is love & "love does not take into account wrongs suffered" (1 Corinthians 13:5). In regards to His children God never saves a record of their actions labeled as "sins," He never regards their actions as sin, He never charges them with sin. But He does feel our sins, meaning our harmful/unloving actions, when they are against another child of His. God is not self-seeking (1 Corinthians 13:5). He's not shedding a tear because you didn't read your bible today. But God cares for His children as any good father would. It hurts Him to see His children hurt one another. He feels for them & with them.

Hurting your brother or sister is the one thing that a Christian can do to "grieve the Holy Spirit of God." "Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God" is said in Ephesians 4 in the midst of these encouragements & instructions:

"Be honest, don't hurt anyone with your anger, don't hold onto anger, don't steal, share with those in need, don't insult others, build people up with what you say, share the wonderful loving grace of God with them. Don't hold onto bitterness, don't attack others' reputations, don't fight or seek to harm. Be kind & tender-hearted to one another. Don't hold what others do against them, remove each others burdens."

How do you accomplish these things? We are told how in the preceding verses,
"Stop setting your mind on the flesh & its deceitful desires so you will be made new in the attitude of your minds. You have a new self, it is your spirit that has been born in the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness. Set your mind on your new self, on the things of the spirit."

So to live & walk sinlessly mentally, emotionally, physically, & relationally you regard yourself by the sinless identity Christ has given you. That you are sinless in regards to God as judge because He will not charge you with sin, in regards to the law because it is over, in regards to your identity because you are born again & in Christ united with God, partaking of His divine nature. Do this & you will live completely free from sin, as free as you truly have been made by Jesus.

"Jesus died to sin one time for all time. The life He lives He lives to God. Consider yourselves just as dead to sin as Jesus is & just as alive to God as Jesus is" (Romans 6:10-11).

Related Posts

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Where's the Party?

People complain about how this generation has a "gimme, gimme, gimme" mentality. But sprinkled throughout all generations are those with the "I'm reluctant to let anyone give something to me without earning it first or paying them back" mentality. I believe some of those reluctant to receive haven't been in a situation where they couldn't possibly pay someone back. The prodigal son had a "gimme" mentality & his bitter older brother had a "I must earn it' mentality.

Which brother came to understand his father's love first? The one who asked for the Father's wealth. The Father gave it to both of them at the same time. The younger used it & abused it. The older ignored it & slaved away as if it was never given to him.

The older son said to the father, "I have been serving you & slaving for you & I have never neglected a command of yours. But you have never given me something so that I might celebrate." But the father had already given Him everything. The older son was obedient but bitter, serving but surly, slaving but sullen. He was rich but lived like a slave. Freedom & riches can make people go wild & do stupid things for a while but look at the opposite of freedom.. slavery. I repeat the opposite of freedom is SLAVERY. Those who want to put you under the law in any way or want to take you out from under grace (even a little) want you to see yourself as a poor obedient slave rather than a free, rich, & partying son.

"How great is the love the Father has lavished upon us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!" (1 John 3:1)

The younger son, while he was gone, became poor & hired himself out. When returning to his father he wanted to be his father's slave. The father wouldn't even hear it. He said, "Son lets party! I'm so glad we're together!" This son knew he was free but he had no clue about how much the father loved him so he went out to party without his father. That's the difference. Knowing you are free & even knowing you are rich does not mean you know you are loved. Grace is God's love for you. The good news of grace never makes someone live destructively. It is the message of freedom that does so. The truth of freedom without the truth of grace is harmful. You can party with your Father or party without your Father. Regardless of which you choose your Father isn't going to love you any less. He won't even acknowledge your mistakes as something shameful.

Those who refuse freedom judge those who accept it. They say, "Look at the terrible things they've done with your freedom Father." And they list to God & others the things their brothers have done. They stand like Satan, accusing the brethren before God. The Father just says, "You've got the freedom, riches, & even the party throwing love of mine that your brother has. Enjoy it! But know I won't hear it when someone speaks ill of my children, so you're wasting your breath."

[This post was also used as a response to Michael Brown's Hyper-Grace Horror Stories]

Fear Behind the Curtain

One reason people oppose the "grace message" is because they are afraid of God. They think He will be angry with them, punish them, or break fellowship with them if they aren't vigilant to avoid sin & diligent to obey Him.

Another reason people oppose the "grace message" is because they are afraid of sin. They don't believe that Christians are dead to sin or free from sin. They believe sin still has power over us. They think we have to avoid sin like perpetually falling acid rain. Romans 6:14 says sin is powerless against someone who lives under grace (the recognition that God desperately loves you no matter what, y'know like a loving Father would). It also says that when you put yourself under law you give sin power over you that it otherwise would never have.

If you fear either of these things you doubt or limit God's love for you. 1 John 4:18 says there is no fear in a relationship where you know that you are loved. Knowing you are loved actually pushes away any fears that may come up. Zechariah said the very proclamation of the coming of the Messiah was "Fear not, your King is coming." Zacharias prophesied, "The Lord God of Israel has granted us the freedom to serve Him without fear." Every Christian that believes in the power of sin also believes they must fear God. They are living as if Jesus has never come to this earth. If you reject the grace message, you at least in part are rejecting Jesus & the suffering He has done on your behalf.

God has not given us a spirit of fear. If you are fearful you are not walking by the spirit He has given you. The spirit He has given us causes our hearts to cry out, "Daddy! Papa! Father!" What father demands fear? What father angrily punishes? What father abandons you whenever you make a mistake? Not Jesus' Father. Not my Father. What child wants to run to a father that does those things?

Monday, February 25, 2013

Good News vs. Wood Pews or Sins Taken Away vs. Sins Poured On

The gospel proclaims eternal life, which was defined by Jesus as deeply knowing God.
The church preaches eternal life, which is defined as a ticket to heaven. It also proclaims a relationship with God that is perpetually broken off because God abandons you whenever you haven't confessed every last sin to Him.

The gospel proclaims the sin of the world is taken away.
The church preaches you have to turn from your sin to be saved.

The gospel proclaims freedom.
The church preaches obligation to not sin.

The gospel proclaims the burden of sin, guilt, & shame removed.
The church preaches the burden of sin increased because now God convicts you of your sins (convict which means declares guilty, condemns) & counts all "disobedience" against you.

The gospel proclaims "Whoever trusts in Jesus will never be put to shame."
The church preaches shame over sin (making you feel guilty) as God's primary discipline.

The gospel proclaims "your sins & lawless deeds God will remember no more"
The church preaches all of your sins & lawless deeds will be played on a big screen in heaven to embarrass you in front of everyone you've ever known.

