“I am calling this series “God’s GPS” and I am calling it that for a reason. All of us need a map, a plan to follow. We need to know where we are going. We need to feel like we are a part of something that is headed somewhere. All these events in the world are not just random events. We need the sense of God’s sovereignty in our lives that He is in charge. We need to feel like we are a part of something that is dynamic, moving and growing, and has a conclusion that is exactly what God intends for it to be….
By Pastor Christy Mitropoulos
Associate Pastor of Healing Grace Church
Several months back I was going through a difficult time in my life, and as much as I wanted to trust God to work things out in a specific area, I knew I was struggling, not resting.
If someone had asked me at the time, “Is God trustworthy?” I would have answered, “Of course He is!” But for some reason, in this one area of my life, I felt as if I was much better suited at handling things than He was. Oh – I knew He was God – and could see everything from beginning to end; it wasn’t that I thought I knew MORE than He did; I just felt like in this particular area of my life…
I am absolutely astounded that God, the Great Three in One, knows me so personally and has such delight and desire for me and to live His life in me.
I have lived in a place of union and intimacy with Abba for some years but this revelation continues to grow day by day. He really does think I’m special.
He has the ability to make each one of us think…
Have you ever felt like God has hit the mute button and you can’t hear Him? Let me encourage you that He has not, but sometimes it sure feels like it. I am going through a time now where it seems like this is the case and I just can’t hear Him speaking. One thing we have to remember is just because…
“Religion and legalistic Christianity are tools the enemy uses to limit the damage done to his kingdom by the finished work of Christ. He uses religion to keep people out of the Kingdom of God through the lie of works-based salvation. He uses legalistic Christianity to keep true Christians from being able to demonstrate and display to the world the glorious Gospel of grace, and thereby limiting the impact a transformed life should have on the world.” (Pure Grace, page 87-88)
The performance based approach in relating to God that is the hallmark of legalistic Christianity does not allow the glorious transformational work of the Holy Spirit to function properly. When one is always fearful that God is angry and disapproving, intimacy with Him is limited. Grace invites us to come boldly and without hesitation into God’s presence. It is there, in His presence, that we are transformed and matured. Legalism in all of its forms is a deadly deterrent to growing up in Christ and allowing love to regulate our lives. If I were the enemy, I would use the tactic of legalism too!
“Jesus kept the law and fulfilled its requirements for us. He did for me what I could not do for myself! This New Covenant is between God and His dear Son. Our part is to believe and receive what Jesus died to give.” (Pure Grace, page 77)
Since God’s grace is freely given, there are only two possible responses. One can reject grace or receive it. Grace cannot be earned; it is a gift. Therefore, to be possessed, it must be received. Receiving grace is impossible if one doesn’t believe it. Believe and receive! The New Covenant is massively important to all Believers but the practical benefits of this magnificent covenant are missed if one doesn’t believe it and receive it. I CANNOT EARN THE BENEFITS AND BLESSINGS OF THE NEW COVENANT!! Jesus “earned” the blessings for me and I honor Him by receiving what cost Him his life to give. When any Believer receives by faith what Jesus freely gives, he is blessed indeed!
“Our union with Christ and our free access to our Heavenly Father begins to produce the fruit of the Holy Spirit in us. The New Covenant guarantees that God’s throne is a throne of grace and as we access His presence and continue to abide there, we are transformed into His image. If we will continue to “see” Him, we will become like Him. Human effort through law keeping will not produce Christ-likeness. The New Covenant will. ” (Pure Grace, page 75)
Maybe a better way to say it is that an understanding and belief that we (Believers) are recipients of the New Covenant by faith and that truth will produce Christ-likeness in us. Our understanding of the New Covenant is corrupted and made ineffective in our daily lives if the Old Covenant is mixed with it. THERE MUST BE NO MIXTURE OF THE OLD IN WITH THE NEW!! The New Covenant guarantees full and absolute access to our Heavenly Father and His presence is the dynamic that transforms us into His Image. “The letter kills but the Spirit brings life”.
“Jesus has perfected for all time those who have been made perfect. (Hebrews 10:14). Please don’t argue with God about this. Don’t allow the enemy and his agents to move you off this glorious truth regardless of how hard it is to believe. If you will accept the reality that you are fully sanctified and wholly acceptable to God without sin attached to you, a remarkable thing will slowly begin to happen. You begin to be transformed through the renewing of your mind into the image of God. Love begins to govern your life, love for God, love for yourself, and love for others. You begin to become who you were created to be. That is the power of the New Covenant at work in you. ” (Pure Grace, page 75)
Good Advice and Good News
Pastor Clark Whitten February 17, 2013
New American Standard Version Used
15 Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth. 16 Avoid godless chatter, because those who indulge in it will become more and more ungodly. 17 Their teaching will spread like gangrene. Among them are Hymenaeus and Philetus, 18 who have departed from the truth. They say that the resurrection has already taken place, and they destroy the faith of some.
2 Timothy 2:15-18
“Jesus could offer Himself as a perfect sacrifice because He was perfect; and in the doing of that, we who believe have been perfected too!” (Pure Grace, pages 73-74)
One cannot be in union with a Holy God without being sanctified (made holy). Sanctification is not progressive as so many believe and teach. It is fully accomplished when one believes. Hebrews 10:14 clearly says “For by one offering He has perfected for all time those who are sanctified”. The blood of bulls and goats could never “take away” sins but only cover them. Because Jesus’ sacrifice was perfect, He accomplished the great and glorious miracle of taking away our sins and bringing us (believers) into union with God. When a believer sins, the sin is not “taken into account”. (Romans 4:8). We all are more blessed than we can possibly imagine!