Hi this is our Blog on Grace. We hope and pray that the Grace of God will flood into your life like it has ours. A good place to start is to listen to the mp3 messages, they will not only turn your world around, you will feel like you have just been saved all over again!

Wednesday, 27 February 2008

Getting up

I was reading a comment that Coatsman wrote on the post: "Wayne's World...(24Feb08)" on this blog.
I got so excited at a thought I had, that I phoned the Coatsman straight away to encourage him.
 
John 10v28 And I give to them eternal life, and they shall never ever perish, and not anyone shall pluck them out of My hand. 29 My Father who gave them to me is greater than all, and no one is able to pluck them out of My Father's hand.
 
The idea that when we sin, we "fall" is crazy. We don't go anywhere!
We need to be secure that we are not away from the Father for even a slit second.
Therefore we don't need to "go back too..." because we never left.
The word tells me that we never leave Jesus or the Father's hand.
This is great news!

Prophectic word through Rob

There is rapidly occurring across the earth a division between law teaching and grace teaching. God Himself is doing it.
Some of those who still preach a mixture of law and grace, will first try to be diplomatic and reasonable. Under the surface, they will carry hatred and envy. They will seek to disguise this in a form of godliness and theological reasonings but God in these days is going to expose the true state of their hearts.


This is not a gentle reformation. This is a true revolution.
Those who do not understand this, will be utterly dismayed, at how quickly this revolution is about to spread.
In this revolution, the gospel of grace, revealed in the New Covenant, will spread like wild fire.
There will be unhealthy extremes on the left and on the right, in reaction to this.
There will be voices that will attempt to gain advantage by appearing to be balanced diplomats, calling for calm.

But I will sweep these self appointed voices of reason aside and silence them swiftly. Says God.

Those with secure, pure hearts, will steward this revolution. Not panicking at the unhealthy extremes, or trying prematurely to balance everything.
You see, it is not the message of grace that is causing the extremes or imbalance, but it is the result of entrenched, deeply established legalism, and mans control, surfacing because of the intensifying pressure of the grace revolution.
This revolution will force the mask off every form and appearance of godliness that denies the power of the New Covenant.
This gospel revolution is not to be blamed for the ugliness that will appear in some. It is simply forcing the true nature of legalism out into the open and stripping it of all its disguises, so that even the naive and the deceived will see how truly hideous its face really is.
The camouflage of legalism is being removed, so that it can no longer harass from hidden positions that have an appearance of godliness.
The people in these days who fearlessly embrace Grace and remain pure hearted and faithful, enduring hardship and refusing to be polluted by bitterness during persecution, will be partners with the Holy Spirit in seeing entire nations birthed into revival. So rejoice.
Romans 5 speaks about the suffering we endure. The context is not the suffering of sickness and all of that. It is suffering for the message of grace. Check it out, it is right there.
But He said "This suffering will build character in you, and that character will build hope in you."
I am suffering for preaching this message beyond what some of you realize.
Your reputation will suffer. As you embrace the Grace message, you will stir up every legalistic demon to alienate you and cut you off, but friends, God will draw closer to you.

The refreshing of hope and the gospel will fill you with wonder. The glory of God will become more present in your life.
I am so amazed at how few Christians daily experience the manifest glory of God. I experience His glory presence every day and it is available to every believer, but you have to reject legalism. You have got to reject the fear of man. You have got to let God topple the control government of religion and the fear of man, condemnation, legalism and the performance pressure to do things to earn mans favour and God's favour. You don't have to do a thing to earn God's favour. He loves you right now, unconditionally because you are forgiven, you are cleansed, you are in Christ. You are a new creation, in Christ.
Everything from the old system of religion has passed away. The Old Covenant has passed away. It is obsolete. God said "I hated it."
God says in Hebrews 6 about the Old Covenant of law. He says it is weak and useless covenant. God said that about His own covenant in Hebrews 7.
There are still people mixing that weak and useless, condemning, that kills people. That Old Covenant. They are still mixing it with the New Covenant and confusing Christians, in a cocktail of old and new.
God is stripping that, and is exposing that. And there is no middle ground left.
It is either New Covenant embraced 100%, Old Covenant 100% rejected. Or Nothing.
There is no more room. God is doing it in the earth today.


From: Invading the Impossible Part 6 "Overthrowing religious control - The revolution has begun" - Rob Rufus
http://www.citychurchinternational.net/mp3_2/2008_02_24_1.zip

Sunday, 24 February 2008

More from Rob...

People say to me that if you go around telling Christians that they are already holy, that they are already righteous, that they are already perfect in God's eyes, through grace.
That they are 100% accepted in Christ and God does not disapprove of you what so ever, because you have obtained a righteousness apart from the law. Apart from your performance. Apart from your obedience or disobedience, but entirely on the obedience of the one man Jesus Christ (Rom 5v19).
A righteousness which is equal to God's righteousness. A righteousness that is unconditional, irreversible. A permanent standing you have before God, every second, of every moment, of every hour, of every day,
They say "If you tell Christians this, it will make them arrogant and puffed up."
They question I want to ask you, "Did Jesus knowing He was equal with God in nature, make Him arrogant?
No it gave Him the opposite attitude, and effect, and He humbled Himself."

You knowing that God will never see your sins or hold anything against you, does not make you arrogant.
It makes you so secure, that you no longer grasp after righteousness through the law,
but find rest in your identity as already having a righteousness, that is equal to God's righteousness.
God's righteousness is revealed in the gospel as a gift for you, and you humble yourself.
 
Knowing this does not make you arrogant. It makes you want to weep with wonder and joy.
"My God finds no fault in me. He gave me His righteousness"
The righteousness that you and me have as Christians is equal with God.
This awareness inspires you to reach out as a servant and touch people with miracle working power
to heal them, to restore them and topple evil off their lives.
 
Self righteousness causes insecurity and an over-bearing attitude that dominates others.
Or at best patronizes people in a complete absence of the supernatural power of God.
 
I have watched, as this message has gone out, week after week, month after month, for the last
three and a half years.
The effect it is having on people here, is people are becoming less self conscious, and in humility reaching
out in compassion, and touching other peoples lives.
 
Self righteous people are insecure. Live under condemnation or arrogance.
Always trying to prove themselves.

The righteousness of God brings security.
 
From "Invading the Impossible Part 5" 17Feb08

Wayne's World...(24Feb08)

Living in the triumphant victory of the cross.
 
I have to say that this topic deserves much more attention that I'm going to give it today. But the power and the truth of this will unlock over the coming weeks and months. It's by no means a complete expression of this topic, but will go a long way to equip victorious living.
 
If the gospel is presented correctly, if the wonderful work of the cross is preached without compromise, it always leads to one inevitable question. When we examine the great prize for which our Jesus died, when we examine the glorious inheritance of the saints, this question always arises.
 
What is this question?
 
When the good news is described in all its beauty and magnificence, when the great freedom of the saints is defined, we inevitably ask this question…
 
Martin Lloyd Jones has stated that if this question is not asked, then the godpel has not correctly been presented…
 
Have you worked it out yet?
 
Three times in the bible Paul had to address this question…
 
Romans 6:1 and 15
 
1What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? 2By no means (NIV)
 
1What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? 2Certainly not! (NKJV)
 
15What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? By no means (NIV)
 
15What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? Certainly not! (NKJV)
 
Before we continue, I want to say that I don't like preaching about sin. I believe that it's not good to be obsessed with our sin. We're not to have a sin consciousness. I prefer to "fix our eyes on Jesus" . I prefer to think heavenly thoughts. I prefer to look up rather than down. Having said that we need address this question that will come up. We need to answer it and answer it well.
 
When we learn that all our sins are graciously forgiven, that God no longer counts our sins against us, and that our punishment for our sins falls on Jesus. When we learn that we are made perfect forever, that Jesus is our mediator, that we are legally in right standing with God, and treated "not as our sins deserve" for we are justified. Then the temptation  is to say, "if we preach this, people will sin more."
 
