If a man is
caught in ANY TRESPASS, you who are spiritual,
John 15 says that if you abide in Him, you shall be fruitful. Have you wondered just how to bear more fruit? Romans 7:4 gives us an answer that is seldom preached. If you (1) become dead to the law and (2) are joined to Jesus, you can bring forth fruit for God. It has seemed to me that most sermons imply that if you are alive to keeping the law, you will bear more fruit for God.
Rom. 5:6, 7 and 8 make it clear that before we invited Christ into our lives, we were helpless sinners, debtors, enemies and bankrupt of anything we could bring to Christ. We had to come to realization that our salvation was totally dependent on receiving the "abundant grace and the gift of righteousness by one man, Jesus Christ." Rom.5:17
Rom. 6:1 says that Grace abounds when we sin more. This was great when we saw our need for grace, but when someone else 'sins all the more', it can be hard to grasp the bigness of the grace of God, that abounds even more. It only seems fair, to us, that those who are trying to do the good works should get more grace. Shouldn't doing good works earn more righteousness in our heavenly account?
In Matt. 5, Jesus says you can take the law route to God, but you can't miss even one, can't be imperfect, sinful, can't fail or even have bad thoughts. You can pay for your own sins but you will have to pay forever and ever. He said you will have to do a better job than these Pharisees sitting around Him. When we think about it we remember that we can't do anything to add to the gift of righteousness that Jesus gave us as a gift.
How do we slip back soooo quickly into thinking that we have to earn our acceptance and approval from God? or that there is any way that we can? What then does Jesus want from us? Don't we have a debt to pay to Him for all that He has done for us?
Rom.6 is all about how we died with Him, were buried with Him and were raised to live a life free from the law of sin and death. Even as Christ died once and dieth no more, our "old man is dead" also. He has provided the solution to our sinful old man who could not please God. ll Cor.5:17 says that "old things are passed away and all things are made new. We are "new creations" not new creatures. Creations are made from nothing. God took our total inability to please him, brought the old man to death by His cross and made us "partakers of a divine nature." FORGIVEN OLD CREATURES DON'T GET TO HEAVEN; ONLY NEW CREATIONS. We aren't "old men" with tickets to heaven; we are born again spiritual people.
What does Jesus want? Rom. 7 says that He wants us to die to our old husband, the law and be married to Him. He calls him who keeps on trying to please God by keeping the law, an adulteresses. He has come as our bride groom and wants us to finally accept His proposal to provide us with a new identity as His bride. He doesn't want us to live our old life "for" Him, He wants that dead. He wants us receive His life in and through us, as us.
Most sermons covertly or overtly give us the message that Jesus saved us just so that we could please Him with our good works better. Jesus said I came to give you a whole new spirit and "He that is joined to the Lord, is one spirit with Him." l Cor.6:17 He prayed that we would be "one with Him as He is one with the Father." John 17 Is that possible? It is not only possible, if we will die to earning our righteousness, we can receive our new identity and be joined to Jesus to partner with Him. Dying to the old man who married us to the law and being joined to Jesus as a new creation, to bear the fruit is the whole point!
Being joined to Jesus, being born again, being made heirs, being made brides, being made sons, being made priests, being made brothers, being chosen........ all these are what Jesus has done for us, that no good work could do for us. Apart from Jesus living his life through us, we can't life the Christian life at all. Those thinking separated thinking, that they can do a good work in their own strength and offer it to Jesus, are the enemy of the gospel (by grace through faith in the cross of Christ.)
He has just ask that we present our bodies already made acceptable by Him and He will prove what is the perfect will of God as we let Him live His life through us. As we die to our own separated strength (keeping the law) and allow Him to join us to Jesus, we will bear fruit for God. We will be brides, impregnated with His life and a new birth with come forth. In fact, it always takes a union to cause reproduction of new lives.
I believe that Romans 7 makes it clear that the battle is between the flesh and the spirit. (except for the NIV and LB that erroneously translate flesh as Old Nature in Rom.7:18) Jesus has given us a new identity at the point of salvation. We were made family. Of course our flesh remembers the old programming when we were Mrs. Law, but we don't owe that old man anything. We are joined to Jesus now. We are filled with His life. That life in us will birth His fruit ---- We shall be fruitful from abiding in Him. Christ in us is the mystery of the gospel!
