New Wine for New Wineskins September 2015

By , September 1, 2015 7:55 am

allornothing01All Or Nothing?

John 19: 30

30 Jesus said, “It is finished.” With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.

finished – Greek: tetelestai – perfectly perfect, completely complete.

Reconciliation has been accomplished! We have peace with God, perfect shalom where there is nothing missing and nothing broken. It is perfectly perfect, and completely complete.

Galatians 2: 20 – 21

20 “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.
21 I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness could be gained through the law, Christ died for nothing!”

Colossians 2: 6 – 15

6 So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in him, 7 rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.

Overflowing with thankfulness!  All that remains for us to do is to continually thank him for what he has already done!  To thank him that he gave his all for us and so now we have access to all that is his.

Under the law we were blessed as a reward for our obedience, but now under grace we are blessed as a result of his obedience.  All we have to do is simply believe that he did it all, and act accordingly.

Listen to this, please!  If you are not sure whether your God is going to show up and do what he said he would do then he is not the covenant-keeping God of the Bible who says quite clearly in Psalm 89, “I will not break my covenant, or change a single word that I have said…

 In covenant it is all or nothing!  Scripture is clear that the eyes of the the LORD run to and fro across the whole earth to show himself strong (fulfil his covenant promises) on behalf of those whose hearts are completely his.  How do you know if your heart is completely his?  Try listening to what is coming out of your mouth.  Scripture is clear that we believe with our heart and confess with our mouth.  Jesus said that it is out of the abundance of the heart that the mouth speaks.

Colossians 2: 8 – 15

8 See to it that no one takes you captive thro
ugh hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ. 9 For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form, 10 and you have been (it is finished) given fullness in Christ, who is the head over every power and authority. 11 In him you were also circumcised, in the putting off of the sinful nature, not with a circumcision done by the hands of men but with the circumcision done by Christ, 12 having been (it is finished) buried with him in baptism and raised with him through your faith in the power of God, who raised him from the dead. 13 When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your sinful nature, God made you alive (it is finished) with Christ. He forgave us all our sins (it is finished), 14 having canceled (it is finished) the written code, with its regulations, that was against us and that stood opposed to us; he took it away (it is finished), nailing it to the cross. 15 And having disarmed (it is finished) the powers and authorities, he made (it is finished) a public spectacle of them, triumphing (it is finished)  over them by the cross.

As far as anyone could see from a natural perspective Jesus’ death on the cross was an unmitigated disaster and an unprecedented victory for the devil but the reality was that the devil was being completely and irrevocably defeated once and for all and forever!

James 3: 15

15 This wisdom does not descend from above, but is earthly, sensual, demonic.

The reality is that prophecy was being fulfilled and the fullness of God’s plan of redemption was being instituted!

 It is the same now!  You can choose to believe what you see – regardless of how wrong your perception may be – or you can simply believe what God says in his word!

There were three men on three crosses at Mount Calvary.  On one cross Jesus died for sin – end of story.  On another cross one man died in sin.  He questioned, “If you are the Christ…” Tragically, his life was lost to philosophy.  On the third cross one man died to sin.  He entreated “Lord remember me when you come into your kingdom…

Remember me…”  That is covenant language!  Jesus said concerning communion, “Do this in remembrance of me…”  Covenant-keepers don’t forget!

Our born again spirit can never be satisfied with theories!  We were designed to live by the word of God – what God says!  The words of men might satisfy our reason temporarily – particularly if these words are presented articulately, persuasively, and with great eloquence or even great passion.  

I am not knocking that, per se, but sometimes we can expend a lot of energy trying to get somewhere when we are already there!  I like walking but I hate treadmills!  I like cycling but I hate exercise bikes!  I think I just like real and I hate artificial!

 The mere words of men can never get beyond our soul.  Only the word of God that is living and active can penetrate our spirit and produce the supernatural manifestation of God’s power that is always the fruit of faith!

Too often we embrace the words of men because they agree with our already-formulated opinions or they confirm and rubber-stamp our life experiences.

It is no wonder that Paul wrote to the Corinthian church and reminded them of his ministry among them.

