Wednesday, December 24, 2014

I was quoted in a book

I was quoted as one of 23 identified "modern grace teachers" in Michael L. Brown's book Hyper-Grace: Exposing the Dangers of the Modern Grace Message released January 2014. I found out about this over Thanksgiving & yes I am very thankful for it. I still stand by the 3 quotes of mine that he quotes (originally from my post "Hyper-Grace" is True!, February 19, 2013). I feel like God allowed 3 short megaton bombs of truth in a book that speaks against the fullness of God's grace.

Here I am being addressed on page 229 (footnotes included).

I said, "God is not blind to how the deeds of my flesh affect myself & others." After quoting this he then claims my concept carries the idea of, "God, You know that wasn't really me. It was just my flesh!" So I would like to be clearer.

Scripture teaches SELF-control. If our selves were bad, wretched, evil, or even our flesh God would not have told us to have self-control. Our selves, as the scriptures I cited above teach, are our spirits. Ephesians 4:24 says that our new self/man/creation/spirit has been created in God’s image & is truly righteous and holy. SELF-control is SPIRIT-control. Our spirits take responsibility for our flesh's actions.

In my post, Our New Creation in Christ & sin from October 4, 2012 I wrote,
The love of the spirit, through renewed parts of the mind, takes responsibility for the unloving actions caused by the flesh & makes amends with the parties harmed.

Our spiritual identity in Christ isn't a false excuse to "get off the hook" for how we behave. It is our reborn identity perfectly loved by God that, given the opportunity, flows out only good things. It is our true self, our eternal self. It is not self-centered nor does it make excuses for the flesh's behavior. It is one spirit with God (1 Corinthians 6:17 & Ephesians 4:4). It is God living in us, & with us, & through us. I will accept nothing less than the identity I know I was born into by the Spirit of God. I am not a sinner. I am perfected forever. I am perfect as my Father in heaven is perfect. I am one with God because He wanted to love me & I let Him. The fact that nothing can separate you from His love means you are already in His love. Absolutely nothing ever stands between you & His love. Trust Him & let Him love you as He wants to love you.
I noticed that Mr. Brown said it was a "dangerous concept" to separate your actions from your identity. Which to me pictures God putting us "on the hook" when we misbehave. But that is not our Father. No good father is "dangerous" to his children. God is not looking to accuse us. Satan is the accuser, not our Father. If we feel like we even want to make excuses for something we've done we aren't understanding our Father & His love for us. Why would you want to pass the buck or make excuses or weasel out of something unless you fear punishment or abandonment or shame?

So I wasn't saying "here's my excuse to not take responsibility for how I treat myself & others." I'm really not sure why that is the conclusion that so many jump to. But I am also not on board with the idea of a Father we'd want to make excuses to being our true heavenly Father. If we have any trepidations regarding relating to God we are believing a lie about Him. Our true Father, in His perfect love, is never someone we'd want to avoid, His perfect love for us never inspires fear.

If you feel like it you can check out the book The Hyper-Grace Gospel: A Response to Michael Brown and Those Opposed to the Modern Grace Message by Paul Ellis.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Doctrine Trouble

Very few things people claim are true are explicitly stated in scripture in a single context.
"Look Jesus said this mysterious thing at the end of a parable & Paul briefly mentioned something that sorta sounded like it had something to do with what Jesus was talking about & bam! Now we have a doctrine that we can write 100s of books about & that we must hang our lives upon."

Even the idea of having doctrines is shady.
"Here is some prepackaged truth that makes you feel like you should get closer to God but in all practically prevents you from relating to Him because Jesus is The Truth means the truth is Jesus! You have no
use in knowing the Father. Just learn crap & try hard so you can feel better about yourself."

Jesus didn't hire scribes to write books for Him. Jesus wasn't coming to give us another religion of how to get to God. Jesus' message was essentially, "God our Father loves you. Trust me so you can experience His love from my Spirit." It was "Know God & his love for free!" It wasn't study & serve & strive to know God.

Friday, October 31, 2014

More Father than Lord

In the old testament God's personal name is replaced with the word "LORD." In the new testament the culture no longer said God's name but used the word "lord" in place of His name.

Jesus used the word Lord when quoting scripture or when quoting other people. But on His own if He ever referred to God as "lord" he would say His Father is the "lord of.." something. Jesus said in Matthew 11:5, “I praise You, Father, Lord of heaven and earth."

Some have claimed that the only time Jesus called His Father "God" was on the cross while He felt forsaken. That is only true of the direct prayers of Jesus to God, though He does call His Father "the only true God" in a prayer in John 17. However Jesus calls His Father "God" many times while speaking to others. But He does not call His Father "Lord" in this same way.

Jesus wasn't referring to God as "Lord" nor did He teach people to pray to Him as "Lord." "The Lord's Prayer" doesn't even have the word lord in it, there God is called "Our Father." Perhaps this is because scripture would refer to Jesus as Our Lord. Acts 2:36 says, "God has made Jesus Lord & Christ."

It is clear that Jesus wasn't out to paint God as a demanding authoritarian lord, master, ruler, sovereign, boss, commander, controller, etc. Jesus came to reveal God as Our Father. But not just as a father but as a better father than anyone on earth, one who freely gives His very own Spirit to live within us (Luke 11:13), & who loves us as much as possible (John 15:9 & 17:23).

In John 17:26 Jesus said the reason He came to earth, what His mission towards all mankind is, "To make My Father's character known so that the same love My Father has for Me may be shown to be the same love He has for all of you. I have come so My Father's love for you & My love for you may be in you, known by you, & experienced by you."

Monday, October 20, 2014

Why We Can't Earn It

A father can deem his children worthy of gifts either because of works they do or simply because he loves them. Does an infant "deserve" his or her parents' love? The parents think so!

Likewise everyone deserves to be saved because God loves the whole world & is not judging the world by sin or works or law. Jesus took away the sins of the world. The reason people cannot earn salvation is not because they fall short of keeping commands. The reason salvation cannot be earned is because God will not accept payment for it. It is a gift!

You can reject His gift but the gift has already been bought for you, waiting to be unwrapped. WE DO DESERVE GOD'S LOVE but we can never earn God's love because love doesn't demand payment. God doesn't need to be bribed to love, His love is already there.


Friday, October 17, 2014

Jesus Paid?

People always talk about Jesus "paying" for our sins but the words payment, pay, paid, & pays aren't used directly in scripture with any regard to Jesus, the cross, or salvation.

The language of "ransom" is found a few times in scripture. Ransom could regard buying someone from slavery. Romans 6:20 says, Before we trusted Jesus, "we were slaves of sin." Hosea 13:14 says, "Shall I ransom them from the power of the grave? Shall I redeem them from death?" The word redeem is sometimes translated as ransom & can also mean "buy back." Jesus "paid a ransom" to accomplish what was needed for our freedom. He bought us back from sin & death & the power of the grave.

There is no language in scripture regarding the Father demanding to be paid. God is love & love does not demand His own way. God rescued us from being reaped by sin & death. The Father did not demand we die unless He was paid. God does not desire to be paid a sacrifice (Psalm 40:6, 51:16). Jesus was not a sacrifice to a "holy god" because that god needed to be "appeased" to withhold "wrath." Jesus sacrificed Himself, He "laid down His life for His friends" like someone taking a bullet for you. He "condemned sin in His body on the cross" & "destroyed death and brought life & immortality to light through the gospel" (2 Timothy 1:10). And of course you don't pay a ransom to a loving father or a loving friend.

Bought with a Price
There are 2 verses that talk about us being "bought with a price."

"You were bought with a price; do not become slaves of men" (1Co 7:23). This uses language of Jesus buying us out of slavery.

"You are not your own. For you have been bought with a price" (1Co 6:20). Here it talks about us becoming one Spirit with God & how our bodies are "members of Christ." We are "not our own," not in the sense the God bought us to dominate us as our master, but because we are part of a greater whole, the body of Christ & the Holy Spirit of God.

By "price" I assume it means that Jesus suffered intensely to free us from sin & to defeat death to give us eternal life. But it could also be translated in both places as, "You have been bought with honor."

Bought from who? Most would say from the Father. That Jesus paid the price that the Father demanded for sin. And the only price good enough for the Father was the blood & death of His perfect Son. That paints the Father as the most despicable & the sickest father ever. Nowhere in scripture have I found the idea of God demanding "payment" for sin/disobedience. We were not bought from a father demanding payment as if none of this had to do with love. This wasn't about making an irritable God feel better & cool off. Again Hosea 13:14 says God buys us from the power of the grave.

The idea of appeasement holds that God saved us from Himself making him double minded. God didn't want to curse us, sin/law/Satan/shame wanted to curse us. I hold that God as love "doesn't take into account wrongs suffered" therefore the cross wasn't about God saving man from his own wrath/judgment/anger but from the powers of sin & death.

The Father did not demand we die unless He was paid. Love does not demand payment. God does not desire to be paid a sacrifice. In Psalm 40 & Hebrews 10 God said that He took no pleasure in sacrifices & offerings & in fact He did not desire them.

Jesus wasn't a substitution in the sense that God demanded a sacrifice or in the sense that God wanted to do to us what Jesus suffered.  But He did take our place in suffering under sin as sin desired we suffer.

Our idea of atonement is "making amends for wrong" but the Hebrew word atonement means "to cover" & we know that Christ took our sins away on the cross rather than just covering them.  Do a bible search and see that "atonement" is never related to Jesus in the New Testament.

