What do you see?

30 11 2017

No doubt you have been troubled by what is happening in our world today. There seems to be no end to the crisis, tragedy, and death. It appears that evil is everywhere and our world is collapsing all around us in hate and violence. In order to not be overtaken by what we are seeing it is vital that we remember a very important fact about our lives. Since our new birth in Christ, we have a whole new way of observing the world around us. Before being born again we could only see with our natural, limited eyes. But, now, in Christ, we have the option to see with eyes in the Spirit. – to see “behind the scenes” so to speak.

Eye-HealthAnd here is why it is so important to see in this new way. Read the rest of this entry »

22 11 2017

Thanks 2017

What is the “obedience” gospel?

16 11 2017

As a Christian do you know that there are two versions of the gospel or the good news? One says that while we have been saved we must live in obedience to Christ; we need to fulfill the commands of Christ. If you love me you will do what I command.., Jn 14:15, is a key verse of the obedience gospel.

The other gospel says that we are not only saved by Christ, we are now living as Christ. We obey naturally because we are one with the Spirit of Christ. Christ is living His life through us. His love has been poured out in our hearts (Rom.5:5) so we fulfill His commands as we live out His love. Read the rest of this entry »

One of the most devastating phrases in Christianity

30 10 2017

Survey the crossThere is a phrase I keep hearing these days among Christians that I find grievous. It is usually used to excuse some form of failure or sin on the part of a believer. In trying to make what is assumed to be the appropriate spiritual answer the response is, “Well, I am just a sinner saved by grace”. Is this the truth?

While it is true that all men were born into sin, the label of being a perpetual sinner dramatically changed forever in the cross of Christ. First of all, God says that we have been “justified freely by His grace”(Rom. 3:25). That means that we are no longer held accountable for our sins. The blood shed at the cross wiped away the debt of our sins and we are now ok with God (5:8).

Secondly, grace doesn’t just do away with the debt of our sins it also changed the nature of our being a sinner. God says that we died with Christ to sin. Our sin nature or “old man” was crucified with Him. We are no longer bound to something that we are dead to (Rom. 6:6). He says that we were changed from being “by nature children of wrath” to now “being made alive together with Christ..created in Christ Jesus for good works..” (Eph. 2:1-10). He says that we have now become “vessels of mercy” rather than “vessels of wrath” (Rom. 9:23). We have been given a new nature (2 Cor. 5:17), a new self-created like Christ (Col. 3:10). We are no longer sinners but saints. To claim you are still a sinner is to call God a liar.

But, the question always comes up, “What about when a believer sins? Doesn’t that show that he is still a sinner?”. God answers that by describing us as slaves (Rom.6:15-20). A slave is always a slave, following his master’s orders. But what happens when the master is not around? Will the slave do other things than what his master orders? Occasionally, yes. But that doesn’t change his nature. He is still a slave. As slaves of God, His saints, we still make mistakes, that some may call sins, but we are still saints. Are we in trouble with God? No, because we are under grace and grace teaches us through our failings who we really are, sons of God, filled with the nature and life of Christ (Titus 2:12, Gal.2:20).

Unfortunately, Christians too easily adopt ideas and phrases that have no basis in Scripture. Because of that we still live frustrated lives thinking we are just not capable of behaving as God intended. We need to stop calling ourselves something that God doesn’t and start living as we really are, sons of God, being filled with His fullness (Eph.3:19).

Be Jesus

Jesus As Us Mini Conference

11 10 2017

Our first mini-conference on discovering what it means to live as Jesus. Four men took 24 hours together recently on the Oregon Coast to learn from each other and the Holy Spirit on what the Bible says we are in and as Christ.

This is the first of more times to come giving men the opportunity to share together in the “mystery” of Christ in us. (Col. 1:27)

Why I can’t enjoy most worship songs

3 10 2017

PK-manI was listening to a Christian radio station in my car the other day hoping to be inspired as I drove but what I heard instead raised a question. Is what I am hearing the full truth? For example, one very popular, contemporary song suggests that we just endure life until we get to heaven, then everything will be alright. Another song cries out to God to please come and pour out His spirit with blessing and grace. Still, another is a prayer for God’s visitation in our church gatherings.

What are these songs suggesting? Is God distant, aloof, separate from our existence? Do we need to ask God to visit us or send something to us? Over the years song and hymn writers (and pastors) have been influenced by what can be called the “tree of knowledge”. That perspective on approaching God is dependant on scriptural knowledge and human behavior. It suggests that man can approach God through knowing about him and practicing the right morality, i.e. knowing how to be good and not bad. It is what is known as the “separation” paradigm. It holds that God and man are separated because of man’s flesh and sin and it is man’s job to get his life back into in the right place with God.

What is the full truth of the gospel? Read the rest of this entry »

Another Reformation

17 09 2017

500 years ago, on October 31st, 1517, Martin Luther, angered by the abuses and corruption of the Holy Roman Church, nailed a 95 point summary of his “protests” on the door of his church in Wittenburg, Germany. His actions were a part of a great “reformation” of Christianity that was sweeping not only Germany but the rest of Europe as well.

Castle ChurchToday, another reformation is occurring in Christianity. Again, it is a shift from a strict adherence to the conformity environments and abuses of organized Christianity to the freedom of living in Christ. The Spirit is moving upon people resulting in their seeking not a thing but Christ. It is no longer about the best preaching, pastors, or programs but seeking to live authentically as a vessel of Christ.

Nowhere in the Bible do we see Jesus setting up an organization or a set day for a meeting. Nowhere do we see Him authorizing leadership or styles of ministry. We only see Jesus calling men and women to a life of living in communion with Him. He would be our ultimate teacher, shepherd, and guide, the “fullness” of our lives (Eph. 3:17-20). Even as the Spirit spoke through the missionary statesman Paul, the emphasis was not about the organization but about living freely in and as Christ. The “church” or its leadership was not the focus, but rather the fulfillment of God’s plan in conforming people to Christ’s image (Rom.8:28,29).

Little did Luther realize how significant his “protest” would be in releasing the believer from the unscriptural control of the organized church and putting individual faith at the heart of our relationship with Christ. the DoorStanding in front of the replicated door to his “Castle Church” 500 years later you can sense what it took for believers in that day to stand for the truth that God was revealing to them concerning authentic faith in Him. It has always been God’s desire to see people released into the fullness of His life where He is our “all in all” (Col. 3:11). The organized church and even the Bible are tools that may help in this journey but they are not the end only the means to living fully as Christ’s image.

Be a part of this next great reformation. Let God draw you into a simple yet profound union with Him and let Him alone conform you to the image of His Son, Jesus.

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