1 Corinthians 2: 1 – 16

1 When I came to you, brothers, I did not come with eloquence or superior wisdom as I proclaimed to you the testimony about God. 2 For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. 3 I came to you in weakness and fear, and with much trembling. 4 My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power, 5 so that your faith might not rest on men’s wisdom, but on God’s power. 6 We do, however, speak a message of wisdom among the mature, but not the wisdom of this age or of the rulers of this age, who are coming to nothing. 7 No, we
speak of God’s secret wisdom, a wisdom that has been hidden and that God destined for our glory before time began. 8 None of the rulers of this age understood it, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. 9 However, as it is written:
“No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him”— 10 but God has revealed it to us by his Spirit.
The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God. 11  For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the man’s spirit within him? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. 12 We have not received the spirit of the world but the Spirit who is from God, that we may understand what God has freely given us. 13 This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, expressing spiritual truths in spiritual words. 14 The man without the Spirit does
not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned. 15 The spiritual man makes judgments about all things, but he himself is not subject to any man’s judgment: 16 “For who has known the mind of the Lord that he may instruct him?” But we have the mind of Christ.

If you have been raised in the standard “soulish” religion that quotes from the Bible and then goes on to comfort you in your sin, in your sickness, and in your oppression then when you hear the message that you are saved from your sin, healed from your sickness, and delivered from your oppression you have a tendency to reject it as unreasonable because it seems so alien to everything you have s
een and experienced or can see and are experiencing!

We need to understand that when man sinned he fell from his spirit into his soul!  He then sought to cover up his failure to be everything that God said by inventing a fig leaf religion!  Sadly, nothing much has changed in the religion department as many people still try and cover up their failures to walk in God’s best with religious words and actions.  

Oh, but I blew it again today,” says someone.  So are you going to run from God or run to him?  Are you going to wait until your fig leaves are in place before you dare to come near him or are you going to trust in what is already in place?  We are invited to come boldly to the Throne of Grace in order to obtain mercy and find grace to help in our time of need!  We don’t need mercy unless we have blown it!  Jesus either did it all or he did nothing!

You either believe that he died to forgive all of your sins, to heal all your diseases, to deliver from all oppression or he died for nothing!

You can choose to be who you or others see that you are or you can be who God says that you are!

You can choose to do only what you or others see that you can do or you can decide to do what God says you can do! (I can do all things through Christ (the Anointed One with his anointing) which strengthens me…)

You can choose to have only what you or others see that you have or you can determine that you are going to have what God says you can have!

 We must follow Jesus’ example!  He has invited us to come and learn from him!  When did religion change that into coming to church to learn about him?  We should learn from him in our church meetings but let’s keep it in ‘real-time’ and allow him to confirm his word in our lives by his Spirit either before we leave or as we continue to walk out the word in faith!

Hebrews 4: 1 – 3, 6 – 7, 9 – 16

1 Therefore, since a promise remains of entering His rest, let us fear lest any of you seem to have come short of it. 2 For indeed the gospel was preached to us as well as to them; but the word which they heard did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in those who heard it. 3 For we who have believed do enter that rest, as He has said: “ So I swore in My wrath, ‘ They shall not enter My rest,’” although the works were finished from the foundation of the world….
6 Since therefore it remains that some must enter it, and those to whom it was first preached did not enter because of disobedience, 7 again He designates a certain day, saying in David,  “Today,” after such a long time, as it has been said: “ Today, if you will hear His voice, do not harden your hearts.”…

Our God is a now God and his word is a now word!  Those who come to him must believe that HE IS!  He is I AM!

9 There remains therefore a rest for the people of God. 10 For he who has entered His rest has himself also ceased from his works as God did from His.
11 Let us therefore be diligent to enter that rest, lest anyone fall according to the same example of disobedience. 12 For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than
any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. 13 And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account.
14 Seeing then that we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. 15 For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. 16 Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

Jesus knew who he was and so he wasn’t afraid to speak or to act from that position of confidence in the Father’s ability to perform all that he had promised!  We are now in him and so we must speak and act with the same confidence in his ability to do what he has said he will do! Jesus said, “Have faith in God!”  He was saying that we need to have the same kind of faith in God’s ability that he himself has!  Do you think that God ever doubts whether what he has said will happen or not?

It was this confidence that attracted opposition to Jesus and stirred up religion to the point that those driven by it sought to kill him!  Religion must silence this message of faith b
ecause it exposes the futility of fig leaves as a covering when blood has been shed that has power to deliver!

There are two types of truth.  There is the truth that is based upon what you see or feel which is according to what your natural senses dictate to you.  And there is revelation truth which is what the word of God says.  These two types of truth are often diametrically opposed to each other.

Are you willing to learn from Jesus?  As far as many people were concerned he was the son of Joseph and Mary – a carpenter from Nazareth who had ideas above his station.  That was the truth according to what their senses told them.  But one day Peter received the higher truth – not by his senses, but by revelation – when he said, “You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God!