In the old covenant there was a "sin offering." It wasn't an offering to God to appease Him. Instead it was an offering toward sin (the devil) to keep him from killing people because of sin. Satan had the power of death (Hebrews 2:12-15), the power to kill anyone he wanted to. Jews had to give sin offerings to protect themselves from Satan, not from God. God is always about life & saving lives.

Those sacrifices "covered" sin. Why did sin need to be covered? Because Satan demanded payment for sin, which is death. Covering sin threw Satan off the scent of people's sin (notice OT offerings had scents). In Psalm 40 & Hebrews 10 God said that He took no pleasure in sacrifices & offerings & in fact He did not desire them. That means they weren't for Him. Hebrews 10 says sacrifices could not clean people from sin & that it was impossible for them to "take away sins." If you can't get clean & you have a scent then you must cover up the scent. Satan is described as a lion seeking to devour. While it is easier for lions to hunt by sight & sound they can also hunt by smell. Thus someone who had sinned but was not openly sinning at the moment still "smelled" like sin. God wanted to take sin away so people could be clean & perfect. He eventually did so with Jesus' sacrifice.

Let Freedom Ring
Interestingly these words:
Redeem, forgive, ransom, redemption, save, free, deliverance
all have the potential meanings of:
Set free, save, deliver, rescue, release, liberate

Perhaps God was using a lot of synonyms for the same thing to get a strong point across but we've translated them by their dissimilar meanings.

Meanings of Words Translated from Hebrew Pictographs

Hebrew letters started as pictographs where each letter was a picture. From these pictographs we discover hidden messages & meanings of Hebrew words. Below are some words & those meanings.

Love:  "The Father breathes His family."
Life:  "Look, for the separation I give two bloody hands."
Knowledge:  "The man with arms raised is The Way. See Him on a cross."
Good:  "Surrounded by security & nailed together as one family."
Evil:  "The head twisted."
Die:  "blood, nail, cross" or "Blood secures covenant."
Man/Adam:  "Learn about The Door's blood."
Jesus (Yeshua):  "Look & know the two nailed hands."
Covet:  "Outside is unknown weakness."
Day:  "Hand, nail, blood"
Word/Speaking:  "The entrance inside a person's head."
Forgive (Lift Up):  "The Father picks off the sin that has grabbed you & yokes you with Himself."

Elohiym is the Hebrew word translated to God. Here are 3 translations of the Hebrew pictographs of that word.
"For power, protection, & security look at the bloody hand."
"The Father's yoke adds breath, His work is massive!"
"The Father yokes & ties together, behold His mighty work."

Wisdom AND Understanding

"The beginning of wisdom is this: Get wisdom. But get no wisdom without also getting understanding alongside it." (Proverbs 4:7)

We've sought knowledge without wisdom & wisdom without understanding. Understanding is not something you can get from a book. Understanding is  something you can only get from another person's heart. "Knowledge temporarily inflates, but what love builds lasts a lifetime."

To party is life. To perform is death.

Jesus is our savior, our liberator. "Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom" (2 Corinthians 3:17). Our victory doesn't come from trying to obtain or abstain it only comes from trusting in the victory Christ has already won, what He has already obtained for us. "The victory that overcomes the world is made evident through our faith, our trust in Christ's victory" (1 John 5:4).

To PERFORM (try to obtain the victory that Christ has already won) leads to death (living by the flesh & the letter). Instead we are to trust in Jesus, to believe in His finished work, in His victory. When we do that we are celebrating in His victory PARTY.

So to party is to trust in Jesus & rejoice in Jesus, which is walking by the Spirit. To perform is to walk by the flesh.

"The mind set on the flesh is DEATH, but the mind set on the Spirit is LIFE and peace" (Romans 8:6)

This page has my posts that speak more about this:  Jesus' Victory Party

The Real Reason We Can't Earn Righteousness

"If a law had been given that could impart life, then righteousness would certainly have come by the law." (Galatians 3:21)

The reason you can't earn righteousness has nothing to do with your failure to behave perfectly. The reason you can't earn righteousness is because God doesn't demand payment. He only seeks to give freely.

Good Does Not Need Evil

Love isn't the "lesser evil" that you only appreciate when you experience greater evil. Love & goodness can stand alone. Light does not need darkness.

Do I need to harm my child or expose her to evil things in order for her to appreciate my love & affection? Of course not. Love is good, & obviously good, regardless of if there is evil.

God The Holy Punisher?

We get it wrong right from the start saying, "God is holy so He must punish sin." Most take holy to mean good, moral, righteous.

Does a good man punish those who offend him?
Does a moral man have to kill someone to satisfy his anger (wrath) so he can be able to forgive others?
Does a righteous man get so offended at his children that he kills his oldest to diffuse his anger so he won't kill all of his kids?

The problem is God has been painted foremost as a judge, not as a Father. Jesus came to show us the FATHER!

The Depths of His Forgiveness

I heard someone say they were able to forgive people who abused them as a child because of Jesus' amazing forgiveness for us.

That sounds amazing until you think that "depth of forgiveness" implies depth of hurt. If Jesus' forgiveness is so amazing that pictures Him being as hurt by our sins as we would be by someone who abused us as a child.

That is a petty, sad, sick picture of Jesus. It claims that the littlest thing we would do to Him, who we cannot even see, hurts Him so deeply in His holiness that it is as if we'd raped Him repeatedly.

That just makes Him out to be a self-centered drama queen idiot, at best! Which of course the real Jesus is not.

2 Corinthians 5:19 says, "God no longer holds the world's sins against them." God is love & 1 Corinthians 13:5 says, "Love does not take into account wrongs suffered."

Learn more about the real biblical meaning of forgiveness from this post:  God NEVER Forgave You

Better than the Right Hand

"Whoever trusts in me HAS VICTORY OVER SIN & DEATH, he will not be hurt by the second death. I will grant to him to sit down WITH ME on My throne, as I also was victorious and sat down with My Father on His throne" (Revelation 2:11, 3:21).

Jesus doesn't have a "he sits at my right hand, he sits at my left hand, but the rest of you sit over there" mentality as some thought he would. We all get to sit on His throne WITH Him!!

Saturday, October 11, 2014

What is Grace? Is it merely enough or is it more?

People love quoting, "God's grace is sufficient." Sufficient means "enough; adequate." The Old Testament word that closest resembles grace is lovingkindness. God introduced himself to Moses by saying, "The Lord God is abounding in lovingkindness." Abounding means overflowing, so great it is more than we need. So yeah His grace is enough but it is at the same time far more than enough. It is "beyond all we could ask for or imagine."

So when I hear God's grace is "enough" or His grace is "sufficient" it makes me think "Life sure sucks & is brutally hard but God will help me barely squeeze by." In my mind, in today's word, to the common man, saying God's grace is "enough" or is "sufficient" doesn't picture the abundant life Jesus said we'd have.

So I don't care if it is a "quote from scripture." In today's language it makes grace sound like living paycheck to paycheck instead of basking in the abundant riches in Christ Jesus. For some of us that is the grace we've bought into, the kind that makes life barely tolerable, the kind that is at least better than what we believed in before, the kind that still leaves us feeling poor & broken. Grace is far more than "just getting by."

"Grace" comes off as some over spewed empty & vague religious word. It also comes off as some disconnected impersonal power of God. But grace.. what grace really is.. Grace is God's fatherhood. Grace is your Father's endless & perfect love for you.

Jesus never said the word grace. Jesus said in John 17:26 that His mission, the reason He came to earth was to "make My Father's character known so that people can have the same love My Father has for Me in them." Jesus came so that YOU could experience our Father's love to the same extent that He does.

Grace is your Father's love for you. There is nothing more & it is nothing less.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

The Bible Tells us What God says to Mankind on Judgment Day

Romans 14:10-12 says, "For we will all stand before the judgment seat of God. For it is written, “As I live, says the Lord, every knee will bow to me, and every tongue will give praise to God”

Where is that written? In Isaiah 45. Paul reveals that what God said in Isaiah 45 is in fact God's speech to mankind on judgment day. Here is God's speech in full.

“Thus says the Lord, who created the heavens, “I am the Lord, and there is none else. I have not spoken in secret, I, the Lord, speak righteousness, Declaring things that are upright. Gather yourselves and come; Draw near together, you fugitives of the nations. They have no knowledge, Who carry about their wooden idol and pray to a god who cannot save. Declare and set forth your case; Indeed, let them consult together. Who has announced this from of old? Who has long since declared it? Is it not I, the Lord? And there is no other God besides Me, A righteous God and a Savior; There is none except Me. Turn to Me and be saved, all the ends of the earth; For I am God, and there is no other. I have sworn by Myself, The word has gone forth from My mouth in righteousness and will not turn back, That to Me every knee will bow, every tongue will swear allegiance. They will say of Me, ‘Only in the Lord are righteousness and strength."

God gives "all the ends of the earth" one final chance to "turn to Him & be saved."

Read more about this in these posts
Eternal Torment, Annihilation, Ultimate Reconciliation? How about a little of each?
Second Chances & Why God Killed
Come! Choose Life & Live!

Monday, August 18, 2014

The New Testament Focuses more on Righteous Identity than Righteous Behavior

There are 33 Verses in the New Testament that tell us WE ARE RIGHTEOUS, that we have righteousness.
There are 13 verses in the New Testament that tell us to behave righteously. With five of those reminding us that we are already righteous.