Friends if we think this, we have not yet even began to understand the powerful work of Grace.
 
There are essentially two aspects of grace. The acceptance component, and the empowering component.
 
Lets look at some of the empowering attributes of grace.
 
Titus 2v12 It teaches us to say "No" to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, 13while we wait for the blessed hope--the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, 14who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good.
 
Lets see what Grace does in us, and for us if it is working properly through us.
 
1)    It teaches us to say "no"
 
2)    No to ungodliness.
 
3)    To worldly passions.
 
4)    It teaches us self-control
 
5)    It teaches us to live upright and Godly lives
 
6)    It teaches us all this until Jesus comes again.
 
7)    He is purifying us.
 
8)    He has made us eager to do what is good.
 
Please go memorize this, past it on your doorframes, and on your hearts. The awesome power of God is working in you to produce all these things.
 
Now this is primarily the work of Him in us. He does it in us.
 
On our part we have to co-operate with Gods work of grace in our lives. How do we do this?
 
What role do we play?
 
Our role is to believe in who we are.
 
This may seem like a very strange thing to say, but it is so powerfully true. If we had the full revelation of who we are, of the power in us, of all we are through what Jesus has done…the simple fact is that we would be changed forever.
 
Lets go back to:
Romans 6v1 What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? 2By no means! We died to sin; how can we live in it any longer? 3Or don't you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? 4We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life. 5If we have been united with him like this in his death, we will certainly also be united with him in his resurrection. 6For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin-- 7because anyone who has died has been freed from sin. 8Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him
 
This is profound. This is a foundational Christian doctrine. We have to understand this or we are nowhere with our understanding of who we are, or what Jesus bought for us. Please understand this. If you still don't get this through the preach, devote yourself to gaining the understanding and revelation of this truth. This truth will change your outlook on Christianity forever. It will effect every area of your life. Your obedience, your prayer, your understanding of the word, and most relevantly the understanding of who you are in Christ.
 
Are you ready for it…here it is, a powerful truth..
 
YOU DIED
 
Your old self, the sinful you, is dead. Gone. Crucified with Christ. Buried.
 
The sinful nature is gone. You have a new spirit within you. The bible calls it a "new nature". The essence of who you are has been altered forever, from an essentially evil spirit, polluted and corrupted by the world and sin; to a holy and righteous spirit, eager to do good.
 
We were slaves to sin, now we are slaves to righteousness. We want to do good, we want to do the right thing, this is the proof that He's in you, and that your saved, and in the new covenant.
 
If we understand this, it will lead to victory over sin and strongholds in our lives. Strongholds are illegitimate authorities in our lives. They have no authority to be there. When we realize who we are, we realize that they have been broken already.
 
Now we live with God, and we live for God.
 
Our thoughts and our beliefs ultimately fashion our behavior. If we think we are essentially evil, we will act that way. But If we know that who we really are is a perfect spirit, if we truly believe it. We will live differently.
 
So if this is all true, why do we still sin?
 
Well our sinful nature is gone, but we still have struggles. That's what Romans 7 is about.
 
You see when we were born again, our minds were not renewed. Our minds were not born again. Our spirits were made new but not our minds. The bible says we are to be transformed by the renewing of our minds. This is our flesh. The bible says in:
Galatians 5:16 I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. 
 
Romans 8 teaches that.
 
So go look at it. Romans 6 tells us we are free. Romans 7 tells us about the struggle with the flesh. Romans 8 tells how to overcome and live victoriously. Live in the Spirit.
 
Now the flesh is a nasty customer. It may require self discipline to get victory. It may require effort. But please realize that all the while the grace of God is helping you to do that. Grace makes you want to do it, and then empowers you to do it as you co-operate with the Holy Spirit.
 
Which brings me to the next question.
 
Why are we obsessed with the Holy Spirit at this church? Why do we let him turn our meeting upside down? We do we let him have his way? Why do we have worship songs dedicated to him, why do we have whole meetings dedicated to Him?
 
Can I please read to you from Charles Spurgeon, from his book entitled "God's Grace to you", a book I highly recommend.
 
"The holy Spirit is promised to those interested in the covenant of Grace. He will come upon their minds and shed light instead of darkness, illuminating them as to what the will of God is"
 
"If you want to have men well instructed as to right and wrong, it must be by this devine instruction that only the Spirit of God can impart"
 
Here we see that the Holy Spirit tells us what Gods will is. We cannot follow His will if we do not know it. Well we all know it coz the Holy Spirit tells us. He teaches us right from wrong. It's written on our hears and minds.
 
Furthermore says Spurgeon
 
"Where the Holy Spirit comes, he floods the soul with a divine luster in which the soul delights and desires to participate to the fullest degree"
 
In other words the Holy Spirit makes us want to do the right things. So He tells us what to do, and then makes us want to do it.
 
And
 
"Beloved, the Holy Spirit makes men love the will of God, delight in all in which God delights, and abhor what God abhors"
 
 We will therefore love what God loves, and hate what God hates.
 
Friends, it's the person of the Holy Spirit who strengthens us to overcome an obstacle and helps to do anything. He empowers us, He strengthens us.
 
A last Quote from Spurgeon.pg13
 
"This is a gracious work of God, and this is the blessed covenant, in which it is promised that we will be taught what is right, to know and love what is right, and to do what is right with willing minds and hearts"
 
If you want to live a sinless life, learn to walk in step, and with the Holy Spirit. He will lead you, guide you, help you. The less of the Holy Spirit you have operating in your life, the easier you will find it to sin. The more of the Holy Spirit you have in your life, the less you'll sin.
 
Peruse Him purposefully, and you'll live holy accidentally.
 
So we spend much time, giving as much occasion as possible for Him to move and to fill people. I would rather you get a touch from Him, than hear me preach, coz ultimately He is more powerful, and able, and willing to change your live.
 
So we are always looking to have more of Him. To be closer to Him. The power of it all is in the realization that everything has been done by Jesus for us to walk in victory. To walk in the spirit, and therefore to not for full the lusts of the flesh. It's all been done, now believe it. Believe who you are. And be who you are. Clothe yourself with the new you, the true you. As a friend said to me recently "its not what I have to do, its all been done, all I have to do...is be"
 
We need to know who we are, so we can be who we are. This is the key to sustained, permanent ongoing victory, as we are being changed from Glory to Glory.
 
So when we do make a mistake, what do we do? We repent. But this too has been terribly misunderstood. To re pent, means what. Re, means again. Pent means high, like the top floor apartment. When we repent, we rethink the highest thoughts. We rethink by thinking Gods high thoughts about us, we think about who we actually are. Metanoia is the Greek word literally means "reversal of another's decision". It means "to think differently", and "reversal of ones decision "So when we repent we change our minds… "I was incorrectly thinking this way, I now change my mind". Our thought patterns need to be changed. Every sin starts in the mind, the flesh. We can say "no", and grace teaches us to do that. It's His good-ness and kindness that lead us to repentance. So we arrest ourselves mid passage in sin and say… "no, this is not who I am, this is not who God has made me". Repentance is therefore a joyous occasion, where we re-establish the highest place.
 
Repenting is rising up within ourselves to live out who we are, to believe in who we are in Christ, and then to be it.
 
Living as "who we really are" will not only effect our sin patterns, it will ultimately lead to the highest form of victory. The victory where we see miracles, signs and wonders performed through us. So family and friends, let us pursue His Presence, let us love Him, the Holy Spirit. Lets submit to Him, be in Him and walk with Him always.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

Thursday, 21 February 2008

Wayne's World...(21Feb08)

Is it possible to sin in the new covenant and under grace?
 
