law

Why We Can Be Thankful For God's Commands

Don't go here, don't go there, don't quench the Spirit, submit to one another, don't gossip, don't let the sun go down on your anger… the New Testament is full of commands for us. How can that be when Jesus died to set us free from the Law? In today’s short clip, Frank reveals why we can be thankful for God’s commands.


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Why We Can Be Thankful For God's Commands

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Romans 7:4 tells us that in Jesus Christ, we died to the Law. Paul uses an illustration of a husband and a wife, saying, if a man is married to a woman, and the wife goes with another man then she's committing adultery. BUT if the husband dies, the wife is free to remarry and that will not be considered adultery. 

Paul then goes on to use this as an illustration of us. We were married to the Law and that relationship had to end. God couldn't kill the Law because the Law was holy, perfect, and good; it abides forever. So what did He have to kill? He killed us, through our union and in our faith, He placed us on the Cross with Jesus so that we died and our relationship to the Law could end. Because of our resurrection with Jesus, we could be married to Jesus Christ instead.

“But now we have been released from the Law, having died to that by which we were bound, so that we serve in newness of the Spirit and not in oldness of the letter.”Romans 7:6 (NASB)

Do you see, beloved? What Jesus did, ended the Law. It's as clear in the New Testament as anyone can make it! 

As you continue to read the New Testament, you'll find a lot of commands: Don't go here, don't go there, don't quench the Spirit, submit to one another, don't gossip, don't let the sun go down on your anger - lots and lots of commands! We need to understand that the New Testament did not remove the imperative verb - we're supposed to live according to who we are, as it’s what would only be natural. 

So, how are we to look at these commands? We are to look at them two ways,

  1. God’s commands are a reminder of who we are. 

When the Bible says don't steal, it's calling you to your true identity. Of course you shouldn't steal, you’re not a thief, you’re a child of God. Don't gossip, well of course I can't gossip, that's not who I am. I speak the truth in love, as Colossians says, because I am a lover. When you see a command, don't look at it as something to do, look at is as something that you are. 

2. God’s commands are promises. 

We have been given the Life of Christ and the Life of Christ is a wonderful Life. And so when you see a command, let it draw you to Jesus Christ. Don't let it be something to do, let it bring you to a someone. When the Bible says don't steal, remember the promise, His Life is not a stealing life. And you’ll find yourself walking in intimate union with Jesus. Don't gossip, well that's a promise from Jesus that His Life is not a gossipy life. His Life speaks wholesome words. 

We can thank Jesus for His commands as they remind us of who we are and who He will be to us as we trust Him by faith. 

Don't fall into the trap of performing and doing, let those commands remind you of your identity, and remind you of the Person who will live that kind of life in and through you, He will fulfill those commands. It's all about Jesus, and it's about you trusting Him. I hope you've been liberated in that glory, my friend!


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The Most Glorious Revelation You Can Enter Into

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It saddens me that Romans 7:1-4 is such a neglected passage of Scripture by the Church, as it’s one of the most glorious revelations you will ever enter into.

There, we’re told that in Jesus Christ we have died to the law. A lot of people think that’s referring to ceremonial law, but if you continue to read you will see that coveting is spoken about, and we know that coveting is one of the big ten, listed in the Ten Commandments. So no, it can’t be ceremonial law. 

We have been delivered from the law, so that we 

might be married to another. 

You see, Adam plunged all of us into a relationship with the law; a relationship we were never intended to be in. Genesis 3:16 calls it the “tree of the knowledge of good and evil.” If you've ever wondered what that means, it just means the tree of right and wrong. This is the tree Adam was told not to eat from. We were never supposed to even know right and wrong.

When Adam and Eve ate from that tree, they plunged into the law. They went from having a relationship with a Person, to having a relationship with principles. That's why Genesis 3:16 tells us that it brought death. That death, beloved, had to be redeemed by another, we needed to be set free. Jesus did that for us. 

We have been delivered from the law so that we can now have a relationship with a Person and His name is Jesus! 

It’s also important to know that Romans 7:4 says that relationship is the only way to bear fruit. You will never bear fruit in the Christian life by following the law. You only bear fruit in the Christian life through expressing the living Life of Christ. 

“I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing.”

John 15:5 (NASB)

The Christian life is all about fruit, and you can't have fruit if you don't have Life, and Life is only found in the person of Christ - it is never found in the law, that's why we had to be delivered from it.