"God gives us righteousness regardless of our works. We are blessed! The Lord will never charge us with sin!" (from Romans 4:6-8)

We pursue righteous deeds because our spirits produce the fruit of love. We do not do righteous things to become righteous or to "get right with God." We are already & irrevocably both! We are new creations. We are born of the Holy Spirit. As Hebrews 12:23 says, "We are the Spirits of righteous people made perfect!"

The New Testament Focuses more on Holy Identity than Holy Behavior

There are 13 Verses in the New Testament that tell us WE ARE HOLY.
There are 3 verses in the New Testament that tell us to behave holy. Two of those remind us that we are holy, telling us to act holy because we are already holy.

2 Timothy 1:9 says, "God called us with a HOLY calling that is NOT BASED ON OUR WORKS. God's Holy calling is based on HIS GRACE."

Holiness is not something to hunger or strive for, Holiness is a gift we already have! Our spirits are reborn holy by the Holy Spirit. You never need to thirst for living water. You have rivers of it flowing out of you!

The 13
(Romans 11:16, 1 Corinthians 3:17, 7:14, Ephesians 1:4, 2:21, 5:27, Colossians 1:22, 3:12, Hebrews 3:1, 1 Peter 2:9, Revelation 20:6, 1 Peter 1:15-16, Revelation 22:11)
The 3
(1 Peter 1:15-16, 2 Peter 3:11, Revelation 22:11)

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Does God need me?

"Does God need me?"

We have a bad habit of asking that question with only work in perspective, carrying the idea of "Does he need me to do his work? Does he need me to accomplish his purposes?" When we ask that question we are asking it as if we are employees asking if our employer needs us. But that is not our relationship with God.

Our relationship with God is Father - Child. The questions "Does my father need me? or "Do I need my child?" do not compute.

To ask if I am "needed" causes me to view myself as a "thing" to be "used" rather than a human being to be loved. It is the wrong type of question to ask as a child in a family.

When we ask "do I need.." It boils down to these 2 questions.
Could I survive/live without it?
Would I eventually be able to cope without it?

Some people who say, "I can't live without you" commit suicide when that person is gone. Others naturally die soon after, still others may die in poverty because that person met their physical needs.

But if you die to save someone does that mean you couldn't "live without them?" While that question can speak to our hearts it doesn't exactly make sense.

The word need often has to do with life but it can be a lifeless word when compared to love. Love is a much stronger word. Love is much stronger. Love transcends life & death.

"Does God need me? Can God live without me?"
Jesus died because He didn't want to live without you.
..Yet that doesn't answer our question because love is greater than our question.

While we view needs as essentials, as necessities, compared to love a need is weak. Love is abundant, it overflows. Love cannot be contained. Love is not the bare minimum. Love is the power that meets needs.

While "Do you need me?" seems like the most important question, "Do you love me?" is infinitely bigger & more important.

You are not a thing to be used. You are a dearly loved precious child in God's family. So if you really want Father to speak to your heart about this all don't ask, "Does God need me?" Instead ask yourself, "Is a child replaceable?" & let your heart answer.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Saviors & Super Heroes

A father had one son whom he loved. But every other child he hated because they couldn't live up to his standards, they couldn't meet his demands. He was always thinking to himself, "I want to hurt my sons & daughters so badly! I want to kill them! They owe me everything yet they cannot meet my expectations!" So one day he picked up a weapon & he went into the room where they were all gathered. He began yelling at them & swinging at them. The one son he loved jumped in front of his father screaming for all of his brothers & sisters to run. There his father beat him to death...

I ask you, was that father a good father?

So often God our Father is pictured almost the exact same way. That, "in his holiness," He was furious at us (hated us) for falling short of his standards/expectations/demands/law/glory. That he held us in debt to him because of our inadequacy compared to him & his beloved son. And the only thing that could stop his burning anger, his burning WRATH, was to slaughter one of his children. What kind of father sees himself as so superior to his children, so holy, so righteous, that he feels justified in killing them?

God our Father has been painted that way, as arrogant, judgmental, abusive, loveless, & murderous. Even worse is that is the "good news," the gospel, that has been told to the world. Not, "God so loved the world.." but "God was so holy He couldn't accept or love his own children.." "God was so anger & wrath filled that he demanded blood.."

Jesus did not take the suffering God wanted to pour on us. God never wanted to wrathfully make us suffer. Lamentations 3:33 says, "God does not make people suffer nor cause them sorrow willingly from His heart." Jesus took our place as a sacrifice AND a savior. Jesus was not a sacrifice in the sense of being something slaughtered to appease an angry God. Jesus was a sacrifice in the sense of a savior sacrificing himself to save someone else, taking the pain of what he saved us from.

He is our Savior & rest assured, REST ASSURED, that He did not save us from Himself, He did not save us from our Father. God did not save us from God.

The first time the word sin appears in scripture is not at the fall of man in the garden. God did not say, "I am so angry at you! You have sinned against me! Because you have disobeyed me you will surely die because I will kill you with my wrath!"

The first time the word sin appears in scripture is when God is warning Cain. God tells Cain, "Sin is waiting to attack you like a lion. Sin wants to destroy you. Sin wants to kill you."

It is sin that sought to kill us. God has always loved us. We never deserved death in His eyes. What kind of father thinks his children do not deserve to live? What kind of father thinks his child is UNWORTHY OF LIFE?

Jesus is our Savior AND so is our Father. They save us from sin & death & all of its powers. Jesus laid down His life willingly to remove the dark power of sin & shame over our hearts & minds so we can experience God's love for us first hand without barriers! Jesus allowed Himself to be devoured by sin. He went into the belly of the beast to destroy sin from the inside out. He burst out of its belly & burst out of the grave to defeat death!

While the cross was humble & passive when looking only at the physical realm, the cross was utterly heroic when looking at the spiritual realm.
Jesus is nothing but the hero. Our Father is nothing but the hero. They are our Saviors, our Super Heroes, OUR FAMILY.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Your Father's Grace

Grace is your Father's love for you. His never ending love & kindness towards you.

To think that grace only applies to sin leaves us sin conscious & believing that sin has power over us. It makes us think that grace is nothing more than God swallowing His true feelings about us to "give us grace" when we screw up. Grace is not, "I'm thankful God'll have grace for me next time I blow it." Grace is not God's reminder of how despicable we are & how great He is for putting up with us.

Oh my friends.. Grace is not about God forgiving our faults or overlooking our flaws. Grace is about God seeing us as His faultless, flawless children whom He adores!

As Isaiah 9:6 says, God is our Wonderful Counselor AND our Eternal Father. Our Father does not need to blame us or find fault in us to counsel our struggles. He does not look at us as evil or unworthy or as screw-ups. We are His beloved children that He is pleased with. He wants to help us love & be loved better.

A good father doesn't make the focus of his relationship with his children their mistakes. He isn't always looking to improve them. There is joy & play & laughter.

God is not a self-centered Father. He loves you for you. You are not your flaws, faults, & failures and you never have been in Your Father's eyes. You are His darling child. He loves you for you. And loving you for you satisfies Him like nothing else can.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Your Father Loves You for You

If you think you don't "deserve" God's love you are still looking through the lens of sin & law & performance. God wanted us to throw that lens away.

God is our Father. Before giving or loving does a good parent ask, "Does my child deserve this love I am about to show? Does my child deserve this gift I am about to give?" No! Love gives because love loves. Love doesn't judge to evaluate reward. Love just loves.

If you say to yourself, "I'm going to love them even though they don't deserve it." You aren't loving them, you are judging them, judging them as undeserving & unworthy based on how they've behaved. You are dehumanizing them. You are ignoring who their Father is.

It is not more loving to grittingly ignore a grudge. It is more loving to never take up a grudge to begin with. It is not more loving to forgive. It is more loving to never take offense, to never need to forgive except for the sake of the other person's peace of mind.

"Love does not take into account wrongs suffered!"

God never forgave you because He was never angry or offended at you to begin with. God is love & God does not take into account wrongs suffered! The word that has been translated as forgive from both the Hebrew & the Greek means "to remove burden." It does not mean, as our English word forgive means, "to renounce anger, to stop resenting, to let go of a grudge, to stop blaming."

God has no mercy for you! People say mercy is "not getting what you deserve" presuming you deserve bad. Presuming that God really wants to hurt you but chooses not to. The word translated as mercy in the Hebrew means "loving kindness" & in the Greek means "compassion."

Throw away the word "mercy" because it does not represent your Father's heart towards you. God is not "merciful" towards you. He does not want to harm you or pay you back for your wrongdoing!

So often we take scriptures like "while we were still sinners Christ died for us" & think to ourselves "see He was really mad at us but in His love He begrudgingly got over it." But those scriptures aren't meant to give us the picture of "God saved us even though our actions made Him not want to." They are meant to show us that "God saved us, but not from Himself, because He amazingly never held the fact that we were sinners against us."

To question whether someone deserves something is to question their worth, to JUDGE their worth. If you judge someone undeserving of love you are saying they are unworthy of love. That sin or law keeping or good behavior is what determines a person's value. But oh my brothers & sisters how far from the truth that is!

You don't determine (judge) your newborn's worth based on her or his behavior. You don't look at your child napping & say to yourself, "This child doesn't deserve my love." That child has your love because you are their parent. You aren't looking at them through the lens of sin or law keeping or performance. You are looking at them through the EYES of a father or a mother.

