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.





Adam is Dead!

20 08 2017

genealogyTracing our genealogies has become all the buzz. It’s even fashionable to give genetic test kits to family and friends. According to Wikipedia, Ancestry.com has become the largest for-profit genealogy company in the world. As of June 2014, the company provided access to approximately 16 billion historical records and had over 2 million paying subscribers. One writer says that genealogy is the second largest hobby in the US behind gardening. (1)

Why all the interest in our “roots”? It may well be part of the overall quest by people to find their true identity and personal meaning. Having an understanding of their lineage seems to offer them understanding as to who they are and why they function the way they do.

From the Bible, we know that all human nature has its origin in the first man Adam. This is why we are often referred to as the Adamic race. As descendants of Adam, we all acquired his “fearful” disposition toward God. Through Adam and his wife’s choice in the garden, he passed on to all succeeding generations that God was hard to know and trust.

But the Bible also says that that Adamic nature has been cut off, ended, killed. (2) It stopped at the cross of Christ. If you want to trace the origin of your human disposition you won’t find it after the Roman crucifixion of Jesus. From that point forward the human race has a new ancestor – Christ. He is the origin of the renewed human nature. The Adam in us is dead and we are now descendants of a new race, the Jesus race. (3)

But, if that is true then why do we still see people acting like their old Adamic ancestor, doubting and living independently of God? Did Christ’s death only change some of humanity? The fact is that All have been changed, made righteous, they just don’t know it!! And, until they know it, they are still under the illusionary bondage of the “dead” Adam.

Let’s start believing the facts about our true dispositional genealogy. We have died with Christ and have all been made alive in Him. We are people of life, not death. Let’s stop trying to “understand” or search out our old Adamic nature and start believing that we are now part of a new, free, alive humanity in Christ.

Be Jesus

(1) Gregory Rodriguez, Time, May 29, 2014
(2) Rom. 5:19, 6:6-8
(3) 1 Cor. 15:22





What is your “CQ”?

30 07 2017

The Apostle Paul’s greatest ambition was to know Christ (Phil. 3:10-11). He had come to realize that nothing compared with personally knowing Jesus, not his family heritage, religious fervor, or any traditions or values of his religious affiliation. Not only did this desire consume Paul but he encouraged us to do the same (v.15).

In our day we pride ourselves on our knowledge of other things such as earthly matters. This is known as our “IQ” or our intelligence quotient. Psychologists are also now measuring people in terms of their emotional quotient, which they call “EQ”. But what we should be seeking to increase is our “CQ”*, our Christ quotient, or our knowledge of Jesus.

In many Christian environments, the quest is for Bible or religious knowledge. Pastors are trained to “expound the word” and people feast over the weekly offering of Biblical truth. But there is a difference between knowing the “letter that kills” and the “Spirit that gives life” (2 Cor.3:6). All of the Bible is meant to reveal Christ, a real, living person (John 5:39). Unfortunately, what we are improving is our Bible or religious knowledge but not the revelation knowledge of Jesus.

It was Paul that also emphasized that Christ is our life (Col.3:4). He also stated that to live is Christ (Phil. 1:21). What more important thing in life can there be than Christ!? And yet, few people, even Christian believers, know Christ as the basis for their existence, their very strength, vitality, and freedom.

Our need is to increase our “Christ Quotient”, our personal revelation of the One who lives in us, as us. The more I speak with men and women about how much they know Jesus, not just how much they know about Him, I realize how much we have overlooked this vital element of our faith. We ask that the Father may give us/you the “Spirit of revelation and knowledge of Him” (Eph.1:17 NKJV). Let’s be consumed with knowing Him.

Dennis

*I realize that there are numerous other meanings of this abbreviation, but I have taken the liberty to suggest its use for this description.

 





Followers or Be-ers?

4 07 2017

Jesus-DiscipleshipFor years men have been challenged to be “followers” of Christ. That imperative is generally taken from the “Great Commission” found in Matt. 28:18-20. But, the total truth of the Gospel is that there is more to the Christian life than just a being a Jesus follower.

When Jesus used the term “follow me” He was speaking to His admirers before His crucifixion and Pentecost. You won’t find the command in the New Testament after Pentecost. Following someone around the Judean landscape was typically what people did when they liked a certain rabbi or teacher. Even after the teacher died they would still practice the teacher’s precepts and principles. Today, many Christians are still doing the same thing, following the teachings of Jesus as though He were a dead person. It’s not unlike any other religion.

The full truth of the Gospel is that, of course, Jesus is not a dead guy! He rose again and now after coming in the Spirit lives in every believer who has received Him. They are not just followers of His external teachings or commands but are living by the internal, spiritual expressions of Christ Himself. They are not trying to be like Jesus, or do things like He would have (WWJD), they are the very vessels of His life and glory. Plus, in view of the fact that all have died with Him on the cross, we exist or live not as our old selves but as Him (Gal.2:20).

Jesus never intended that people would just be His followers but be His temples, containers, and branches through which He would live out His life. This is the mystery of the Gospel, Christ IN us, not apart from us (Col. 1:27). We are no longer just followers of Jesus, we are “be-ers” of Him, living His life as He expresses Himself through us.

Be Jesus, not just His follower.





Do you really want to know Jesus?

26 05 2017

Phil 3-7

Here are some questions to ask yourself:

1. What is most important, your personal well being or knowing the person of   Christianity?

2. Are you concerned more about the things of your life or knowing the person who is your life?

3.  Are you trying to be a good person or trusting in the goodness of Christ?

4.  Are you anxious for your future or resigned to the future of Christ in you?

See Paul’s answers in Phil. 3: 7-11








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