Did you ever feel like a hurtful conflict was still unresolved even though you had sincerely forgiven them? Did you sense that they no grasp of how badly they had hurt you? Did you think that trying to reconcile was almost hopeless, because they had made no effort to rebuild the trust they had crushed? Your perceptions may be right!
True Godly repentance comes from a Godly grief about sinning against God first of all, and secondly, understanding how badly they hurt others. It is a broken heartedness about what was done without making excuses, blaming others or presenting half truths. It says, "Will you forgive me for hurting you by ______________?"
Remorse rationalizes and expects God to condone sin or compromise. It avoids consequences, asking for forgiveness or making restitution because it cannot face it's own sinfulness. It is sorry about the pain they caused themselves and seeks to cover their selfish motivations.
David demonstrated true repentance when he said, "I have sinned," without focusing on himself. He accepted the truth and focused on the damage he had caused, with a true compassion. He did not rationalize but was ready to face the consequences of his sin. He was willing to change his mind and heart and work for restoration. He did a 180 turn around and remained obedient. (ll Sam.12:1-16)
The Bible is also full of examples of required restitution. (i.e. Ex.22:1-17, Lev.6:1-5, Luke 19:1-10) God understands that true repentance will result in a desire to restore what has been broken or stolen. Restitution helps to heal the wound and rebuild. the love and trust. It makes complete forgiveness possible, versus presuming others will just forget the hurt. By their efforts to rebuild, they bless the hurt ones with Godly comfort.
The process of restitution also helps the offender to feel the depth of their offense and die to the selfish motivations that caused the offense. When offenders are required to prove their repentance by serving in a humbling way, with a brokenness and contriteness, they begin to appreciate the cost of sin. They learn to value the need to earn trust and respect by a life of integrity. (Psalm 51:17)
A person who is humble before God will value the privilege of being accountable to good leadership and will voluntarily "report in." None of us are so mature that we do not need to be accountable for our choices and motivations. We all need to know our areas of potential vulnerability -- the enemy certainly knows them!!
In the meantime, no matter how deep the hurt was, we should check our own motivations to see if we desire to see the offender repent for their own sake as well as ours. Will we rejoice when they are restored, reconciled and allowed to resume their place in the body of Christ? Can we bless them with every spiritual blessing? Do we look forward to being able to fellowship with them again? We must consider ourselves lest we fall in the same way.
restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself,
lest thou also be tempted.
than Defensive Warfare
We were having a wonderful time yesterday visiting a church in Monticello, when I was suddenly asked to preach the morning sermon because the pastor was sick. God had already awakened me at 5AM with a message about applying the Word to our own lives and getting free of the blocks and attacks from the enemy. The people were very responsive and many wanted prayer, when they realized that they had been blocking their own progress. Their humility to repent of sin is the kind that leads to revival fires!
MOST CHRISTIANS are familiar with verses that prohibit judging others with condemnation, dishonoring parents and authorities, sowing sinful attitudes and having bitter or negative expectations of others. Why do we keep shooting ourselves in the foot? When we break God’s laws, they break us. Can we sow disobedience in an area without reaping trouble in that same area? Or do we just apply the Word to someone else and leave ourselves vulnerable?
ALMOST EVERY TIME that I, or anyone else, complains of unwanted patterns in our life, it is because we have not been applying God’s word to ourselves on a daily bases. When Satan throws us new bait, we do not discern his plan and we just do what comes “natural.” Our sinful reactions give him legal permission to harass us.
WE NEED to swing the sword of the Spirit as Ephesians 6 says, not just own a sword. We may not need as much defensive “Spiritual Warfare” if we would swing the Sword of the Spirit daily! Everyone is in the war: either on the bottom or the top of the pile. We can stay on the top of the pile by swinging our Sword in daily OFFENSIVE WARFARE.
Here are some choice verses for meditating on offensive warfare.
James 1:19-23 It will purify our reactions.
19 My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, 20 for man's anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires. 21 Therefore, get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent and humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you. 22 Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.
Col 3:15-17 It will purify our ministry.
15 Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. 16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God.
