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Discussion Forum : Scriptures and Doctrine : "It is not your hold of Christ that saves you; it is His hold of you."

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savannah
Member



Joined: 2008/10/30
Posts: 1977


 Re: Phillippians 2:13




Those only, who have been given His Spirit, have also been given that grace to obey every command of the Lord their God, the Lord Jesus Christ.

Phillippians 2:13

For it is God Himself whose power creates within you
the desire to do His gracious will and also brings about the accomplishment of the desire.

For it is God who is producing in you both the desire and the ability to do what pleases him. 

For the one bringing forth in you both the desire and the effort for the sake of his good pleasure is God.

For it is God who worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.

Thanks be to God... and

All the glory be to God!

In this we are agreed...God commands thus and so...

and we do thus and so!

 2016/10/13 20:59Profile
brothagary
Member



Joined: 2011/10/23
Posts: 1861


 Re:

forest ....

i never said anything about someone humbling them selves.,,

my point was faith is a gift through which we hold fast .

and even good deeds and ministry is done by god through us its his work not ours ,,,,

hence Paul says YET NOT I

Can we say with Paul yet not i,,

i also believe god does command us to do things we cant do nor does he expect us to do ...

when i think of the greatest command ,love the lord your god ,
there wasn't one second of one day in the life of Christ where he failed this command, he fulfilled this law perfectly and god expected he would ...

yet we fail this command virtually every day ,in our hearts we know god deserves the perfect love that only son gave him
to love god with all the mind heart soul and strength every second of every day weather we wake or sleep..,,

the porpus of the law is the knowledge of sin ,to bring conviction and humble us and to cause a broken heart contrite spirit on this one god look upon and through this true prayer and grace filled tears abound..

The other option is to lie to god and our selves and say god i keep your law perfectly , in doing so we grieve the spirit push away conviction heal our own brokenness and take on a haughty spirit .... The one who thinks he stands take heed lest he falls, don"t be high minded,but be lowly in thoughts...







 2016/10/14 16:56Profile
StirItUp
Member



Joined: 2016/6/4
Posts: 941
Johannesburg, South Africa

 Re:

Amen Gary,

...we keep pressing on to a higher degree of perfect love...through Christ Who strengthens us!


_________________
William

 2016/10/15 2:14Profile









 Re: For every command of God there is a promise that fulfills that command

No man can save himself or ever please God without first coming to Christ. God sent Christ to earth because of His great love and to give everyone the opportunity for salvation from sin. God has offered salvation to everyone in the form of a promise. Now salvation is FREELY available by grace to anyone.

GOD HAS GIVEN US HIS PROMISES AND THEY ARE FULLY AVAILABLE NOW!! The promises when received will fulfill all the requirements of the law.

Now the PROMISE of Christ is designed by God to take a sinner, who is living in sin and rebellion and make him a son of God who truly loves God. This is the ONLY solution that God Himself has provided for mankind. It is NOT POSSIBLE for anyone to ever please God without taking hold of the promise of Jesus Christ. I repeat again, THIS IS THE ONLY SOLUTION!!!

Everything that God offers mankind is in the form of a promise. Salvation itself is based on Gods free gift and promise to us. The gift of Christ is now fully available to anyone who will take hold of the promise by faith. Without receiving the promises of God, salvation is totally impossible.

2 Peter 1:3-4 "According as His divine power has given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him that has called us to glory and virtue: Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these you might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust."

The design of the promises is to make a person a partaker of God's divine nature. God forms His character in the believer by the provisions of the gospel. God has made ample provision for all holiness and spiritual growth. The promise when received fulfills all the requirements of the law. What the law requires, God freely makes available to every person as a gift. We must truly believe and then receive this gift.

God has provided man with everything that he could possibly need to live a pure and Holy life. He has made everything freely available in the form of promises. Salvation, Jesus, Christ, and the Holy Spirit are all offered to mankind by the promises. The ONLY way to experience being a partaker of God's Holy nature and escape the corruption in the word is from receiving the results of the promises. Without first receiving the results of a promise, holiness is impossible.