The gospel proclaims the perfect sacrifice of Christ has cleansed & purified us forever so we no longer have to be conscious of sin (counts sins/label things as sin).
The church preaches you must be constantly conscious of sin by measuring your commitment (performance). You should also always be labeling others actions as sin & judging them for it out of fear you may be contaminated by them.

The gospel proclaims you have died to sin once & for all time.
The church preaches you are so alive to sin you must distrust every thought of your sinful heart & fear that anything perceivable as sin can ruin your witness & corrupt you as a person.

The gospel proclaims God no longer counts the world's sins against them.
The church preaches we have to convince the world to stop sinning against God because that is the only way He'll hold back destroying them in His anger.

The gospel proclaims God does not charge Christians with sins.
The church preaches the Holy Spirit's primary job is to charge Christians with sin.

The gospel proclaims Jesus came to put away sins by the sacrifice of Himself.
The church preaches Jesus came to forgive you of your sins over & over & over again. But He only forgives you if you feel really bad, list them to Him in prayer, & promise to never do them again.

The gospel proclaims the law of Moses is over so you don't have to worry about keeping or breaking laws anymore. God leads you by the Spirit not by pre-written rules.
The church preaches you are sinning virtually every moment of your life because you aren't constantly keeping the two greatest laws, which are to love God with all you are & love your neighbor as yourself.

The gospel proclaims Jesus freed His people from sin.
The church preaches the only way to be free from sin is to be perfect in action, in motive, in thought, in emotion, & in physical impulse 100% of the time for the rest of your life.

The gospel proclaims Jesus broke the power of sin, ending its ability to master us & control us.
The church preaches sin is more powerful than Jesus. It can instantly break your fellowship with Him to where He has to immediately abandon you. Every time you sin you are no longer right with God regardless of how much love, forgiveness, & shed blood Jesus has had for you. Some churches even say you can become "unreborn" when you sin, ripping you from your Father & putting you in immediate danger of eternal hell.

The gospel proclaims because Jesus raised again to life we, His people, are not in our sins.
The church preaches you can be in sin if you commit a particular sin too many times in a row without confessing or promising to stop (repenting) in between. How many times in a row? No one is sure so just consider yourself in sin if you've done any singular thing you would calls sin & haven't apologized to God & promised to never do it again.

The gospel proclaims in Jesus there is no sin & you are in Jesus.
The church preaches you can be in sin & in Jesus at the same time.

The gospel proclaims trust (faith/belief) in Jesus makes us truly righteous forever.
The church preaches faith in Christ only makes you positionally righteous, meaning you aren't really righteous in any way God just puts an asterisk next to your name so he can remember to lie to Himself & pretend that you were righteous so He can let you into heaven. He'll only treat you as righteous after you get to heaven. The rest of the time He'll focus almost exclusively on your sin, guilt, & faults to correct you because you are only a valuable person when you are behaving perfectly.

The gospel proclaims God loved us even when we were dead in our transgressions and sins & saved us by His grace, made us alive together with Christ, raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus. He saved us & did all these things so that in the ages to come He can show us the surpassing riches of His loving, favor, & grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.
The church preaches God loved us even when we were dead in our transgressions and sins & saved us by His grace but now that we've been saved even the smallest conceivable sin will make Him stop treating us with kindness & love & start abusing (called chastising/disciplining) us for our own good to make us "like Him." "Like Him" except we aren't allowed to guilt-trip people, be unforgiving towards them, abandon our own children when they do any single thing wrong, record everything someone has done against us so we can show them the list on their death bed, or focus almost exclusively on the sin & failures of someone else so we can chew them out about them.

I hope it is obvious to you that what the gospel proclaims is indeed good news & what the church preaches is bad news.

[If you have a problem with me using the word "church" in a negative sense see this post.]

Friday, February 22, 2013

Life From Self Not Death to Self

The reason I have a problem with the "death to self" concept is because that is not how scripture speaks. It never talks about a process of "death to self," it doesn't refer to "self" as a bad thing, it doesn't equate "death" with "denial of fleshly desires." To call not choosing something I otherwise desire "self death" is going overboard regardless of how hard it is. I'm not saying this to mince words either. I genuinely think we make struggles much greater by attaching such horrid terminology to them.

Scripture says "walk by the spirit & you won't fulfill the lust of the flesh." It doesn't say "fight the flesh." In fact scripture says we aren't to "wrestle against flesh & blood." Fighting the flesh & trying to die to the flesh is walking with your mind set on the flesh rather than walking with your mind set on the spirit. The spirit will guide us to control & take care of the flesh. The mind is part of the flesh. We renew the mind & renew the flesh & use it to walk by the spirit. The flesh is separate from our identity because of Christ but it is not separate from our experience. If we abuse ourselves with a "death to self" mindset we'll end up worn out & bitter.

Scripture speaks for "self-control." It goes so far as to say that a fruit of the spirit is "self-control." Now tell me, if self is a bad thing, such a bad thing that it needs to DIE, such a bad thing that it needs to die DAILY (as if it has some evil resurrection power), why would the Spirit tell you to use SELF-control? Why would something so wicked that it has to be killed over & over like Jason be what you would want to control you?

The truth is your new creation in Christ Jesus is your ONLY self. It is your spirit created in the likeness of God that shares in His divine nature & is united as One with His Spirit. When you identify your "self" as your flesh (& if you think you should "die to self" you have to be, if not you are saying you want to kill God because your spirit is one with His) you are actually walking by (setting your mind on) the flesh & empowering it. You are "putting on the old man" (putting him on your mind).

Romans 8:6 says, "The mind set on the flesh is DEATH." Take that literally. If you are thinking "I need to die to self," "I must crucify myself," "Christians should die daily," & the like OBVIOUSLY your mind is thinking about DEATH thus your mind is set on the flesh. Romans 8:6 then says, "the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace." So if your mind is thinking about life, like the abundant life Christ gave you, & peace (murder is not peaceful) your mind is set on the spirit.

Yes we kill (stop) the deeds of the flesh but Romans 8:11 says, "God will give life to your mortal flesh through His Spirit, who lives in you." "Death to self" is the opposite of what the Spirit directs you to do. The Spirit wants you to have self (spirit) control that means "LIFE FROM SELF!"

For all related posts see our page Life from Self

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Die to the Lie of "I Must Die to Self"

Colossians 3:5 says to "Consider the members of your earthly body as dead to immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and greed." Why consider it? Because it is already true. You don't have to kill it. Just like we are already dead to sin & dead to the law we are already dead to the lusts of the flesh. Galatians 5:24 says, "Those who belong to Christ Jesus HAVE crucifiED the flesh with its passions and desires." It is already done, now we only need to consider it to be true.