Walk with Jesus, beloved, He alone can produce fruit in your life. We've been given a better principle, the principle of life instead of the principle of death. I hope this has encouraged your heart today. 


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The Life We Need

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One of the misconceptions that I am finding among people who hear us teach grace is that we are against the Law. Nothing could be further from the truth. As true believers, we, like David, love the Law because it comes with a glorious God-given purpose. What is that purpose? Well, it is two-fold.

The first purpose of the Law is found in 2 Corinthians 3:5-9. There we learn that the Law has a purpose, and that is to kill and condemn us. Isn’t that wonderful? In fact, it is even called a “ministry of death and condemnation.” Now, why would God give us a Law that would kill and condemn us? The answer, of course, is to kill and condemn us.

Remember that we as human beings were all birthed under the lie that we shall be as God. Every one of us born on this planet is a god-wannabe. God gave us the Law, which is holy, perfect, and good (Romans 7:12) to keep us from a false hope that one day we just might be able to be like God. The Law came with a demand on our lives but provided no power for us to fulfill that demand. Alas! We are left to our own resources to try and keep the Law, and there is not one of us in and of ourselves who will ever be able to do that – hence the Law kills and condemns us. It pronounces every one of us guilty as sinners before God.

An old proverb went something like this, “Run John, run, the law  demands. But gives him neither feet nor hands.” So the first purpose of the Law is to provide us with a great need for Life, as we are all pronounced dead and condemned by the Law. Wonderful!

The second purpose of the Law is then to lead us to Jesus (Galatians 3:24) because He has the market cornered on Life. He who has the Son has the Life says the New Testament. In John 10, Jesus affirms this when He told the disciples that He came for the express purpose of giving us Life, an abundant Life because the Life He was giving to us was His own Life. Incredible! We have been given the Life of God for us to experience and express, and this wonderful Life came to us because the Law first affirmed our death and then led us to the only true source of Life. Wonderful indeed!

The rest of that proverb goes as follows, “But grace an even greater brings, it bids us fly and gives us wings." The truth is that we would never have found the Life we need without the Law first affirming our need for Life. I love the Law, don’t you? It was the tool that brought us to Jesus.

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Living From God

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Listen to this verse; it is one of the most neglected verses in the New Testament in my opinion. “For through the Law, I died to the Law, that I might live unto God!” (Galatians 2:19).

Did you hear that? One of the purposes of the Law was to lead us to Jesus (Galatians 3:24). By virtue of our union with Him, we would be crucified with Him (Romans 6:3-5; Galatians 2:20) so that our relationship with the Law could end and we could instead be married to Jesus (Romans 7:4).

The verse goes on to tell us that this all occurred so that we might live unto God, meaning that until we die to the Law, we really cannot live unto God! Did you hear that? The Law was the very means that ended our relationship to the Law. You really can’t make it any more clear than that! That is why in 1 Timothy 1:9 it tells us that “the Law was not made for a righteous man.” Now that we have been made the righteousness of God in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:21), the Law no longer is to be a functioning agent in our lives. We have something far better to lead us, and that is the Holy Spirit Himself. That makes great sense, doesn’t it? The only way to truly live unto God is to learn to live from God!

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Another Way to Live

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The New Testament makes it very clear that when we come to Jesus, our relationship to the Law has ended. The New Testament also makes it very clear why our relationship to the Law needs to end. In 1 Corinthians 15:56, we are told that “The strength of sin is the Law.” In other words, sin gets its power from the Law. Allow me to illustrate; I am going to give you a command, “Do not think of a green monkey!” You haven’t even thought of a green monkey, but I bet you are now. Some of you are even saying, “Oh yeah! Watch me!” There was nothing wrong with the command I gave you; the problem is that sin uses the Law to make us think of a green monkey. This principle is true, even with the Law that came from God on Mount Sinai!

In Romans 7, Paul said that the power of sin used the Law to stir up in Paul, “all manner of coveting.” In other words, Paul was not struggling with coveting, until the Law told him not to covet. Again, this is not the fault of the Law; it is simply a revelation to us of how sin uses the Law to stir up more sin. That is why all diets fail. We are told not to eat the cookie! Do not eat the cookie! The power of sin uses that Law to stir up within us desire for a cookie, and what are we going to do? We are going to eat the cookie, right? Wrong! We are going to eat half the bag!