 

Wednesday, 20 February 2008

Wayne's World...(20Feb08)

 
Due to the fact the Holy Spirit decided that He wanted to do some ministering at Coastlands Church on Sunday morning just past, Wayno was not able to give the teaching that was on his heart. Shame bro!
I have his notes in my possession, and yes they are good, but he might be able to give this teaching this Sunday coming.
Maybe!!
 
We will post the notes up a.s.a.p.
 
Isn't it great when the Holy Spirit does what He wants to do.
 

Tuesday, 19 February 2008

Warts n' All...(19Feb08)

 
Hi friends
 
It's so encouraging to hear what God is doing all over the place, how his grace is exploding.
Amidst persecutions and accusations, there is the fire of His spirit to confirm in our hearts the truth of His message of redemption!
 
I joined a church 3 months ago.
Much of their previous teaching and doctrine had a lot to do with "blessings and curses" theology, burden bearing, endless intercession etc etc.
 
God has made inroads for this message to the extent that now ALL in leadership are listening to grace messages from Rob and others.
They are testily preaching pure grace with anointing following.
We had a guy who was scheduled for surgery this week, fell under the power of God for 20mins - we trust that he is FULLY healed!!
 
The 70 year old pastor (awesome man) who planted the church 19 years ago led us into communion with these words...
(I am taking a bit of licence here as I don't recall the words exactly).
"We can't continue to preach a mixture of law and grace as it is an offence to the cross".
He went on to say that the only way you could take communion in an unworthy manner would be to not believe that Jesus did it all for us.."what a wonderful saviour we have"  "what a wonderful Gospel we have"!
 
The leadership is wide open and it is a church of about 250 people in a small seaside town....hold your breath!!
We are having an equipping conference open to churches nationally 7-11 April.
My friend and mentor Wayne Duncan has been given the most floor time as a speaker and we trust for insane things to happen as God confirms His word!! - Please Pray..
 
Onward and upward!
 
Roy
 

Antidepressant...(19Feb08)

Empowering Grace OR Grace at Work:
 
Jesus: came to tell of the Good News.
Grace = good news!
116 references to Grace – NT = a grace message!!!!
God's love & grace / coz of His love we have His grace.
 
Grace: Biblical usage:
1)grace
a.that which affords joy, pleasure, delight, sweetness, charm, loveliness: grace of speech
2)grace = goodwill, loving-kindness, favour
a.of the merciful kindness by which God, exerting his holy influence upon souls, turns them to Christ, keeps, strengthens, increases them in Christian faith, knowledge, affection, and kindles them to the exercise of the Christian virtues.
3)what is due to grace – empowering.
a.the spiritual condition of one governed by the power of divine grace.
b.the token or proof of grace, benefit:
a gift of grace.
benefit, bounty
4)thanks, (for benefits, services, favours), recompense, reward.
 
Grace – Encarte Dictionary:
grace n
1. elegance, beauty, and smoothness of form or movement
2. dignified, polite, and decent behavior
3. a capacity to tolerate, accommodate, or forgive people
4. a short prayer of thanks to God said before, or sometimes after, a meal
5. See grace period
6. a pleasing and admirable quality or characteristic (usually plural)
7. in Christianity, the infinite love, mercy, favor, and goodwill shown to humankind by God
8. in Christianity, the condition of being free of sin, for example, through repentance to God
9. See grace note
 
vt
1. to make a pleasing contribution to an event, often by attending it (often used ironically)
2. to add elegance, beauty, or charm to something
3. to add ornamental or decorative notes to a piece of music
 

Joh 1:17* For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.
The world had never and will never see a more powerful act in its history.
Grace => revolution on a massive scale.
Power => Spiritual => transformation of the heart => of every aspect of man.
Motivation = Gods goodness (benevolence – putting his loved ones first) & mans delightfilled responding to the surges of freedom that come from revelation – knowledge is power …..!!!!
Maybe why the message of favour without works is so resisted – sets His people ablaze.
 
Empowers us:
Realisation of freedom from sin & its power over us:
Not what it makes us do but;
What we don't do because of our feelings of unworthiness.
Grace: unmerited favour of God / redemption & justification / salvation /  sanctification - all the work of the favour of God in / over our lives.

Sets us free & sets us loose:
Ro 12:3* For by the grace given me I say to every one of you
Ro 12:6* We have different gifts, according to the grace given us.
1Co 3:10* By the grace God has given me, I laid a foundation as an expert builder,
2Co 8:1* And now, brothers, we want you to know about the grace that God has given the Macedonian churches.
Gave beyond their ability.
2 Cor 9:8* And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work
Eph 3:2* Surely you have heard about the administration of God's grace that was given to me for you,
Eph 3:7* I became a servant of this gospel by the gift of God's grace given me through the working of his power.
Eph 3:8* Although I am less than the least of all God's people, this grace was given me: to preach to the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ,
Eph 4:7* But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it.
Jas 4:6* But he gives us more grace – in light of becoming "friends" with the world – be blow it, He gives us more.  Key = unmerited favour & increase
.
 
We can receive it in vain:
2Co 6:1* As God's fellow-workers we urge you not to receive God's grace in vain (devoid of substance or meaning).
Hence this preach!!
Lets give substance to the grace we have received – let if overflow into …… what ever is on your heart in terms of Godliness.
Lets understand what it means to be in grace.
Lets believe for increase => joy, satisfaction ….
Lets be certain of favour.
 
Releases blessing (one after another!):
Joh 1:16* From the fulness of his grace we have all received one blessing after another.
 
It is spread & confirmed by signs & wonders:
Ac 14:3 So Paul and Barnabas spent considerable time there, speaking boldly for the Lord, who confirmed the message of his grace by enabling them to do miraculous signs and wonders.
 
Has worked our salvation:
Ac 15:11* No! We believe it is through the grace of our Lord Jesus that we are saved, just as they are."
 
Justifies us freely:
Ro 3:24* and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.
We have been freed from sinfulness thro our faith in Jesus and or by Grace.
 
Keeps us / looks after us:
Ac 15:40* but Paul chose Silas and left, commended by the brothers to the grace of the Lord.
 
Belongs to God:
Ac 20:24* However, I consider my life worth nothing to me, if only I may finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me--the task of testifying to the gospel of God's grace.
 
Builds us up:
Ac 20:32* "Now I commit you to God and to the word of his grace, which can build you up and give you an inheritance among all those who are sanctified.
 
We have access into it and stand in it (by faith):
Ro 5:2* through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God.
 
We reign in life thro grace:
Ro 5:17* For if, by the trespass of the one man, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive God's abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign (to exercise the highest influence, to control) in life through the one man, Jesus Christ.
We get the highest influence over our own lives.
 
Releases us to be who we are:
1Co 15:10* But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace to me was not without effect. No, I worked harder than all of them yet not I, but the grace of God that was with me.
 
Causes thanksgiving:
 2Co 4:15* All this is for your benefit, so that the grace (charis) that is reaching more and more people may cause thanksgiving to overflow to the glory of God.
 
Releases us into works – because we have favour / grace we do …. 1 Cor 15:10.
 