John 8:31-32 It will purify our commitment.
31 To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, "If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. 32 Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free."
Phil 2:14-16 It will purify our walk.
14 Do everything without complaining or arguing, 15 so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe 16 as you hold out the word of life - in order that I may boast on the day of Christ that I did not run or labor for nothing.
Ps 1:1-2 It will purify our discernment.
Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of mockers. 2 But his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night.
Ps 119:9-12 It will purify all our “ways.”
How can a young man keep his way pure? By living according to your word. 10 I seek you with all my heart; do not let me stray from your commands. 11 I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you. 12 Praise be to you, O LORD; teach me your decrees.
RISE UP SPIRITUAL WARRIOR AND SWING
YOUR SWORD OF THE SPIRIT!
How to Overcome Eating Strongholds
Until I was 28 years old, I was a sugar-holic; I started each day with desert! I didn't realize the damage that was being done to my body, until doctors told me that my lab work was like that of an alcoholic and my bones had only 66% of normal bone density. In fact, I had been proud that my addiction was not overeating, alcohol, smoking or drugs. On the outside, I was slim, trim and looked healthy. I learned that the enemy was using sugar to destroy me.
A sugar demon was the first demon that I ever heard talk out loud through a human being. He bragged unashamedly about how he was destroying her, organ by organ. It became real to me, that the problem was in the heart, not in the mouth. In our efforts to find comfort outside of Jesus, we are entering into idolatry of sugar, food, alcohol or drugs. Satan suggests addictive solutions to our problems and they are meant to lead to the "desolation of the temple." Jesus made it clear that we are not to desecrate the temple of God and demonstrated his anger when people misused the temple.
Jesus said, "It is not what goes into the mouth that defiles us, but what proceeds out of the heart." IS OVEREATING SIN TOO? if it is not what is going into the mouth that is the root problem, but what is in our hearts? When we abuse and deface the house of God, we sin. We are not loving God with our whole heart or loving ourselves. The word says that we can only love others like we love ourselves. Anyone who comforts themselves with these compulsions, is "walking after the flesh, instead of walking in the Spirit." Ecclesiastes says that "the chief desire of man is food." We are worshipping our addiction as our source, instead of the Holy Comforter.
Want to know about the about the grace diet program?
You cannot overcome the sin in your heart and your stronghold by trying harder to keep the law in your own strength. Diets can be a form of law and the word says that the power of sin is the law i.e. the more you say "Thou shalt not" the more you think about doing it. Jesus overcame temptation by swinging the Sword of the Spirit and we win over strongholds the same way.
YOU ARE WELCOME TO PRINT
OUT THESE VERSES and begin to pray for yourself for 40 days, like
Jesus did in Matthew 4. To walk in the spirit we have to choose to
agree with the Spirit FOR 40 DAYS, allowing God to transform our
minds as in Romans 12:1-2. We have to say to our flesh and to our
I Jn 1:8-9 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to CLEANSE US FROM ALL UNRIGHTEOUSNESS.
Rom 8:14-15 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. 15 For ye have not received the spirit of BONDAGE AGAIN TO FEAR; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.
Prov 3:5-7 TRUST IN THE LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. 6 IN ALL THEY WAYS ACKNOWLEDGE him, and he shall direct thy paths.
LET YOUR MODERATION BE KNOWN unto all men. The Lord is at
Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and
supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto
And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall
keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
Behold, I am the LORD, the God of all FLESH: is there any
thing too hard for me?
Heb 11:6 But WITHOUT FAITH IT IS IMPOSSIBLE to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.
1 Cor 9:27 But I KEEP DOWN MY BODY, and bring it into subjection ......
THOU SHALT NOT BOW DOWN THYSELF to them, nor serve them: for
I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the
fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of
them that hate me
Heb 4:12 For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the THOUGHTS AND INTENTS OF THE HEART.
Rom 14:23 And he that doubteth is damned if he eat, because HE EATETH NOT OF FAITH: for whatsoever is not of faith is sin.
Eph 6:11 Put on the whole armour of God,
that ye may BE ABLE TO STAND against the wiles of the DEVIL.
1 Cor 10:13
There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to
man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted
above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also MAKE A WAY
OF ESCAPE, that ye may be able to bear it.
