Friday, September 14, 2007

So Walk In Him - Part 2

Continued from Part 1

The devil loves this confusion between Saint and Sinner, and between New Covenant and Old Covenant. He loves confusion between the biblical concept of a "Saint" as anyone who is a born-again child of God, and the Roman Catholic nonsense that a "Saint" is someone who meets some elaborate criteria of the Mother Church, and is "voted in".

The devil loves confusion between the Old Covenant (which Hebrews 8 says couldn't bring righteousness because of man's inability to keep the Law) and the New Covenant, in which God puts His laws in our hearts, fulfills those laws in Christ on the cross, declares us righteous (Justification), and forgives us of all our sins, past, present and future.

So it's no surprise -- though a crying shame -- that children of God think that God is angry at them when they fall short and sin. And otherwise fine Christians, who mean well, perpetuate this ridiculous notion, without one shred of support from the New Covenant Scriptures!

And so we Christians often run away from this angry God, instead of toward Him, when we fail. We won't look Him in the face, because we think it's a face of anger. What a tragedy.

This is not the place for an extended explanation of the subject in the scriptures. But here's a challenge for those who doubt what I'm saying: Search the epistles of the New Testament for any teaching that God is ever angry with His children.

By the way, don't think the passages on God's chastisement are regarding some kind of punishment out of anger. Study them closely, and you will see they involve loving, usually gentle correction, from a loving Father, who just wants his children to be in close fellowship with Him. No condemnation, no unforgiveness, no bitterness, no anger.

Like a daddy teaching his 1-year-old to walk, while the kid keeps wobbling, staggering, and falling...sometimes painfully in the wrong direction, but often into a laughing Daddy's arms for a big hug.

And that’s the biggest reason why grace is so important to the Christian life. Because it causes us to want to fellowship with Christ. To draw near to Him, and not away. And that drawing near is the very SOURCE of our Life.

"...Christ, who IS our life...", Colossians 3:4.

And ironically, moving away from a Law-based life to a Grace-based life doesn’t cause us to sin more, but less. That’s why Romans 6:14 says “For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under law but under grace.” You are not judged or loved or favored under Law, which says “do”, but under Grace, which says “done”.

With apologies to Jimmy Stewart, it can be a Wonderful Life between our initial salvation and our glorification, if we heed Colossians 2:6, and walk in grace just as we received Christ in grace ... by simple faith.

Faith that He has already forgiven us of all our sins, past present and future.

Faith that we are no longer under condemnation, because our sins have been paid for and put away as far as the East is from the West.

Notice I didn’t say He overlooked our sins. He couldn’t be that unjust. No, He exercised His great Justice, by taking our sins on Himself. He became sin FOR us, that we might be made the righteousness of God.

I love the hymn by Annie Johnson Flint that goes,

"His love has no limit, His grace has no measure,
His power has no boundary known unto men;
For out of His infinite riches in Jesus,
He giveth, and giveth, and giveth again."

You see, it’s His love that supplies that grace for salvation and living. His love for you and me.

On Sunday, August 16, 1987, Northwest Airlines Flight 225 crashed just after take-off at Detroit, Michigan.

155 died, and one lived.

That one who lived was a little 4-year-old girl named Cecelia. The wreckage was so bad, that the authorities thought at first she had not been on the plane. Checking the flight roster, however, and with Cecelia's own testimony, the following was discovered:

As the crash was developing, Paula Chichan had unbuckled her own seat belt, got down on her knees in front of her daughter, wrapped her arms and body around Cecelia, and would not let her go! Nothing could separate that child from her parent's love...neither disaster, nor crash, nor flames, nor pain.

Such is our Savior's love for us...
"...that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord." (Romans 8:38,39)

Part 1


Daelon said...

Hi Terry,

These posts have been so encouraging! I don't think you could have articulated this subject any better.

Terry Rayburn said...

Thanks, daelon. Good to see you.

Bhedr said...

It is interesting to note that Luke called the Pharisees in Acts 15:5 believers and so they were, but they were throwing the church into confusion. So we know this tendency is going to often occur as so much law was pumped out for so many years and mans tendency is always legal so we need to be patient with ourselves as well as others and remind ourselves everyday that Peter who himself struggled with this stood up and said, "Why then are you now testing God by putting on the disciples a yoke that neither our forefathers nor we have been able to bear?"

I love that Colossian passage. It has given me such peace and joy and understanding of what God is doing in our lives. Truly his grace is amazing. I love that quote on Daelons site that says God just doesnt care who he loves. So we all have our quircks and idiosyncracies, but if someone is boldly defying this as with Romanism then we are to consider them accursed by all means and never try to harmonize them into our fellowship. It is unfortunate that so many evangelicals have given place to Rome and I think that is why so much confusion continues to flourish and permeate Christs true church. May the Lord continue to bless you brother. I loved that post on Dr Kennedy and how you pointed out your strong point of agreement. That is one of the things I am finding to do now as I rarely find anyone that I fully agree with. Even you:-) but oh how closely I do and with Daelon as well.

God bless you dearly brother,