The main problem with the sinner is, that he is living in total rebellion to God and he does not have any love for God. God has the ONLY solution for this lack of love in the heart. God freely offers everyone the GIFT of love through Christ!! It is NOT POSSIBLE to love God before receiving God's gift of Christ and love.

For every command of God there is a promise from God that, if received, will fulfill that command. Or another way to put it is, what the law requires, God's grace freely makes available by faith. Only as a person receives the promise by faith and experiences its fulfillment in himself will he truly obey the commands of God. For example, the following command will never be obeyed without first receiving the results of the promise.

Command

Matt. 22:37 "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, and with all your mind."

Promise

Deut. 30:6 "And the Lord your God will circumcise your heart, and the heart of your seed, to love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, that you may live."

It is clear that the love that the law demands is made freely available by God.

The language of the promise means just as much as the language of the command. It seems that few people misunderstand the command to fully love God continuously. Now, when it comes to the promise many seem to try to dilute it or make it seem weak. Does not the promise mean just as much as the command? The truth is, the only way this command will ever be fulfilled is by first receiving the results of this promise.

The law demands perfect obedience and threatens with a harsh penalty if the obedience failed. Under the law, it depends only on man's faithfulness to obey. Only IF man obeyed would he be blessed, if he failed he would be cursed. The law will never make any one obedient, in fact the law was never designed to make any person's heart holy. The Law will never supply the love God demanded. All it did was make demands and threats when the demands were not met. Man broke the law time and time again. He proved his unfaithfulness.

God has provided the only solution for mans disobedience and total failure through Jesus Christ. God's provision WHEN RECEIVED will fulfill all the requirements of the law. What the law demands, grace supplies. God has made provision for mans unfaithfulness and has made this solution freely available in the form of a promise.

 2016/10/15 5:59









 More comands and promises

Another command and promise.

Command

Ezek. 18:30b-31 "Repent, and turn yourselves from all your transgressions; so iniquity shall not be your ruin. Cast away from you all your transgressions, whereby you have transgressed; and make you a new heart and a new spirit: for why will you die, O house of Israel?"

Promise

Ezek: 36:25-29; 36b "Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and you shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you. A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and you shall keep my judgments, and do them. And you shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers; and ye shall be my people, and I will be your God. I will also save and deliver you from all your uncleannesses: and I will call for the corn, and will increase it, and lay no famine upon you. I the LORD have spoken it, and I will do it."

Another command and promise.

Command

Deut. 10:12 "And now, Israel, what does the LORD your God require of you, but to fear the LORD your God, to walk in ALL His ways, and to love Him, and to serve the LORD your God with ALL your heart and with ALL your soul."

Promise

Jer 32:39-41 "And I will give you one heart, and one way, that you may fear me for ever, for your own good, and for your children after you: And I will make an everlasting covenant with you, that I will not turn away from you, to do you good; but I will put my fear in your heart, that you shall not depart from me. Yes, I will rejoice over you to do you good, and I will plant you in this land assuredly with my whole heart and with my whole soul."

Here is an exact Charles Finney quote from The Promise of The Spirit published by Bethany House 1980. Lecture 11. THE PROMISES--No. 1, page 135.

"We never keep the commandments, only as we take hold of the promises. By this I mean that grace alone enables us from the heart, to obey the commandments of God. It is, therefore, only when we lay hold of the promise, by faith, and receive its fulfillment in ourselves, that we really, in heart, obey the commandments of God. For example we never love the Lord our God, according to the first great commandment, only as we lay hold on, and receive the fulfillment of some such promise as this: "I will circumcise your heart, and the heart of your seed, to love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, that you may live."

We can take hold of the promises of God and then receive what we need.