This is death to self. What father wants his child to do this?
This is supposed to be a good thing.
We take "dying to self" as an expression of "denial of desires" but scripture doesn't use that expression or speak that way about how we are to live. I think using the concept of "dying to self" actually makes it harder to deny those desires because it associates it with something terrible & difficult (death). Think of other places in our lives we use death language like that, "my back is killing me," "I was scared to death," "I'm sick to death of this," "it's do or die," "old habits die hard," & so on.

The Christian life is sold as something where you "die daily." (Paul used "I die daily" as an expression regarding the persecution & peril that was constantly in his life. He said nothing of sin or desires in that context nor did he command anyone to "die"). A life where you make yourself "die daily" sounds like the most miserable life there is. That doesn't sound like abundant life at all. "Dying to self" sounds like the hardest thing in the world & most Christians will tell you that it is. Those poor souls. If they only realized that the death of our old self was pain free & barely ever in focus because our new self was given to us straight away when we first trusted Jesus.

Titus 2 says it is the grace of God, God's love for us, that trains us to reject worldly desires & to have self-control. Why does that work? Because His gracious love has changed us. His love helps us accept the fact that He has already changed us, to consider ourselves as already changed. Scripture never speaks of the exchange of the old man with the new as an ongoing process. In fact it says in 2 Corinthians 5:17, "The old HAS GONE. The new HAS COME."

Ephesians 6:12 says our struggle isn't against flesh. If you struggle to try to "kill" the flesh it is because you are not walking by the Spirit. If you think you must "die to self," you don't fully know who you are because your self is no longer your flesh. You couldn't possibly want to kill your true self, your perfected spirit that is one with God, so you must be referring to your "self" as your flesh. If you identify yourself by the flesh you are not walking by the Spirit because you have "set your mind on the flesh." You are saying, "I am flesh. I am in the flesh." Romans 8:9 says, "you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you." Its not talking about your consciousness, obviously we see & think and move inside of our fleshly bodies. It is talking about your identity. Your identity is not in the flesh.

Satan is the one who seeks to kill. God is the one who seeks to give life. If the way you label your Christian walk is with "daily dying" instead of with "abundant living" you've got a huge problem. What needs to die is the lie. The lie that Jesus didn't do every thing He could possibly do to separate who you are from sin, the law, & the flesh. The one thing He couldn't do for you is make you believe. You have to believe it is finished for you. You have to consider it to be true to experience the wonderful reality of what it means to be a new creation in Christ.

Related Posts
What it meant to "Take Up Your Cross Daily"
All other related posts

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

I Must Decrease † Let Him Increase You

In John 3:30 "He must increase, but I must decrease" was said by John the Baptist, Jesus' famous predecessor. What John said wasn't some daily mindset all Christians are to have. It was said by a specific man at a specific time. The predecessor had to decrease because his entire purpose was to point to Christ who was just coming onto the scene. John was saying, "I must decrease in popularity so people will follow the right man & not be distracted from Him by me."

Jesus was a physical man that people could see & follow around. Fast forward to today. We are now Christ's body, His visible & physical representation in the earth. Jesus has finished His work & ascended. Jesus has already increased & He wants us to recognize that so we may increase in Him. His love & the sharing of His divine glory cause us to increase in Him. Being loved & knowing we are loved in that way by Him is what increases the opinion & awareness of Jesus in the world. It isn't a legalistic obligation to witness or praise that does that. If we aren't praising Him for His goodness to us what are we praising Him for? If we aren't witnesses of His love what are we witnesses of? Love builds up (1 Corinthians 8:1). Love does not tear down. God is love, God builds us up.

The only people that should "decrease" today are those who "draw a following to themselves" & those who "distort the truth" (Acts 20:30). God does not want any of the rest of us to "decrease" ourselves at all. So many of us "decrease" ourselves with false humility, the refusal to value ourselves, the refusal to see ourselves as anything but "unworthy."  God has increased our value & worth beyond our imaginations.

To "walk in a manner worthy of our calling" as spoken of many times in the New Testament isn't to strive to keep commands or stay away from sin. It is to "walk in a manner of worth" where you recognize the worth of yourself & others through God's eyes. Doing so will result in love & good deeds. But if you try to make yourself worthy of your calling by attempting to love & do good deeds you are spinning your wheels because God values whos more than dos. It is people that He treasures, not what people can do for Him. Of course He enjoys it when His children join in & work with Him. But our calling is to be reborn into the family of God. We are called to be sons & daughters. To say, "I want to know my daddy."

"May you let the Lord Jesus cause you to increase and abound in love for one another, and for all people, so that in this lifetime you may see with your hearts that He has made you blameless & holy in the sight of God our Father." (1 Thessalonians 3:12-13)

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

"Hyper-Grace" is True!

Grace is God's favor for His children, it is His opinion of us, it is God's love for us. To use the term "hyper-grace" in a derogatory way is very very sad. God's love passes all knowledge (Ephesians 3:19). The Father loves us as much as He loves His Son Jesus & Jesus loves us as much as the Father loves Him (John 17:23,15:9).

This post is a response to Michael Brown's Confronting the Error of Hyper-Grace. Italics are from Mr. Brown's original post & my response follows them.

One of the foundational doctrines of the hyper-grace message is that God does not see the sins of his children, since we have already been made righteous by the blood of Jesus and since all of our sins, past, present and future, have already been forgiven.
Hebrews 10:17 says when you enter the New Covenant God promises to "never remember your sins & lawless deeds." Romans 8:9 says, "We are not in the flesh but in the Spirit because the Spirit of God lives in us." 1 John 3:9, 5:18 say a Christian's spirit cannot sin. 2 Corinthians 5:16 says God "no longer identifies anyone according to the flesh." Romans 4:8 says, "The Lord does not take sin into account." 2 Corinthians 5:19 says, "God does not credit people with sin." It isn't a matter of if God sees my sins. I no longer have sins, I am solely identified by God as a perfect spirit though that spirit does live in this temporary "tent" of flesh. God is not blind to how the deeds of my flesh affect myself & others but He does not need to charge me or even my flesh with sin for our relationship to work, the above scriptures make that very clear.