Can I share with you one more verse? It is Romans 5:20. Now before we go there, let’s ponder how life works for humanity. I as a parent, have kids running in the house. It is not safe for them to run in the house, they might get hurt. So I make a law, “No running in the house!” Now, why did I make that law? To stop them from running in the house. This is why we make laws as a people. Our country made a law that there should be no killing. Why did our country make that law? To stop people from killing. Own this reality; we make laws to stop certain behaviors! That is normality for the world.

Now go to Romans 5:20, and hear the other worldly reality that God declares. He says that “the Law came in that sin might INCREASE!” Oh my goodness, did you see that? God gave the Law, knowing full well that it would not stop sinful behavior in any way, shape, or form. God gave the Law knowing full well that we would sin even more! Now, why would God do that? My personal conviction is that God did that so that just maybe we might get sick of sinning by trying to follow the law and cry out to Him for another way to live! Then, and only then, could we be led to Jesus and find in Him the power of His life to live differently! The reason we don’t want a relationship to the Law is because sin will use the Law to stir up more sin in our lives. The glory of the New Covenant is that we have died to the Law so that we could be placed into union with the very Spirit of God Himself instead! Now that is worth living for!

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Being Right vs Being Loving

Freedom is promised when we know and walk in God’s truth. But how will others share in this same freedom if we neglect to tell them what we know to be right and correct them when they’re wrong? Find out in this short video what we need to be right about as Frank shares how we can love one another even when we disagree and what evidence should be seen in our lives as we walk in the truth of the Grace of God.

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Sin Isn't Your Master

 If I am not "under grace"... but instead look to self-discipline, or principles, or effort, or meeting expectations of myself or others, SIN WILL BE MY MASTER!

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Sin Isn't The Supreme Issue

When Adam sinned, God's heart was grieved - of course it was! What grieved His heart most is what man would have to experience fear, grief, sorrow, anxiety, guilt, shame, and isolation as a result.

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I'm a Former Legalist. And so Are You.

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We are all former legalists... Rom 5 says "the whole world is shut up under the law."

I've been seeing something happening lately that I'd like to talk about.

Mainly, I'm noticing that as some people find freedom and life in the grace of God, they become very cynical and mean to the 'legalists' or 'religionists'. I'm noticing such people almost boasting how they cannot stand such people or their teaching. That they cannot even bear to listen to such teaching, that they would rather not go to church at all rather than sit under such teaching.

Isn't that amazing, when religious and legalistic is exactly what we used to be before finding the New Covenant? Why are we not going back into the legalistic cesspool we came out of to rescue those who are still stuck in there?

Though I understand the zeal, I do not understand the lack of compassion. Jesus, though rejected by the legalistic world never stopped presenting Himself to them, and no Pharisee was ever afraid to go into His presence. How are we going to win the legalistic world if we do not spend time with them?

 We should be so secure in our position, that we can sit under any teaching without it "making us sick." We must remember that many of these dear people who are legalists, do in fact name Jesus as their Lord and Savior, making them our brothers and sisters in Christ. They may be misguided. They may be no small source of discomfort for those of us who are free.

We should be so free that we can sit under their teaching and not have it ruin our day. Paul said, "I become all things to all men that I may win some." The grace of God was never intended to make us isolate and insulate ourselves from the world of religious men and women. That is what the Jews did and in doing so they failed to reach the world with the light that they had been given.

We who secure in our true identity and grounded in our freedom should be able to live in the camp of the religious without their dogma and behavior causing us unrest.

Now that, my friend, is true freedom.

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Jesus Did Not Atone For Our Sins

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One of the biggest mistakes people make is that they view the Bible as a cohesive whole. I will explain. Though it is one book, written by one supreme author, the Holy Spirit, and it does have one central theme, the fall and restoration of man, it is one book made up of two books. There is an Old Covenant and there is a New Covenant.

The Old Covenant focuses on the law, and the emphasis is on what man must do. The goal, of course, is to reveal to man that he cannot do as he needs to do and transform his thinking from the lie that he can be like God so that he instead will cry out in his need for God to save him and make him whole again.

The New Covenant emphasis is on grace, with the glory that man receives instead of achieves and the focus is on what God has done and longs to do in and through man as man now chooses to live by faith.  I would be so bold as to say that people are NEVER going to understand the Bible until they realize that God works in covenants.

There was an Old and it is distinct from the New, and the two should NEVER be mixed. When we mix the law with grace, the law loses its holy terror, and grace loses its freeing power! They are separate and distinct and must be kept so when we translate and interpret the Bible. 