Exact quote from Finney's Systematic Theology -- 1851 Edition Lecture 50

"It is true indeed that God requires of men, especially under the gospel, what they are unable to do directly in their own strength. Or more strictly speaking, he requires them to lay hold on His strength, or to avail themselves of His grace, as the condition of being what he requires them to be. With strict propriety, it cannot be said that in this, or in any case, he requires directly any more than we are able directly to do. The direct requirement in the case under consideration, is to avail ourselves of, or to lay hold upon his strength. This we have power to do. He requires us to lay hold upon his grace and strength, and thereby to rise to a higher knowledge of Himself, and to a consequent higher state of holiness than would be otherwise possible to us. The direct requirement is to believe, or to lay hold upon his strength, or to receive the Holy Spirit, or Christ, who stands at the door, and knocks, and waits for admission. The indirect requirement is to rise to a degree of knowledge of God, and to spiritual attainments that are impossible to us in our own strength. We have ability to obey the direct command directly, and the indirect command indirectly. That is, we are able by virtue of our nature, together with the proffered grace of the Holy Spirit, to comply with all the requirements of God. So that in fact there is no proper inability about it."

The grace of the gospel offers you, with every command, the strength to obey, and work in you the very thing commanded. Every command implies a corresponding promise, that is, if we are required to do anything by Christ, the very requirement is an implied promise or offer of all the aid we need to make it possible for us to perform it. Indeed, the command in itself is an implied gift of all needed help. The command itself implies the ability to obey it. Every command of God implies this in the strongest manner. It should be remembered that God is perfect in both love and wisdom: therefore He cannot be so unjust as to demand something from us that is impossible for us to perform. THE GRACE OF GOD TURNS THE REQUIREMENT OF THE LAW INTO A PROMISE OF GOD.

From Christian Perfection by Asa Mahan

The sinner is not required to "make himself clean," or to "make to himself a new heart," in the exercise of his unaided powers, but by application to the blood of Christ, "which cleanses from all sin." The grace which purifies the heart is provided; the fountain, whose waters cleanse from sin, is set open. To this fountain the sinner is brought, and because he may descend into it, and there "wash his garments and make them white," he can fulfill the command, "Wash you, make you clean," "make to yourself a new heart and a new spirit," and "cleanse yourself from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit." The sinner is able to make to himself a "new heart and a new spirit," because he can instantly avail himself of offered grace. He does literally "make to himself a new heart and a new spirit," ONLY when he yields himself up to the influence of that grace. The power to cleanse from sin lies in the blood and grace of Christ; and hence, when the sinner "purifies himself by obeying the truth through the spirit," the glory of his salvation belongs, not to him, but to Christ.

The grace of God now shows you that there is an entirely new position for you to take. You must take a possible position of simple childlike obedience, day by day, to every command His voice speaks to you through the Spirit. You must take a possible position of simple childlike dependence on and experience of His all-sufficient grace, day by day, for every command He gives.

 2016/10/15 6:08









 HOW WE HOLD FAST

This is really impossible. We cannot do it. We cannot hold fast the profession of our faith - not on our own. We cannot because we are week, and we are tempted, and we give in.

That is why it is important to remember that: "He is faithful that promised." That is how we will do it. That is what makes it possible. We will heed Christ’s command because "God is faithful Who has promised."

The text is telling us that God makes promises to His people. And when we speak of the promises of God, we must remember that the promises of God are sure. They are certain. There is no doubt about them. God does not make promises as we do. We make promises, but we often break them. Not God. He is faithful. And that is because He is the unchanging God. This is the truth concerning Him that is expressed in the name Jehovah. He is the I AM. He is the God Who is the same yesterday, today, and forever. He never changes His mind with regard to the promises He makes. He makes a promise, and even though we make ourselves unworthy of God keeping that promise, still He does. That we are unfaithful does not make a difference with God. He is faithful. When He makes a promise it will happen.

Consider some of the promises of God in Scripture - promises that directly relate to the admonition we are given in our text.

There’s the promise God makes in Hebrews 13:5. "He has said, I will never leave thee nor forsake thee." What a blessed promise that is. Here we are in the midst of an evil world, tempted on every side, facing not only temptations, but many trials and a great variety of things that make it hard for us to stand firm in the faith that we have confessed. And what does God say? "My people, I’m with you. I will never leave you - never. And I will never forsake you. I will be there to uphold you. I will be there to give you the strength you need to remain steadfast in your confession. That’s My promise. I will do that - I will." What a blessed promise.