That means that the Holy Spirit never convicts believers of sin
That is true. There isn't a single scripture that says He does. The only time conviction & the Holy Spirit are mentioned with the believer is when the Spirit convicts (convinces) them of their righteousness.

that believers never need to confess their sins to God
This is true. There isn't a scripture that says they should. People assume 1 John 1:9 was not only written for Christians but also that it is somehow a mandatory daily practice of the Christian life though we see nothing in the text suggesting that it is something that needs to be repeated nor are there any other scriptures even seemingly telling Christians to confess their sins to God. See this page for over a dozen posts looking at 1 John 1:9.

and that believers never need to repent of their sins
Never do we see the phrase "repent of sin" in the New Testament. Unless you incorrectly assume that the Greek word behind repent has the concept of sin in its definition, which it doesn't, there is no reason to think repentance (changing your mind) regards sin at all.

God sees them as perfect in his sight.
He sure does.
"The sacrifice of Christ makes those who draw near to God perfect" (Hebrews 10:1).
"By one offering Jesus has perfected forever those who are made holy" (Hebrews 10:14).
"The spirits of righteous men have been made perfect" (Hebrews 12:22-23).

One hyper-grace teacher wrote this: “When God looks at me, He doesn’t see me through the blood of Christ, He sees me—cleansed! Likewise, He sees us as holy and righteous. He sees us, and He loves what He sees!” Really? Always? 24-7? God always loves what he sees when he looks at his people? Yes, he loves us, but does he always love what he sees?
If you can't separate your flesh's actions from your identity you are under the law & don't know what it means to be born again. This question, "does God always love what He sees" is down-right silly. If your child does something wrong & you look at him or her after it do you love who you see? Of course! Because you love your child. The VERY REASON you seek to help them live their life better is because you love them. The author is just over-doing it to make an argument. God sees us & always loves us when He sees us. Whether He loves our behavior or not does not change how He sees us. So yes He always loves WHO He sees because He sees us as who we truly are, His dearly loved children.

Did Paul, writing on behalf of the Lord, love what he saw when he warned the Galatians that they had fallen from grace and become trapped in legalism?
No but God didn't love IT because IT hurt THEM. Love is not self-seeking, God is love. God didn't love IT because He loved THEM. You are tying behavior to identity again, almost saying, "If God doesn't like what you do that changes how much He likes you." That is a graceless idea. If He "didn't like WHO He saw" when He looked at His children He wouldn't care about them destroying themselves by forgetting about His love & putting themselves under the law. I don't think God likes what you've written Mr. Brown but that is because He loves you & wants to help you. What you believe or do doesn't change how much God loves you.

Did James, also writing as a servant of the Lord, love what he saw when he rebuked his readers for being “friends of the world” and “adulterers and adulteresses”?  And if he doesn’t see our sins, why did the Lord discipline believers in Corinth because of their sins (see 1 Cor. 11:27-32)? (And pay careful attention to 1 Corinthians 11:32, “When we are judged by the Lord, we are being disciplined so that we will not be condemned with the world.”)
Why assume all of these people are Christians? The article's #1 flawed assumption: "Christians are the only ones written to in the scriptures." James outright says that his letter is written to the "12 tribes" & Paul twice calls for the Corinthians to "examine themselves to see if they are of the faith," & one of those times is in 1 Cor. 11. Looking at the assemblies addressed in Revelation, if we drop the assumption that they are Christians, we can easily see that it is most likely they are non-Christians. Same thing with the friends of the world in James. See this post for more as to why this portion of 1 Cor 11 is not aimed at Christians.

And if the Lord doesn’t see our sins, why did James write that if a believer who was sick had also sinned, God would forgive him when he healed him (see James 5:14-15)?
Follow this up with James 5:16 & you'll see. It is talking about relational forgiveness among the brothers. If they apologize to one another there will be forgiveness among them.

If Jesus doesn’t see our sins, why did he say to the church in Ephesus, “Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken your first love” (Rev. 2:4, NIV)?
This is a generalization of the assembly historically. Like how the Old Testament spoke of a generation that had "not served God like their fathers had." Some of the people here were saved & some weren't. Walk into ANY church today & there is a 99.999999% chance not everyone there is saved. Why oh why do we assume that every assembly in the New Testament that a letter was addressed to consisted of 100% Christians? Even Jesus spoke about there being sheep & goats, wheats & tares. If this verse were to Christians it would simply mean that they had forgotten their first love, meaning they forgot that Christianity is to live knowing God FIRST LOVED us. The word "against" in the verse doesn't mean "I'm mad & charging you with sin." This word could be translated dozens of ways. It could even mean something like, "I have this leaning against you, causing you a great burden, that you have forgotten that I am the one who loved you first."

And why did he says this to the church in Sardis? “I know your deeds; you have a reputation of being alive, but you are dead. Wake up! Strengthen what remains and is about to die, for I have not found your deeds complete in the sight of my God. Remember, therefore, what you have received and heard; obey it, and repent. But if you do not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what time I will come to you.” (Rev. 3:1-3)
The only deed/work required before God is to trust in Jesus. Jesus said it Himself in John 6:28-29, "The only work God wants from you is to trust in Jesus Christ whom the Father has sent." If you don't trust Jesus you are not saved. Also, no Christian is EVER dead. God gives ETERNAL life. Scripture wide the word repent is used almost exclusively as an invitation to salvation, to change your mind to trust in Jesus. Likewise people are told to "obey" the gospel which is to be saved. The "deeds" being "incomplete" meant many of the people there were not saved, they did not know God.

If the Lord always “sees us as holy and righteous” and always “loves what He sees,” why did he rebuke the believers in Laodicea, telling them that they were “wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked” (Rev. 3:17)? Why didn’t he say, “I see you as beautifully clothed, healthy, and rich?" If he was so happy with what he saw in Laodicea, why did he threaten to spit the congregation out of his mouth (see Rev. 3:16)?
Why? Because they weren't believers. The doctrine/assumption of "because the word 'church' appears it must exclusively be talking to Christians" causes you to throw out the rest of what the New Testament says about Christians & how God sees them. It says the Laodiceans don't have the "white garments" of righteousness. Jesus is even pictured as outside of the assembly knocking, wanting to get in. If you are a Christian Jesus is already in! I mean people even use the "stand at the door & knock" thing in evangelism yet we interpret this as being written only to Christians? Also note that these messages to the assemblies talks about the person who "overcomes" being the ones that are saved & share in Christ's riches. Elsewhere in scripture "overcoming" is a synonym for "having faith." If you are saved you have already overcome.

And if believers never need to repent of their sins, why did Jesus say, “Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest, and repent” (Rev. 3:19)? And how interesting it is that the same Greek word used in John 16:8—where Jesus says that the Holy Spirit will convict the world of its sins—is the word used by the Lord in Revelation 3:19 (translated there as “rebuke”; and note Rev. 3:22: this is the Spirit speaking!).
Again it does not say "be earnest & repent of your sins." And again it is most likely not aimed at Christians, even if it were it would just mean "change your minds." This Greek word for "convict" & "rebuke" simply means "to convince of the truth." It does not picture a charging of guilt, like the English word convict does. God teaches His children the truth, He leads them out of falsehood, He corrects their false beliefs.