Lu 2:40* And the child grew and became strong; he was filled with wisdom, and the grace of God was upon him.
Joh 1:14* The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.
Joh 1:16* From the fulness of his grace we have all received one blessing after another.
Joh 1:17* For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.
Ac 4:33* With great power the apostles continued to testify to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and much grace was upon them all.
Ac 6:8* Now Stephen, a man full of God's grace and power, did great wonders and miraculous signs among the people.
Ac 11:23* When he arrived and saw the evidence of the grace of God, he was glad and encouraged them all to remain true to the Lord with all their hearts.
Ac 13:43* When the congregation was dismissed, many of the Jews and devout converts to Judaism followed Paul and Barnabas, who talked with them and urged them to continue in the grace of God.
Ac 14:3* So Paul and Barnabas spent considerable time there, speaking boldly for the Lord, who confirmed the message of his grace by enabling them to do miraculous signs and wonders.
Ac 14:26* From Attalia they sailed back to Antioch, where they had been committed to the grace of God for the work they had now completed.
Ac 15:11* No! We believe it is through the grace of our Lord Jesus that we are saved, just as they are."
Ac 15:40* but Paul chose Silas and left, commended by the brothers to the grace of the Lord.
Ac 18:27* When Apollos wanted to go to Achaia, the brothers encouraged him and wrote to the disciples there to welcome him. On arriving, he was a great help to those who by grace had believed.
Ac 20:24* However, I consider my life worth nothing to me, if only I may finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me--the task of testifying to the gospel of God's grace.
Ac 20:32* "Now I commit you to God and to the word of his grace, which can build you up and give you an inheritance among all those who are sanctified.
Ro 1:5* Through him and for his name's sake, we received grace and apostleship to call people from among all the Gentiles to the obedience that comes from faith.
Ro 1:7* To all in Rome who are loved by God and called to be saints: Grace and peace to you from God our Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ.
Ro 3:24* and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.
Ro 4:16* Therefore, the promise comes by faith, so that it may be by grace and may be guaranteed to all Abraham's offspring--not only to those who are of the law but also to those who are of the faith of Abraham. He is the father of us all.
Ro 5:2* through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God.
Ro 5:15* But the gift is not like the trespass. For if the many died by the trespass of the one man, how much more did God's grace and the gift that came by the grace of the one man, Jesus Christ, overflow to the many!
Ro 5:17* For if, by the trespass of the one man, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive God's abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ.
Ro 5:20* The law was added so that the trespass might increase. But where sin increased, grace increased all the more,
Ro 5:21* so that, just as sin reigned in death, so also grace might reign through righteousness to bring eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Ro 6:1* What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning, so that grace may increase?
Ro 6:14* For sin shall not be your master, because you are not under law, but under grace.
Ro 6:15* What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? By no means!
Ro 11:5* So too, at the present time there is a remnant chosen by grace.
Ro 11:6* And if by grace, then it is no longer by works; if it were, grace would no longer be grace.
Ro 12:3* For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you.
Ro 12:6* We have different gifts, according to the grace given us. If a man's gift is prophesying, let him use it in proportion to his faith.
Ro 15:15* I have written to you quite boldly on some points, as if to remind you of them again, because of the grace God gave me
Ro 16:20* The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet. The grace of our Lord Jesus be with you.
Ro 16:24*
1Co 1:3* Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
1Co 1:4* I always thank God for you because of his grace given you in Christ Jesus.
1Co 3:10* By the grace God has given me, I laid a foundation as an expert builder, and someone else is building on it. But each one should be careful how he builds.
1Co 15:10* But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace to me was not without effect. No, I worked harder than all of them yet not I, but the grace of God that was with me.
1Co 16:23* The grace of the Lord Jesus be with you.
2Co 1:2* Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
2Co 1:12* Now this is our boast: Our conscience testifies that we have conducted ourselves in the world, and especially in our relations with you, in the holiness and sincerity that are from God. We have done so not according to worldly wisdom but according to God's grace.
2Co 4:15* All this is for your benefit, so that the grace that is reaching more and more people may cause thanksgiving to overflow to the glory of God.
2Co 6:1* As God's fellow-workers we urge you not to receive God's grace in vain.
2Co 8:1* And now, brothers, we want you to know about the grace that God has given the Macedonian churches.
2Co 8:6* So we urged Titus, since he had earlier made a beginning, to bring also to completion this act of grace on your part.
2Co 8:7* But just as you excel in everything--in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in complete earnestness and in your love for us--see that you also excel in this grace of giving.
2Co 8:9* For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, so that you through his poverty might become rich.
2Co 9:8* And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.
2Co 9:14* And in their prayers for you their hearts will go out to you, because of the surpassing grace God has given you.
2Co 12:9* But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me.
2Co 13:14* May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.
Ga 1:3* Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ,
Ga 1:6* I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you by the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel--

Intro. to Ant Redman

We met Ant Redman and his wonderful wife Les in a diner on the beach front almost a month ago.
Immediately I liked them. They are kind, gentle, and most importantly, they love Jesus.
Ant leads a pure grace church called "North Way" that meets at two venues. On Sunday morning the meeting is held at Northlands Girls High School, and on Sunday nights at a home in the north coast village of Umhlodi.
My family is going to the evening meeting, as the morning service is a bit far from our home. But that said, the three weeks that I have been there, the manifest presents of God has been there every time.

I have asked Ant if we could post his teachings on the blog, and he has agreed, which is great, you will see why....
We are calling his stuff "Antidepressant", and if you ever meet him, you will understand why.

So we hope you enjoy and grow as we are.

Love and blessing to all of you.

Sunday, 17 February 2008

Life at Primi is not easy...

 
My wife and I went to a restaurant last night called Primi.
Wonderful food, massive portions and reasonably priced.
Before your ask, they are not sponsoring this blog.
 
As mentioned, the portions are massive and I ended taking a "doggy bag" home.
On the take away box it has the following writing....
 
"Do you belong in our ranks? Life at Primi is not easy.
As a recruit, you will endure severe training and ceaseless drills.
Exhaustion will become your friend. Sloth will become your enemy.
When we are satisfied, you will become part of our team.
You will find new meaning. You will serve with honour; you will turn chaos
into orders and you will fight for perfection, no matter the conditions.
But you will learn from the best. Then you will lead them.
And you will do it all in the name of work because work is love made visible."
 
Sound familiar??

Thursday, 14 February 2008

Grace vs. Law

I am not sure where Roy found this, but it is brilliant.

Law is God prohibiting and requiring;
Grace is God beseeching and bestowing.
Law is a ministry of condemnation;
Grace is of forgiveness.

Law curses;
Grace redeems from that curse.

Law kills;
Grace makes alive.

Law shuts every mouth before God;
Grace opens every mouth to praise Him.

Law puts a great and guilty distance between man and God;
Grace makes guilty man nigh to God.

Law says "do and live";
Grace, "believe and live."

Law never had a missionary;
Grace is to be preached to every creature.

Law utterly condemns the best man;
Grace freely justifies the worst.

Law is a system of probation;
Grace, of favour.

Law stones an adulteress;
Grace says,
"Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more."


Under law the sheep dies at the hand of the shepherd;
Under grace the Shepherd dies for the sheep.

Everywhere the Scriptures present law and grace in
sharply contrasted spheres. The mingling of them in much of the current teaching of the day spoils both, for law is robbed of its terror, and grace of its freeness.

Wednesday, 13 February 2008

Another vision

It went something like this...

I was busy listening to a teaching which I down loaded.
Something which I do often, and have been doing for ages.
I was learning so much about God, and I felt that I was growing.
The next thing I looked to my right and there our Father was sitting patiently.
I had this overwhelming feeling of I am right here, rather know Me than know about Me.

I am not for one second saying that we should stop listening to teachings or be unteachable.

What I am saying is that our primary learning should come from the throne room itself.
I have even gotten to the place where I am struggling to just be in our Fathers presence.
I have become dependent on other people's revelation, where I should be dependent on the Holy Spirit.
The Father wants relationship with us, that is why He sent the Holy Spirit.
He doesn't want us to learn about Him only from the Bible or other people.
He wants to walk with us in the cool of the day.

Bless you all and be found in Him

Tuesday, 12 February 2008

From Purpose Driven Life

 
God's Grace Sets You Free
by Jon Walker

Such confidence as this is ours through Christ before God. Not that we are competent in ourselves to claim anything for ourselves, but our competence comes from God. (2 Corinthians 3:4-5 NIV)

Grace. If you carry away only one thing from these devotionals, my prayer is that it will be a mind-transforming, behavior-altering understanding of God's infinite, indestructible, and immovable grace.

