Do christians have power through their faith?

Christian leaders who teach the Old Covenant have a unique ability to make you feel like you are not doing enough. That you are not doing enough to change yourself or to change the world. I mean, heck, are you really loving your neighbor as much as you love yourself!?

When you hear messages such as that, just remember that Jesus taught the Old Covenant. But after His resurrection, the New Covenant went into effect. And as Jeremiah prophesied, the Old Covenant is NOT like the New.

Another burden put on believers by Old Covenant preachers, is that we do not have strong enough faith. As far as I’m concerned, I have NO power in and of myself. And my faith certainly has no power besides the fact that my faith in the gospel has given me the righteousness of God. (Romans 1)

When I believed in the gospel, I was given the power of God. The power of knowing the truth. Not because I “believe” the truth, but because I KNOW the truth. I know the eternal One who dwells inside of my mortal body.

The power that is in me is YOU, Jesus Christ. It is CHRIST living within me.

“For I am not ashamed of the gospel because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes… For in the gospel the righteousness of God is revealed — a righteousness that is by faith… the righteous will live by faith.” (Romans 1-16-17)

There are so many voices out there in the Christian world speaking lies, speaking deception. That is why is it always important to return to the simplicity of the gospel: that Jesus died for our sins, was buried, and then rose again on the third day.

Let’s continue to put our trust in Him, in the Living God, and in His power that was revealed through the simple truth of the gospel.

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God’s Righteousness

anonymous religious hasidim jews during pray near western wall
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I was told once that Christians can be divided into three groups:  Modern-day Pharisees, Christian Eeyores, and lastly, the Grace Community.  And I was told that I was the modern-day Pharisee type.  A lot of you were as well.  You know, the really annoying, judgmental, legalistic type?

 

But, c’mon, unless you used to be an Ultra-Orthodox Jew, you were nothing like a Pharisee. Neither was I.

 

The Pharisees were hard-core religious zealots who devoted every minute of their lives to being righteous; they were sincere and serious. Their zeal was based on the Laws that God spoke to Moses.

 

“For I testify about them that they have a zeal for God, but not in accordance with knowledge.” Romans 10:2

 

Not according to knowledge?

 

The apostle Paul goes on to explain in Romans 10 that their religious practices were “their own” attempts at righteousness, and had nothing to do with God’s.

 

Yes, God gave the Law to Moses, but He did not give it so that it would lead us to Him.  To a life of faith, of reality.  The Law was given to increase the knowledge of sin and to lead us to despair and to the feet of the Lord God. (Romans 5:20)

 

So, if you desire righteousness and holiness, your efforts at being ‘good’ will not succeed. The Bible is so clear.  Again and again we are told that, to be righteous in God’s eyes, you must have FAITH.  Before Jesus came, one had faith in God and the words He spoke to one’s heart.  After Jesus came, one puts their faith in the death, burial, and resurrection.  It is THAT that spells out the good news, the gospel; it is that that saves a soul from hell.

 

Paul calls the gospel “the word of faith.”  The gospel is “the word of faith” because it has to do with assenting to what God reveals to your heart, it is about saying yes, having faith, and telling God, “yes, I believe that Jesus is Lord and that God raised Him from the dead.”

 

The Christian life is a life of faith.  “From faith to faith,” as it is written.  We are saved through faith by grace, and then we grow to know Jesus through faith by grace.

 

Faith is the noun form of the verb “to believe.”  Faith is about trusting God.  It’s about        believing Him. You trust Him for salvation and you continue to trust Him every day afterwards.

 

. . . yet with most of us, there was a slight detour into “works.”  For me, it was a 15 year detour.  Although we were not as serious and sincere as the Pharisees, we church addicts were still nonetheless trying to establish our own righteousness based on “law.”  Our lives were guided by rules and principles and standards (not by the Lord.)

 

But God brought me back to Himself.  He asked me to quit church, to give up my religious idols. To surrender my pride to Him. He asked me to stop TRYING to be righteous.

 

It’s great news because anyone can do this; the gospel applies to anyone and everyone!    God’s idea of righteousness is attainable.

 

We don’t have to be modern-day Pharisees to be righteous in God’s eyes.  I’m still blown away by that!  So, thanks for listening. 🙂

 

“Christ is the end of the Law for righteousness to everyone who believes.” Romans 10:4

Christian Dream Interpretation — God drew me closer to Him through a dream — Part 3 of 3.

It’s been said a lot, but it is true:  “Christianity is not a religion; it’s a relationship.”  And it is because our God’s main concern is having a close relationship with us, it is for this reason, that He gave me “The Black Crows dream.”

In the dream I was looking up into the sky at a large white sail that was being carried by half a dozen crows.  As I continued to watch them fly away, I realized that they were not carrying a sail, but a robe.  It was my own white robe that the crows were taking away from me.  I looked on, bothered by this fact, and meanwhile I was chewing a piece of raw meat.  I just stood there, watching and chewing.  I was not able to swallow the meat; it was impossible to swallow.

Upon waking, I deduced that since the crows had taken my “robe of righteousness” (Isaiah 61:10) it must be that God was clarifying His disappointment with me, and telling me that I had become unrighteous.

During this time, I was listening to the “Spiritual Warfare” series produced by Living God Ministries, and thanks to the truth presented through these messages, God began to show me that the dream was actually a really clever way of teaching me about Law versus Grace, the lie versus the truth.

God saw that I was in danger of believing the devil’s lie, so he chose to “wake me up” through a dream.

He used this dream to show me what NOT to believe; to reject the lie that my sin makes me unrighteous. . . . Because believing that lie prevents me from being able to eat “the meat” of the Scriptures.

God is amazing!  And so personal!  He knew exactly what I needed to hear.

The interpretation that God gave me is this:

Satan is a liar who wants me to believe that I can lose my righteousness.  The devil condemns me, accuses me, and gets me to think that my inability to overcome certain sins makes me unworthy and unholy.  Satan wants me to believe that he has the legal right to remove my ‘robe of righteousness’ (he uses his minions, his demons, represented by the crows, to accomplish this task.)  And as long as I believe the devil’s lies, I cannot swallow the meat of the Scripture.  I will not grow in grace and in the knowledge of Jesus Christ.  My Christian life will be stunted and stagnant, as I remain a baby, one who can only drink milk.

I then memorialized what He taught me by writing this poem in my journal:

The black crows carried an ivory sheet,

Five birds flying with a large white sail.

But on second look, it was a cloak.

A robe.  A symbol of my righteousness.

They were stealing it, taking it, flying away.

But it was not theirs to take.

I was watching it happen while eating the meat

that had become inedible.

The theft was induced,

By iniquity and shame.

The theft was produced,

And I granted their gain.

My enemy is skilled with thievery and lies,

I doubted not the black crows’ rights.

Yet robbers they were.  I began to see,

That the white cloak remained on me.

Our God wants to have a close relationship with us, and He wants us to trust in the fact that He has completely forgiven us of all our sins – our transgressions have been removed as far as the east is from the west.

The images in dreams are often symbols or types, so if you think He has given you a dream, ask Him for the interpretation, and He just may tell you what all the symbols mean!

For me, the meaning of the dream was all about His acceptance of me.  He not only loves me, but He accepts me and relates to me in the midst of my sinful condition.  . . . Because of the fact that Jesus finished the work 2,000 years ago.