Thursday, September 25, 2008

Jesus and Me

Here's another pretty significant change I've been noticing lately in my life...

Since I've been very young I've always talked to God, I was a very shy child and I considered him my best friend. I had a perpetual conversation going on with him most of the time, I still do! But the older I got, the more I avoided reading the Gospels and missed out on getting to know God the Son, Jesus.

You see, under law, the Gospels are very discouraging and frightening to read! Jesus actually takes the typical human understanding of God's law and raises the bar incredibly and impossibly higher. I had always been taught that we were to follow Jesus' example of perfect obedience to the law, or a modified 'new covenant' version of the law that did away with the ceremonial parts but clung to the ten commandments merged with other so-called New Testament commands. But the good news, I was told, was that as a believer I now have the Holy Spirit who will empower me to obey this 'new covenant' law. If (or much more accurately when) I happened to break one of these commandments or another commandment of Jesus (or other NT writer), then I could repent *AGAIN*, confess my sin to God *AGAIN*, and be washed clean *AGAIN*, and start over with a fresh slate, all with the 'help' of the Holy Spirit.

There is a fatal error in this kind of teaching. God does not replace Old Covenant law with New Covenant law, he replaces law, an inanimate mediator, with a living mediator. We now live by faith in Jesus and a perpetual intimate communion with him by his Spirit in us. Nothing can ever separate us from him again!!!

Here is an extended quote of Joseph Prince preaching at Hillsong conference "Grace and Favour" ( if you can get a hold of these messages, they are great! you miss out reading him when hearing him is so much better!) , how we respond immediately after sinning is crucial:

"That's the point where the rubber meets the road. What do you do then? That the time when the devil comes to you and says: " You call yourself a believer? Look what you just did!" He's the accuser of the brethern. And that's the time you must recieve the gift of righteousness and the abundance of unearned undeserved favour all over again. Hallelujah! That's the time to say "I am the righteousness of God apart from my performance. And I tell you this, I've done it--you will rise above your anger. Hallelujah! Effortlessly, amen! You have not lost your righteousness, you cannot lose it! You see, the blood of bulls and goats in the Old Testament gave the people temporal forgiveness. The blood of the Son of God, the eternal blood of the Son of God, gives us eternal forgiveness!!! We are forgiven of our entire life of sin. Amen. You know for many years I was under the impression I only had my past sins forgiven, until I read in the Bible, the Bible says "in whom we have redemption through his blood the forgiveness" --we have it!-- "the forgiveness of sins"--watch this now--"according to the riches of his grace..." Not according to the poverty of my repentance, not according to the poverty of my confession, I cannot remember all that I did. But according to the riches of his grace! The day you can measure the riches of his grace, that's the day you'll know how much you've been forgiven! We have forgiveness of sins, we're not trying to get it, we have it. It was given to us at a great cost, the blood of Jesus Christ was shed. Without the shedding of blood their is no forgiveness, amen church?"....

"The prophecy of Daniel says Jesus would come to bring in everlasting righteousness. If you sin and you lose your righteousness and you have to be re-righteous, it was not permanent, it was not eternal. Even the Jews under the blood of bulls and goats have it better, at least they are made righteous or they are forgiven for one year. For us believers under the New Covenant, we are hardly forgiven completely for one day! Something is really wrong. We are dishonoring the blood of Jesus, bringing it lower than the blood of bulls and goats. If the blood of bulls and goats gives temporal redemption, temporal forgiveness, the blood of Jesus Christ gives you eternal forgiveness. Amen."

I love that! The blood of Jesus is more than enough for me and all my sin. And my sin has been taken care of once for all! Jesus did not come to condemn me but to save me, not to lay heavy burdens of law on me, but to fulfill the law and cancel the codes that stood against me, the letter that was killing me. He came to give me rest and fill me with his gift of righteousness, and from him will flow every good thing through me as I just believe and receive.

Since understanding grace, I have come to know the Holy Spirit more and more. You can't receive the Spirit through works of the law! Our efforts are not only worthless in drawing near to God, they actually drive us further from him. The law will always stand between us and God, that is why we needed Jesus to set us free from it! Not through abolishing the law, but by fulfilling it, and dying through it and to it in our place. Through union with him, we too have died through the law to the law! WE HAVE BEEN SET FREE FROM SIN AND THE LAW, WHICH IS THE POWER OF SIN. This is just Scripture I'm putting together here. Read Romans 7,8 and Galations 2. If you struggle with reading any of this, please read and reread Romans and Galatians over and over and over and ask God to reveal truth and grace to you. You NEED this truth to live!

Ok, got a little sidetracked as usual! Since I've come to know the Spirit of God, he's been revealing Jesus to me more and more. I see and hear Jesus everywhere these days and I really love him! I've missed out on so much joy by fearing him! I can't wait to know him more and more and more.


Matthew Daelon said...

Wonderful post, Julie!!! Do you mind if I e-mail this to some people in my Church?

jul said...

Thanks Matthew. Feel free to use it as you like, you never have to ask permission for something like that!

lydia joy said...

Wow that point about how believing you have to keep confessing and getting forgiven is lowering the blood of Jesus making it even less than the blood of bulls and goats, where you at least get forgiven for a whole year..........that is a great point!! I think the prophetic books are awesome, anyway I love this post, and I too have been seeing Jesus more in everything......and it's wonderful!!! Keep posting, people need to hear this!!