Thursday, May 26, 2016

The Sin of Not Believing / Judgment

For much of my religious life, I was taught that sin was something to be avoided at all cost. That I must strive for the Christian "perfection" that Jesus demonstrated. All out of my own ability as my due sacrifice to please God. I was so sin-focused, I never saw myself as righteous, nor could imagine myself to be. It was always those in the bible (Paul and the Disciples) that were the only ones righteous.

In my sin conscience, I became bitter at life because of my inability to perform the standards of Christianity. I failed miserably at the facade and charade I put on. I was very judgmental of not only myself, but others around me. I lived a me vs. them attitude... “who was living a better (more moral) life than me?” I would be so sin-conscious that I would both personalize my own sins and compare them to the seen sins of others. I never saw anyone as righteous either. And in my sin comparisons, I would rate sins on a scale of worse to worst. I would twist scripture into my sin-conscious attitude and not only condemn others but also myself. The worst for me being pre-marital sex. If I did that, no going to heaven...I can't "inherit the kingdom of God" if I did such a thing. And oh boy, how difficult was that to accomplish living in this so-called "fallen world" (which is really a redeemed world). I failed from a young age. It was easy to condemn others, but now what do I do now that I did the same?

What an absolute mess I was in growing up! I just wish I would have understood what it truly meant that Christ bore every single sin of my flesh once and for all time; for not only the whole world, but for me personally. There is no flesh sin I can commit that was not already taken care of on the Cross. Imagine the freedom from sin I would have had then that I am finally able to experience now! And not only of myself, but of others too! I was set free from judging others too as their sins of the flesh were all forgiven as well.
Christ, at the Cross, created a level playing field for all of humanity. Every single person is in right-standing with God, Christ's Righteousness blanketing all. How can one sin be greater than any other sin if all flesh sins are null and void (never to be remembered again)? No flesh sin can keep a person from living a life of Faith out from the Spirit within. No flesh sin can deny the Gifts of the Holy Spirit from operating in and through a person...for God is no respecter of persons!

I say all this because with the Lord, there is only one Sin that matters in our life. It is one that Christ could not remove for us; not any sin of the flesh, but the Sin that is not believing in Christ (the Sin of the spirit).

Thus, there are two types of sins / Sin that exist in our lives. The first are the sins that are of the flesh—these are the ones we see all around us & the ones we commit every day of our lives: lying, stealing, cheating, etc. It is all of these sins that have been forgiven of us through Christ accomplishment through the Cross. 

The other Sin is a singular Sin—this is the Sin of our spirit: the Sin of not believing in Christ Jesus. When we deny Him for Salvation, we are committing the only unforgivable sin.
We are prompted by the Holy Spirit to believe on Christ Jesus. The roll of the Holy Ghost is to: 

John 16:7-11
Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you. And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: Of sin, because they believe not on me; Of righteousness, because I go to my Father, and ye see me no more; Of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged. 

He reproves [convicts, corrects from a wrong thinking of not believing, brings to light, demands an explanation] the world regarding Sin (not sins). Since Christ took care of our sins at the Cross, what Sin is He speaking of that cannot be forgiven? It is one Sin He convicts of...of not believing on Jesus Christ as Lord & Savior. This is what goes on in the heart of a person...a proving in the heart that that person needs a savior, and that that Savior is Christ Jesus. 

When a person hears the truth that Christ came & died for our sins to make us righteous & bring us to salvation & relationship with Him & the Father, the Holy Spirit confirms (testifies to them) that truth in a person. However, the free will of that person allows that person the choice of believing the truth of Jesus Christ (that the Holy Spirit is speaking in them to their heart) or to not. 

John 15:26
But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me. 

John 16:13
Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come. 

Since the Holy Spirit only speaks the truth, when a person says "no" to what the Holy Spirit is saying, they are saying that they don't believe because they do not consider what the Holy Spirit is saying is true. As such, they are saying the Holy Spirit is lying to them (that they, the person, is right, not the Holy Spirit...self righteousness...pride)...in that what they are hearing in their heart from the Holy Spirit is a lie. 
This calling the Holy Spirit a liar is sin. The Sin. The Sin of not believing in Jesus Christ. A sin that cannot be forgiven in this life (if never repented of...i.e., a change of mind from unbelief to accepting the truth). This is the perpetual sin...the sin that is willfully committed. Free-Willfully. 