Our Father only has FATHER'S EYES. He doesn't wear glasses because He doesn't believe lies.

God our Father did not send Jesus to judge the world, the world judges itself. It condemns itself by refusing to believe in the light of His love. Jesus came to save the world from the lie that God doesn't love you for you as a good Father would.

It branches from the original lie in the garden, "It is good to know evil." God's love for us surpasses all knowledge. The fullness of His love is beyond our imagination. So when we try to wrap our minds around good & evil we believe we are evil & that God thinks we are evil too because we struggle to grasp a love that does not take evil into account.

Evil is simple, it is obvious when things fall apart but it is not obvious how things are put together. So when we choose to know good & evil we choose the power to judge ourselves & others. But  love doesn't judge, love just loves. Sometimes love protects with consequences. Sometimes love protects from consequences.

Children as their lives begin cannot fathom the depths of their parents love for them. But they get to experience that love as their lives unfold.

The enemy wants us to confuse acts of God's protection for acts of God's poor perception of us. God sought to protect Adam & Eve from the tree of knowledge of good & evil but Satan twisted it saying, "God's not trying to protect you. God is holding out on you. He says you don't deserve to know what He knows. He doesn't love you enough to tell you everything He knows. But you can bypass Him & the long process of learning from Him in a relationship & just eat from the tree. You won't surely die!"

And that is Satan's first lie to all of us in our youthful ignorance, "Your parents aren't protecting you. They are holding out on you." And that flips protection upside down, from love to no love. This is Satan's goal:  to disempower our belief & trust in God's love for us.

In religion Satan says, "God doesn't love you for you, you are unworthy of His love. He loves you for Himself to bring Him glory & praise Him & serve Him as a slave."

In failure & shame & guilt Satan says, "God doesn't love you for you, you are unworthy of His love. His love for you is based on what you can do for Him. You know how it goes, everyone is like that. But He's God so He gets to make the loftiest demands."

In pride Satan says, "God loves you because you are so good at what you do (He doesn't love you for you). Look at those people. Doesn't it make you mad that they don't measure up?"

The truth is GOD LOVES YOU FOR YOU. Not because He "has to" because He is love. But because He wants to so deeply that He is too enthralled with you to EVER choose anything but love.

So let's stop talking about God like we're scientists dissecting his corpse, labeling His attributes. Let's be caught into our Father's arms & listen to His heartbeat. You are His special child & He couldn't love you any more or love you any less. But you get to experience more & more of His love today, tomorrow, & forever.

"The reason God saved us & made us alive together with Jesus is so that throughout eternity He can show us the super-abounding wealth of His love & kindness toward us." (Ephesians 2:4-7)

Monday, June 9, 2014

At one

Atonement, at-one-ment, God "meant" for us to be "at one" with Him.

Sin caused a separation between us & God. But God did not separate Himself from us. Sin deceives us into thinking that God's love for us is conditional thus making us feel separated from Him. Jesus crushed that lie with the truth, by showing His unconditional love for us by dying for us to give us life & remove sin's power over our minds & our spirits.

Our Father loved us before we were ever born, before we could possibly meet any conditions. Before we could think or breathe His love abounded for us & His love continues to abound for us forever. Separations be gone! Lies be gone! We are at one with You God!

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

The God & The World of John 3:16

The gospel is where the highest view of God & the highest view of humanity meet. "For God so loved the world..." says so much. It is not said as, "God so loved the world because he knows he can make them his slaves to serve him & stroke his ego." Nor does it say, "God so loved the world despite the fact that he knows they are putrid sinners that aren't worthy of love."

God is infinitely love & humanity is infinitely lovely. To claim otherwise is to disgrace God's own children, our brothers & sisters. It is to call good evil. It is to say that God's hatred for sin outweighs his love for us.

What parent among us lets our child's negative actions outweigh our love for them? When do we say to them, "My child, to me, what you do is more important that who you are."

God is never glorified at our expense. Instead He desires to share the riches of His glory with us. Our false humility of self degradation never pleases God just as no parent would be pleased while their child degrades his or herself.

God is love & we are made & remade into His image. Just as being a child of humans makes you human being a child of God makes you love! Yet just as babies cannot survive by themselves & must be nurtured & cared for, we as love must be nurtured by our father in order to love, to show who we are.

It should never baffle you that God loves you. Yes it should make you elated & joyful & thankful but you should never wonder "Why does he love me?" or "How can he love me?" Do we wonder why parents love their children? Do we wonder "Why do I love my child?" or "How can I possibly love my child?" No, love is a given. And to believe that God's love is less powerful than our love or that his "holiness" makes him shun his own children is to believe in a god that doesn't exist.

Sadly very few people believe in the God of John 3:16. Trust me.. you don't live in a different world. He loves you too.. more than you can imagine.

Related Posts
Why so few Believe John 3:16

Love in 1 Corinthians 13 Written as God's Vows to Us

I will wait for you & be kind to you. I will trust you & be considerate of you. I will not boast of myself but instead boast of us. I will not seek to control you. I will not make you feel small or insignificant. I will not shame or dishonor or disgrace you. I will not demand my own way. I will not be irritated or angry with you. I will not record, remember, or recall your wrongs, but I will never be glad to see you hurting. I will never think ill of you, but I will take no joy in seeing you harm yourself. We will rejoice together over truth & the simple reality that we are together. I will know when to be silent & when to speak.

No matter what comes I will always protect you, I will always believe the best of you, I will always be satisfied with you, I will always look forward to our life together, I will always stay beside you. I will never give up on you. My love for you will never diminish or fail. My love for you never ends.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Breaking the Law is Agreeing with the Law

"If I do the very thing I do not want to do, I agree with the Law"(Romans 7:16).

This says breaking the law is agreeing with the law, showing that the law is good. How is that possible? Wouldn't keeping the law be agreeing with it & showing that it is good? Only if the purpose of the law was to be kept. The purpose of the law was to show you can't keep it thus letting you know that your good behavior cannot save you. Breaking the law should make someone agree with the purpose of the law. The law was not only a diagnosis of sin & coming death, it was also an invalid prescription. Why did God give an invalid prescription? Because that is the first prescription people would take anyway! People would try to save themselves by being good & acting right. The law was meant to keep people "searching for the cure." Jesus is the cure. The word "save" in the Bible also means "cure." Jesus is our Savior, our Healer.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

English Lesson: Grace, Guilt, Convict, Condemn, Righteous, Shame, Blame, Accuse

English Lesson
Grace - favor; goodwill; a disposition of kindness & compassion; respect; approval; esteem; honor; free love from God

Shame - feelings of disgrace, disfavor, guilt, unworthiness, condemnation; to make someone feel guilty; dishonor

Convict - charge someone with guilt; make someone feel guilty; condemn

Condemn - charge someone with guilt; pronounce someone as guilty; express disfavor

Guilt - feeling shame, disapproval, disgrace, dishonor, condemnation for supposed inadequacy or wrongdoing; blame

Blame - hold responsible; express condemnation

Righteous - without guilt; honorable; blameless; unsinful; defendable against accusation

Accuse - charge someone with guilt, inadequacy, or wrongdoing; charge someone with an offense or crime; blame

Let's Compare
Grace & shame are opposites. Grace & guilt are incompatible.
"All who receive God's wonderful abundance of grace (freedom from shame) and his gift of righteousness (freedom from guilt) will live in triumph over sin and death through this one man, Jesus Christ." (Romans 5:17)

Righteous & guilty are opposites.
God counts us as righteous (guiltless/blameless) if we trust in Him. (Romans 4:24)

Convict, condemn, & accuse mean the same things.
There is no condemnation (conviction/accusation) for those who are in Christ Jesus. (Romans 8:1)
Satan is the accuser (convictor/condemner) of the family of God. (Revelation 12:10)

The Dependable Promise
Here is a promise God makes SEVEN times in scripture:
"Whoever trusts in God will never be put to shame.” (Isaiah 28:16, 45:17, 54:4, Romans 9:33, 10:11, 1 Peter 2:6, Joel 2:26-27). I'd say that is something for us "dearly loved children" to be "imitators of God" about & not shame ourselves or others.

Does God Convict Christians?
"When The Holy Spirit comes, He will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment; concerning sin, because THEY do not trust in Me; and concerning righteousness, because I go to the Father and YOU (my disciples) no longer see Me; and concerning judgment, because the ruler of this world has been judged" (John 16:8-11).

The word convict in this scripture is better translated as "convince." Knowing this we can see Jesus is saying:
• The Holy Spirit will convince those who do not trust in Jesus of their sinful condition.
• The Holy Spirit will convince the those who know God of the righteousness He has given them.
• The Holy Spirit will convince people that the devil stands condemned.

This is the only scripture that could even be construed to say the Holy Spirit convicts Christians. But even if you do take the word convict here to mean "declare guilty" you must remember that righteous means "without guilt." Jesus says His disciples are only "convicted" of righteousness. Thus it is a play on words meaning "The Spirit declares you guilty of not being guilty!"

The word "conviction" only appears TWICE in scripture & in those TWO places only carries the meaning of "assurance."

If you believe the Holy Spirit convicts you of sins, that means you believe He puts you to shame, He makes you feel guilty. God has abundantly promised the opposite. Thus if you believe the Holy Spirit convicts you of sins you have been living under disgrace rather than under grace.

