Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘Christian’

Grace Over Law

 

 

Act 15: 1- 29

This is one of the key scriptures in the New Testament. Why? All that Christ had done on the cross could have been defeated if the ‘men from Judea’ had their way! I believe it was the grace and the providence of God that raised men like Paul who stood for the truth of the Gospel, despite being a staunch Jew, before conversion.

Acts 15:1 says ‘Certain men which came down from Judea’ taught the bretheren….

These men and their group were called Judaizers by the early church. They added to the doctrine taught by the original disciples and Paul.

What was their doctrine?

Luke here says that they taught that Act 15:1 … Except ye be circumcised after the manner of Moses, ye cannot be saved”

Now this was a broad deviation from the Gospel that Paul and Barnabas taught. The Judaizers taught that to be truly saved, you needed to be circumcised. What was the significance of circumcision (at that time)? Well circumcision was very symbolic to the Jews. It was a gateway into the Law of Moses. To be circumcised meant that they would be getting into a covenant that would cause them to keep the Law of Moses.

What was different about the Law of Moses?

Everything! Everything was different!

John the beloved wrote in his Gospel:

      John 1:16 – 17   And of his fullness have all we received, and grace for grace. For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.

 

The word ‘law’ is translated from the Greek word nomos.

Nomos means: law, regulation.

So that scripture can be re-written as: For the regulation was given by Moses …

Regulation was given by Moses, but acceptance came through Jesus Christ!!! That means, you would have to keep the whole law to be accepted under the law. But under Christ, you are accepted just because you believe in Christ (John 3:16).

Paul’s stand against Law

The scripture records that Paul and Barnabas had great disputation and dissention about the Law. It was so great that the church there at Antioch decided that they needed to go to Jerusalem and decide to determine if the Law was still necessary to be kept. And that they did!

Why was this revelation so dear to Paul?

Paul was a Pharisee. All his life, he had strived to ‘earn’ righteousness by following the law and the code of the Pharisees, even going to the extend of persecuting the followers of Christ. Now he had a personal encounter with this Jesus, and with that came the revelation that he couldn’t earn righteousness with God based on works. Which was contrary to what he had learned and practiced all his life. On the face of this revelation, why would he go back to his old ways!

It didn’t stop there! All his life he had struggled with sin. In Romans chapter 7 he records his struggle with sin. He had suffered condemnation and helplessness against sin. He says:

 

Rom 7:14  For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin. For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I. If then I do that which I would not, I consent unto the law that it is good. Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. But sin, taking occasion by the commandment, wrought in me all manner of concupiscence. For without the law sin was dead….

 

Paul records here that he was not able to overcome the sin that dwelled in him. The Law had no power because it was spiritual and it did not empower him to live a righteous life.

 

Then came Jesus Christ !

Rom 8:1  There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death. For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit

 

All of a sudden, Paul records, everything changed! He is no longer under condemnation! A new law, the Law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus set him (and all who believe in the Lord Jesus Christ) free from sin and its consequence ‘death’!

If you are in Jesus Christ, you are not condemned. Nobody dare condemn you! Yes, there is a law that condemns. Paul suffered under it all his life, till he became a follower of Christ. But the day that be believed in the Christ, he was set free from that condemnation! In Christ, just as Paul was set free from that condemnation, you are set free from the law of death.

You have been set free from that law of death to a new law, that puts life into you, the Law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus!

 

It just keeps getting better!

It does not end there! Christ even went forward and put the Spirit of Sonship in you! So that you can now call God almighty ”Abba Father” , and you are called ‘Sons of God’ , because you believe in Him and you are led by His Spirit!

Why would Paul or anyone want to go back into the law ? Why would Paul or anyone want to live like a slave again ?

Live in HIM, Live FREE!

 

Like this post? Feel free to leave your comments! 🙂

 

 

 

 


Read Full Post »

Psalms 27:11 “Teach me thy way, O Lord, and lead me in a plain path, because of my enemies.”

One of the foundational truths about godliness and Christianity as seen in the early church and the patriarchs is their yieldedness to divine leadership. In my opinion it is the single factor that determines success (for a godly man) in the sight of God. Divine leadership unfortunately is placed lowest in priority sometimes way below ones emotional and social needs, etc.

Do you choose HIS leadership only in some areas or difficult decisions OR do you want to make it your lifestyle?

What does the bible teach us about divine leadership? Let’s learn!

The Leadership of the Spirit

1.       Jesus depended totally upon the Holy Spirit’s leading:

Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, left the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness where for forty days he was tempted by the devil. He ate nothing during those days, and at the end of them he was hungry.” Luke 4:1-2

Right after receiving the fullness of the Spirit, Jesus was led into the wilderness by the Holy Spirit. And for forty days he was tempted by the devil. During this time he had to depend on the leadership of the Spirit to overcome every temptation.

2.      Baptism of the Holy Spirit:

So why is the baptism of the Holy Spirit given? So that we can yield to the leadership of the Spirit and with that yeildedness comes power. When you say, “I want to be filled with the Holy Spirit, you are essentially saying, “I want to establish the Spirit’s leading in my life”.

3.      Being led requires knowing His ways:

 

Teach me Your way, O LORD, And lead me in a smooth path, because of my enemies.” Ps. 27:11

David was constantly asking the Lord for His leadership. Twelve years of running away from Saul and living in the wilderness, David learned the importance of God’s leading. He also learned to know and understand the Lord’s ways. Not only to be led but know His ways. To know HIS way is to know what the Spirit will require you to do in a particular situation. God wants us to be not only led but KNOW HIS WAYS so that we do it proactively.