Matthew 12:30-32
He that is not with me is against me; and he that gathereth not with me scattereth abroad. Wherefore I say unto you, All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men: but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men. And whosoever speaketh a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but whosoever speaketh against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the world to come. 

1 John 5:6-11
This is he that came by water and blood, even Jesus Christ; not by water only, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit that beareth witness, because the Spirit is truth. For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one. And there are three that bear witness in earth, the Spirit, and the water, and the blood: and these three agree in one. If we receive the witness of men, the witness of God is greater: for this is the witness of God which he hath testified of his Son. He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself: he that believeth not God hath made him a liar; because he believeth not the record that God gave of his Son. And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. 

Mark 3:27-30
No man can enter into a strong man's house, and spoil his goods, except he will first bind the strong man; and then he will spoil his house. Verily I say unto you, All sins shall be forgiven unto the sons of men, and blasphemies wherewith soever they shall blaspheme: But he that shall blaspheme against the Holy Ghost hath never forgiveness, but is in danger of eternal damnation: Because they said, He hath an unclean spirit. 

A person who does not accept Jesus Christ is in danger of Hell, because if you don't accept Him as Lord & Savior before you die in the natural, you wait for Eternal Judgment & then will live an Eternal Death. And once you die, there is no other opportunity to change your mind & accept Him. Your only ability to accept Him comes in this life in the body on earth (in this world; no other chance in the next world). 

Matthew 10:32-33
Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven. But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven. 

The death being spoken of is the death that is opposite from Eternal LIFE...Eternal DEATH...Eternal separation from God beginning in this life & through eternity in Hell. Spiritual Death. This Sin is a Spiritual Sin...all other sin is of the body & soul. But when a person accepts Jesus Christ as their Savior, they are given Eternal Life...eternity with the Father beginning with relationship with Him on this earth. 

John 17:3
And this is life eternal, that they might know [have an intimate experience with] thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent. 

1 John 5:11
And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. 

We are already living an eternal life...either one that's a continual eternity of Life with Him or a continual eternity of Death (a state of still being alive & conscious) away from Him (not having a relationship or even a sense of Him that all people have...born again or not). Life in this earth begins with believing in God the Father through Jesus Christ. This is the Truth (Jesus Christ). 

John 14:6
Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. 

And the only way to worship the Father is through Jesus Christ (The Truth). 

John 4:23-24
But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth. 

The Lord relates to us spiritually (He is a Spirit). And it's our spirit that He takes into account. 

It's not my body that will be judged, it's my Spirit...or the spirit of a not-born-again person. Since the sins of my body & soul (everyone's body & soul—our flesh) were taken care of at the Cross, the only sin left is the Sin of the spirit not believing in Him. And since that not-born-again spirit has not been made Holy & accepted His Righteous, then judgment will be a record of their "self-righteousness" which cannot measure up to Christ & the body & soul sins of a person will be held against them. Or, in another way of thinking: they will be judged (by the Word) for their rejection of the Truth—rejecting Jesus Christ as Saviour. 

For what Christ did, He did for all people! 

Romans 3:22-23
But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets; even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference. 

For there is no difference between a believer and non-believer—for all have been made Righteous through the Cross; but not all have accepted (believed) this to be Saved. This is the Sin of not believing. 

And if you do believe in the Lord, then every single sin is forgiven you, including (of course) the Sin of not believing. There is no more sin that can be held against you. We have been set free of that condemnation. When we do not believe we remain in Death / Condemnation. But when we believe, we are Born-Again into Life. And once Born-Again, we cannot lose that status (like losing a coin), nor have that status taken away from us (as being stolen or forcefully removed from us).

However, just like it was our choice to come into belief, it is our choice that we can reject that belief. And if we do, out of our own choice, reject Him after believing, this Sin of unbelief removes us from the Born-Again Life and returns us into Death; sadly, never being able to be Born-Again again. This is what John is talking about here:

1 John 5:16-18
If any man see his brother sin a sin which is not unto death [any sin of the flesh], he shall ask, and he shall give him life for them that sin not unto death. There is a sin unto death: I do not say that he shall pray for it. All unrighteousness is sin: and there is sin not unto death. We know that whosoever is born of God sinneth not; but he that is begotten of God keepeth himself, and that wicked one toucheth him not.

And here in Hebrews we see again the rejection of Christ after being Born-Again...the Sin of not believing:

Hebrews 10:26-27
For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins, But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries.