The reason I state this, is that I hear a lot of people who fail to make this distinction of books or covenants within the one book, and interchange the terms of the old covenant with the new. For example - take the word "atonement" - so many Christians use that term to refer to the death of Christ for our sins and this is NOT the word to use when we herald the glory of what Jesus has done for us! JESUS DID NOT ATONE FOR OUR SINS! Atonement is an Old Covenant word. The Hebrew word is kopher and it means to cover. In the Old Covenant the sacrifice of lambs "covered" the sins of the people when those lambs were offered in faith that God would "cover" their sins. The book of Hebrews tells us though, that those lambs could never remove people's sins. They were only "covered" until the real Lamb of God could come and remove those sins from them.

Let me state it simply, that word "cover" or atonement is NOT to be
used of Jesus because He did something much better than "cover" our sins,
HE REMOVED THEM!

Remember the glory of the statement that John the Baptist made, "Behold the Lamb of God Who takes away the sins of the earth!" Now, that is glorious and it is a major error to say that Jesus atoned for our sins - HE DID NO SUCH THING! HE REMOVED THEM --- Hallelujah!

Unfortunately, many translations put that Old Covenant word into the New Testament. PLEASE hear me on this. That word "atonement" is never used in the New Testament, It is only found in the Old Testament. The word used in the New Testament is katalaggo, the root meaning of which is to reconcile. Jesus reconciled us to God by removing our sins, not covering our sins. Why the New Testament translators put the Old Covenant word into their New Testament translations I do not know, but they should not have done so because they are robbing Jesus of the fulness of the glory of what He did for us at the cross! 

Take great care my friends to interpret the Bible in light of the two covenants. The glory of the New Covenant will shine brighter in your heart and mind. Better yet, the glory of our Lord Jesus Who established that covenant, will shine even brighter in your hearts, ushering in greater praise to Him for the greater work that He has accomplished, and you will walk confidently, KNOWING that your sins are forgiven completely and you do not have to worry that you are ever out of fellowship with God! IT IS FINISHED! That is what Jesus said on the cross. And do you know what that means in Greek? It means, "IT IS FINISHED!"

Isn't that exciting? 

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Who's Going to Love the Legalist?

We know this glorious love and grace of God ONLY because we received it from His gracious hand

We know this glorious love and grace of God ONLY because we received it from His gracious hand

I try to not rant, however...

There is a great verse in Corinthians. It asks the question,
"What do you have that you did not receive?"

The answer, of course, is nothing!
Which prompts the next question...
"Then why do you glory as if you did not receive?"

What a very appropriate verse for the grace community... ALL OF US!!!

We know this glorious love and grace of God ONLY because we received it from His gracious hand. Why then, do we act so arrogantly and with such great judgment against others who do not know grace, especially religious people?
I hear things like "Religious people make me sick." "I get nauseous just listening to legalists"...

My friends, were we not one of them before? How many of us called ourselves and others - SINNERS before we understood that we are saints!? How many of us judged others and condemned others when we lived under law ourselves? Now that we have come to know grace, judgment and condemnation should no longer be on our lips - only the life and love that is available from God. After all, we only know what we know because we received it by grace... but allow me to meddle for a moment...

I have another question. Are we not free enough to sit under a legalist or religionist without it effecting us? If sitting under a legalist or a religionist makes us nauseous, maybe we are not as free as we think we are?

Oh, and another question... Who is going to win the religionist and the legalist if we don't have the love to associate with them? The only way to have an impact is if we have contact!

I have been through legalism wars in the church. They are not fun and they can grieve your soul. But we have the Spirit of God in us Who always ministers life to us even when others are ministering death to us. Is that not true?

Funny, but years ago I taught through Galatians, which instructs the church to pursue church discipline and remove legalists who persecute the free. One of my elders informed me after the messages that we were too lenient with the persecuting legalists and should have moved sooner (in a war which took 7 years by the way)...

I laughed and reminded him that if we had done so, he would not be here.  He was one of the legalists who had his eyes opened to grace as we patiently loved him in his bondage FOR MANY YEARS!!!

We have an awesome responsibility because we have received grace, to live out grace with others…. Even those who do not know grace!

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Maintain A Spirit Of Quietness

Paul appears to say that we are going to have to stay focused and work hard to maintain a spirit of quietness.