It is because God loves us that he rebukes us (not condemns us)
Condemn & convict in English are direct synonyms. You have to create a lie in your mind that tells you, "when (I think) God convicts me & makes me feel guilty I am not being condemned." Condemn & convict mean virtually the same thing.

it is because sin is so destructive that he calls us to turn from it.

It is because sin is so destructive that by His death on the cross He made it powerless against us. Only when we put the knife in sin's hand by believing that it can destroy us will we be destroyed by it.

This is the goodness of God, and this is what grace does, as Paul wrote in Titus 2:11-12, “For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men. It teaches us to say ‘No’ to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age.”
Taken by itself this is totally true but the whole paradigm of, God has to charge you with sin or slap the label of sin on you or "convict" you of sin does not belong anywhere near this scripture from Titus or anywhere near grace itself because it is not true. Grace, which is literally God's loving opinion of us(!), teaches us to walk away from these bad things, not because He shames us for not doing it fast enough but because His grace is His unconditional love. That means He loves us apart from our actions, LIKE A TRUE FATHER WOULD! That perfect love, that does not have to focus on our faults to help us grow, is what accomplishes what Titus 2:11-12 says. Nothing else works in the long run, it may seem to work for a while but "turning from sin" a billion times will never produce the results that a one time "changing of your mind" about how God views you & how He has TAKEN OUR SINS AWAY will.

How tragic it is today when God’s people mistake the voice of His correcting love for the condemning voice of Satan
Satan is the accuser. An accuser is by definition, "someone who charges another with a shortcoming, error, or wrongdoing; someone who ascribes guilt or blame." Charging someone with sin condemns them. There is no condemnation in Christ Jesus & there are no sins laying on a Christian because Jesus has taken them all off. God can love & correct someone to help them out of harmful behaviors without having to lay guilt on them, that is in fact the only way God does it.

and how sad it is when they resist the purifying work of the Spirit, claiming that there’s nothing to purify since God no longer sees their sins.
What did Jesus say the Spirit would do? He said it would testify of Him. But Mr. Brown's view of God's purifying work, is apparently far more about a self-centered focus on sin & the flesh than it is about Jesus & how He loves us apart from our flesh's faults. His idea is a walk by the flesh & shame labeled as a walk by the Spirit. But the real way the Holy Spirit purifies our minds, beliefs, & bodies is by testifying of Christ, His love for us, & His finished work on our behalf.

Has He justified us by the blood of Jesus? Absolutely. Has He has set apart as holy to Himself? Without a doubt. Has He called us to be His sons and daughters, all by His love and grace? Yes He has. And it is because of these things that Paul wrote, “Since we have these promises, dear friends, let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God” (2 Cor. 7:1).
1 Cor 6 speaks of "now being the time to be saved" & Paul saying why He is trustworthy. He then tells what God promises for those who trust Him. 2 Cor. 7:1 refers back to several verses before regarding being yoked with unbelievers. Paul twice encouraged the Corinthians to "Examine yourselves to see whether or not you are in the faith" (1 Corinthians 11:28 & 2 Corinthians 13:5). The rest of Paul's writings make it clear that Christians are already pure & holy in Spirit. So here Paul is inviting the unbelievers into the promises of God, in 2 Corinthians 6:1 he urges those who haven't to "receive the grace of God" & those who have to live in that grace. A Christian's spirit can never be contaminated, it is as 1 Corinthians 6:17 says, "one spirit with God." If it could be contaminated then God Himself could be contaminated thus this must be, as the context supports, an invitation for people to be saved, to purify their spirits once & for all.

What a beautiful, lofty calling. Don’t let anyone steal it from you.
It is a calling to be saved & purified by God, not by your own self-effort. That is beautiful & too lofty for us to accomplish. God finishes His work in you. But if you follow Mr. Brown's idea of the calling, that Christians are bound to perform after salvation, & you don't let someone "steal that concept from you," you are stuck in bondage & blinding yourself to God's true love by your constant & self-centered sin management.

Fruit Inspection
Now for my experience. How were the fruits of the Spirit coming out of my life living under the way Mr. Brown claims things should be vs. living under the way I believe things should be?

When I believed God charged me with sin, identified me with my sin, that I had to confess my sins to him, & that I had to try to turn from my sins..
the love I felt from God & for God was totally based on how much I thought I had sinned, joy was seldom, peace was fleeting, I was miserable & filled with shame, & I had very little faithfulness & almost no self-control.

Now that I no longer believe God charges me with sin thus I have no need to have a sin counter in my head..
The love I feel from God & the love I have for God is indescribably more abundant than ever before, joy floods my heart at any moment I turn my thoughts to God, my peace is unshakable concerning my spiritual life & 99% of the rest of my life, I never "run from God," I never feel guilt or shame or condemnation, I have self-control because I now know my self is my spirit thus I walk by the spirit.

If you have some sort of complaint claiming I'm letting my experience interpret scripture
1. I've showed you what the scripture says above without relating it to my experience.
2. Show me a scripture that says not to do that. Show me one scripture that says, "Don't let your experience change how you interpret the scriptures." If you try to use the "heart is deceitfully wicked" one, yeah that pre-cross scripture, visit the New Testament for more on that because our hearts are where the Holy Spirit dwells & it is also where God pours out His love (see 2 Corinthians 4:6, Acts 15:9, Philippians 4:6, & Romans 5:5).

Since Jesus truly is the Prince of Peace it should be impossible for me to have more peace "living a lie" than living according to the truth. So based on the scriptures & based on experience, both of living the way Mr. Brown suggests Christians should live & living how I now think Christians should live, I conclude that "hyper-grace" is 100% true.
Hyper-Grace is Hyper-Love & It is Awesome

Mr. Brown directly countered some of my post above in his book Hyper-Grace: Exposing the Dangers of the Modern Grace Message. Here is my response with necessary clarifications.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Screw You "Sin breaks fellowship with God" Doctrine!!

Wow you know a doctrine is bad when even the old covenant sounds better than what it teaches. Here's to you, you lousy "sin breaks fellowship with God" doctrine.