Since shame is making someone feel guilty & grace is the opposite of shame, grace then is making someone feel innocent & righteous. God teaches us, corrects us & guides us, He encourages our hearts to compassion, sympathy, & empathy but He never charges us with guilt or tries to make us feel guilty.

No condemnation means there is no shame, no conviction, no guilt, no punishment. There is only grace, favor, honor, approval, reward, & LOVE!

"Our Lord Jesus Christ will confirm to the end that you are indeed blameless." (1 Corinthians 1:8)
"Allow God to cause you to increase & abound in love for one another & for all people. When you do He will confirm to your hearts that you are blamelessly holy before our God & Father." (1 Thessalonians 3:12-13)

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

The Gospel Hidden in Names: Romans 16

There are 36 names mentioned by Paul in Romans 16. Looking at the meanings of their names reveals a hidden message from the Holy Spirit. I couldn't find anything on Google where someone had done this before so it is my pleasure to bring this hidden written message from the Holy Spirit to the rest of God's family.

"A radiant ancient eagle, Jesus the Lord is salvation. He is praiseworthy, exalted of God, a man of victory. He is youthful, large, & considerate. A head of grain called the Best Counselor & heroic.

Rest in luxury & pleasure woman.

Red & incomparable burning shall come to the god of thieves who fathered the messenger.

The lover of the Word, soft haired, put together, & heavenly, you are honoring God & are shining with bright white light. You know the one who will heal, the Savior who is of the Father.

From the third Lord to the beloved fourth, The Lord is Salvation."

The Radiant Youthful Eagle
The Lord said, "You yourselves have seen what I did to the Egyptians, and how I bore you on eagles' wings, and brought you to Myself. Now then, if you will indeed obey My voice and keep My covenant, then you shall be My own possession among all the peoples, for all the earth is Mine; and you shall be to Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation" (Exodus 19:4-6).

This passage is fulfilled in Christ for all of God's children. We obey His voice by trusting Him (getting saved). Christians are called a kingdom of priests and a holy nation (1 Peter 2:9). The covenant is entered into by trust rather than by works of the law. Israel never became a kingdom of priests but the Assembly has.
God says we are "brought to Himself by riding on eagles' wings" Christ is pictured as an eagle here in Romans 16 & we are brought to the Father by Him. The other eagles are those who proclaim the good news.

"The Lord gives strength to the weary, And to him who lacks might He increases power. Though youths grow weary and tired, and vigorous young men stumble badly, Those who wait for the Lord Will gain new strength; They will mount up with wings like eagles, They will run and not get tired, They will walk and not become weary" (Isaiah 40:29-31).

The strength of the Lord is Jesus. Jesus is the "joy of the Lord," the Lord's ultimate enjoyment. So "the joy of the Lord is our strength" (Nehemiah 8:10). We are made like Him in spirit like strong youthful eagles. This scripture points to the rebirth of our spirit which joins itself to Jesus the "radiant ancient eagle." Likewise we who love Jesus the Word radiate with bright white light.

The Head of Grain
Jesus said in John 12:24, "I tell you the truth, unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds."

Jesus said this referring to His death bringing our life. He is the first born child of God among many brothers & sisters (Romans 8:29). Here hidden in Romans 16 Jesus is called "a head of grain" by the Holy Spirit pointing back to Christ's statement above, amazing!

The Best Counselor

"His name will be called Wonderful Counselor" (Isaiah 9:6). Of course this is Jesus. Hidden in Romans 16 it says Jesus is "A head of grain called the best counselor!"

The god of Thieves & the Messenger
"The devil who deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and sulphur, where the beast and the false prophet are also; and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever" (Revelation 20:10).

Hermes was the name of the Greek god of thieves. Here it points to Satan. John 10:10 says Satan only comes to thieve, kill, & destroy thus he is the god/father of thieves. A name meaning paternal connects the names Hermes & Hermas giving the idea of the false prophet being fathered by Satan. Satan is called "the father of lies" in John 8:44.

"Red & incomparable burning shall come to the god of thieves who fathered the messenger."

Soft haired

"The lover of the Word, soft haired, put together, & heavenly, you are honoring God & are shining with bright white light."

The description of the bride of Christ used here by the Holy Spirit is much like the language used in the Song of Solomon which is also God speaking to His bride. The lover of the Word is the bride of the Word, & The Word of course is Jesus.

The Signature of the Holy Spirit in Romans Romans 16:22-23
"I, Tertius, who write this letter, greet you in the Lord. Gaius, host to me and to the whole assembly, greets you. Erastus, the city treasurer greets you, and Quartus, the brother."

Tertius means "third," Gaius means "lord," Erastus means "beloved," Quartus means "fourth"
Taking just the names we have the words third, lord, beloved, fourth. Perhaps this means "From the third Lord to the beloved fourth." The third lord would be the Holy Spirit, the fourth lord would be the assembly, all Christians. Jesus is the King of kings, we are His kings. He is the "Lord of lords," we are His lords.

Notice it also says, "I ,Tertius (or Third), write this letter." The Holy Spirit is doubly saying that He wrote Romans!

So there is a lot hidden in these names:  The awe-inspiring person of Jesus, the riches of being in Christ Jesus, the doom of the devil & the false prophet, the brilliance of the Bride of Christ, a reminder of Christ as healer, & the very signature of the Holy Spirit!

As a bonus there is also a message hidden in the names of the places mentioned in Romans 16.
"From Grain rises the Household of the Best Counselor, the Household of rest."

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Conviction & Soul Winning

"Soul winning" is a phrase used one time in the Old Covenant scriptures (Proverbs 11:30) & it was never a term applied to New Covenant "conversion" or evangelism. New Testament evangelism wasn't focused on "winning" but on "proclaiming" the good news. It was never a burden to try to get people saved. It was a joy to tell people about Jesus & go from there. In the letters of the New Testament you don't see people being told to "get out there & win the lost."

The idea of "soul winning" often equals "winning" an argument or manipulating a stranger into saying a "sinner's prayer." If they do you invite them to church, hope they come, & never talk to them again. If you have to "win" people that means you "lose" if you fail to get them to pray a prayer.

So evangelism as pushed in most churches is a legalistic parroting that has nothing to do with the person you are talking to, it only has to do with you "making sure you witness enough" for God to not be disappointed with you. It is shame based & law based witnessing. Part of the gospel is that Jesus came to free us from both shame & the burden of the law. So if you talk to people about God because you have to & you'll feel guilty if you don't you're not exuding the results of the gospel at all. You're exuding the opposite.

I've seriously heard multiple people say that the MAIN difference between a Christian & a non-Christian is that God "convicts" Christians of their sins. Convict means "to charge with guilt, to make someone feel guilty, to shame someone by calling out their faults." According to this "the good news" is that if you become a Christian God will make you feel really really bad about everything you even slightly do wrong in your life.

Our conviction of sin guilt is imaginary. Scripture NEVER says that God convicts Christians of sin. It in fact says the opposite. God does not charge people with the guilt of sin (2 Corinthians 5:19). And God promises SEVEN times that He will never make us feel guilty or shameful (Isaiah 28:16, 45:17, 54:4, Romans 9:33, 10:11, 1 Peter 2:6, Joel 2:26-27).

So instead of freedom from slavery to sin, guilt, shame, & the law you are put into the maximum security prison of hyper law which leads you to believe that every single command in all of scripture was written for you to keep & every single moment of shame or guilt or obligation is God's "conviction." How foreign to the gospel this is! It saying being a Christian means there are more laws to keep & more shame being heaped & God charges you with sin more than ever.

No wonder people think they have to "win souls" because who would choose a God like that? People try to "win" souls like they try to win a war because their goal is to get people to "surrender" to God. Scripture DOES NOT USE the word "surrender" because God is not at war with us! He is our loving Father. He waits for His children to come home & celebrates with we who are already at home with Him.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Not a Job but a Journey

Christian religion makes us believe that we have all the right answers (commands) & that we only need to implement them. That we have the full truth as passed down from theologians & doctrines that have already examined scripture. It says the problem we have is not our beliefs but our lack of desire & effort.

What an effective way for "the father of lies," the devil, to hinder us! Jesus didn't call him "the thwarter of honest effort." He called the devil the father of lies. You can notice godless religion easily because it focuses on our ineffectiveness. It defines all the commands & "truths" we should know & then measures us on how well we obey them. It is faithless, it has nothing to do with trusting God, it is all about OUR efforts.

When you aren't allowed to question or consider your beliefs as wrong you spin your wheels forever because YOU are the problem. You just need to TRY HARDER! But when you start with the wrong blueprints & you dedicate yourself to stick to them you will never be able to build the right house.

Religion never asks you, "Are you believing a lie?" Because religions are built to be the places where you get truth & answers. If you question what they've told you then the religion has failed because religion is about being right.

We must dare ask ourselves questions like "Have I been believing the wrong things?" & "Have I been taught falsehoods?" Satan's fiery arrows are lies. Our problems don't come from our weakness to obey truth but our unwillingness or ignorance to believe truth.

And the truth IS that you don't have to try, you only need to trust your Father & He will guide you into all the desires & efforts necessary for TODAY (Philippians 2:13). He will also lead you away from all the desires & efforts that were never good for you.

God is not a boss training you for a job. He is a Father walking with you on your life's journey. He doesn't expect you to get all of your actions & answers right by the end of your first week. You are His beloved child, not His employee. Think about that! Seriously stop & think about that...