Not just a quick, yet correct sound-bite explanation – like the "unmerited favor of God" – but the deep, ancient meaning of grace that stretches across the depth and breadth and width and height of God's character.

This is on my mind because these devotionals present some high standards for Christian discipleship. My hope is to press us both – myself as well as you – toward an honest assessment of our faith, a deeper commitment to our beliefs, and most importantly a sacrificial, wholly-abandoned love for our Lord.

The standard is high; in fact, it's impossibly high. That's why we need God's grace. I can't, but God can. My confidence is in the healing, cleansing power of Jesus Christ; my competence comes from God, and God alone. (2 Corinthians 3:4-5 NIV)

Although I strive for these standards in my own life, I repeatedly fail, but that doesn't mean I should settle for a mediocre, warmed-over faith walk or stubbornly hide behind a devilish denial that I did and do fail. I cannot walk the walk without Jesus in me – but with Jesus, I can.

Knowing this, I can set my mind on the things above, not focusing on the things below, such as my failures, my strength, my weaknesses, and all the material, temporary matters that keep me focused only on the things in front of me.

Instead, I can get out of the way, inviting the Holy Spirit to work a transformation in my life. Whether I succeed or fail, I fall upon the grace of God. I remain immersed in his grace, knowing I cannot create myself holy, but the Spirit of God within me and the blood of Jesus Christ allow me to connect with, and be cleansed by, a holy God.

We are God's workmanship, not creations of our own hand. (Ephesians 2:7-10)

If we don't understand God's grace, we stand in danger of growing weary in our walk with God, descending into a quiet resignation that the abundant life is just a notion to describe our "sweet by-and-by" future in heaven.

Or we're in danger of descending into legalism, believing we can somehow reach God's holy standard through our own efforts. In effect, we're saying we can achieve godliness without God's power! We behave as if we become one of God's children by the things we do or the things we don't do and not from the extraordinary grace of God.

As if.

We become like the foolish Galatians, who began their Christian walk with the Spirit, but then they began to behave as if godly goals could be reached by human effort. (Galatians 3:1-5 NIV)

The apostle Paul, who struggled with legalism, taught the Galatians that the law was only put in charge to lead us to the grace of Christ. (Galatians 3:23-25) The Spirit of the living God transforms us by writing the law into our hearts rather than on simple stone tablets. (2 Corinthians 3:3) The godly standard is set within, where it cannot be lost, diminished, or forgotten, instead of on tablets of stone that can be broken, misplaced, or simply ignored.

So, you and I – my sister, my brother – we share in an inheritance from God, and that inheritance comes from grace. In fact, that inheritance is God's grace.

What does this mean?

· You need not fear failure – God's grace allows you to live boldly. "For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love, and of self-discipline." (2 Timothy 1:7 NIV)

· Your good works will be powered by God's grace – "For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith – and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God – not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do." (Ephesians 2:8-10 NIV)

· Let your roots take hold in the soil of Christ – My friend, today "I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will give you mighty inner strength through his Holy Spirit. And I pray that Christ will be more and more at home in your hearts as you trust in him. May your roots go down deep into the soil of God's marvelous love." (Ephesians 3:16-17 NLT)

© 2008 Purpose Driven Life. All rights reserved.
Pastor Jon Walker is a writer for
www.GraceCreates.com

A vision I had

I was standing in front of our Father, in the throne room. Very much like the days of king Arthur and the knights of the round table.
God gave me a present. It was wrapped in a brown paper wrapping with string around it.
I said "Thank you Father" as I took the gift and was about to turn around and walk away.
Then the Father said "Why don't you open it?"
I said "Okay," and opened the gift. It was a beautiful, purple robe.
I said "Thank you Father," and was about to turn around and walk away again.
Then the Father said "Why don't you put it on?"
So I did. It was magnificent. On this purple robe was written "Peace and Joy".
The Father then gave me Aaron's staff. You know the one with shoots growing out of it.
I took the staff and asked "What does this mean"
The Father said "The purple represents royalty. The staff represents priesthood."
So I said, "What does all this mean?"
And I heard "You are a royal priest of peace to the Prince of peace."
 
I felt that God would have us know that we must grasp the gifts He gives us with both hands.
Whats more, we must open the gifts with joy, as a kid opens up a birthday present.
But this present is to be used for the benefit of all and enjoyed.
 
Be blessed and go and open your gift.
 
 
 
 

Monday, 11 February 2008

A Grace Church

I had a wonderful experience last night, and yes I will say again 'experience!'

For too long I have been bound up in this place that we seek only God and not His experience ... the whole 'Seek Giver not the gifts' How pathetic is that!! What kind of relationship would my wife and I have if we never experience each other?

Oh Lord, let me experience everything you have to offer, let me experience all of you.

Anyway back to the story .... as some would say that was just for free :-)

My wife and I went with a mate 'aka Pucky' to visit a little church in a coastal town called Umhloti lead by Ant Redman. We had heard that they were a 100% Grace based church, and how my eyes were opened. It had to have been one of the most down to earth church meetings I have ever been to.

These guys meet in a large lounge area at one of the guys house. Ant eventually kicked off after we had had some time to get meet some of the folk. He went straight into the word, not frills and oh 'scandal' no prayer to kick us off!!
After sharing on Gods promise of peace in our lives, we went into some worship. This was more like dancing with God than singing songs to some removed God high out of reach. This flowed into the bulk of the meeting were guys prayed and ministered to each other.

It seemed like God was moving in every one in one way or another. I wont go into everything that happened to me .... thats for another time.

And just as uneventfully as it started things slowly seemed to end. When we finally left the guys were still in a group praying for one of the guys.

To some of you you might be thinking, ya this is normal. But for me this was like being in a real 'church' meeting. I suddenly saw all the religious structures that held what I knew as normal church. This was more like the book of Acts kind of meeting.
I know that in big churches things need to be slightly more organized in order to facilitate what is going on.

But who said we have to off with a prayer .... especially to ask or beg God to visit!! Who said we need to have worship first .... oh to help us focus? Who said we have to have coffee, announcements, offering baskets past around for all to see if you put money in or not??
(Please dont here what I am not saying, I am not saying giving and tithing is wrong, I am not saying offering baskets are wrong ... but were did it come from? There is church different to the way we have have done it)

I don't have many or any answers to these questions, other than I experienced something real and pure and full of Him, beautiful and refreshing.

C

Sunday, 10 February 2008

Wayne's world...(10Feb08)

The glorious Gospel of Jesus, is the power of God for salvation.
 
Romans 1:16-17 I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. 17For in the gospel a righteousness from God is revealed, a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: "The righteous will live by faith."
 
We have been asking some very key questions over the last weeks.
 
We asked, what is the Gospel.
 
We asked what is the good news…Today I want to ask…
 
What is salvation?
 
I truly believe that for myself and for many Christians, we have lived in a substandard form of Christianity. We live with partial victory, partial peace, partial deliverance and partial anointing. Bill Johnson says "if you live in the subnormal for too long, the subnormal, becomes the normal". I feel prophetically that Jesus is on a mission. His mission is to take His glorious bride through transformation to normal church. Normal church has people saved daily. Normal church has signs and wonders and miracles happening often. Normal Christians carry power and anointing. Normal Christians live in victory, experience healing. Norman Christians are filled with joy and peace and righteousness. Normal Christians can't help expressing their love for God in service and obedience. Normal Christians live as those who are free. 
 
Part of what has contributed to this substandard Christian experience is a broken understanding of what the cross has purchased for us. The power of the cross. The huge inheritance to us as believers through what Jesus accomplished on the cross.
 
What then is salvation?
 
Salvation is everything Jesus purchased for us through the atonement.
 
Lets look at two greek words used to in the new testament to explain salvation. 
 