Paul appears to say that we are going to have to stay focused and work hard to maintain a spirit of quietness.

I have had a verse from the Thessalonian letters heavy on my mind of late.

"Make it your AMBITION to lead a quiet life..."

That is a very hard thing to do in a complex world that places so much demand on us from all directions! Paul appears to say that we are going to have to stay focused and work hard to maintain a spirit of quietness.

Interestingly, Hebrews says much the same thing. "Labor to enter into rest." When all our lives have been lived under the law and performing to achieve, it is going to be hard work indeed to change the direction of our lives toward quietness.

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The Badge We "Wear"

It is only Jesus that minimizes our differences and unites us!

It is only Jesus that minimizes our differences and unites us!

The LAW maximizes our differences and separates us. I baptize by immersion. I am better than you. I use the KJV, I am more spiritual than you. I read my Bible every day, I am more spiritual than you. Do you hear it?

"I" --- "I" --- "I" ...

or maybe it would be better 

"AYE" --- "AYE" --- "AYE"

IT IS SO UGLY THIS SPIRIT OF LAW!!! THIS SPIRIT OF COMPETITION!!!

It is only Jesus that minimizes our differences and unites us! I baptize by immersion, I use the KJV, I read my Bible every day. But none of that is what makes me who I am. The Badge I wear is Jesus. If the badge you wear is Jesus, then you are my brother, even if you sprinkle, even if you read the Living Bible, and even if you never read your Bible.

WE WEAR THE SAME BADGE --- JESUS!

And that badge unites us more than anything that might seek to divide us. 

This should be especially true for us in the camp of GRACE (which last time I checked is Jesus!) We have more that unites us than that which separates us from our religious brothers. We have more that unites us than all those other badges that divide us....

Our real BADGE is not that we know grace, but that we know the PERSON OF GRACE...

Wear that badge very proudly and LOVE THE BRETHREN!!!

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It's Not Just Sin, It's The Aftermath

This is what grieves God's heart. You do know that man was NEVER supposed to be concerned with doing right or now doing wrong.

This is what grieves God's heart. You do know that man was NEVER supposed to be concerned with doing right or now doing wrong.

When Adam ate from the tree, he sinned. No buts about it, he sinned. He "missed the mark" and this has been the proclamation of the church ever since. HE SINNED!

Though that is true, I do not believe that is the supreme issue when it comes to our Father's heart! May I illustrate. I also play the role of father, a role given to me from God Himself. When my children sin, when they miss the mark, that bothers me as a father. Of course, it does! They sinned. They missed the mark.

But hear me please, that thought is not what dominates my heart. My heart is consumed with a much greater thought --- and that is not so much that they did wrong, but that they are going to have to suffer some ominous consequences because they did wrong. That is what grieves me... I NEVER want my children to experience what they were never designed to experience. Does that make sense?

Let's run with this then. When Adam sinned, of course that grieved the heart of God. But what grieved the heart of God even more, is what man would have to experience because he did wrong.

Now man is going to experience death.
Now man is going to experience loss.
Now he is going to experience fear, grief, sorrow, anxiety,
guilt, shame, isolation, independence, and on and on we could go.

All of these are going to occur because man was now divorced from God and now married to the law. A system of performing right and avoiding wrong in an effort to make himself "like God".   And all in an attempt to be "right" independent of God. Now man is going to experience guilt and shame when he does wrong, and he is going to experience pride when he does right.

This is what grieves God's heart. You do know that man was NEVER supposed to be concerned with doing right or now doing wrong. That mindset, that economy, only came into the experience of man because Adam sinned by eating from that tree of right and wrong. Before this event, (this sin) man had no idea of what right and wrong, good and evil were.

All he knew was God, and that was enough.

Sadly, ever since that fateful day, this has been the struggle of man. Not trusting that God is enough. Always laboring instead to do right and not do wrong in a feeble attempt to make himself "ok" independent of God. 

Do you see why the sin of Adam (and any sin of man) grieves the heart of God so? It is not just that man has chosen wrong that sorrows God, but the fact that man is going to now experience the consequence of other than God. As a Father, He wants so much for us as His children. He does not want us pursuing the "doing" of right and the "avoiding" of wrong. That economy is an economy that only came into our experience as a consequence of Adam's sin. 

He wants us to experience Him as the only One Who can make us right,
and express right, through us as we trust Him by faith.