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.
2 Cor 5:21
FOR HE HAS MADE HIM TO BE SIN (FOR US), who knew no sin; that
we might be made the righteousness of God in him.
CONFESS YOUR FAULTS one to another, and pray one for another,
that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous
man availeth much.
Gal 5:19-21 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, 20 IDOLATRY, ........
2 Cor 3:6
Who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament;
not of the letter, BUT OF THE SPIRIT: for the letter killeth, but
the spirit giveth life.
Rom. 6:1 says that Grace abounds when we sin more. This is great when we see our need for grace, but can we see our need for God's grace to overcome this sin? It can be hard to grasp the biggness of the grace of God, that abounds even more. It only seems fair, to us, that our self effort, trying to do the good works should get more grace. Shouldn't TRYING TO DO good works earn more grace and righteousness?
God has just ask that we PRESENT OUR
BODIES, already made acceptable by Him and He will prove what is the
perfect will of God as we let Him live His life through us. (Romans
12:1-2) Romans 7:1- 4 says that as we die to our own separated
strength (keeping the law) and believe that he has joined us to
Jesus, we will BEAR GOOD FRUIT for God. We will be brides,
impregnated with His life and a new birth with come forth. In fact,
it always takes a union to produce fruit.
I believe that Romans 7 makes it clear that the battle is between the flesh and the spirit. (except for the NIV and LB that erroneously translate flesh as Old Nature in Rom.7:18) Jesus has given us a new identity and WE CHOOSE TO BE AN EXPRESSION OF HIS SPIRIT, A TEMPLE OF THE HOLY GHOST.
When you say grace - "say GRACE."
Intercession or Accusation?
Rick Joyner said, "Scriptures reveal that there are two things which go on continually before the throne of God: intercession and accusation." Jesus "always lives to make intercession" for us. Heb.7:25 Satan is called "the accuser of our brethren... who accuses them before God day and night." Mark11:17 We are either an expression of Jesus, to love our brothers in intercession, or an expression of Satan, to accuse them when we think they have failed.
Demons are most successful when they can use us to do their work of accusation Their desire is to find people who will allow them to speak through them, to accuse and damage other people. Will we choose to listen to accusations and become a medium to voice them? Will we choose to be an expression of Jesus our intercessor who forever lays down His life that others may prosper?
Demons know that they must divide us to weaken us or they will be defeated. If only two of us in agreement, can put ten thousand to flight (Deut.32:20), Christians who are in harmony are very dangerous. I have heard it said that witches are afraid of Christians who know who they are in Christ, because then they know their authority over demonic powers.
Satan is not omnipresent, so the only way he can accuse us before the throne day and night, is to use us to do his work. He preys on insecure people who will criticize members of their own body in order to gain position or control. If he can speak accusations through the leadership, others will follow their example. When we are used to criticize others, to promote ourselves, we actually lose ground, because it is Jesus who exalts and prospers. James 4:6 "God resists the proud but gives grace to the humble."
Our Heavenly Father is committed to protecting His children and His investments in their hearts and lives. He takes these assaults personally as if it had been done unto Him. He does not appreciate accusers slandering His handiwork in us. Ultimately, accusers are accusing God the Father.
How much better, to remember who we are in Christ. We are ministers -- servants to those who are in need. We are to partner with Jesus to reconcile people to Himself and to each other.
Cor.5:19 that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ,
not counting men's sins
Most people can identify and criticize the weakness of others; that is no great talent. How many have a heart to restore another when they need it most? How many really believe that Jesus does restore 100%? Or do we put them on a shelf, punish those who slip or say they can only enjoy God's plan B now, with no hope?
Gal.6:1 Brothers, if someone is caught in a sin, you who are
It all comes down to who we believe Jesus Christ is.....
If you believe that the blood of Jesus has not lost its power, that he can still take a Mary Magdeline, deliver her and make her part of the ministry team.... Then make a fresh commitment to "Love covers a multitude of sins." l Peter 4:8 Learn to discern without adding your own interpretation or condemnation. Lets have the heart of a true minister who serves and is more interested in building up others than himself.
If you liked this, you may like Rick Joyner's book: "Epic Battles of the Last Days"