The word here in Romans 1:16 is
G4991  σωτηρία  sōtēria  so-tay-ree'-ah
Feminine of a derivative of G4990 as (properly abstract) noun; rescue or safety (physically or morally): - deliver, health, salvation, save, saving.  
 
In other places this word is used, it is the more common word. 
G4982 σώζω sōzō  sode'-zo
From a primary word σῶς sōs̄ (contraction for the obsolete σάος saos, "safe"); to save, that is, deliver or protect (literally or figuratively): - heal, preserve, save (self), do well, be (make) whole. 
 
If we look at these definitions of salvation from the Greek we find awesome life changing truths. These truths are something we can possess through promise. They are ours. 
 
Firstly this word is a noun. In other words this word is not a verb, its not something God is doing, it's not something we're doing…it's done…it is finished. A noun describes a person or a place of a thing. Guess what person, place, thing…your saved. Nothing left for you to do, and nothing left for God to do.
 
OK so what is our state?
 
Saved means delivered. Saved means healed. It means saved. It also means protected, and to make whole. Atoned…made at 1 with God.
 
All these things come to us through the salvation experience, it's part of our salvation.
 
Andrew Wommack "When the scripture says that the gospel is the power of God unto salvation, it's not just talking about being how to be born again and have our sins forgiven. It also means that the Gospel-the grace of God- is the power of God unto healing, unto deliverance, unto prosperity- unto everything that comes to us as a result of being born again. It's talking about our relationship with God. It's how we relate to God based on Grace (what Jesus did) instead of performance (what we do)" 
 
I love this our salvation experience, this gospel from God is powerful. Within it is power. Power for health, for forgiveness, for prosperity and for protection. Based not on our performance, but based on His performance on our behalf.
 
Jesus paid for this for us on the cross. Thank you Jesus. Salvation is a gift. The problem is that for so many Christians we receive the gift but do not unwrap it. Unwrap it friend, and look, look inside, see the power of the gospel, the good news. We have a Father in heaven that loves us more than well ever know, this salvation is His gift to us, paid for by the blood of the lamb. How precious how beautiful is our salvation, and how great is the love, mercy and goodness of the Father. Do we deserve this…no. Can we earn it…no. It's a gift of grace.
 
I love it that this salvation not only saves us, but protects us too. I think one day when we get to heaven and see our live, we will suddenly realize how importantly Jesus has taken his role in saving us. Every day he is attentive to us. Leading guiding and protecting us. How many times has he protected us from harm, diverted evil, deflected attack and sickness…this too is part of our salvation. 
 
Now Satan tries to get us into the deception that we must earn these things from God. Make ourselves our savior. To put our faith in what we've done instead of in Christ, our only means of receiving from God.
 
Get this…instead of coming right out and telling us that God does not prosper, deliver and heal today, Satan deceives us into thinking that we have to do something to earn Gods promises.
 
Listen to this quote:
 
"Instead of relating to God, and receiving from Him based on His grace, goodness and mercy, we try to earn the gift through human effort".
 
Most of us believe that God moves in our lives in proportion to our performance. So much of what Paul addressed in the NT was about that. This puts us in a place of constantly striving for the promises. When we lack something we exercise works instead of faith. If we know and believe we have these things, we can begin to walk in the fullness of the inheritance purchased for us on the cross. When we do, we will have a renewed passion for the gospel. We will want everyone everywhere to know and live in this glorious gospel of Jesus.
 
I wish we had time to open each of these promises from the bible. Gods protection, Gods provision, his mighty power working for you and in you. His glory in us. God is so good, and faithful and true. 
 
There is another thing I would like to point out regarding our glorious salvation.
 
It's about our changed nature that happens when were surrender to Jesus. Were going to look at this in great detail later in the series, but I want to touch it now.
 
Here is a question for you…don't answer out loud, just think for a moment.
 
"Do you think you still have a sinful nature?"
 
Friends, please know who you are. "as a man believes in his heart so is he"
 
"out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks"
 
Our nature, our sinful nature has not been changed! It has been crucified, murdered, and it died. Dead forever. The old man gone. Your spirit is now perfect, forever.
 
"God made him who had no sin to become sin for us that we might become the righteousness of God". Your spirit is as righteous as Jesus. Co-seated with him in heavenly places, equal in righteousness to God. "as Jesus is, so are we in this world" 1 john 4:17. This is the word. God spoke to me and said "show my people who they are, and they will be it"
 
A prophetic word came for us last week "the thing that will take this church and it's people into the next level in God is learning who we are in Christ".
 
Look and see friends, family, see the power of the Gospel is working in you.  
 
Father please come and minister the power of this truth to us. Come and confirm your word with signs following. Holy Spirit confirm your word now with your presence.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

Saturday, 09 February 2008

More from Rob...

But when you get grace in your heart and you get free then you can sniff and smell and discern manipulation and legalism just like that and the moment you do, you've got to make a decision. If I resist this all hells going to break loose because they're going to put their legalism and guilt on me bigger now. Their leverage is going to get bigger now and I'm going to stand there and look at that witch craft Jezebel spirit in the face and not submit to it, and a storm can rage and it will for a while, but when it stops you walk out a free man.
 
Victory Over Condemnation - Rob Rufus - 29 July 2007.
 
Approx. 20 minutes into preach

Friday, 08 February 2008

Warts n' All...(8Feb08)

Resist the Proud?
 
I am interested to hear if anyone has any Scripture or revelation on how (or whether) to handle legalists gracefully.
It seems consistent throughout the new testament that there was confrontation and Jesus himself really pulled them apart ....
 
Yes we do not wrestle against flesh and blood.
 
Obviously God's heart toward all of us is without favouritism, but we don't see a graceful model toward the religious people of Jesus' time.
We see Him giving grace to the humble and resisting the proud.
Where does that leave one of us when we are called to defend the Gospel?
I would appreciate your input on this coconut!

Wednesday, 06 February 2008

Reign in Life

Just a thought! In Romans 5v17 it says we 'reign in life'. This is achieved or comes into affect because we recieve an 'abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness'.

Romans 5 v 17For if by one man's offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.

This is quiet obvious and plain to see, but what interests me is this. (stay with me on this)
It does not say our spirit, our soul, or our future redeemed state. It says 'in life'

So where am I going?
The question I have been asking is this: Does the gift of righteousness only affect my spirit, is it only my spirit that is sanctified? Is it now up to me to sort out the flesh??

Would not 'life' include every part of our being?

What are YOUR thoughts on this, please feel free to give your thoughts / insights to these questions or coments.

C

Love Louisa...(6Feb08)

Hi everyone

I have such a sense of renewal and new beginnings and a renewed energy and
enthusiasm for the things of God. God is doing something new and we have
been made and are been made ready for the task! Wow, it's so exciting to be
alive at a time like this. I have been part of new moves in God before but
never in on one in the beginning. So this is very exciting for me. I feel
that years of cries out to God and changes in our hearts and circumstances
have positioned us for this time!

A new thing is not a regurgitated old thing. It's not a slightly altered old
thing. It's new...
Just like when I got born again, I became a new creature in Christ. Not a
patched up old me, but a brand new me. Someone who has been transported from
the kingdom of darkness into the kingdom of light. Someone who was no one,
became a someone, became a child of God. WOW!

The thing with change is that some don't recognize that something new has
come, some resist it, condemn it and urge others to hold onto the old with
them. And others who have longed for change embrace it, do what ever is
needed to be part of it, no matter how difficult. And also urge as many
people to be part of this change as possible. Where do you fit?

In this time of preparation let God and the Holy Spirit wash you and ready
you.
Ephesians 5:26 Jesus loved the church and gave himself up for her to make
her holy, cleansing her by washing with water through the word.
Titus 3:5 He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy
Spirit.