Our God, the great, the mighty, and the awesome God, You are a gracious and compassionate God who keeps loving kindness and in Your great compassion does not forsake. (Nehemiah 9:31-32)
You, O Lord, will not withhold Your compassion from me; Your loving kindness and Your truth will continually preserve me. (Psalm 40:11)
If I should say, “My foot has slipped,” Your loving kindness, O Lord, will hold me up. (Psalm 94:18)

This last one is foretelling the covenant of Christ's blood, the one you live under. This is a hearty taste of how good you have it with God.
"With everlasting loving kindness I will have compassion on you” says the Lord your Redeemer. "I have sworn that I will not be angry with you nor will I reject you. For the mountains may be removed and the hills may shake, But My loving kindness will not be removed from you, And My covenant of peace will not be shaken,” says the Lord who has compassion on you. (Isaiah 54:8-10)

Think sin does break your fellowship with God? Then read my post Inseparable & Unforsakable, Fellowship Never Broken

Thursday, February 14, 2013

As high as the heavens..

I've heard countless people quote this verse,
"For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so my ways are higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts." (Isaiah 55:9)

But I've never heard anyone quote this one,
"For as high as the heavens are above the earth, So great is His loving kindness toward those who worship Him." (Psalm 103:11)

So WHY are His ways higher than our ways & WHY are His thoughts higher than our thoughts? Because He loves us more than we could ever know or imagine! His ways & thoughts are sitting up there with His love for us. He is THINKING about WAYS to LOVE us.

"Our Father will show the super abounding riches of His love & kindness to us in the ages to come." (Ephesians 2)

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Handling Discipline As God Desires

Many Christians take the passage from Hebrews 12 about discipline & make harsh unpleasantness out to be the main or only way God teaches His children. It is true that it does say "the different types of discipline seem sorrowful in the moment instead of joyous." But Lamentations 3:33 says, "God does not make people suffer nor cause them sorrow willingly from His heart." So if discipline seems sorrowful to us it is because of how we handle it not because of how God intends it to feel.

Discipline is elsewhere translated as "nurture" & it has the meaning of "the whole training and education of a child." It does not mean punishment or harsh treatment. 1 Corinthians 13:6 says "love rejoices with the truth." If God corrects you by telling you the truth & you don't rejoice it just might mean that you don't love yourself. But it more likely & may also mean that you don't understand enough about how much God loves you.

If you take discipline, in regards to the portion where God is trying to correct your false beliefs with the truth or God is trying to walk you out of destructive behaviors, as God not thinking you're good enough so He is constantly trying to fix your worthless tail you will take that discipline with sorrow. But "God does not willingly cause people sorrow." Sometimes He knows it is an inevitable part of the process but His heart does not want it to be that way. He values you beyond your imagination. You are perfect in His sight but He wants to help you control & improve your flesh so that you can enjoy life & share His love.

So Hebrews 12:6 talks about how we might experientially receive God's discipline not how God desires for us to receive it. And I'm not at all talking about a "suck it up because you're supposed to take it like a man" type of thing.

The Lord said to me, "My love is all you need. My power brings an end to weakness." I will gladly rejoice about my weaknesses so that the power of Christ may move in & take control of my weaknesses. (2 Corinthians 12:9)
Instead of feeling sorrow because of the weaknesses of our flesh God wants us to rejoice knowing He will help us with all that we need. He does not intend for His discipline to cause us sorrow but He tells us in Hebrews that even if it does we should not let how we feel determine how we view our relationship with Him because we in fact are His "sons & daughters in whom He delights in, in whom  He is pleased with."  Hebrews 12 was to encourage us that we are His children who He loves & nurtures so we wouldn't take His discipline as something that is sorrowful or irritating. It wasn't, as so many have taken it, meant to say, "God's gonna whoop you so get used to it! God beats all His kids. When He takes that belt to your backside that lets you know that you belong to Him." That is garbage! Here are tons of scriptures that show you why that view is the opposite of how God treats us. You will see that growing our understanding of His unconditional love for us (His grace) is the primary way God helps us & changes our behavior.
  • God's love for us trains us to reject godless ways & worldly desires and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives. His love for us makes us eager to do what is good. He gave Himself for us to restore us from every lawless deed, and to purify for Himself a people who belong to Him as His very own dearly loved children. (Titus 2:11-12,14)
  • God's kindness leads you to change your mind for the better. (Romans 2:4)
  • Let us confidently draw near to the throne of God's gracious love for us so that we may receive kindness and find His love for us which helps us in our time of need. (Hebrews 4:16)
  • God is able to make all of His love superabound to you. His love gives you everything you need & is more than enough for you to do every kind of good work. He simply makes you rich in everything and produces countless reasons for thanksgiving. (from 2 Corinthians 9:8-15)
  • See to it that no one comes short in their understanding of how much God loves them. No root of bitterness will spring up & cause trouble if we understand His love for us. No immoral or godless person can stand the pure love of God without being sucked into it & freed or angrily walking away from it. (Hebrews 12:15-16)
  • Allow the Lord Jesus Christ Himself and God our Father to comfort and strengthen your hearts in every good work and word because He has loved us and given us eternal comfort & good hope by His gracious love for us. (2 Thessalonians 2:16)
  • It is good for your heart to be strengthened by God's love for you. The love of Jesus Christ for you is the same yesterday and today and forever. He Himself has said, “I will never desert you, nor will I ever forsake you,” so that we could confidently say, “The Lord is my helper, I will not be afraid. What will man do to me?” The more you recognize God's love for you the less you will be carried away by various teachings. (Hebrews 13:5-6,8-9)
  • Keep on growing in your knowing that God loves you. Learn of Him from Him & you will not be carried away by the error of those who seek the flesh, instead your mind will stand firm in the knowledge & love of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ (2 Peter 3:18)
  • Jesus said, "I will treat you with gentleness & humility. I will walk with you, work with you, & teach you. I want to give you rest, wisdom, enjoyment, & ease." (Matthew 11:28-30)
As we grow in the understanding of how much God values us & loves us as His children we will be able to see the difference between our feelings of shame & His voice. Our shame-filled & insecure self-centered pride will be displaced by God's proudness of us. God has a proud opinion of us. We don't need our pride, we need His pride. He loves us more than we could ever love ourselves & He has all wisdom to love us perfectly without harming us.