Think about how differently a child is raised from infancy by her or his parents compared to how someone is trained for a job. Now remember that He is the Father & you are the child!!

This life is not about a job (mission/plan/purpose) that God plans for you to carry out. This life is the family of God being loved & raised together by our wise & loving Father.

Friday, May 9, 2014

The Father Lens: Confession Before Fellowship

Imagine a father who, every time you get together, requires you to tell him about ALL your recent mistakes & failures before going into any other conversation. And if you don't do so He will have nothing to do with you. Who wants to even approach a father who requires every conversation start with focusing on your faults?

That was how I & many others were taught to pray to our heavenly Father. We were told, "Confess your sins when you start the prayer or God will not hear you." This idea of God is the complete opposite of grace. It pictures him as letting any & every conceivable negative thing immediately stand between you & him because he is so impatient & offendable.

I thank you true Father that you are not a graceless grump who is always looking for an excuse to ditch or demean his children. I thank you that You love us with humble gentleness & not with harsh egotism.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Being "Used" By God - Debunking Religious Clichés

Scripture never says that God wants to "use" us nor that we should ask to be "used" by Him. Pleading to our heavenly Father "Daddy use me!" is desperate, distorted, & disgusting language. If your goal is to be "used by God" you are still attaching your value to your works. Instead of seeking to be "used" look for what God is doing today & ask Him if He wants you to join in with Him. Seek also to realize how God has already been joining you in what you are doing. You are not God's tool. You are His child. Our Father works with, plays with, & rests with His children.

"Following" God Without Predicting the Path

One of the problems people have with "following" God is that they presume a destination. "God is trying to get me to do this, He's trying to get me to stop doing that, He wants to get me to a place where I'm willing to do these things.."

Jesus said that when you look at someone who is walking by the Spirit you "don't know where they are coming from & you don't know where they are going."

So instead of trying to predict a grand goal of God settle into the love, affection, & guidance into trust that He has for you each day.

To "follow" Jesus doesn't mean He's off ahead in the distance saying, "Keep up the pace!" The New Testament word for "follow" means "to accompany on the same path." It is walking WITH God. It is being aware that God is always with you & keeping an open heart & an open ear to His gentle & humble guidance.

Related Posts
Follow Christ? But I thought He was in me

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

The Word of God Stands Forever?

We have a terrible habit of assuming that every time the word "word" appears in scripture that it refers to the whole bible. But that is seldom the case. Below is one example.

"The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of the Lord will stand forever" (Isaiah 40:8).

God is love & love keeps no record of wrongs. In places the bible records the wrongs of God's people. So to suggest that the bible, as canonized, is the "word of the Lord that stands forever" goes against the truth that God is love.

1 Peter 1:25 says, "The word of the Lord stands forever. This word is the GOOD NEWS that was proclaimed to you." We see that the gospel is the word that lasts forever, not our collection of written scriptures called the bible.

May we stop praising the pages & start praising Jesus our Prince & Priest.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

As a Little Child

Jesus said, "Whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will not enter into it at all."
We've been taught this means to have "child-like faith." But the context is about Jesus receiving children to Himself. Let us look at this with what is said next, "'Whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will not enter into it at all.' Then taking the children in His arms, He was blessing them. And putting His hands on them."

Is Jesus actually picturing us receiving the kingdom of God, not as a child would, but as if it were a child?

People love getting to see & hold my baby daughter. They smile & are excited. Is that the type of eager & happy attitude Jesus is saying people should be having when they are getting saved instead of an attitude of brokenness over sin? Remember the gospel is that Jesus DIDN'T hold our sins against us & that He TOOK THEM AWAY on the cross. He was broken for us so we don't have to be broken. Receiving salvation was never meant to be a time of shame over sin but instead a time to rejoice over the REMOVAL of sin & shame!

Some people are afraid of holding a new born. They don't trust themselves to handle him or her properly. Likewise I've heard people choose not to be saved because they couldn't handle it properly, meaning they think they sin too much.

But was Jesus saying the genuine salvation experience doesn't spring from an attitude of shamefulness over sin or a fear of hell/God/punishment but with eagerness & happiness treasuring what God is giving to you?

Was Jesus cluing us into what makes false conversions? Is getting saved about the fleeing of fear & flames or the freeing Fatherly embrace of God? People who were saved in the New Testament leaped with joy, they didn't bow & wail.

It is no wonder so many seek to "recommit" their lives to God. Because right from the start they are taught that God holds sins against them, that He demands apology & remorse & shame & brokenness on our part before we ever engage Him. That is not good news!

It treats God as a newspaper stand. You have to pay Him one of those supposed demands every time you want a taste of good news. Whenever you have to pay for good news you aren't getting good news, you aren't getting the true results of the gospel. You aren't receiving God's free gift. You are receiving falsehood that pins you down instead of frees you.

Jesus told a Parable about a "Pearl of Great Price." He said, "The kingdom of heaven is like a merchant seeking beautiful pearls, who, when he had found one pearl of great price, he went and sold all that he had and bought it." We have been falsely told that Jesus is the pearl & we must give up all we have to pay to get Him. But the truth is that admission into the kingdom is free. Jesus is the merchant who found our beauty & paid the great price of His life for us. We are the beautiful pearl.

The message is not that we are wretched sinners in need of a savior. It is that we are lost but BEAUTIFUL pearls that need their value restored. Redeem means "to restore value." The good news isn't that God is awesome & we are filthy failures. It is that we are beautiful to our awesome Father regardless of our filth & failures & that He & Jesus "gave everything they had" to make us a part of their family.

So when someone is coming to be saved they shouldn't be picturing a disappointed dad withholding all love until he receives an apology. They should be seeing a Father who loves them more than they ever realized whose heart is home. A Father who has already done all the work, already has everything provided for you. You don't even have to lay down your burdens. He lifts them off of you. This is true forgiveness, not that He temporarily gives up a grudge, but that He grasps your guilt & erases it, freeing you forever.

How sweet to hold the kingdom within you & the joy it brings.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

The False Gospel of Forgiveness & Repentance

The English idea of repentance, even for salvation, is anti-gospel &  anti-grace.

Religion says "repent," means "turn from your sin." But the Greek word we have translated as repent instead means, "change your mind." Religion says, "repent of your sins over & over until you die." The true gospel says, "Change your minds because you do not have to deal with your sin, Jesus has dealt with them for you. Receive His grace."

In reality it is harder for people to be willing to change their minds to the idea that God loves them too much to hold their actions against them than it is for them to dodge the true gospel & buy into the gospel of repentance. Repentance makes you go through disgrace in order to get to grace. Disgrace & shame are literally the same thing. The gospel is the gospel of grace! (Acts 20:24)

Re-penance, penance is defined as "voluntary self-punishment to atone for a sin." The false gospel of repentance says that you must atone (make amends with God) for your sin over & over by feeling bad about what you've done & turning from sin, meaning you promise God you'll stop or try to stop particular sins.

God has already "reconciled the world to Himself" (2 Corinthians 5:19). We only need to reconcile ourselves to God. But we don't have to do so through "repentance" because "God no longer counts men's sins against them" (also 2 Corinthians 5:19). The gospel isn't about you letting go of sin. It is about God making sin let go of you! Him freeing you & saving you from sin.

Matthew 1:21 says His name is Jesus, which means "Yahweh Saves," because He saves His people from their sins!  He doesn't force you to repent of sins or confess sins to continually "get right with God." That isn't saving. That is a joke. If He did that it would be like Him saving you from a burning building only to take you to a new building & douse you with gasoline on a floor full of lit matches.

His name is also Emmanuel because He is God WITH us. He doesn't break fellowship with us in between confessions. He doesn't put you in time out then walk away until you say, "I'm sorry I'll never do that

Repent has been mistranslated into the New Testament. The word it replaces means "change your mind."

Jesus said in Mark 1:15, "Change your minds & believe in the good news." BELIEVE IN THE GOOD NEWS. The good news is better news than anyone is prepared for so people have to change their minds to believe in it.

The word "forgive" is also a mistranslation. It doesn't mean "to stop holding things against someone" as it does in English. The original word means "to lift off & carry away." God is love & as love He "doesn't take into account wrongs suffered." Instead Jesus "took away sins by the sacrifice of Himself" (Hebrews 9:26). God never "forgave you" because He never held anything against you to begin with.

The false gospel of forgiveness & repentance makes no sense. It says "deal with your sins so God can deal with your sins." It makes you the one that takes the first step instead of Jesus. It is cross-less!!! If you have to "turn from your sins" for God to "forgive you" where is the cross in that? What did Jesus die for? To lighten up the Father's attitude so He would be willing to forgive? Anyone who needs to kill his own son to be willing to forgive is a MONSTER! You should have nothing to do with someone like that!

Jesus died to conquer sin & death & remove it's power over mankind. He didn't die to soften the Father's heart so He'd be willing to accept our apologies for offending Him.

Countless people have run away in shame & fear because of this false gospel. They aren't willing to give up some behavior (turn from their sin) so they walk away from Jesus the only one who can save them from sin!

What kind of unconditional love.. what kind of savior says, "You have to promise to stop doing the things that tick me off before I can save you"????!

When people were saved in the New Testament they rejoiced. But we teach that people must be broken over their sin to be saved so they end up walking the isle with tears of shame in their eyes because they suck so much & are grateful God is willing, in all His untouchable "holiness," to forgive them so they can get into heaven instead of burning forever.