Have an exciting day as you prepare for even more amazing things to come.
Let me know what God is doing in you and where you live. And let as many
people as you can know that a living relationship with the God of the
universe is mind blowingly amazing and extremely personal.

Lots of love
Louisa

Monday, 04 February 2008

Wayne's World...(4 Feb08)

What is the Good News?

The Gospel can accurately be translated the "nearly-too-good-to-be-true-news".

Why is it "nearly-too-good-to-be-true-news", and what is this "nearly-too-good-to-be-true-news", and is it "nearly-too-good-to-be-true-news".

These and many other exciting question will be answered in today's preach.

Before we look at these questions, I would like to briefly recap last weeks message for in many ways it forms a platform for today preach…what is the "nearly-too-good-to-be-true-news".

We looked at Galatians and Paul's passionate plea to the Christians in Galatians.

Galatians 1:6 I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you by the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel-- 7which is really no gospel at all. Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ. 8But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let him be eternally condemned! 9As we have already said, so now I say again: If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you accepted, let him be eternally condemned!

We see here that Paul was guarding the one true Gospel, the gospel of the grace of Jesus Christ. This was what Paul lived for it was his mission from on high. Protect and proclaim the one true Gospel. He gave his life for it.

Acts 20:24 However, I consider my life worth nothing to me, if only I may finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me--the task of testifying to the gospel of God's grace.

So we learn a few things from these two scriptures.

1) We learn that Paul was protecting and proclaiming the one and only true gospel, the gospel of Jesus Christ and him crucified, the gospel of grace.

2) We learn that the gospel is a gospel of grace. In other words gospel=grace. Paul uses the words interchangeably.

3) We learn that from the beginning, it has been the plan of the enemy to rob, kill and destroy the Gospel. He wants to pervert it and turn us to another gospel which is really no gospel at all.

The enemy wants to pollute our Christianity with religion, tradition and legalism. Why, well these things remove us from God.

Look at Galat 1:6 I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you by the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel

Galatians 5:4 You who are trying to be justified by law have been alienated from Christ; you have fallen away from grace

We see that following another way besides the pure gospel leads to separation and alienation from Christ.

Following another way, putting our faith in anything else besides Jesus and what he did on the cross causes separation between us and Christ. Following any other gospel, putting our faith in any other way, trying to do good to get right with God, trying to be self righteous to earn Gods favor, causes separation from Jesus. That's what 5:4 says trying to be justified by law causes alienation from Christ. Intimacy with Him comes from the place of total surrender, realizing we can never do or become enough, but that Jesus paid the price required from heaven in full, and now we enter into the new covenant, where our inheritance and promises are received based not on what we do, but on what Jesus has already done.

With this as an introduction, what is the "nearly-too-good-to-be-true-news".

Here it is.

In the beginning Jesus created Adam and Eve to walk and talk with God in the cool of the day. Man was without shame. Then they ate from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Before this they were not aware of there nakedness of there inferiority. Man is inferior to God, coz he is so infinitely great. When they ate, they became aware of there shortcomings, they gained an awareness of the fact that they were not perfect. They became shameful, and gained the knowledge that compared to God, they were not perfect. Shame and embarrassment took them over. From that day on every person was born in the same state. Born into sin, and born into the knowledge that God is perfect, and we are not.

Then the Father made a covenant with man. He said, if you fully obey my commands that I give you today, I'll be you God, and you will be my people. If you obey me I'll bless you. If you disobey me, I'll curse you.

Deut 11:26See, I am setting before you today a blessing and a curse-- 27the blessing if you obey the commands of the LORD your God that I am giving you today; 28the curse if you disobey the commands of the LORD

Chapter 28v1 If you fully obey the LORD your God and carefully follow all his commands I give you today, the LORD your God will set you high above all the nations on earth. 2All these blessings will come upon you and accompany you if you obey the LORD your God: 3You will be blessed in the city and blessed in the country. 4The fruit of your womb will be blessed, and the crops of your land and the young of your livestock--the calves of your herds and the lambs of your flocks. 5Your basket and your kneading trough will be blessed. 6You will be blessed when you come in and blessed when you go out. 7The LORD will grant that the enemies who rise up against you will be defeated before you. They will come at you from one direction but flee from you in seven. 8The LORD will send a blessing on your barns and on everything you put your hand to. The LORD your God will bless you in the land he is giving you. 9The LORD will establish you as his holy people, as he promised you on oath, if you keep the commands of the LORD your God and walk in his ways. 10Then all the peoples on earth will see that you are called by the name of the LORD, and they will fear you. 11The LORD will grant you abundant prosperity--in the fruit of your womb, the young of your livestock and the crops of your ground--in the land he swore to your forefathers to give you. 12The LORD will open the heavens, the storehouse of his bounty, to send rain on your land in season and to bless all the work of your hands. You will lend to many nations but will borrow from none. 13The LORD will make you the head, not the tail. If you pay attention to the commands of the LORD your God that I give you this day and carefully follow them, you will always be at the top, never at the bottom. 14Do not turn aside from any of the commands I give you today, to the right or to the left, following other gods and serving them. 15However, if you do not obey the LORD your God and do not carefully follow all his commands and decrees I am giving you today, all these curses will come upon you and overtake you: 16You will be cursed in the city and cursed in the country. 17Your basket and your kneading trough will be cursed. 18The fruit of your womb will be cursed, and the crops of your land, and the calves of your herds and the lambs of your flocks. 19You will be cursed when you come in and cursed when you go out. 20The LORD will send on you curses, confusion and rebuke in everything you put your hand to, until you are destroyed and come to sudden ruin because of the evil you have done in forsaking him. 21The LORD will plague you with diseases until he has destroyed you from the land you are entering to possess. 22The LORD will strike you with wasting disease, with fever and inflammation, with scorching heat and drought, with blight and mildew, which will plague you until you perish. 23The sky over your head will be bronze, the ground beneath you iron. 24The LORD will turn the rain of your country into dust and powder; it will come down from the skies until you are destroyed. 25The LORD will cause you to be defeated before your enemies. You will come at them from one direction but flee from them in seven, and you will become a thing of horror to all the kingdoms on earth. 26Your carcasses will be food for all the birds of the air and the beasts of the earth, and there will be no one to frighten them away. 27The LORD will afflict you with the boils of Egypt and with tumors, festering sores and the itch, from which you cannot be cured. 28The LORD will afflict you with madness, blindness and confusion of mind. 29At midday you will grope about like a blind man in the dark. You will be unsuccessful in everything you do; day after day you will be oppressed and robbed, with no one to rescue you. 30You will be pledged to be married to a woman, but another will take her and ravish her. You will build a house, but you will not live in it. You will plant a vineyard, but you will not even begin to enjoy its fruit. 31Your ox will be slaughtered before your eyes, but you will eat none of it. Your donkey will be forcibly taken from you and will not be returned. Your sheep will be given to your enemies, and no one will rescue them. 32Your sons and daughters will be given to another nation, and you will wear out your eyes watching for them day after day, powerless to lift a hand. 33A people that you do not know will eat what your land and labor produce, and you will have nothing but cruel oppression all your days. 34The sights you see will drive you mad. 35The LORD will afflict your knees and legs with painful boils that cannot be cured, spreading from the soles of your feet to the top of your head. 36The LORD will drive you and the king you set over you to a nation unknown to you or your fathers. There you will worship other gods, gods of wood and stone. 37You will become a thing of horror and an object of scorn and ridicule to all the nations where the LORD will drive you. 38You will sow much seed in the field but you will harvest little, because locusts will devour it. 39You will plant vineyards and cultivate them but you will not drink the wine or gather the grapes, because worms will eat them. 40You will have olive trees throughout your country but you will not use the oil, because the olives will drop off. 41You will have sons and daughters but you will not keep them, because they will go into captivity. 42Swarms of locusts will take over all your trees and the crops of your land. 43The alien who lives among you will rise above you higher and higher, but you will sink lower and lower. 44He will lend to you, but you will not lend to him. He will be the head, but you will be the tail. 45All these curses will come upon you. They will pursue you and overtake you until you are destroyed, because you did not obey the LORD your God and observe the commands and decrees he gave you. 46They will be a sign and a wonder to you and your descendants forever. 47Because you did not serve the LORD your God joyfully and gladly in the time of prosperity, 48therefore in hunger and thirst, in nakedness and dire poverty, you will serve the enemies the LORD sends against you. He will put an iron yoke on your neck until he has destroyed you. 49The LORD will bring a nation against you from far away, from the ends of the earth, like an eagle swooping down, a nation whose language you will not understand, 50a fierce-looking nation without respect for the old or pity for the young. 51They will devour the young of your livestock and the crops of your land until you are destroyed. They will leave you no grain, new wine or oil, nor any calves of your herds or lambs of your flocks until you are ruined. 52They will lay siege to all the cities throughout your land until the high fortified walls in which you trust fall down. They will besiege all the cities throughout the land the LORD your God is giving you. 53Because of the suffering that your enemy will inflict on you during the siege, you will eat the fruit of the womb, the flesh of the sons and daughters the LORD your God has given you. 54Even the most gentle and sensitive man among you will have no compassion on his own brother or the wife he loves or his surviving children, 55and he will not give to one of them any of the flesh of his children that he is eating. It will be all he has left because of the suffering your enemy will inflict on you during the siege of all your cities. 56The most gentle and sensitive woman among you--so sensitive and gentle that she would not venture to touch the ground with the sole of her foot--will begrudge the husband she loves and her own son or daughter 57the afterbirth from her womb and the children she bears. For she intends to eat them secretly during the siege and in the distress that your enemy will inflict on you in your cities. 58If you do not carefully follow all the words of this law, which are written in this book, and do not revere this glorious and awesome name--the LORD your God-- 59the LORD will send fearful plagues on you and your descendants, harsh and prolonged disasters, and severe and lingering illnesses. 60He will bring upon you all the diseases of Egypt that you dreaded, and they will cling to you. 61The LORD will also bring on you every kind of sickness and disaster not recorded in this Book of the Law, until you are destroyed. 62You who were as numerous as the stars in the sky will be left but few in number, because you did not obey the LORD your God. 63Just as it pleased the LORD to make you prosper and increase in number, so it will please him to ruin and destroy you. You will be uprooted from the land you are entering to possess. 64Then the LORD will scatter you among all nations, from one end of the earth to the other. There you will worship other gods--gods of wood and stone, which neither you nor your fathers have known. 65Among those nations you will find no repose, no resting place for the sole of your foot. There the LORD will give you an anxious mind, eyes weary with longing, and a despairing heart. 66You will live in constant suspense, filled with dread both night and day, never sure of your life. 67In the morning you will say, "If only it were evening!" and in the evening, "If only it were morning!"--because of the terror that will fill your hearts and the sights that your eyes will see. 68The LORD will send you back in ships to Egypt on a journey I said you should never make again. There you will offer yourselves for sale to your enemies as male and female slaves, but no one will buy you.