Then there’s the promise of God in Philippians 1:6. There God’s promise is this: "I have begun a good work in you, and I will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ." That’s another blessed promise. God says: "I have begun a work in you. You didn’t begin it - I did. And having begun it, I’m going to continue that work. I’m not going to start it and then let you do the rest. But this is My work. I’m going to continue that work. I’m going to continue it until the day of Christ, that is, until the day that Christ returns to take you as one of His children to be in glory." What a blessed promise. God is saying, "I will do it all. I will begin the work. I will continue it. And I will finish it. I will perfect and complete what I have begun." And when God promises that, God will do it. He will.

Therein lies the possibility of our faithfulness to our confession - that God is faithful. Believe in Him, therefore. Trust in Him. Seek Him and His help daily. Hold fast the profession of your faith, and do so without wavering. Do that in the assurance of God’s faithfulness. Remember His blessed promises: "I will never leave you nor forsake you. I will finish the work that I have begun. And when My work is done, I will bring you to dwell forever in heavenly glory with Me."

 2016/10/15 6:31









 Confidence in GOD ONLY

Look at these scriptural examples to understand what I am saying.

Phip. 1:6, "Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:"

1 Thes. 5:23-24, "And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. "Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it."

Eph. 1:3-5, "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ: According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will,"

Look at what Paul was saying here. His CONFIDENCE was not in his own ability to believe but in what God had already accomplished and would continue to accomplish.

You may make this verse personal to you by saying "I am confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in ME will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:"

Now Paul had NO confidence in his own efforts to produce the necessary faith. He knew that Jesus Christ is the ONLY true source of faith possible. He did not have any faith in his own faith!

The Holy Spirit was showing Paul what God in Christ had already accomplished through Christ’s life, death and resurrection. Then he saw and realized THE FAITHFULNESS OF GOD TOWARD HIM!!!

Now this Gospel contains and supplies us with all the necessary faith, love, obedience, surrender and repentance. Do not forget that salvation is IMPOSSIBLE by anything a person can do. Salvation is the work of God.

Mark 10:26-27, "And they were astonished out of measure, saying among themselves, Who then can be saved? And Jesus looking upon them saith, With men it is impossible, but not with God: for with God all things are possible."

It was God in Christ who has reconciled us to Him, made us one with Him, justified us, made us holy, sanctified us, forgiven all of our sins, crucified us with Him, and then raised us from the dead in Him. He has given us HIS divine nature and HE is our LIFE. He has made us a NEW CREATION.

Heb. 8:12, "For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more."

Heb. 10:16-18, "This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them; And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more. Now where remission of these is, there is no more offering for sin."

Christ, the LAST ADAM came to rescue us from sin and totally undo ALL the consequences of what the 1st Adam did.

God in Christ has now made us ONE with Him and we have been fully justified and born again BY CHRIST'S RESURRECTION from the dead. NOT by our OWN EFFORTS!!

Romans 4:3-5, "For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness. Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt. But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness."

Gal, 3:8, "And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all nations be blessed."

Now look at this part closely - GOD JUSTIFIETH THE UNGODLY AND THE HEATHENS!

Are you shocked and surprised that God justifies the ungodly and the heathens? It is by the Cross that God has saved wicked men and received to Himself the vilest of the sinners. See how this Scripture plainly states it. God makes those just who are unjust, forgives those who deserve to be punished, and favors those who deserve no favor.

God did all this in Christ BEFORE you where even born, before you could repent and before you could believe. He did this without your permission or consent. You had NO PART in what God did in Christ.

Have you ever tried to Love and Obey God and totally failed? Look at and examine all you failures that you have made.

Have you been defeated over and over again? Are you hopeless? Have you found it impossible to ever Love and Obey God correctly?

I hope that when you look back on all your defeats and failures that you now know the reason why you failed. It was that you were trusting in your own abilities to believe. Your faith was in your faith and your confidence was in your efforts.

Do you now realize the fact that you have been on the throne attempting to use your own will power and desires to get archive freedom but self can never dethrone self? Self can NEVER dethrone self - IT IS IMPOSSIBLE.

If you do not realize this fact you will continue to keep trying and failing over and over again.

Now you have a choice to make to make if you want to enjoy His VICTORY and be an active participant in what God has already accomplished for you in Christ. Will you put your confidence in HIS FAITHFULNESS TOWARD YOU or in your faithfulness toward Him?

