Tag Archives: Righteousness

Deny Yourself

deny_yourself

Jesus said, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.” Luke 9:23

Many people who mean well will use this verse out of context as a means to control and bully people(it would seem) and put them back under some type of law(trying to earn God’s favor). They inadvertently take the focus off of Christ and His finished work, and put it on self and self efforts.

However, context shines light into this error.

Jesus foretells of His death, “The Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised.” – Luke 9:22

Then after, 24 For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will save it…”

26 For whoever is ashamed of Me and of My Words, of him will the Son of Man be ashamed when He comes in His glory and the glory of the Father and of the holy angels.”

In the context of this passage, “deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow Me,” means to be prepared to be rejected and killed for the message of Christ, the Gospel.

“Deny himself” is not talking (in context) about denying “a sinful self,” but denying your own will to live as Christ did in the garden of Gethsemane. By the way, our sinful self is dead with Christ, and we have a new self that is sinless. Anyways, Jesus’ will was to live, nevertheless, He submitted and said “Not My will, but Your will be done.”

So a simply explanation of this passage is, “Be willing lay down your life to die and be rejected every day for the Gospel, if it comes to that, and follow Jesus’ example of laying His life down on the cross.”

Take_up_Your_Cross

“Not my will, but Your will be done.”

Again, it’s not about us, it’s about Jesus. We only love because He first loved us.

God has made us new creations in Christ, the old has passed, behold the new has come. And if you have Christ Jesus you are righteousness, sanctified, and redeemed according to 1 Corinthians 1:30. And just to hammer the point that we are completely new, we have what Ephesians calls, a new self, created like God, truly righteous and holy.

Be blessed, and be transformed by the renewing of your mind in the Living Word!


A Mixed Message? Are We Okay, or Not?

image

We hear that we’re okay and that we’re not okay. We hear that we are sinners and that we are saints? We hear that we have a new heart and Christ dwells there but also that our heart is desperately wicked? We’re told we are forgiven but also that we’re not totally forgiven. We are righteous but we’re not “practically” righteous. We’ve heard that the devil is the accuser of the brethren and at the same time however, the Holy Spirit is the one convicting me of sins. We hear we’re not under the law but we still have to keep the law… well, just the moral law… uhm, just 90% of the moral law. We’re saved by grace through faith not of works… until after we’re saved, then it’s up to us? So did the gospel got worse once we believed?

We’ve heard we have eternal and everlasting life, that is unless we mess it up then it’s not eternal or everlasting. Or that Jesus lives in us and the Holy Spirit will never leave us or forsake us, but we can still be out of fellowship with Him? We hear Jesus became a curse to redeem us from the curse, then we hear you’re cursed if you don’t give. We hear grace is unearned favor, then hear if you don’t “fill in the blank” God won’t bless you. We talk about being new creations in Christ, but still think of ourselves as old creations trying to be better versions of our old selves. We sing about the power of Christ’s Blood and the cross, then talk and act as though It changed nothing. “What can wash away my sins, NOTHING but the Blood of Jesus.” …oh, and confessing them each and every time or it doesn’t count.

What does 1 John 2:1 say to do if we sin again?

My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.

What are we supposed to do if we sin? Oh, right. Keep trusting in Jesus Christ, our advocate, our righteousness, the propitiation for our sins, the Lamb that takes away the sins of the world(not that just temporarily covers).

The problem is this: We haven’t rightly divided the Word of Truth.
We are putting new wine in an old wineskin and wondering why it’s bursting. We’ve tried to balance Law and Grace, mixing cold and hot become LUKEWARM! Its time to pick ONE and stop being double-minded oh faithless generation of ours! Either follow Christ or the Law, but they DO NOT MIX!

Brothers, if we continue to talk out of both sides of our mouths, and wonder why churches are dying and people are falling away in droves then we are as blind as the pharisees of Jesus’ time. We search the scriptures for in them we think we have life, totally missing that they are all about Jesus. To rightly divide the Word of truth is to view it in light of the finished work of Christ on the cross.

I know grace is scary. It gives people a freedom to fail. (And how are they doing without that freedom?)  But what I’ve seen is that the freedom to fail actually frees us to succeed.

transformationalv-isuals

The gospel is not just for unbelievers, its for believers in EVERY STAGE OF CHRISTIAN GROWTH! The moment you’ve out grown the gospel of God’s grace, you’ve out grown Christ.