Listen to what I am about to say because it is reliable. "When the kindness of God our Savior and His love for mankind appeared, He saved us, not on the basis of good deeds we have done, but according to His compassion. We have been made whole by the Holy Spirit's washing which restored us to who we were uniquely meant to be and changed us into children of God. He richly poured out His Spirit upon us through Jesus Christ our Savior and we have been made righteous by His love for us. We are now heirs with Christ to everything God has as we are holding onto the expectancy of continuing our eternal life with Him." When people who come to trust in God understand this they will seek to do good with eagerness & wisdom. (Titus 3:4-8)

Related Posts
The Discipline of the Lord, Our Loving Father Helping Us Grow
Grace is God's Love for You

Monday, February 11, 2013

Free & Fearless: The Truth Behind God, Humanity, & The Law

In Luke 1:67-79 The father of John the Baptist, Zacharias was filled with the Holy Spirit, and prophesied, saying... "The Lord God of Israel has granted us the freedom to serve Him without fear because He has saved us from the hand of our enemies."

This is huge. Here the Holy Spirit through Zacharias says God no longer requires us to fear Him. Many of us have suspected as such but may not have seen it so concise in the New Testament. But here is the reason we need not fear God, "He has saved us from the hand of our enemies (sin, death, Satan)." This says the only reason people had to fear God in the Old Covenant was because of the power the enemy had to harm them!

In Luke 17:4-7 (while still under the Old Covenant) Jesus cleared this up further. He said God values you deeply so do not be afraid of Him but instead be afraid of "the one who kills" which Hebrews 2:14 makes clear is Satan who has the power of death. So the point of fearing God was to trust Him like one would trust a body guard. If you didn't fear God, meaning fear the consequence of refusing His instructions, you would face turmoil or death. That is why the old covenant was based on performance because sin & Satan were based on performance & without the law showing people the consequences or "curses" of their actions they would be lying down in the street not knowing that they would be run over.

When Moses says in Leviticus 18:5 "The man who obeys these laws will live by them" he literally meant "live by them" as in obedience would prevent Satan from killing them. Paul said in Galatians 3:24, "the law was our guardian until Christ came." The law could not give life but obedience to the law could prevent death & guard people. God did not want to curse or harm anyone. Lamentations 3:33 says, "God does not make people suffer nor cause them grief from His heart." Whether we like it or not God did have to put some consequences out there upon some of His people for the greater good of the whole of His people. But He didn't do this because of His "holiness" or "justness." He did this because He was protecting His people from Satan who holds the power of death.

This was NOT about God having a "holy standard" or requirement that people weren't meeting so He had to give the law to show them that they didn't measure up to His expectations. He brought the law to reveal sin because sin earned people death, sin produced death in people, sin crouched at people's doors waiting to devour them. God was ALWAYS a Savior. God has ALWAYS loved the world. God would have never given Adam & Eve the law. His only "law" to them was to "avoid the one thing that will kill you."

The law was not God's guidelines to righteousness. Romans 3:20 says flat out that "no human is made righteous by keeping the law" & "the law was given to make people conscious of sin." Why? Because "the wages of sin is death." Death is God's ultimate enemy because He loves mankind. He is life & the life giver. But there was a huge problem with the law. It was weak because obedience to the law was based on human effort. Sin took ahold of the law & produced more death. The only upside to this was that sin made itself even more evident as a problem that needed to be fixed.

Mankind was addicted to the drug of sin & destroying themselves with it. That is why God hated sin so much, it destroyed those He loved. As any parent would, God became angry with His children who were willingly destroying themselves & especially angry at those who were destroying others, the drug dealers who drug other kids into danger (something Jesus rebuked the Pharisees for doing).

Those God killed in the flesh & those who did not or were not able to trust in Him, God sent to what 1 Peter 3:18 calls "prison." A good father would let his drug dealing son go to prison or even turn him in to be imprisoned, particularly if it kept his other children from following the same path of addiction & drug pushing. That is a picture of God & the flood & every other place in scripture where God commands or threatens death for people.

"Jesus told the good news to those who were dead. He gave them the same choice that living men have, the choice to live like God in the spirit." (1 Peter 4:6)

Instead of sin being something where God deemed mankind unworthy of life because of their actions, God actually deemed mankind worthy of life despite their actions. He took some people's life away in the Old Testament & locked them up in "prison" so that they would one day take the chance to "live like God in the spirit" after Christ came off the cross.

So you see it was never about God being "too holy" to accept people or let them live. That is absurd. It was about God going to any lengths to save men from sin even if it was by taking their life here on earth, sending their spirits to prison, then giving the life of His Son to save them & set them free.

Hebrews 2:12-15, "Since God's children live in flesh & blood Jesus Himself became flesh & blood, that through death He might render powerless the one who holds the power of death, that is, the devil, and might free those who through fear of death were subject to slavery all their lives."

Even the most wicked people you could imagine, those you would help hunt down before you would forgive them, God gave the choice to be set free & know Him. The bible says humans were slaves to sin & slaves to the fear of death. Slaves are victims to those more powerful than themselves. Humans were victims of sin because of Satan, sin, & Adam's choice. Adam chose death. God didn't say, "Good you deserve it!" No, instead God said, "You chose death but I choose life. I will defeat death itself. I will save you & give you life again, life that lasts forever." Then God stepped into the world & bore the curses, consequences, & wages of sin.. He died so that we may live. He did not save us from Himself! He didn't kill His Son because He was unwilling to forgive us unless His anger was satiated & His wrath satisfied. He died saving us from our enemies & rose again to life to have triumph over them. Because of Jesus we are freed from all fear, fear of death, fear of sin, fear of Satan, & even fear of God. We are slaves no more! We are His sons, daughters, & friends.

Related Posts
Second Chances & Why God Killed
The Devil Has the Power of Death
To Fear or Not to Fear?
For all related posts see my Choose Life & Live! page

Saturday, February 9, 2013

On Offices in the Church

There is a word in the New Testament that means, "seeking to occupy an office." We all know the offices that churches have: pastor, elder, deacon, etc. Well do you know what that word translates to? It translates to "selfish-ambition."

Galatians 5:19-20 says that seeking to occupy an office is a "work of the flesh."
James 3:14-16 calls it fleshly, worldly, & DEMONIC to seek to occupy an office! It also says that the desire to occupy an office "does not come down from above!!" There you have it. The bible says God does not tell people to seek to occupy offices & in fact suggests that demons are the ones who tell people to.

For more see my post Obliterating Offices

Tuesday, February 5, 2013


Sometimes we get things backwards. When the bible tells us that love summarizes the law & makes similar statements, most of us think, "Ok now I only have two laws to obey, love God & love others." But that was not the purpose of those statements. The point is love can safely replace the law. You don't have to have a law mindset to love. Love is not "the new law" either, because law condemns you for breaking it. Love does not condemn at all. Law places a perpetual burden upon you. Love removes burdens & gives you rest. There is no fear in love. There is fear in law, fear of breaking, fear of not keeping.

