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Thursday, December 18, 2014

Blessed




Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love (Ephesians 1:3-4 ESV)



Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us—for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who is hanged on a tree”—so that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham might come to the Gentiles, so that we might receive the promised Spirit through faith. (Galatians 3:13-14 ESV)


Many believers feel cursed due to a lack of victory in their daily spiritual lives. The fact that we can't live up to the letter of the law weighs heavy on us. It's easy to look at our past and present failures and to develop a "cursed mentality." But, if you are a follower of Jesus, God has given you access to every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places. If you are a believer, God chose you in Christ before the foundation of the world. 

The curse that Adam and Eve came under for their rebellion  against God in the garden of Eden has been forever removed by Jesus' death on the old Roman cross. Christians are now in right standing with God."For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God." (2 Cor. 5:21)
Jesus' death on the Cross has paid the penalty for our rebellion against our Creator. As we meditate on what Christ has done for us, it will affect our behavior in a positive way. When we begin to comprehend the love God has for us, we will be changed into the image of his Son. In Christ the curse of Adam has been reversed and we are blessed!   - Bobby

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Indwelt by the Word of Christ by Dudley Hall





Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in our hearts to God.
Colossians 3:16 (ESV)
     
This text seems to be a parallel admonition given by Paul to the Ephesian church. “Be filled with the Spirit, addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs…" (Ephesians 5:18-19). We notice that being filled with the Spirit and being indwelt by the word of Christ produces the same kind of fruit. This is no surprise to those who remember that Jesus promised that the Spirit would make him real to the believers after his ascension (John 16).

     Contrary to popular opinion, the Holy Spirit is not “Christian-centered," but “Christ-centered.” He is taking what is Christ’s and illuminating it to those who are his. It is his word that works in us to produce his life. His word is the fulfillment of all the prior words of prophets and scribes. His word turns the shadows of the Old Testament era into the substance of eternal life. To live by the word of Christ is more than living by new information. It is living by the word that not only instructs us but empowers us. We are not only told what to do, but given the desire and faith to accomplish it.

     Those who lived by the word of Moses learned of God’s design. They could see that such living was better than any other way that culture had ever known. But the word of Moses did not give the wherewithal to live such an orderly life. Those who tried often found themselves going through the outward motions of obedience, but with guilty hearts and weak wills. The majority turned the word of Moses into a religion much like the other world religions, as they sought to find a way to appease or please the God they didn’t really know.

     The word of Christ is not like any other world religion. It is a life that is given by God to those who believe. It takes the events of history and interprets them in the story of God’s sovereign love. It gives to the worshipper what other religions demand from the worshippers. It destroys the enchanting deception of the serpent’s seduction and opens previously blind eyes to see a reality that sparkles with hope. To those who have tasted the word of Christ, nothing else will satisfy. They are hooked by a love that will not let them go. As they embrace the word of Christ, the fruit of gratefulness, submission, and worship naturally flow.

     Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly!

Dudleys' website www.kerygmaventures.com 

Sunday, December 07, 2014

Put Away the Thieves by Dudley Hall






But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth. Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old self with it practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator.  Colossians 3:8-10 (ESV) 
   
  For many, salvation is limited to a “get out of jail free” card. They pray a prayer or submit to baptism or graduate from confirmation class only to continue to live pestered by impulses and influences that have characterized their previous life. They have some assurance that they will make it into heaven after they die, but they have little hope of being liberated from the dominion of such sins of the flesh.

     The present hope of the gospel is that, because of the complete work of Jesus on the cross, we can put away those thieves of life. We believe that we are united with Christ in his death, thereby crucifying the old reality. We are also united with Him in his resurrection, thereby releasing his death-conquering power in our present lives. We are born into a whole new realm where we view life from our place in Christ rather than in Adam. This is a progressive stance because we are continuing to learn what it means to live in union with Him. Each day can be a new discovery of the treasure we have in Jesus. Sometimes slowly, but always eventually, we are renewed in our thinking, feeling, and choosing as we get accustomed to our new state.

     The result of such growth is an ever-increasing sense of awe and gratitude for all that Jesus has done and is doing for our benefit.  We are not boasting of our increase in righteousness, but are boasting in the cross of our Lord. He has taken on all the thieves that at one time stole our peace, sense of purpose, and passion for him. His death effectively consumed them and set us free. We are just now beginning to see how free the cross has made us. We are not just going to heaven. We are enjoying aspects of the heavenly life now as our eyes open to the true nature of the thieves we once thought were our masters.

Dudleys' website: http://www.kerygmaventures.com/

Friday, November 28, 2014

Living In Step With The Spirit




If we live by the Spirit, let us also keep in step with the Spirit. (Galatians 5:25 ESV)

For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. (Romans 8:14 ESV)

Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.  (John 14:6 ESV)

We are from God. Whoever knows God listens to us; whoever is not from God does not listen to us. By this we know the Spirit of truth and the spirit of error. (1 John 4:6 ESV)


If you are a follower of Christ you are indwelt with the Spirit of truth. People of the Spirit are characterized by a love of the truth. Truth is a divine Person, and that Person is Jesus Christ. Some wrongly seek truth in man-made spirituality, or other demonically inspired forms of religious enlightenment. One way the spirit of error manifest itself in the church is through compromise. It embraces attitudes and actions that are not consistent with Scripture. It is what the Bible calls the "Spirit of error" that leads people into deception. This compromising attitude or spirit goes as far as to call "good evil and evil good". 

This defective belief system rejects godliness as an achievable goal, during the life time of the believer. But the Spirit of truth leads us to live a holy life set apart for God. Compromise in a believers' life is offensive to the Holy Spirit, and weakens our desire for the truth of God's word. I am convinced that part of being "led by the Spirit" is being led away from ungodly and harmful behavior. God's Spirit always leads us in  the path of right living. Dwelling in His presence and seeking wise counsel from God's word, gives us the ability to live "in step with the Spirit"  - Bobby


Monday, November 17, 2014

Paul's Passion







We ourselves are Jews by birth and not Gentile sinners; yet we know that a person is not justified by works of the law but through faith in Jesus Christ, so we also have believed in Christ Jesus, in order to be justified by faith in Christ and not by works of the law, because by works of the law no one will be justified. (Galatians 2:15-16 ESV)


...my little children, for whom I am again in the anguish of childbirth until Christ is formed in you! I wish I could be present with you now and change my tone, for I am perplexed about you. (Galatians 4:19-20 ESV)


For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery. (Galatians 5:1 ESV)

The Apostle Paul lived for the glory of God alone. He preached the Gospel with prophetic zeal to reach the world for Jesus. Paul's passion was to see the life of Christ fully formed in his spiritual children. That involves being freed from demonic oppression and delivered from seeking to establish our own righteousness, by our good works. Paul sought to free people from oppressive religious observance and systems that do nothing to deliver believers internally.


The Gospel frees us from being controlled by what he called "elemental principles or spirits" of the world. Jesus came to set both religious and irreligious people free. His death and resurrection  redeems us from spiritual slavery to adoption into his family. As God's sons and daughters we can now cry out, "Abba! Father!" by the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit.


Paul describes his passion for the spiritual maturity of believers as a woman in childbirth, which speaks of excruciating pain. And as one mother pointed out, "he couldn't think of anything else!" The key to our spiritual  maturity is dependent upon our grasp of our adoption into the family of God, not just keeping rules and regulations. This reality can only be revealed to us by the Holy Spirit. 


Those that revert to law based religion seek to justify themselves based on good works apart from Christ. And they miss the point of the Gospel. - Bobby