Jesus desires to save everyone but these people don't know what they are saved from. They think they are only saved from the eternal consequence of their sins. They don't see a loving father to embrace, they see a fireman who rescued them who they'll only get glimpses of a few more times in their life.

This false gospel says "being saved" is:
1. A ticket to heaven
2. God being willing to treat you nicely as long as you act right & confess & apologize (repent) for everything you conceivably do wrong.
3. The Spirit cheerleading you from the sidelines (by burdening you with feelings of obligation, guilt, & shame, which we label as "conviction") to keep whichever commands you come across from the bible.

So instead of feeling like a beloved child of God you feel like an overwhelmed hopeless miserable slave of an abusive master.

This all leaves the responsibility to maintain the relationship on the child rather than the FATHER. Instead of the FATHER being filled with love & compassion & affection & desire for His child, the child has to walk on eggshells to stay "right with God." Thus you are left with no security, absolutely no rest, & no real desire to trust the Father. Why? Because the father this false gospel paints is a terrible untrustworthy father, easier to offend than anyone else in existence, willing to withhold affection & abandon you the moment you do ANYTHING, ANYTHING He doesn't like.

And ALL of these lies start on Day #1 because we've been told "turn from your sins so God will forgive you." That statement has never deserved a place anywhere near the gospel. It goes against the finished work of the cross, the character of God, & the bible's definition of love.

I thank God that His light can penetrate any darkness & can illuminate the abundant life He is always offering us.

"God raised up Jesus & sent Him to bless you by turning every one of you from your evil ways" (Acts 3:26).

"God is love. Love does not take into account wrongs suffered" (1 Corinthians 13:5).

We are Greater than the Greatest! We are One with Him!

Jesus said, "Truly I say to you, among those BORN OF WOMEN, there has not risen one greater than John the Baptist. But he who is least in the kingdom of the God of Heaven is greater than he.”

Those in the kingdom of God are BORN OF GOD. Jesus said John the Baptist was the greatest man that ever lived up to that point. But because of our spiritual rebirth the least of us are greater than he. "Your new self has been born in God's likeness, truly righteous and truly holy" (Ephesians 4:24).

John the Baptist was "filled with the Spirit from the womb" (Luke 1:15). But we are better than filled because He & we are ONE. "We who have joined ourselves to the Lord are one spirit with Him" (1 Corinthians 6:17).

Christ is a body, Jesus is the head of that body, those who trust Him are the rest of that body. Just as my hand is me and a part of me so too are we parts of the body of Christ and we are Christ (1 Corinthians 12:12). We are "one body and one Spirit" with God (Ephesians 4:4).

We are Greater than the Greatest! We are One with Him!

Are You Satisfied with Your Righteousness?

Jesus said, "Blessed are those of you who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for you will be satisfied."

How many of you are satisfied with your righteousness?

If you think your righteousness comes by keeping commands you are never satisfied.
If you have a partial understanding of your identity because of Christ but you still hold to the power of sin (the law) you are rarely satisfied but can sometimes be satisfied by simply hungering or thirsting.
But those walk only under grace "never thirst again" (John 4:14). They are truly satisfied. Jesus said, "Whoever comes to Me will not hunger, and whoever trusts in Me will not thirst at any time" (John 6:35).

But it is even grater than that. Jesus said about the Holy Spirit, “If anyone thirsts, let Him come to Me and drink. The one trusting in Me, as the scripture said, out of his belly will flow rivers of living water" (John 7:37-39). So not only will we never thirst but we ourselves will flow out RIVERS of living water!

"Jesus himself is the atoning sacrifice for our sins" (1 John 2:2). Atoning means satisfying. "Jesus himself is the satisfying sacrifice for our sins." That means we can be satisfied with nothing else but His sacrifice concerning our sins & righteousness. His sacrifice satisfies us to where we can need nothing else; not even our performance, behavior, emotions; to make us confident that we know God without barriers & are fully cleansed of all unrighteousness.

God recreated us with the righteousness of Jesus! "Your new self has been created in God's likeness, truly righteous and truly holy" (Ephesians 4:24). In addition to that, in a mind boggling move, He made us "the righteousness of God" (2 Corinthians 5:21). He made us inseparable from His righteousness by making us into His very own righteousness!

Are you satisfied?

Related Posts:
Let's Share in the Satisfaction of His Sacrifice

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Love is the Fuel of Our Father's Family

Many preachers attempt to save or motivate people by telling them "God has a purpose for your life, God has a plan for your life, God has a mission for you." Some people are motivated by having a sense of purpose or a mission to accomplish. But do you know what type of people aren't?  The broken, the distraught, the abused, the overwhelmed..

Jesus said, “Come to Me, all you who are tired & burdened, & I will give you rest."

Running your life by having a sense of purpose or seeking a sense of accomplishment by carrying out a mission doesn't take you down the best road & it will eventually leave you empty, without fuel, without rest.

Jesus didn't come to put you to work for His glory. He came so we could know & trust in His Father's love for us.

Jesus said, "I made The Father's name known so that you can experience the love He has for you which is the same love He has for me. The Father loves you just as much as He loves me & I love you just as much as my Father loves me."

Jesus' mission wasn't to suck up all glory & feed on praise but to share it with us, the Father's family. Jesus used family language more than God language.

He once prayed, “Father, the glory You have given Me I give to them, that they may be one, just as We are one."

Glory can mean, good opinion, high value, excellence, magnificence, honor, praise.. Until we are willing to be honored & praised & flattered by our Father (Dad, Daddy, Dada, Papa, Parent) we cannot be "one" with one another. We must first feel our Father's adoring eyes on us before we can gaze at the true beauty of each other.

When you love the mission & the message more than you love the people there is a huge problem because the mission is to love the people & the message is that God loves the people. The message is not that "God so loved Himself that He sent His only Son to accomplish His self-centered mission of gathering up servants/missionaries to do His bidding & give Him all praise."

Jesus said, "I have come so that people may have life & have it abundantly!" What is abundant life but abundant love? What is God but love? Without His love for His family God is nothing. God doesn't deserve to receive glory simply because He is God. He deserves it because of His love. God is love & love is not self-seeking.

What kind of father refuses to praise His children while claiming to love them? What kind of father demands his family be centered around Him & His selfish will? What kind of father or older brother says, "It's all about ME! Praise me & serve me!" A good father is all about loving his family & God is the best Father there is!

"Because of our Father's great love for us He made us alive together with Jesus, so that He can FOREVER show us the overflowing riches of His love & kindness toward us." (From Ephesians 2:4-8)

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

A Father who is also God

People look for answers. Something you can read off of a piece of paper & pass around. Jesus didn't come as God's answer man, writing book after book of pro-God arguments. He came as the Son of God wanting to help people meet His incredible Father.

Jesus invited us to embrace His Father. He didn't come to satisfy our intellectual checklists to make His way make the most sense as the best bet of all world views.

So many wrestle with the questions of "God why do these bad things happen?" or "Where were you during these tragedies?"

Answers cannot replace a Father's love & comfort. Truth is made to speak to the heart first. We need to look for our Father here & now. People don't find God when looking for answers or certainty or even when they say, "God where are you?" God is found, right here, when His children cry for their Daddy.

Sadly Christianity has been made out to be primarily an academic pursuit centered around a book that teaches us how to ACT right rather than a family centered around its loving Father who teaches us how to LOVE one another by experiencing our Father's love for us.

Our Father is not a God who is also a Father but a Father who is also God. Jesus came not to show us a God to serve but to show us our Father as a friend.

The problem with most evangelism is that we seek to tell people ABOUT GOD instead of inviting people, as Jesus did, to KNOW OUR FATHER.

Monday, April 14, 2014

111% GRACE

In SEVEN places God promises, “Whoever who trusts in the Lord will NEVER be put to shame.” (Isaiah 28:16, 45:17, 54:4, Romans 9:33, 10:11, 1 Peter 2:6, Joel 2:26-27, )

Shame is LITERALLY the opposite of grace. It is disgrace.


..but what is grace? Grace is God's favor for you, His unending kind love & adoration of you.

"The Lord your God rejoices over you with singing and shouts of joy! He is so glad about knowing you that He twirls around dancing!" (Zephaniah 3:17)

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Why the Knowledge of Evil is Dysfunctional

Satan says, "You need to do something to get what you need."
Jesus says, "You only need me. I will provide everything for you."

In the Hebrew language good is that which is functional & evil is that which is dysfunctional. The original lie to get us to taste evil was "If you know good & evil it will benefit you." Truth is good because truth works, truth is reality. Falsehood is evil because it does not work because it is not real thus it is harmful. You only need to live in reality.

Evil shatters our world when it says, "No no, this does work. You are the problem. If you do this or if you try harder at doing what you are already doing you can make it work. You can make this functional." Thus we spin our wheels trying to operate in that which was never meant to work,  trying to make evil good.

We also do this in how we handle the knowledge of good & evil. We believe the lie that says, "I should always be judging between good & evil. It is best for me to apply my knowledge of good & evil in everything with everyone. Doing so will make me more like God. Knowing evil won't kill me, it will make me stronger."

You see Satan's lie to Eve was the very same lie religion uses, "knowledge of evil is good for you." What does knowledge of evil create? Sin consciousness & self-judgment. Adam & Eve were ashamed & hid from God when they knew evil. They began to evaluate themselves & with that came fear & shame & insecurity. BUT we were designed to live off of God's evaluation of us, TO LIVE BY THE FATHER'S LOVE FOR US.