In fact law gives you fear of having to maintain EVERY aspect of your life by your own performance. You have to maintain your self-worth, be in control of your relationship with God, & control your relationships with others. Law demands for you to strictly control every natural thing in your life whether you have the slightest ability to or not. Love offers freedom, freedom from questioning your self-worth, freedom from being in control of your relationship with God, freedom from assessing or manipulating your relationships with others.

The demand of the law was "fear!" The message of Jesus is "love!" Notice that it is the message of Jesus, not the demand. It is love given to you until it naturally flows out of you. Jesus never once told His disciples to "love God" & He only told them to "love one another" after He had walked with them for years so they could "love one another as He has loved them." Who goes out into their yard & starts demanding that their grass grow? No one. Growth is always a natural process & love grows love.

Love only requires two things to be received, awareness & acceptance. You have to be aware of the love someone has for you & you also have to be willing to accept that love into your life. In order to be saved we must simply be aware of the good news that God loves us & accept His love into our life by trust.

There are only two things you need to be able to give love, awareness & affection. You have to be aware of the value of another person to love them. If you are not you will judge them & possibly even attempt to get them to conform to the behaviors that you think will make them valuable. You also have to show affection. There are countless ways to show affection & the beauty of love is to explore those ways to the delight of everyone involved.

Love does not suck up resources. Love is the resource. Love does not demand from you, love gives to you. Love is what gives you the desire & strength to value a person & show them affection no matter the costs. ALL good things are built into love. You don't have to add to love. Love is perfect & complete in itself.

Love does not require commitment because it is natural for love to never leave. Love does not have to forgive (except verbally for others' piece of mind) because love never holds a thing against the person in the first place. If you have to add anything to love then your love is incomplete. If you are worried about your love being incomplete, don't be. God, who is Love itself, lives inside of you. You have an infinite resource of love. You need to let love produce the natural versions of the things you think love requires rather than obligate yourself to do those things by laws, rules, or commands you think you have to keep.

Now I will take the above statements & replace the word love with God & we shall see how He perfectly represents love.

God can safely replace the law. God does not condemn at all. God removes burdens & gives you rest. God offers freedom, freedom from questioning your self-worth, freedom from being in control of your relationship with Him, freedom from assessing or manipulating your relationships with others. The message of Jesus is "Abba, Father!" Growth is always a natural process & God grows love.

God only requires two things to be known, awareness & acceptance. You have to be aware of the love God has for you & you also have to be willing to accept His love into your life. In order to be saved we must simply be aware of the good news that God loves us & accept His love into our life by trust. There are countless ways to show affection & the beauty of God is to express those ways to the delight of everyone involved.

God does not suck up resources. God is the resource. God does not demand from you, God gives to you. God is who gives you the desire & strength to value a person & show them affection no matter the costs. ALL good things are built into God. You don't have to add to God or His finished work. God is perfect & complete in Himself & He wants to share that perfection with us.

God does not require your commitment, He is the one who is faithful to you & He does not want you to experience the shame of failure that comes with breaking promises. God never had to forgive you because He never held anything against you in the first place. He seeks to remove your burdens & give you life. You have an infinite resource in God. You need to let God produce His natural love in you rather than obligating yourself to perform acts of love according to law, rules, or commands you think you have to keep.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Even More Reasons why 1 John 1:9 is Not for Christians

1 John 1:9 says, "if we confess our sins.. God cleanses us of all unrighteousness." A Christian's spirit is righteous forever. It has already been "cleansed of all unrighteousness." It has no unrighteousness in it that needs to be cleansed. If it did God would have unrighteousness in Him because we are one Spirit with God. Therefore this can only be speaking to non-Christians who still have unrighteousness in their spirit.

But perhaps you'd say, "Well it is talking about Him cleansing our flesh of all unrighteousness." If that were the case all of our bad habits, lusts, & fleshly tendencies would be completely cleansed from our minds & bodies, instantly renewing our minds 100%. Pretty obvious that that isn't what happens.

Hebrews 10 tells us that a perfect sacrifice, which is what Jesus was, only has to cleanse you once. If confession of sin to be cleansed is repeatedly necessary that would mean Jesus was not a perfect sacrifice & we would need further sacrifices for our sins. If you are a Christian that thinks you must confess your sins to God this one is something to really think about.

Hebrews 10 also says that once you know you are cleansed you are no longer conscious of sins. Therefore the "confessing sins to be cleansed of all unrighteousness" can only be a one time event at salvation because that cleansing, according to Hebrews, is supposed to make you no longer quantify sins or identify things as sins thus leaving you with nothing possible to confess.

Related Posts
Why Christians Don't Need to Confess Sins

Real Talk: God is Just, Calling a sin a sin

People say "Yes God is love, but God is also just." I don't see how just is separate from love. Just & righteous are the same word in the Greek. Justice isn't arbitrary, it is based on worth & love. That is why no one demands justice if someone carelessly runs over an ant in their driveway but would if someone ran over their child instead. There is nothing in scripture that says you have to "balance God's attributes." His love is not separate from His justness, His holiness, or even His wrath. There is no such thing as "God is love but.." If you put a but after God is love you need to check to see if you really believe He is love.

The New Testament never once says God hates a human being & it never once says God hates sin. It also never tells us to "call a sin a sin." Jesus died for the world because He loves the world, He loves everybody. He took the sins of the world away by the sacrifice of Himself.

Going around & slapping the label of sin on people's actions is Satanic. Satan is the accuser. You are going around like Satan & being an accuser. An accuser is by definition, "someone who charges another with a shortcoming, error, or wrongdoing; someone who ascribes guilt or blame." Charging someone with sin condemns them. There is no condemnation in Christ Jesus & there are no sins laying on a Christian because Jesus has taken them all off. If you're going to be a friend then be a friend. You can love someone to help them out of harmful behaviors without having to lay guilt on them, that is the only way God does it Himself.

When God judges you as righteous forever Satan stands up & says "Objection!" then goes about listing things you've done wrong. God cannot be swayed about His judgment of you but you can believe His judgment was too merciful or "only positional," that He doesn't see you as righteous from His heart or treat you as righteous in your daily life.

Likewise when God says in 2 Corinthians 5:19, "I no longer count the world's sins against them," we stand up & say "Objection!" then go about listing the things we think of as sin that other people do. God doesn't receive accusations against those who He loves & He loves the whole world whether you believe it or not. When you don't believe God loves the world, when you believe He constantly wants to judge & destroy people because of their actions or beliefs, you don't even believe John 3:16. If you don't even believe John 3:16 then when you open your mouth using the words "God" or "sin" what you say isn't going to cause good things to happen.

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