That is why throughout the New Testament He heralds loudly how He rescued us from the law through the Person and Work of Christ so that we could once again be married to God!

What a Father we have. His great concern is not just that we have sinned, but that we have to experience consequences from that sin. And know this, His concern is so great that it led Him to send His Son, not only so that He could remove our sin, but also remove the consequences of sin. He delivered us from the code of ethics, the system of right and wrong, THE LAW so that we could be restored to Him. 

WOW INDEED!

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Never Going To Leave You

Jesus says, if that is what you are going to do, I am going to be right there with you the whole time.

Jesus says, if that is what you are going to do, I am going to be right there with you the whole time.

One of the most common fears I hear voiced is that "this time I have really done it!" The dear one making that statement has made a choice, a really bad choice and entered into such poor behavior that they are sure God is going to abandon them, and deservedly turn His back on them.

In I Corinthians 6, Paul addresses such a poor choice with a response that has scandalized the religious world for centuries.  If ever there was an occasion where God would, dare we say "must" reject His sinning child, it would be this one! BUT HE DOES NOT DO SO!

What did they do? They had sex with a prostitute. Now, finally, we are going to see it said! Right? Surely for this sin, God is going to separate Himself from the sinning one, at the very least for the time that this sin is occurring. Right? Jesus is going to say, "If that is what you are going to do, I will wait for you outside. Right? NO! DEAD WRONG!

Jesus says, if that is what you are going to do, I am going to be right there with you the whole time. When you unite yourself to that prostitute, you are going to be uniting Me to that prostitute.

Oh my friend, Jesus said He is never, NEVER going to leave you or forsake you. NEVER!

A friend of mine says it this way, "When you backslide,
He is going to backslide with you."

When you became His child, nothing can ever separate you from the love of Christ! NOTHING!

Now, grow up in this love, rest in this love, embrace this love, affirm how secure and significant you are in Him. You have not, nor can you ever separate yourself from His love.

And by the way, as you learn of this love, I believe you will find that your pursuits of other counterfeit life and love, will dissipate and you will not be making those poor choices, because they really do not satisfy the desperate need of your soul to find life and love, for you will have found it in Him!

We are NOT against Law!

Let's have a "Greek" lesson today, a very necessary "Greek" lesson!

If you walk in or teach the economy of grace in any way, shape, or form, that we are no longer under law but under grace, you are very likely to be labeled or even attacked as being "antinomian". That is a compound word from the Greek language - "anti" meaning against and "nomos" meaning the law. So these people are saying that we are "against the law."

To be quite "FRANK" with you, that makes me bristle. I am not against the law. I love the law, as every true Christian does. Why? Because as Romans teaches us, through the law we gained the knowledge of sin and began searching for a way of forgiveness. Through the law, as II Cor teaches, we experienced death and condemnation and recognized our need of a Savior. And then, as Galatians teaches us, the law literally "drove us to our Savior." So please, dear one, do not label me with an accusation that is thoroughly NOT my heart! I love the law... so no, I am definitely NOT antinomian.

But then again, I guess I am antinomian. WHAT? Please understand that "anti" not only means against, but it can also mean instead of. Am I against the law? Absolutely not, I love the law. But am I instead of the law? Absolutely - I would much rather have the living Christ in me, empowering me with His own life than an external code that I have to try and emulate!

Most people are using the term antinomian and don't really understand the full meaning of the word. Now, you do... which means you can really mess with them. When they call you antinomian, you can tell them, "Well, yes I am, but then again, I am not!" Then, you can proclaim the glory of the New Covenant to them.... that we are certainly NOT against the law, but we are for sure instead of it! We have something far greater - the Living Christ experienced and expressed through our very lives! Wow!

We Were Never Designed to Live by Doing Good, and not Doing Evil.

One of the most amazing verses I have ever read is Romans 5:20. Before you read it though, let's think together.

When as a parent you made a rule: "There will be no running in the house!" Why did you make that rule? Because you intended that this new rule would stop the kids from running in the house, right? How did that work for you?

When our government made a rule, "There shall be no murder" - why did our government make that rule? They did it of course to stop murder. They did it to stop the faulty behavior. How did that work?

So when we as humanity make a law, we do it to curb behavior... our motive is to alter behavior, right? Otherwise, why would be make a law?

Now let's read Romans 5:20. "... the law came in that sin might INCREASE!" Did you see it? God made the law, knowing full well, that the law would NOT alter behavior, and that in fact through the giving of the law our behavior as human beings would in fact --- GET WORSE!