For me, this scripture in John was easily misrepresented (along with others) for me to think that some of the sins of the flesh were worse than others. But I have come to understand that this (as well as well the other scriptures) are not talking about sins of the flesh, but just the one Sin of not believing on Jesus Christ.

1 John 5:10-13
He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself: he that believeth not God hath made him a liar; because he believeth not the record that God gave of his Son. And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life. These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.

So now that I understand that the Lord never wants me to worry about or focus on my fleshly sins, I was able to be set free from my sin-conscience (evil conscience) and just live freely out from the bondage of sin in a life of His Righteousness which is living a Life with a clean conscience.

Hebrews 10:10,12,17-22
By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all ... after He had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God; And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more. Now where remission of these is, there is no more offering for sin. Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh; And having an high priest over the house of God; Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.


Judgment

For every human being in this earth, the Lord is drawing them to Himself. He desires (it's His Will) for all to know Christ and come to Him as a Father. He made it so easy, because He reconciled all of humanity (the whole world) to Himself through what Christ accomplished!

2 Corinthians 5:19
To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.

He cannot impute any of their sins of the flesh (trespasses) against any human being...born-again or not. Every human iniquity has been removed and will never ever be held against them; neither now or at the judgement day.

Hebrews 10:16-17
This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my law into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them; And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more.

We must establish in ourselves this truth that no matter what sin we commit, God cannot hold its consequence (between Him and us) against us. Not a believer. Not an unbeliever. Christ bore all the sins of the flesh on the Cross. Everyone! And in doing so made all humans in right-standing (righteous) with God in the flesh.

Romans 3:20-25
Therefore, by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin. But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets; moreover, the righteousness of God which was by the faith of Jesus Christ, unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference: For all had sinned, and come short of the glory of God; being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is by Christ Jesus: Whom God had set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare His righteousness for the remission of sins that have transpired, through the forbearance of God.

By Christ's Faith, He accomplished this for all humanity. And since that is the case, what happens to unbelievers in the now and to come? God protects the unbeliever until the day they die, holding onto every hope that they would come to accept Christ, even though He already knows if they will accept Him or not, for God is no respecter of persons--He cannot treat any human different than any other human, regardless of if they believe or not, or would ever come to believe or not. Christ died for the whole world (all people), not just for some. And from that, all people will face judgement for what they have done on this earth.

2 Corinthians 5:10
For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that everyone may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.

What are the things done in their body? The choice to believe (good), or not believe (bad) in Christ Jesus. It has nothing to do with the sins of the flesh, only the Sin of not believing in Christ. The sins of the flesh have been removed and are never remembered again. They are not recorded in Heaven in some book to be recalled (remembered), they have been wiped away once and for all time at the Cross!

So what is going to judge us? His word to believe on Christ Jesus! God gave judgement to Christ, and Christ gave judgment over to His Words.

John 12:46-48
I (Jesus Christ) am come a light into the world, that whosoever believeth on me should not abide in darkness. And if any man hears my words, and believe not, I judge him not: for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world. He that rejects me, and receives not my words, hath one that judges him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day.

For an unbeliever, they are not judged now, but their judgment (like a believer) is reserved until the last day.

2 Peter 2:9-10
The Lord knows how to deliver the Godly out of temptations, and to protect the unjust unto the day of judgment, to be punished: moreso, especially them that walk after the flesh in the lust of uncleanness, and despise those who possess dominion. They are daring, self-willed, and not afraid to speak evil of God's glory.

The believer and unbeliever will be presented with a book or books.

Revelation 20:11-12
And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them. And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.

Everyone is judged by the works done in their body (in that while they were still alive in their body on this earth). It is only when we are in the body (born of water and blood) that we are able to believe in Him. There is no other opportunity after we die to believe in Him. Thus, the works are of whether they believed or did not believe.

When a person believes, their name is written in the Book of Life, and they have no fear of anything on that day.

1 John 4:17
Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as He (Chirst Jesus) is, so are we in this world.

For a non-believer, it is revealed to them in full open light the truth of Christ Jesus. This is exactly what the Holy Spirit testified of to them during their entire lives; plus any witnessing of a believer to them. And that a non-believer chose the work of not believing, this is what they are judged by. Every choice of not believing written down to be revealed. And judged only by the word of that testimony of His.

John 6:28-29
Then said they unto him, “What shall we do, that we might work the works of God?” Jesus answered and said unto them, “This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.”

