Setting the Record Straight
by Sylvia Huffnagle
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Most of the church seems to think that because they claim Jesus, they are exempt from following God’s admonitions and precepts, but the truth is that God gave us Jesus so that we can follow His teaching and ways.
Jer: 32:17-19 reveals that our great and mighty God rewards everyone according to their ways and fruits. Today’s church seems to think that God sent Jesus so that mankind won’t have to reap what they’ve sown, but the truth is that God sent Jesus so mankind can change what he sows so he can change what he’s reaping.
We have not been given Jesus in order to be excused from obeying the Word. We have been given Jesus so we can carry out the Word. Just quit looking at mankind’s frailties and look to God’s greatness. Quit using mankind’s shortcomings as an excuse for sinning and messing up. Use the power of Christ within you to overcome them.
Many are teaching that when you “get saved” you are adopted back into the family of God and that parents don’t kick their kids out of the family for being disobedient, therefore God does not kick anyone out of His family either.
This is true but here is how it works. The child of God who chooses to disobey the Father puts him or herself in a position of estrangement from God just as they had been before they came to Him and asked to be saved, born again, accepted, redeemed, or whatever you call it when you are reconciled back to God..
When God adopts you, He gives you His Spirit which is life. But it was a heart choice that caused you to receive life and a heart choice can cause you to receive death. Matt: 8:11-12: … the sons and the heirs of the kingdom will be driven out into darkness.
In the story of The Prodigal the dad said, “This my son was dead, but is alive again.”
What caused him to die? He chose to leave the father’s household and go his own way.
What caused him to be alive again? He came home--repentant and subservient.
People come into a stable church and say, “This is stability. I will be safe here.” But little do they know that their adversary has other plans. They do not recognize that we are in a war. They all need to put on the full armor of God or they will be taken away. It’s just that serious, but the church’s emphasis is not on putting on the full armor of God, it is still on going to church and on grace overlooking weaknesses. My point is they are not preparing for battle, they think they are arming those already in battle. But it takes the full armor of God to defeat the enemy.
Deut:1-2: And it shall come to pass, if thou shalt hearken diligently unto the voice of the LORD thy God, to observe and to do all his commandments which I command thee this day, that the LORD thy God will set thee on high above all nations of the earth: 2: And all these blessings shall come on thee, and overtake thee, if thou shalt hearken unto the voice of the LORD thy God.
3-14: Blessed shalt thou be in the city, and blessed shalt thou be in the field. 4: Blessed shall be the fruit of thy body, and the fruit of thy ground, and the fruit of thy cattle, the increase of thy kine, and the flocks of thy sheep. 5: Blessed shall be thy basket and thy store. 6: Blessed shalt thou be when thou comest in, and blessed shalt thou be when thou goest out. 7: The LORD shall cause thine enemies that rise up against thee to be smitten before thy face: they shall come out against thee one way, and flee before thee seven ways. 8: The LORD shall command the blessing upon thee in thy storehouses, and in all that thou settest thine hand unto; and he shall bless thee in the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee. 9: The LORD shall establish thee an holy people unto himself, as he hath sworn unto thee, if thou shalt keep the commandments of the LORD thy God, and walk in his ways. 10: And all people of the earth shall see that thou art called by the name of the LORD; and they shall be afraid of thee. 11: And the LORD shall make thee plenteous in goods, in the fruit of thy body, and in the fruit of thy cattle, and in the fruit of thy ground, in the land which the LORD sware unto thy fathers to give thee. 12: The LORD shall open unto thee his good treasure, the heaven to give the rain unto thy land in his season, and to bless all the work of thine hand: and thou shalt lend unto many nations, and thou shalt not borrow. 13: And the LORD shall make thee the head, and not the tail; and thou shalt be above only, and thou shalt not be beneath; if that thou hearken unto the commandments of the LORD thy God, which I command thee this day, to observe and to do them:
14-15: And thou shalt not go aside from any of the words which I command thee this day, to the right hand, or to the left, to go after other gods to serve them. 15: But it shall come to pass, if thou wilt not hearken unto the voice of the LORD thy God, to observe to do all his commandments and his statutes which I command thee this day; that all these curses shall come upon thee, and overtake thee:
(Some may say, “That was for Israel in the Old Testament.” But it is written in 2Cor:1:19-20 that all promises are ‘yes” to those in Jesus. This is because Jesus fulfilled the law and all promises are ‘yes’ to Him. The key to obtaining all the good things is not to claim that you are among the redeemed, but to hide and abide in Jesus. To hide and abide in Him means to dwell in Him and He in you. This talks about an intimate relationship where Jesus is your Lord, Teacher, and Shepherd, as well as being your Savior, High Priest, Advocate, and big brother. If Jesus is these things to you, you will do things God’s way and be blessed in all you put your hand to.)