Chapter 29v1 These are the terms of the covenant the LORD commanded Moses to make with the Israelites in Moab, in addition to the covenant he had made with them at Horeb

What awesome promises and what terrible curses. The problem is, and this is the catch. In order to enter the promises one would have to fully obey everything the Lord commanded. The problem with that is that no-one can fully obey the Lord. It was not as simple as do something good and get a blessing, do something bad and get a curse. It was fully obey and be blessed. Disobey and be cursed. Hence we are all born under the curse of the law.

The reason the law was issued was not to be kept. But rather to show us that we can never measure up to the perfect standard of God. The law was created to get us to a place of hopelessness so that we will throw our selves at the feet of God and say, I need a savior, I cannot measure up to your perfect standard. This is the state of all of man.

Then Jesus came to make a way, he fulfilled every requirement of the law on our behalf.

Colossians 2v13 When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your sinful nature, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, 14having canceled the written code, with its regulations, that was against us and that stood opposed to us; he took it away, nailing it to the cross"

Jesus came and did what no man could. He lived a life without sin. He fulfilled every requirement on our behalf, so we don't have to. Then he took the written code, the law. He took all the commandments and regulations that stood opposed to us. That stood and constantly reminded us that we cannot measure up to Gods perfect standard of holiness, He took all that to the cross. He took all the punishment that was due to us, all the wrath of God. He absorbed it for us.

Please note he took it away, and he cancelled it. So if you believe in Jesus, if you have accepted his sacrifice, what dominion does the law have over you? None, nothing nada. Its cancelled. In Romans Paul says were dead to the law. You cant be more removed from something than to be dead to it. As Christians who accept and believe in Jesus, the law is dead and has no effect.

How was this achieved, who did it. Was it something we did, no. All we did was believe. Jesus lived the life, Jesus paid the price, He did it all on our behalf. Did we cancel the law…no. Did we forfill the law…no.

So now all the consequences for not following the law are cancelled too, all the curses from Deut 28, and all other curses, are cancelled. Jesus became a curse for us at the cross, so we might become the righteousness

2 Cor 5:21 God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

This means that Jesus took the punishment for our sin. Reconciled us with God. We are now in right standing with God and nothing can threaten that glorious position of the freedom of the saints.

This is the "nearly-too-good-to-be-true-news".

It's all done, and in one last death pronouncement Christ cried… "it is finished".

Jesus met every requirement of the law, and then cancelled the regulations that stood against us.

Now get this with the regulations cancelled, what is there to stop us from being in the original state that Adam was in? What's to stop us from walking unashamed and naked with God. Why would and could we not walk and talk with God in the cool of the day.

Ever obstacle to our separation from God is removed in Christ. The bible talks about this in many ways. It says we've been reconciled to God. It says we've been atoned, made as one. It says we have become one with Christ, and one with the Father. It says we are now in Him. We are now one body, and He is the head…God's trying to tell us something, He loves and accepts us, and its all through the perfect sacrifice of Jesus.

This is the "nearly-too-good-to-be-true-news". And in fact its much better that all that, but time does not allow, we'll look at it in more detail as time progresses.

What I would like to touch on is this. Jesus paid the price right. Not us. It's not what we do, but what Jesus has already done by laying down his life. What an insult it is to God, what a slap in the face when we turn around and say, I deserve this coz of what I do. When we say that I live such a good life, do so many good things, am so holy, that I deserve this gift of righteousness, and eternal life. Please friends, we can never be holy enough, never do enough, be moral enough, read our bibles enough, or pray enough, to deserve this free gift from God. We cannot obey enough rules, do the right thing enough.

When we think that our behavior affects the blessing of God, or we feel that we can earn or deserve our salvation, it called self righteousness. This is directly opposed to Christ's righteousness which is a gift to all who believe through what Jesus did. It's self righteousness that separates us from God. Self righteousness says "I can be like God", by following rules and standards, which are ultimately like new testament law, we think God will accept us more, or be convinced to keep us in right standing with God. This is not the "nearly-too-good-to-be-true-news".

The "nearly-too-good-to-be-true-news", is that we are right with God forever through what Jesus did on the cross. We're accepted, we're loved, we're sons and daughters, perfect forever. There is nothing we can do to make God love us more and there is nothing we can do to make God love us less. It's all been done, Jesus did it all, all we have to do is believe. From this place of rightness with God, we will experience Him in ever increasing ways. As we are in Him, and with Him, he changes us. From this place of intimacy that He bought for us, He will transform us from Glory to Glory, as he works in us, changing us into ever increasing degrees of his likeness. But loving and accepting us every step of the journey.

This is the "nearly-too-good-to-be-true-news", its not what we do, it's what Jesus Christ has already done.