4.      Sonship is given to only those who are led:

“For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.” Rom 8:14

“But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.” Gal. 5:18

Only those yield themselves to the leading of the Holy Spirit can be called as the sons of God. Those who obey the guidance of the Spirit are no more under the law or bondage.

5.      Learn the ways of the Spirit:

“The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit.” John 3:8

Jesus was teaching that you can learn the ways of the Spirit and as a born-again person – you are supposed to!

6.      The Spirit should remain upon your life:

“I did not know Him, but He who sent me to baptize with water said to me, ‘Upon whom you see the Spirit descending, and remaining on Him, this is He who baptizes with the Holy Spirit.” John 1:33

This is another key to walking with God. There are many today who become anointed at some point in their life, but for whatever reason, that anointing does not remain upon them. They do not know how to ‘KEEP’ the anointing. The key to walking with God is , as the scripture points here is to have the Spirit descend and ‘remain’ on you. This calls for a daily, accountable intimate walk, in fact a lifestyle of walking in communion with God.

 

Keynotes on Divine Leadership:

  •  One of the first things He does – He sets up His leadership
  • Everything depends upon your yielding to that leadership
  • Where does the leadership take you? To be like Him in character and power.
  •  Two key aspects to His leadership are learning His ways (Ps. 27:11) and yielding to His guidance and direction (Lu. 4:1-2).
  • Know that you are not called a son till you are walking in His leadership
  • God’s plans for you can only be known if you walk in His leading.
  • Not only should you be baptized by the Spirit but also the Spirit should remain upon your life.

Read Full Post »

TUESDAY, AUGUST 23, 2011

The Feats of Wisdom….

Wisdom, the most precious of all treasures, desired and sought after by all men in all ages, has its remarkable exploits. In the bible, the book of proverbs, chapter 9 talks about the feats wisdom have accomplished. Wisdom cries out constantly, “Forsake the foolish ways and live and go in the ways of understanding” Pr. 9:6.

The word “foolish” means silly, simple, helpless, weak, exhibiting lack of common sense or sound judgment, being stunned or dazed. The word simple can further be explained as humble, innocent, ignorant, not culturally sophisticated. On the other hand “understanding” means knowledge, meaning, and wisdom.

The bible tells us to forsake the simple way (humble way, weak way, innocent way, unsophisticated way) and go into the way of the knowledge, meaning and wisdom. Take any matter, do not remain simple & ignorant about it but be sophisticated (gain understanding, gain knowledge about it). Wisdom’s way is to gain understanding. Once you gain understanding wisdom will come in that matter.  “A foolish woman (any foolish person) is clamorous: she is simple, and knoweth nothing.” Pr. 9:13.  If you want to operate in wisdom (operate in knowledge) forsake foolishness or ignorance.

The first few scriptures of Proverbs 9 show us that wisdom is established and wisdom offers a call to gain it. The only way you begin to gain wisdom and walk in understanding is to get to know the Lord and fear (revere) the Lord.

Key Notes on Wisdom:

  1. Forsake folly (simplicity, weakness, being unsophisticated). Become detail oriented, sophisticated, gain understanding, proceed in the way of understanding)
  2. Do not correct a scoffer (Do not reprove a wicked man)
  3. Give instruction and offer correction to a wise man
  4. Fear (Revere) the Lord
  5. Get to know Him (Knowledge of the Holy one)

Read Full Post »

 

“…and to him that ordereth his conversation aright will I show the salvation of God” Ps. 50:23.

God is asking His people to “order” their conversation and to order it “ARIGHT”. The word order in the original Greek is “soom or seem” which means appoint, ordain, rehearse, work.

  1. These are the works of evil (what an evil man does with his mouth):
    1. They hate instruction(The Lord’s instruction)
    2. They cast the instruction of the Lord behind
    3. They speak against their own brother
    4. They slander about their brother
    5. They consents with an evil person
    6. They partake with adulterers
    7. They give their mouth to evil
    8. Their tongue frame deceit
  2. We are to order our conversation. Order means to dispose (arrange, set in readiness, arrange in an orderly way). Our conversation should e ordered, disposed, rehearsed. Why should it be ordered or rehearsed? So that it is right, whatever comes out of our mouth is the right conversation.
  3. God is telling the wicked: Let there be a change in your attitude. Do not hate the Lord’s instruction but love it!! Go into God’s presence seeking instruction. The purpose of your quiet time and time with God should be to receive instruction(chastisement if necessary, discipline, correction, …doctrine)
  4. When an instruction comes to you from the Lord assimilate it, actuate it and let it become part of your life!

Few things to stir away from:

v  Do not consent (be pleased with, accept, approve) with an evil person.

v   Do not partake with adulterers.

The dictionary meaning of partake:

  • Do not have any portion with
  • Have anything to do with
  • To take part in/with
  • To have portion of/fellowship with

The writer of proverbs is clearly telling us (under the direction of the Holy Spirit) not to have fellowship/communion with adulterers.

v  Do not allow your mouth to speak evil (give your mouth to evil)

v  Do not frame any fraud or deceit or guile with your mouth

v  Do not speak against your brother

v  Do not slander your brother

Read Full Post »