 2016/10/15 6:46









 Re: Confidence in GOD ONLY

No confidence in the flesh = total surrender

Phip. 3:3, "For we are the circumcision, which worship God in the spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh.”

Many born again Christians still have some degree of confidence in their flesh. This means that they still rely on their own efforts, energy, will power, biblical knowledge, formulas, traditions and customs to grow spiritually. Now this is IMPOSSIBLE!

Now the result of all this activity and effort is continual failure and defeat. None of these things have any power to improve us or make us more Christ like. Not only do they have ZERO value they actually keep us from enjoying the true freedom that Christ has already made available to all of us.

We must come to the place where we really and actually die to any and all confidence in our own selves. Now just how does God accomplish this?

God gave us the Old Covenant with all the rules and laws to show us that we could never keep it.

Here is what David Wilkerson wrote.

--------------

"Now that we understand the foundation of the New Covenant into which we have entered with God, we can begin to appropriate its promises. One of the first steps we take is facing the truth that we cannot rescue ourselves from the power of sin. It is simply impossible for any believer to deliver himself from sin's dominion. That work can be accomplished only by the Holy Spirit.

This divine work is complicated by a twofold problem, however. God has to accomplish two things in us before He can deliver us from our besetting sins.

First, God has to inspire the sin-bound person to want to be free. By nature, man does not want to be delivered from his sin. He simply will not respond to a gracious mercy call. So, God has to implement a plan or device that will allow a person to see the exceeding wickedness of his sin. This person has to become sin-sick, aware of how wicked and devastating his sin is, before he will yearn for deliverance. He has to come to his wits' end, where he sees he is being ruined by sin - helpless, wretched, empty, ensnared and deceived by sin, and laden down with guilt.

Second, God has to cause the sin-bound person to see the utter futility of his own efforts to set himself free. Man remains convinced he can cut off his own chains. He thinks if he struggles hard enough or works out the correct formula, he will be able to free himself from Satan's grip. The Lord, therefore, has to bring him to a point of total surrender, where he submits his struggle completely into God's hands.

How does the Lord accomplish these two things? How does He cause the sin-bound person, first, to see his transgressions as exceedingly sinful, and, second, to give up the fight in his flesh, admitting, "I can't do it. I'm helpless to free myself from this sin. Lord, You have to do it in me"?

Scripture explains that this twofold work is accomplished in us by the Old Covenant. Indeed, we cannot fully understand or appropriate the blessing of the New Covenant until the Old Covenant has accomplished this dual work in us.

By its very design, the Old Covenant of works was intended to teach enslaved man how high and holy his heavenly Father is. The Ten Commandments, for example, give us a picture of what is known as the moral law. This is a representation of the heart and nature of God - a nature of holiness, purity, and righteousness. It sets a standard so high no human can possibly reach it in his own strength.

After giving man these commandments, God then commanded him to obey His Law perfectly. In fact, anyone who failed to keep a single law was guilty of violating them all. That person might love God, be a faithful spouse and do good works, but if he had even the slightest adulterous or idolatrous thought in his heart, he would be breaking the entire covenant. God said, "Now therefore, if you will indeed obey My voice and keep My covenant, then you shall be a ... holy nation" (Exodus 19:5-6). "Obey My voice, and I will be your God, and you shall be My people" (Jeremiah 7:23).

You may wonder, "Why would God make a covenant He knew no one could keep?" Simply put, it was the only way God could bring man to the end of himself - to cause him to see the futility of relying on his own strength to be holy. This is why Paul called the Old Covenant "the ministry of death" (2 Corinthians 3:7). He knew it requires of us a kind of dying. In plain language, we all must die to any attempt to establish our own righteousness, and to any thought that we can deliver ourselves from sin's strongholds.

The moral law is also meant to make man see his guilt: "By the law is the knowledge of sin... that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God" (Romans 3:20, 19). Once we see our iniquity soberly, we are silenced by its exceeding sinfulness. "Moreover the law entered that the offense might abound" (Romans 5:20). Through the revelation of the Law, our sins become offensive to us - disturbing, sickening, overwhelming.

