Wednesday, June 29, 2016
Grace, Christ, & Us: Part 1. Heart Believing
This is a five-part piece that covers a number of topics. It was written as a continuance, but I chose to break it so it is easier to read. For those who like to read it all the way through, I will post it as such as well. With lots of Love, Chris!
1. (Heart) Believing
The heart, not the mind, is the vessel we either accept or reject Jesus Christ & His Finished Work through the Cross (all He accomplished for us—including His Righteousness unto every person). For it is with the heart that we believe.
Then Philip opened his mouth, and beginning at this Scripture, preached Jesus to him. Now as they went down the road, they came to some water. And the eunuch said, “See, here is water. What hinders me from being baptized?” Then Philip said, “If you believe with all your heart, you may.” And he answered and said, “I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.”
Paul called with a loud voice, saying, “Do yourself no harm, for we are all here.” Then he called for a light, ran in, and fell down trembling before Paul and Silas. And he brought them out and said, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” So they said, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household.” Then they spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all who were in his house.
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. For the Scripture says, “Whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame.” For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek, for the same Lord over all is rich to all who call upon Him. For “whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
The mind can’t accept the “logic” of what it means to accept what Christ Jesus accomplished for us: God in the Spirit becoming man; Him sacrificing His own Son because He Loved, valued, & cherished us humans so much (despite our faults & sins); Jesus willfully dying (accepting the sacrifice for us) on a Cross; Him bearing all our fleshly sins, our infirmities, our sicknesses & diseases, and every curse that sin had placed us in; then Him rising from the dead (a no-question death too—after being beaten more than any human, taking all sickness & disease upon Himself with every sin we have ever done, being crucified, stabbed in the side, and placed in a tomb—not life support—for three days), then Him ascending into Heaven, reconciling all people (the world) with Himself, Gifting out His Righteousness, and sending the Holy Spirit upon everyone.
This is what Jesus Christ accomplished for us!
But this is just ridiculous to our minds! Not only the question: why would anyone do that for anyone else (let alone me), but also raised from the dead…what kind of non-sense is that? Exactly! Non-sense to the mind. But this is how God amazingly works. Religion caters to the mind, but God caters to our heart. Religion can’t stand the Gospel: the Good News! And it is Good News that I don’t have to analyze it, I just need to accept in my heart what my mind can’t comprehend or accept.
1 Corinthians 1:18-25
For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. For it is written: “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent." Where is the wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the disputer of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of this world? For since, in the wisdom of God, the world through wisdom did not know God, it pleased God through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe. For Jews request a sign, and Greeks seek after wisdom; but we preach Christ crucified, to the Jews a stumbling block and to the Greeks foolishness, but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.
The heart is where the Holy Spirit speaks to each person. It’s not an emotion or a feeling (yes, we can experience those at that time, but not all of us do). This is about the Holy Spirit testifying to us in our heart of the Truth that is the Gospel (the Good News of what Jesus accomplished). This is why the Holy Spirit was sent to be with EVERY person, so that none of us would be without excuse as to not hearing the Truth. He (the Holy Spirit) ministers the truth to us.
But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel; And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams: and on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy.
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 firstly reproves the world (non-believers) of not believing in Christ Jesus. The “reproving” is Him speaking the Truth to us in an attempt for us to believe in Jesus Christ. And because His Truth is THE Truth, what He speaks does not always align with our “truth”. And so, a person (we), all face the same choice when the Holy Spirit ministers to us THE Truth: to believe what we believe, or believe what the Holy Spirit is speaking to us. We have a choice. It is our choice to make.
When we (as a non-believer) chose to believe ourself, we stay in condemnation—we stay in Sin. When we deny Him & believe ourself, we are calling the Holy Spirit a liar. This is the Sin (Blasphemy) against the Holy Spirit—the unforgivable Sin. It is the Sin that sends us into eternal Death (separation from God). It is the Sin that can never be forgiven once we pass from this to the next (die).
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.
All other sins have been forgiven us (the sins of the flesh), but the Sin of spirit, God could not take away, because we still have to have a choice. He didn’t die to make us robots. Jesus made the choice to accept our sins, but did not make the choice for us to believe Him. And even knowing that not everyone would come to believe Him, He still died for us.
But when we do choose to accept the testimony of the Holy Spirit upon our heart, we don’t make Him the liar, we make Him True! We believe! Not in our minds (our minds can & do doubt this Reality of the Lord). No. But in our heart.
And in that moment of believing, in that instance, the Holy Spirit takes ahold of our Spirit and Baptizes our fallen-world (Adam-sinned) spirit into the Body of Christ. This is the one baptism being referred to in Ephesians & also in Mark (not to be confused with water Baptism or the Baptism of the Holy Spirit by Jesus).
There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.
And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. He who believes and is baptized will be saved.
1 Corinthians 12:13
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.
Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death?
For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.
This washing & immersion (baptizing) of our old spirit into the Spirit of Christ (His Spirit as our own Spirit), is us being Born-Again.
Jesus answered and said to him, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” Nicodemus said to Him, “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?” Jesus answered, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’
When we believe with our heart, we are Born Again in our Spirit—made a Holy Spirit (one without fault & made into the Lord’s perfection; once again made in Their Likeness as Adam was). Our new Spirit becomes the same Spirit as Christ’s Spirit was. This is Him living in us—His Spirit as our Spirit. For the Lord, there is only one type of Holy, and this same Holy existed as the perfect Spirit in Christ Jesus that was Christ (the Spirit that Jesus was born with).