This happens because as Romans 7 says, "the power of sin uses the law to stir up more sin!" The problem is not with the law, for the law is "holy, perfect, and good." The problem is with the power of sin that thrives on law like gasoline poured on a fire."

Don't look at the wall behind your computer screen! Do you hear me? You better not look at the wall behind your computer screen! Most of you have already looked at the wall as soon as the command came forth. Others of you are pondering why it is so wrong to look at the wall and will soon join your other wall viewers! Some of you will now stare at the wall all day!!! This is how the power of sin works!

And yet, still God gave "the law" knowing full well that this would happen to us. God gave the law knowing that "sin would INCREASE!"

That tells us that God is not afraid of sin! He is more powerful than sin. It can increase and He will still take care of it! WOW! We have a big God.

That begs a question however, and that is "Why?". Why would God give the law knowing full well that we were going to sin and sin and sin in the giving of the law?

My friends, I believe it was so we would get sick of that law system and pursue God for another economy. I believe it was so we would get sick of sinning and cry out for another way. You do know, that we were NEVER designed to live by doing good and not doing evil. That is an economy that Adam plunged us into when he ate from that tree. We were NEVER intended to live by right and wrong.

We were created to live in an intimate and dependent relationship with God! We were designed to live by a Person, the Spirit of God, not by an outside, lifeless, economy of demand! Praise God, through the Person and Work of Jesus, God established a New Covenant... a covenant of relationship with a Person, none other than God Himself Who now lives in and through us as we trust Him by faith.

It is this glorious new way of life that allows us to fulfill our intended design to be experiencers and expressers of God to His own glory. This is true worship and a life that is satisfying and rewarding.

Why sin grieves God's heart

When Adam ate from the tree, he sinned. No buts about it, he sinned. He "missed the mark" and this has been the proclamation of the church ever since. HE SINNED!

Though that is true, I do not believe that is the supreme issue when it comes to our Father's heart! May I illustrate.

I also play the role of father, a role given to me from God Himself. When my children sin, when they miss the mark, that bothers me as a father. Of course it does! They sinned. They missed the mark.

But hear me please, that thought is not what dominates my heart. My heart is consumed with a much greater thought --- and that is not so much that they did wrong, but that they are going to have to suffer some ominous consequences because they did wrong. That is what grieves me... I NEVER want my children to experience what they were never designed to experience. Does that make sense?

Let's run with this then. When Adam sinned, of course that grieved the heart of God. But what grieved the heart of God even more is what man would have to experience because he did wrong. Now man is going to experience death. Now man is going to experience loss. Now he is going to experience fear, grief, sorrow, anxiety, guilt, shame, isolation, independence, and on an on we could go. All of these are going to occur because man was now divorced from God and now married to the law. A system of performing right and avoiding wrong in an effort to make himself "like God"... in an attempt to be "right" independent of God. Now man is going to experience guilt and shame when he does wrong, and he is going to experience pride when he does right.

This is what grieves God's heart. You do know that man was NEVER supposed to be concerned with doing right or now doing wrong. That mindset, that economy, only came in to the experience of man because Adam sinned by eating from that tree of right and wrong. Before this event, (this sin) man had no idea of right and wrong, good and evil was. All he knew was God, and that was enough. Sadly, ever since that fateful day, this has been the struggle of man. Not trusting that God is enough. Always laboring instead to do right and not do wrong in a feeble attempt to make himself "ok" independent of God.

Do you see why the sin of Adam (and any sin of man) grieves the heart of God so? It is not just that man has chosen wrong that sorrows God, but the fact that man is going to now experience the consequence of other than God. As a Father He wants so much for us as His children. He does not want us pursuing the "doing" of right and the "avoiding" of wrong. That economy is an economy that only came into our experience as a consequence of Adam's sin.... He wants us to experience Him as the only One Who can make us right, and express right, through us as we trust Him by faith. That is why throughout the New Testament He heralds loudly how He rescued us from the law through the Person and Work of Christ, so that we could once again be married to God!

What a Father we have. His great concern is not just that we have sinned, but that we have to experience consequences from that sin. And know this, His concern is so great that it led Him to send His Son, not only so that He could remove our sin, but also remove the consequences of sin. He delivered us from the code of ethics, the system of right and wrong, THE LAW, so that we could be restored to Him... WOW INDEED!