By setting His standard of holiness so high, God was proving to man that he could never attain the Law in his own strength. Instead, He was placing man in a school - a place where he would be taught how utterly wicked and sinful he was. By graduation time, he should be a dead man - dead to any hope he might have of freeing himself from the bondage of sin.

Likewise today, as long as we have the slightest idea we can achieve holiness on our own, we are still living under the Old Covenant's ministration of death. God's whole idea behind implementing this covenant is to send us to our death.

After studying this aspect of the covenant, I wrote the following conclusion in my journal:

The Old Covenant has finished its work. It has put me on my face - empty, helpless, wounded, weak - and now it can fade away. I am fully persuaded that I cannot by human strength and will obey or please God. I have no plea of holiness. I am without strength, and I can do nothing in my own ability. My sin is too powerful, the chains too heavy. I am too wicked to free myself. I need a miracle, and I need a helper. All I can do now is cry, Abba, Father.

Which Covenant Defines Your Walk?

Let me tell you how you can know if the Old Covenant has finished its work in you, and whether or not you are ready to move into the glory of the New Covenant.

Think about this question: What is your reaction whenever you slip and fall, returning to your old habit or lust once more? Do you go to your prayer closet, fall on your face and begin wailing, "Oh, Father, I promise not to do it anymore"? Do you shout at God, asking, "Lord, where were You when I needed You? Why didn't You give me the power to resist this temptation? Where was the Holy Spirit to stop me from giving in?" Do you wallow in self-examination, trying to find some new measure of commitment to recover and move on?

If either one of the above scenarios describes your reaction to failure or sin, you are still living under the Old Covenant. Your cry probably comes directly from your flesh, not from God's Spirit in you. Your flesh feels sorry for itself because it did not accomplish the deliverance. And now it is asking for one more opportunity, begging, "Hang in there with me - try me one more time."

This is an ongoing problem with many Christians. We look to the Holy Spirit as some kind of booster shot to empower or energize our human will. We expect Him to build up our supply of grit and determination, so we can stand up to temptation the next time it comes. We cry, "Make me strong, Lord! Give me an iron will, so I can withstand all sin." But God knows this would only make our flesh stronger, enabling it to boast.

I want you to examine yourself: What has all your crying, grieving and questioning brought you? Do you now enjoy lasting freedom or do you occasionally go back to your sin? Are your times of repentance increasingly marked by more tears, louder crying and deeper despair - with no sign of deliverance from bondage?

If the Old Covenant had truly done its work in you, you would already be "dead." You would not have any tears left, any strength to cry out, any confidence in your flesh whatsoever. The truth is, most of our weeping, begging and striving comes from our continuing expectation that something good can rise up out of our human nature to offer the Lord. But that simply is never going to happen. We are always going to be too weak and frail in our flesh to produce holiness. Yes, we are commanded to be strong - but only in the power of God's might, and not our own.

Please do not misunderstand me. I emphatically believe there is such a thing as godly sorrow over sin. Such sorrow produces true repentance. And I believe there are acceptable tears that flow from the hearts of those who grieve over wounding Christ. If you have never prayed from this place of repentance, you might want to do so now.

Lord, I confess my inability to obey Your commandments. I acknowledge my utter helplessness to deliver myself from sin's dominion. In all my strivings to get free, I have failed again and again. So now I come to You as "dead" - in full surrender. I confess my need to be delivered from my sin - and I admit I cannot do it on my own.

Oh, Lord, Your Old Covenant has accomplished in me two important things. First, I know in my heart that I want to be free. I truly want You to crush sin's dominion over me. I don't want to excuse my sin anymore, and I don't want to be given over to it. My heart's desire is to be holy and blameless before You. Whatever it takes, Father, I want to be delivered. I want to live wholly dependent on Your power.

Second, I have abandoned all hope of ever getting free by my own strength. I realize my only hope of freedom from slavery rests in Your power. I come to You now by faith, Lord, casting myself into Your hands. Show me the blessings and provisions of Your New Covenant. I need a new revelation, a new arrangement. The old one has only brought me to despair.

