Tuesday, September 01, 2015

The Law And The Spirit: Part One


Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. (Romans 5:1-2 ESV)

For, being ignorant of the righteousness of God, and seeking to establish their own, they did not submit to God's righteousness. For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes. (Romans 10:3-4 ESV)

Faith is a gift from God. When we trust in Jesus we are justified in the sight of God through faith and faith alone. The Old Testament law was given to show us the righteousness of God. While the Law of God is good, only Jesus was able to keep it perfectly. So all the rituals, feast, and sacrifices, in the Old Testament pointed to Jesus, who is the Lamb of God, that was predestined to be slain before the foundation of the world. This was done according to God's foreknowledge of things to come. He knew that man would rebel when given free will. So He provided Jesus the spotless Lamb whose sacrifice would cleanse us from sin. 

God sent his Son at the right time in human history to fulfill his ultimate plan of the redemption of mankind. He died to pay our sin debt. Jesus has satisfied God's justice. And He has fulfilled all the righteous requirements of the Law. He was also raised from the dead for our justification. And the Father sent His Spirit for our ongoing sanctification, so that we have now have the power to flee from sin, and to be overcomers, in this present evil age. - Bobby

Let me put it another way. The law was our guardian until Christ came; it protected us until we could be made right with God through faith. (Galatians 3:24 NLT)

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

A Celtic Prayer


                              Christ, as a light
                              illumine and guide me.
                              Christ, as a shield
                              overshadow me.
                             Christ under me;
                              Christ over me;
                              Christ beside me
                              on my left and my right.
                              This day be within and without me,
                              lowly and meek, yet all-powerful.
                              Be in the heart of each to whom I speak;
in the mouth of each who speaks unto me.
                              This day be within and without me,
                              lowly and meek, yet all-powerful.
                              Christ as a light;
                              Christ as a shield;
                              Christ beside me
                              on my left and my right.

Thursday, August 06, 2015

Ongoing Deliverance

Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness? What accord has Christ with Belial? Or what portion does a believer share with an unbeliever? What agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we are the temple of the living God; as God said, “I will make my dwelling among them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. (2 Corinthians 6:14-16 ESV)

Words like holiness and the fear of God seem to be outdated in western culture. But these are biblical words that require obedience from every follower of Jesus. It's a very real struggle to live a life that is pleasing to God in a world full of images and philosophies that are contrary to the values of the Kingdom of God. God has called us to work out our salvation with much fear and trembling, not for it.

Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure. 

(Philippians 2:12-13 ESV)

Our ongoing deliverance can only be accomplished through the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives. Our minds must be renewed by the words of God through Scripture. Without a radical commitment to ponder deeply on the things of God, we will all succumb to dark patterns of thinking.

Since we have these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from every defilement of body and spirit, bringing holiness to completion in the fear of God.
(2 Corinthians 7:1 ESV)

As temples, or host of the Holy Spirit, we have access to godly living. We have the grace empowered ability to leave a life. free of idolatry. When we follow patterns of life that are contrary to God's ways, we grieve the indwelling Holy Spirit. We must take action to cleanse ourselves in cooperation with the Spirit, of things that we know are spiritually harmful. We all fail in this journey we call life, but we must agree with God about our failures, and allow him to restore us again. - Bobby

Wednesday, August 05, 2015

Insight Is A Treasure by Dudley Hall

The beginning of wisdom is this: Get wisdom, and whatever you get, get insight. Proverbs 4:7

 Paul prayed for believers to be built up in the inner man. The Epistle to the Hebrews says that those who live by faith do so by seeing something others don’t see. They have inner eyes and ears. Shockingly it says that without faith it is impossible to please God. If faith comes as a result of seeing something in the inner man, it would seem that being able to see like that would be a primary goal. If we can’t see with the eyes of the inner man, we can’t properly believe, and we can’t please God. That would mean that everything we do is worthless as far as God is concerned—if it is not done as a response of faith.
     Since Adam and Eve lost their inner sight, mankind has been operating primarily on external observation. Knowledge is limited. It is difficult to explain origins, purpose, evil, and eternity with external knowledge. So, we have praised hindsight. We often declare, “Hindsight is 20/20.” We then try to use what we have learned from the past to guide in interpreting the future. We also prize foresight. Those who seemingly have some special gift of seeing the future are revered. Their prophecies are treasured and cherished. But Wisdom tells us to treasure insight. It is the voice in the inner man that reveals God’s communication with us. He speaks often in whispers consistent with the gospel of his kingdom. When we notice it, respond to it, and apply it, the voice gets louder. When we neglect it, the external man grows while the inner man shrinks.
     The last Adam displayed what living by the inner man was all about. He heard and saw the reality of God’s perspective and acted accordingly. We have been given the same Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead. He gives us the privilege of hearing in the inner man. It is our stewardship to listen, record, respond, and teach what we hear.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Prayer Is A Struggle

Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. (Romans 8:26-27 ESV)

Prayer is a struggle. It's a struggle between our flesh, the world, and the devil. God allows us access to his throne room in the spiritual realm, because of the sacrifice of Jesus. All followers of Jesus come to the Father by faith, and the fact that Jesus shed his blood on a cross to reunite us to God. We are born into the world in the image of God, but also as aliens to his Kingdom.

Christ' intercession on our behalf allows us access to our Father in heaven. Jesus overcame all evil through his death on the cross and his resurrection from the dead. God has given us his Spirit so that we can know his mind and heart. The Holy Spirit helps us as we pray. We use the word of God to help us pray according to God's will, and to be sensitive to the promptings of His Spirit.

Effective praying requires diligence. We don't become "prayer warriors" by being passive in our pursuit of God. As we seek to pray we must battle spiritual laziness, demonic attack, and a variety of distraction. As we struggle in prayer God will help, and empower us by his Spirit. - Bobby