But the ultimate damage of the knowledge of evil was not that it entices us into dysfunctional behaviors & beliefs that put the blame of their deficiency upon us. The ultimate damage of the knowledge of evil was that it can blind us to God's abundance, His abundant love for us.

The lie of Satan is, "You are deficient, you are evil but you can make yourself better by doing certain things."
The truth of Jesus is, "I love you but you are dying. Trust me & I will give you my life & we can live forever, together."

Related Posts:
Children, The Sin Nature, & The Nature of Good & Evil

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Not How but Who

The book of Acts was never meant to be a model, especially not a legalistic model, of how the church should look. Jesus did not leave us a model for meetings or even a model for maturity. Jesus left us Himself, a life giving Spirit that connects all of us to our Father so that we can live as His children & one another's brothers & sisters.

Jesus didn't want us to get caught up on what to do & how to do it but WHO we are WITH. As we fellowship with our Father we will fellowship with one another & whatever needs to get done will get done.

Problems come when we interject imperatives found or supposedly found in scripture into our relationships with God & one another. Jesus never told us to "follow scripture" or to "follow my apostles" or to "find & follow the methods & models laid out by the church recorded in the new testament scriptures." Jesus said, "Follow Me." The old covenant has ended ,the apostles are out of this world, & the 1st century church long gone. BUT JESUS IS STILL LIVING & ACTIVE. Jesus is still HERE. Trust Him today!

We don't need to repeatedly reach into history to find God's will. Jesus said God's will is for us to trust Him. That trust happens right now. He didn't say, "Trust what I once said" or "Trust what I've told others." Jesus said, "Trust in my Father & trust in Me."

Him saying that wasn't an obligation being laid down but an invitation to a relationship with Him, an invitation to be loved by Him thus gradually finding all the love you'll ever need to give or receive.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Finding your life

Jesus said, "Whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it."

The word "save" can also be translated as "heal" or "make whole."

The harder we try to make our lives whole, to fill in what we perceive to be its blank spots or our weaknesses the more we will lose our life, the more it will be eaten up & wasted, the more we will miss out on real life around us.

To lose your life is to stop trying to control it, stop worrying about it, It is to lose it, lose track, forget about trying to grow it & heal it & find things to add to it. It is realizing that your health, wholeness, & security is God's responsibility. But not in the sense that "He is God & He controls everything." It is His responsibility in the sense that He is your Father. So unlike how we often see God, His goal is not to "do things TO you" but to "go through things WITH you," like a Father taking care of His child.

So to "find your life" is to "find YOUR LIFE WITH HIM!"

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

"Jesus doesn't love me"

If you've ever lived under twisted scripture & a false image of God you may have felt like this.

Jesus loves me for Himself for His army & His wealth
We to Him as slaves belong always unworthy of His sandal's throng

Does Jesus love me?
He is so above me
Does Jesus love me?
The Bible tells me "no"

It says my sin is always on His mind
It says He'll punish me if I'm one step behind
Guilt & shame are what I need to grow up & to believe

Does Jesus love me?
He bullies me & shoves me
Does Jesus love me?
The Bible tells me "no"

It says His glory is what it's all about
That we are only worthy of being thrown out
He is nothing like a father or a vine
He does not free He only binds
More & more upon our backs while judging every angle & every crack

Jesus doesn't love me
He only loves Himself

Saturday, February 22, 2014

A Dozen Clairifications on 1 John 1:9

Most you make an assumption about 1 John 1 right off the bat. They assume it is written for Christians. When you assume the wrong audience for a scripture the "plain truth" becomes dangerously misapplied.

"If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness" (1 John 1:9).
Most teach this to mean, "Christians have to recount (list) all of their recent sins every time they pray in order to be forgiven by God and to have fellowship with God." So what is the problem with that? The problem comes if you assume something for yourself that was not intended for you & taking that assumption causes you to put conditions on your relationship with God that aren't actually there.

Here are SOME of the reasons why that interpretation of 1 John 1 is wrong.
1. 1 John 1 wasn't written for Christians. It was an explanation of how to be saved using inclusive language. John starts off this section of scripture saying "Now this is the message we have heard from Jesus and announce to you." The message is about God and how to be saved in verses 5b-10.
2. The word "confess" in 1 John 1:9 does not mean recount or list (recall & recite in prayer) but it actually means "to agree." It is to agree with God about your sins, that you had them and Christ took care of them. If you agree with God that Christ took your sins away, which He did, then you have no reason to recount them. Doing so would actually be the opposite of what John intended when writing this scripture. 1 John 1:9 simply means, "You receive His forgiveness at salvation by believing His forgiveness." It is not a rule for daily relationship. It is praising God that Christ finished the work on the cross and saying, "I want in on this!" Even if this were written for Christians it would simply mean, "Continue to agree with God that your sins are taken away and rejoice over Christ's finished work on your behalf!"
3. People think they have to ask God for forgiveness/confess to be forgiven because they assume He gets offended at them. If God has to reforgive you that means God continues to get reoffended at you. In Isiah 54:9, speaking of the new covenant in which we are now a part of, God promises to never be offended at us again. Thinking that we have to get God to forgive us over & over by sin confession goes against the very promise of God. Additionally 2 Corinthians 5:19 says, "God counts sins against no one." If He isn't counting sins or getting angry at us for them why would we need to "be forgiven?"
4. Our concept of biblical forgiveness is wrong. The word forgive in the old and new testaments does not mean "Stop feeling angry or offended toward someone for an offense, flaw, or mistake." or "accept an apology & stop holding a grudge." The word forgive in the bible means to "take away" or to "carry off." To be forgiven means God removes your sin & guilt, He takes it away. It does not mean God decides "Ok I'm not mad at you anymore." He wasn't mad in the first place. He gave His life for us because He loves us.
5. Conditional forgiveness for Christians pictures God as someone who only forgives when asked & as someone who holds a grudge if you don't ask. In other words He demands an apology despite the fact that He already shed His blood for all sin for all time.
6. Because of what Jesus did God promises to no longer remember our sins (Hebrews 8:12,10:17). The false teaching of Christian confession of sins requires people to remind Him of them. Notice Hebrews does not say, "I will remember their sins no more but only if you confess them to me." You have to add the conditional phrase "only if they confess their sins to me" to tons of scriptures to justify that view.
7. "Love keeps no record of wrongs" but those who feel they must confess their sins keep the best record of their own wrongs they possibly can. If God wanted you to confess your sins to Him that would mean He doesn't want you to love yourself, because you must keep a constant record of sins for or between your prayers. It would also mean that God doesn't love you because He keeps a record of your wrongs in between your confessions. This doctrine of Christian confession slanders the name and nature of our God & makes His love purely conditional.
8. Jesus' sacrifice purified us from sin one time, for all time so our consciousness of sin can disappear (Hebrews 10:1-2). Confession demands constant consciousness of sin.
9. Jesus took our sins away (Romans 11:27), confession brings our sins back out.
10. Sin confession has people dwelling on evil in daily prayer instead of dwelling on good. No one who believes that "Christians need to confess their sins to God" would admit this but as someone who once believed it & practiced it I'll say it, recounting what you think to be your recent sins tempts your mind and body into repeating those deeds. This is one of those things Christians ignore because they think they are weak and they just aren't living up to what they think "God's way" is. Philippians 4:8 says, "Whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things." Is what we would typically call sin any of these things? Certainly not!
11. “Everyone who trusts in Jesus will never be put to shame” (Romans 10:11, Romans 9:33, 1 Peter 2:6, Isaiah 28:16). Confession of sins shames you. If someone you knew forced you to tell him all of your failures everyday that would dishonor you, disgrace you, and that person wouldn't seem to have much favor for you. What type of father wants you to focus on your faults, on every conceivable shortcoming that you have? Please don't make excuses for God to behave worse and love worse than human beings, He doesn't. God's ways are higher than our ways but remember Jesus is The Way, He perfectly exemplified God's ways. He never asked His disciples to list their sins to Him or to the Father.
12. Nowhere in scripture do we see a command for Christians to confess sins. Paul never told the people he was rebuking for a myriad of bad things to confess their sins to God to get right with Him or to restore fellowship with Him. So many claim this is an essential practice for daily Christian life with God, bigger than general prayer because they say you have to start your prayer with confession for God to hear you. Yet it only seems to appear in 1 John 1. That clues us to the fact that people have misinterpreted who 1 John 1:9 is addressing.

A Note on Repent
The word "repent" by itself has nothing to do with sin. It does not mean "turn from sin" in the New Testament. It is a mistranslation that really means "to change your mind about something." (Check any lexicon). We find no commands for Christians to frequently repent. No one was ever even asked to do it twice! Contextually repent almost always means "to change your mind from mistrust/unbelief to trust/faith in Jesus," in other words "get saved." The false concept of repentance has us promising God we'll do better or that we'll stop doing particular things. But Jesus specifically said to not make promises to God (Matthew 5:33-37). Jesus recommends we respond to God in time with an honest ‘Yes’ or ‘No.’ We aren't to live by the promises we make to God but the promises He has made to us.

If those dozen reasons aren't enough this page links to a dozen+ posts which go into great detail as to why the typical view of 1 John 1:9 is wrong.
Why Christians Don't Need to Confess Sins