Thank You, Lord. In Jesus' name I pray, Amen.

Understanding This New Agreement

If you have prayed that prayer from your heart, then the blessing of the New Covenant is yours. I remind you now of God's pronouncement of this covenant, as described by the author of Hebrews:

"Behold, the days are coming, says the LORD, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah - not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt."

Hebrews 8:8-9

God said to His people, "I am going to make a new agreement with you. It will not be like the old one that I made with your fathers. This covenant will be better, because it will be based on better promises."

Embedded in this New Covenant is a great and glorious blessing, which is outlined in the book of Acts:

"You are sons of the prophets and of the covenant which God made with our fathers, saying to Abraham, 'And in your seed all the families of the earth shall be blessed.' To you first, God, having raised up His Servant Jesus, sent Him to bless you, in turning away every one of you from your iniquities."

Acts 3:25-26

God spoke this message to a people who had failed Him utterly. He was assuring them, "I have invested all power, authority and riches in My Son. And now I have raised Him up to bless you."

What wonderful news for the sin-bound Christian today! He has been burdened down and defeated by the power of sin, so he comes into God's presence cowering, feeling guilty, condemned and helpless. He wonders, "How could the Lord bless me? I have sinned against the light of His Word. I've failed Him." Whenever he prays, he waits for sin's curse to fall on him, looking for judgment to strike. But now he is given these incredible words: "I have sent My Son to bless you, by turning you away from your sins."

God did not send His Son to take vengeance on hungering, thirsting seekers. Jesus came to save! That was the whole reason He went to the cross. "For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved" (John 3:17).

Christ is the seed of blessing God promised to give Abraham. Look again at Acts 3:25-26: "In your seed all the families of the earth shall be blessed." And God the Father sent this seed to fulfill His covenant promise of blessing. The glorious blessing is that we can be "turned away" from our iniquities. "God, having raised up His Servant Jesus, sent Him to bless you, in turning away every one of you from your iniquities." The Lord says, "The greatest way I can bless you is to deliver you from your sin - to break its power and dominion over you."

Many of the ancient Jews expected a different kind of blessing through this covenant promise. They had their own concept of blessing. They were convinced the Messiah would come to earth to set up an opulent society for them, showering them with wealth, prosperity and unending happiness. They thought He would give them all of the world's resources and positions of power so that they would not have to labor or strive anymore. Even today, some Christians expect this kind of kingdom to be manifested on earth.

But God says, "The greatest blessing I can give to sin-bound souls is to free them from sin's grip through the blessing of My Son's ministry." An angel of the Lord told Joseph in a dream that his betrothed, Mary, would bear a son. "And you shall call His name JESUS, for He will save His people from their sins" (Matthew 1:21).

Today, every heaven-hungry believer who is bound by sin knows the value of this incredible blessing. Take, for example, a minister friend of mine. This man enjoyed fifteen years of freedom from a serious drug addiction. He even served as director of a successful drug rehabilitation program. Then one day he fell back into his old heroin habit - and sin's dominion came over his life once again.

After each fix, this minister's spirit was crushed. He would go into his office, shut the door, lie prostrate on the floor and weep and sob loudly, begging God to deliver him. He cried, "How could I have done this to You, Lord? What kind of man am I to have betrayed Your great kindness to me? Oh, how wicked I must be!" His repentance was so dramatic that his face grew red and raw from rubbing against the carpet in anguish.

I believe that if you had offered this tormented man a choice between a fortune that would last a lifetime, or freedom from his drug habit, he would have reached for the blessing of deliverance. Being set free from the dominion of sin and its guilt is the greatest blessing he could have received.

The Lord has made just such provision for us, offering us deliverance. Moreover, His New Covenant promise does even more than provide pardon and forgiveness. Scripture says the Spirit of God actually "subdues" our sins and turns us from them: "He will again have compassion on us, and will subdue our iniquities. You will cast all our sins into the depths of the sea" (Micah 7:19). Think of it! Not I, but my God, will subdue and conquer all my sins, by the inner working of the Holy Spirit.”

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So what is your confidence in? Ask the Lord to show if you have placed any Confidence in your own self at all.

 2016/10/16 12:21





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