"You have made know to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore." ~Psalm 16:11
Saturday, April 4, 2009
To those concerned about Holy Living............
To whom it may concern,
I am sorry that somehow you get the impression that I don't care about how I live, based on what I have shared. It's just that I won't be identified by my behaviour, because life in Christ is not about behaviour, it's about life, abundant life, His life!!! Anyway, I trust the Christ in me and His grace to lead me into all truth and to teach me to say no to ungodliness and yes of course I hate sin, it's not in my nature to enjoy sin anymore! BUT, the only sin that matters now, is unbelief. God is not counting our sins against us, He dealt with sin once for all time at the cross. It's unbelief in the finished work of Jesus that seperates us from God - no other sin seperates us from God!!
Holy living is not just living life free from sin, or in other words not sinning and doing righteous acts. Holy living is much more than that. God is holy, and we are holy because we are seperated to God and we are in Him, therefore we are holy. So our life in God is indeed holy living. It's about living out of who we are, not what we do. Colossians 2:9-10 "For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form, and you have been given fullness in Christ, who is the head over every power and authority" We have been given fullness in Christ - or made complete. There's nothing more to have, or to need or to receive. We are complete in Christ!!
Anyway, as for the Scriptures that have been mentioned, it's important to realize, and I am just now seeing this more clearly myself, that it is not the 'law', the mosaic law that is written on our hearts, but His laws, which Jesus said what they are in the NT, a new commandment I give unto you, that you love one another as I have loved you.........This is what is written on our hearts, not the 10 commandments. We have nothing to do with that law anymore. And we simply cannot turn His law written on our hearts into 'a law'. His laws are a fruit of the Holy Spirit working in and through us. We will respond the more we know who we are in him!! The more we see His love for us first, we will then be compelled to love as He loves, because it's him loving through us anyway!! We most certainly can be reminded that love is the way, but not out of a 'you have to do this', law kind of mentality. It's out of us seeing His love first -always - His love compels us!!
As for David, he could say he loved the law because he was under the law, and that's how he related to God IN THE Old Covenant, we aren't in the Old Covenant anymore! I don't love the law! I love the one who fulfilled it on my behalf!! I died to the law, I have nothing to do with it anymore!! Remember all those Scriptures I shared awhile back, regarding the law in the believer's life!! (Galatians 3:10-14 & 23-35; Galatians 4:21-31; Colossians 2:14-15; Matthew 5:17; Romans 3:20; Romans 4:15; John 1:17)
My point is very close to what you say, however I know what has been taught to you at church, and they do not teach people to live in WHO THEY ARE IN CHRIST. I never once heard any of these truths hammered home from the pulpit. It was always focused on 'how to live', not on who we now are. I know what kind of bondage people are in and they don't even see it. I now know the difference between grace and law and the Old and New Covenant and I see mixture being taught there. I am sorry, but that is heresy! Sorry, I don't know if I ever said that to you before, and I don't say it lightly either. Your church and my former church were big advocates for the 'doctrine of indwelling sin' - remember the book, "When sinners say I do", (first of all Christians are no longer identified as sinner's, but saints, any reference to sinner in the New Covenant, is referring to the unregenerate), the first half plus of the book was all about sin. I'm sorry but that is bondage. Christians are NEW CREATIONS in Christ and Christ has become the identity of every believer!! For me to be convinced they are walking in the truth of the gospel, I would need to hear them switch directions entirely and go on a diet of pure grace, because they have got their people so sin conscious and so sin focused!! At the end of every message there were 'take it home questions', they always talked about sin and how to deal with it. We never revelled in who we now are. It was always about what we still need to do!! You can say it how ever you want, but that was what was happening. And based on your concern and focus on holy living in all our emails, above anything else, I'd say it's still true!! Anyway, I certainly don't want to focus on that. I'd rather share truth with an old friend and let the Holy Spirit do any shifting in hearts that needs to be done! Enough said on that!!
God is not counting men's sins against them, He dealt with sin once for all time. While we do live on earth and still are in the flesh and will have human relational issues to deal with, we have nothing left to deal with between us and God! Until people understand who they are in Christ, and that they are new creations (don't forget, your church teaches you aren't and that you still have a sinful nature - that is not true!! You can't have both the indwelling Christ alongside of indwelling sin, plus the Bible clearly teaches we have died to sin, our hearts have been circumcised, we no longer have a heart of stone, but a heart of flesh), until they see their whole salvation, that they are forgiven, free from sin because HE remembers them NO MORE, that they are free from curse, free from sickness, free from poverty, dead to the law, and the law has been cancelled and nailed to the cross, that Satan was defeated at the cross and made a public spectacle, that their old nature was cut out and a new one was put in, that they have died and been raised with Christ, and now belong to Him, and now have the very life of Christ within them and the righteousness of God imputed to them, and are perfect forever as well as seated in the Heavenlies with Christ Jesus........they will not be able to live in their salvation, and will 'try' to live a life they cannot. Only ONE lived the life, and He did it for all mankind! I would think you could never tire of speaking of this! And yes exhortations can come as reminders of who we are in how we live, but as far as I can remember that was all that was really focused on at our church, not coming from a solid focus on grace but on SIN and how to deal with it! Why deal with it, it's already been dealt with!! The way to deal with sin, is to believe in the finished work of Jesus, and continuously be reminded of who we NOW are!! As far as I can remember the only thing required of us is to BELIEVE!! The New Covenant is based solely on Christ's performance, not ours. It starts that way and finishes that way, it's a righteousness based on faith from first to last. We do not need to perform or produce holy living in order to keep our salvation, maintain it or become sanctified. We cannot please God by our efforts or holiness. Only one could please God and that was Jesus, and as He is so are we in this world. So God is pleased with us!! We can want to do things that are good and right, but they do not earn God's favor or blessing or approval! God never drives or forces us to do anything, He woos us with His tender love and empowers us by His Spirit.
Oh and as far as putting off the old self and putting on the new. We didn't do the putting off, God did, we just have to believe Him. Did you do anything to put off your old self? Cause if you did, that's works. And not to mention, not a complete work, a dead one!! Only Christ's finished work was satisfactory to God!! Anyway, I am not against reminders of what sinful/godly living is and isn't, but it's not my focus nor will it ever be! It's going to look different for everyone, because all things are lawful for me, but not all things are beneficial!!
Anyway, I am not sure why you need to persuade me or what you need to persuade me of that I am missing, are you worried about me or something? Is it your job or mine to persuade each other of anything? Or is it the Holy Spirit's?
"I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge - that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God."
The more we find out about who we are in Christ, the more we find out our true potential to reign in life and have true victory over sin!!! When we were born again, we moved from being in the flesh to being in the spirit. Let's live out of the unseen eternal realm of who we really are in our spirit!! Look not to the seen but the unseen my friend!! Grace and peace to you!!
*This post is from an actual email I wrote to someone, I thought it might be a helpful post!!! *