Their choice to forever be with the Lord or to be separated from the Lord (in Hell) is that work of believing or not believing. And the only reason a person goes to Hell is because they rejected Jesus, which is the eternal Sin of not believing on Him. This is the only reason; not anything to do with their sins of the flesh. Christ took all those sins in judgement upon Him, so they cannot be held in judgment upon anyone else.
All we are required to do is believe!

John 3:16-21
For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. “He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. And this is the condemnation: that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were not of God. For everyone practicing the things not of God hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed as not being the truth. But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen; so that those deeds are committed to God.”

So I pray that you do believe!


Grace Life - Life Group (05-25-16)

Here are the scripture notes from the Wednesday night Life Group. These are based on Shayne's sermon from the previous Sunday. For more about Life Group & the sermon, visit: http://gracelifeministries.co.za/ 

The title is: The Helmet of Salvation. 

Ephesians 6:17 
And take the helmet of [the hope of] salvation (G4992 – hope of salvation), and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. 

1 Thessalonians 5:8-10 
But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation (G4991). For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us, that, whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with him. 

What does the helmet represent (based on 1 Thes 5:8). Hope of Salvation. 

What is hope? 
Definition: Pleasureful anticipation or expectation. 

What is Salvation? 
(G4991 – deliverance from the molestation of enemies. Future salvation). 

This helmet of hope is there to protect us from the bombardment our mind faces each day living in the fallen world. The world try to convince us of—that Jesus Christ is not real...that God does not exist. That living by His Faith can't be true. We are bombarded every day against our belief in Him. Our mind faces attacks from everywhere to try & convince us it is not all true. This helmet, because we have a hopeful expectation, protects us against that unbelief. 

Salvation comes through Christ. We read this already in 1 Thessalonians 5:9: 

1 Thessalonians 5:8-10 
But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation (G4991). For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us, that, whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with him. 

Acts 4:12 
Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved. 

Romans 1:16 
For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. 

Who has God given the ability to receive Salvation? Some people or all people? Some churches (Calvanistic) believe that God only selected a few "chosen" people for salvation. What is the Will of God?: 

2 Peter 3:9 
The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance. 

So when does salvation enter into our life? 

Romans 10:9-10 
that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. 

This righteousness is a gift to all people through what Christ did. We have all been given righteousness (right standing with God): 

Romans 3:21-24 
But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets; even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference: for all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus. 

But not everyone accepts this. Why? 

What happens in your Spirit when you believe & accept Jesus Christ? 
Here are some of what happens: 

We are Born-Again in the Spirit: 
John 3:3-7 
Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb, and be born? Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again. 

Made us Holy & Blessed us with all Spiritual Gifts: 
Ephesians 1:1-3 
Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, to the saints which are at Ephesus, and to the faithful in Christ Jesus: grace be to you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ. Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ. 

Baptized into Christ by the Holy Spirit: 
1 Corinthians 1:13 
For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit. 

Sealed by the Holy Spirit: 
Ephesians 1:13-14 
In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory. 

What does sealed mean? Like a letter / like a jar of preserves. 

Who's responsibility is it to maintain our salvation? 

1 Peter 1:5 
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, who are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. 

Isaiah 41:10 
Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I Am your God. I will strengthen you, Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.’ 

Do some churches or some people also try & tell us that we can lose our salvation? Can anyone share personally where they have encountered that before—either a church they used to attend or a friend or family? 

Does this mean we don't have a choice to deny Him after we've accepted Salvation? 

Hebrews 10:26 
For if we Sin (the sin of unbelief) wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for Sin, but a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries. 

Hebrews 6:1-6 
Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God, of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment. And this will we do, if God permit. For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, and have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, if they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame. 

So how are we to walk our life in the Lord? 

Colossians 2:6-7 
As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith, as you have been taught, abounding in it with thanksgiving. 

First, how did we accept Him? By believing. How are we to walk with Him? The same way—through belief. Thanking Him for everything He did for us! 

It's not hard to believe. It just sometimes feels hard to put aside what we believed before: we believed it was acceptable that God was angry with me, or that it was just "normal" to be sick, or to be poor, or to be defeated, or to be fearful. What hurts & what we feel is the letting go of everything that we believed that was not aligned with what God holds true for us. This is renewing the mind. 

Ephesians 4:22-24 
that ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; and be renewed in the spirit of your mind; and that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness. 

Romans 12:2 
And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.