Are you still living according to your senses – what you see and feel?  Or do you know by revelation that you are a new creation created in Christ Jesus and that you are a partaker of his life and nature?  Do you know by revelation that now that you are a partaker of his righteousness that you can stand in his presence without a sense of guilt, shame, condemnation or even inferiority?

Are you bold enough to stand in the face of wha
t you may still see and feel – what may still appear to your senses to be true – and declare that you are everything that God says you are?  If you are not, are you really living by faith?  We shouldn’t ask people how they are feeling but instead we should ask them what they are faithing!

2 Corinthians 5: 7

7 We live by faith, not by sight.

For example, your senses may tell you that you are terminally ill (you heard the Doctor say it, you saw the x-rays), but still you confess that God laid that sickness on Jesus and so satan has no right to put it on you!  God says that by Jesus’ stripes you are healed!  Your senses tell you that you are lying but you are simply declaring a higher truth in confessing what God says rather than what you can see!  Saying what God says will allow you to see what God sees!  And so, we will continue to overflow with thankfulness to God that by Jesus’ stripes we are healed!

We are no longer living in the realm of the senses – we are living by faith!  We are who God says we are!  The law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set us free from
the law of sin and death!

My senses might tell me that I am in financial meltdown (I have seen the bank statements and heard the threatening phone calls) but the word says, “My God shall supply all of your needs…”  What am I going to believe?  What I see or what God says?  There is nothing more intimidating than poverty and so I must refuse to be intimidated by what my senses dictate and must not allow them to govern me.  I will continue to overflow with thankfulness to God that all of my needs are met according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus!  

The simplicity of the gospel is this – it’s either all or nothing!

I am the head and not the tail…I am above and not beneath…No weapon formed against me shall prosper…I dwell in the secret place of the Most High and so I abide under the shadow of the Almighty…No plague shall come near my dwelling…A thousand may fall at my side and ten thousand at my right hand but it will not come near me…I will not die but live and declare the works of the LORD…I will wa
lk before the LORD in the land of the living…Greater is he that is in me than he that is in the world…I am the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus…I am a new creation – the old has gone and the new has come….

Such is the language of faith!

All of the forces that oppose us exploit our senses and seek to overcome us with our circumstances through what we can see and feel – but we have the Holy Spirit in us and he is more powerful than anything that we can see or feel!  We have been given authority to use Jesus’ name and so we have power and authority over all the power of the enemy!  That’s either all the power of the enemy or it is nothing!

James 1: 2 – 7

2 My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, 3 knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. 4 But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing. 5 If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. 6 But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea
driven and tossed by the wind. 7 For let not that man sup
pose that he will receive anything from the Lord; 8 he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.

Those who doubt find it difficult to receive anything from the LORD.  I have met many people who will acknowledge that God can do some things but they seem to waver when it comes to other things!  For example – they believe that the LORD can change a selfish, manipulative, cheating, alcoholic man into a loving and faithful husband and father and yet when it comes to healing cancer they struggle to believe!

Psalm 1: 1 – 2

1 Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stands in the path of sinners, nor sits in the seat of the scornful;
2 But his delight is in the law of the LORD, and in His law he meditates day and night.
3 He shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that brings forth its fruit in its season, whose leaf also shall not wither; and whatever he does shall prosper.

 Don’t take your counsel from the ungodly – they go by what they can see but you have what God says!

Don’t sit in the seat of the scornful – mocking and scoffing at the word of God that is able to save, heal and deliver you!  The mockers and the scoffers judge by how things appear – by what they see – but we judge by what God says!

Are you convinced yet?  It’s all or nothing!  Nice and simple!  Sow the seed and you’ll eat the fruit in it’s season!  You will taste and see that the LORD is good – not just some of the time but all the time!

Jesus didn’t go to the cross just so that we could go to heaven when we die!  He went to the cross so that we could receive the Holy Spirit in the here and now and live a life of abundant and overflowing fullness that has an impact on the world around us!  At Pentecost the one hundred and twent
y who gathered in the Upper Room were transformed from fearful to faithful when the Holy Spirit came upon them and they became a mighty force that turned the world the right way up wherever they went!  The same Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead came upon and filled them all!

Without the Cross there could have been no Pentecost and without the power of Pentecost in our lives today the full impact of all that God provided at the Cross is lost to far too many believers and certainly to the world at large!

So what will it be with you?  ALL or NOTHING?

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