Gal:3:8-14: And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all nations be blessed. 9: So then they which be of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham. 10: For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them. 11: But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just shall live by faith. 12: And the law is not of faith: but, The man that doeth them shall live in them. 13: Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree: 14: That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.
(Those who are redeemed through Christ are entitled to the blessing of the Holy Spirit as it was promised to Abraham. Yes. It is God’s will that ALL those who are redeemed receive the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. This outpouring endues the believer with power from on high. Power to resist the enemy, power to witness, power to love your enemies, etc.)
God looks at everything through the eyes of love. He not only sees the action, He also sees what’s behind the action and He sees the short term and long term consequences of the action. That should help people understand why He deals with things the way He does. His eyes of love are not the kind that see no evil and they do not just see the sin. In the instant of the action or words, He sees not only the short term and long term consequences, He also sees the best course of action for Him to take toward the offender or toward the obedient.
When one has truly received Jesus and has made a true commitment to change, God sees them not only as they are today, He also sees the finished product--what He is going to make of the person. He sees them as they will be when He has accomplished His work in them. For this class, it is right to assure them that God considers them sinless in His eyes.
But what about the class of confessors who have not truly made the commitment to turn away from sin, turn to God, renew their mind, starve their carnal appetites, and be doers of the Word? Does God see them as sinless just because they say they asked to be saved? No. A person cannot receive God’s salvation until they truly repent and turn to Him.
The bottom line is that there is no use to going to church if the members are not going to be serious about the crucifixion and resurrection taking place in them, because they will never grow up or be perfected or be “one--the body of believers united” for long without it. In fact, without it, all a “body” can become is religious and develop their own religion instead of developing into the body of Christ.
The biggest difficulty in the true church is a lack of knowledge about being crucified with Christ and resurrected Christ in them. Oh, the people have heard this and acknowledge that it is so, but it is still an abstract instead of a reality. It is also true that this is not the spirit in the church nor in the average Christian’s life. Oh, there is a spirit of submission, but without the knowledge of how to apply it in their particular strong temptations, they continue to agree in their minds, but lose in their daily battles. For the crucifixion and resurrection power is God’s answer to mankind’s dilemma of how to live godly, of how to rule over their carnal nature, of how to resist temptation, and of how to submit to God.
The church must be delivered from this present natural gospel which is escape from hell, but not from sin, and be instructed in the super-natural gospel which is Christ in us is our hope of glory. Believers are empowered to crucify their carnal desires and live the resurrected life of Christ in us. Col:1:27
God is perfect in all things--perfect intelligence, wisdom, understanding, knowledge, love, goodness, and power. Christians, being human, are very imperfect, are very limited, are even perverted in some areas. Then there is the troublemaker to hinder them and their carnal nature to drag them down. This is not a negative article. Those things were pointed out only to show that Christians, as long as they are in a carnal body, can not be perfect--they cannot even be perfect children, but they can have a perfect heart toward God. That’s what they must have in order to be children of God and expect to overcome.
So let it be known that God is not expecting Christians to be perfect, but He does expect them to strive for all purity. He does expect them to run the race according to the rules. He does expect them to live by love and faith and not by fear or selfishness.
God is love. His justice is full of love. No, He did not have Jesus go through all that and shed His blood to satisfy His demand of death for sinning against Him. God’s justice included all that Jesus did because God is love. The wages of sin is death is why we die. Jesus had to do all He did in order to counter all that Adam and Eve had done in the fall. Adam committed selfishness. Jesus committed the supreme act of agape love. Adam’s choice is the kind of choice that causes innocent bloodshed. So Jesus chose to shed His innocent blood for the world. Adam hearkened to the lie and liar and disobeyed God. Jesus hearkened to God and obeyed Him. When we receive Jesus, we receive restoration in our relationship with God and restoration back to spiritual life. Our original power of choice is restored. We can choose the Adam way and die or the Jesus way and live. The grace that goes with this theology is offered only to those who choose righteousness.
There is another very subtle and tremendous lie being believed and spoken today. It is that Jesus came to give us peace and love. That sounds right because He did come to do that, but it can only be accomplished by receiving Jesus himself. The truth is if you receive Jesus and obey Him, you will enjoy peace and love. Note that human peace and love practiced by confessed believers who have not put on the Lord Jesus Christ is not real and lasting peace and love.
And those who are peddling peace and love without insisting that the recipient receive the author of peace and love are deceived and their labor is in vain.
© Sylvia Huffnagle
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