Archive for the ‘Biblical insight’ Category

The word of the day is “Appropriate” which means: to take to or for oneself; take possession of.

I received a phone call from my brother-in-law the other day, and he asked me about how God freed me from addiction. He said, “when you came out of all that did it just happen, or did you still have to appropriate it by faith?” At first I was confused as to why he was asking me this but then I thought you know everyone wants to know what their part is don’t they? When I tell people it’s “Christ in me doing it all” the usual response is “But, what’s my part?” It seems the deception of being independent runs deep in us even long after we’ve been born again. The truth is we do have a part and that part is faith. When you talk about faith though it may come across a little murky at times rather than being clearly defined; so I wrote this in an attempt to help clear it up a bit.

The one thing that excites Jesus the most is our simple faith in him. It doesn’t matter if it’s our trusting him for our daily needs,or our faith in him for our eternal destiny, all he asks is for us to trust him.

In Ephesians four we are told “put on the new man, which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth.” The Apostle Paul uses the term “put on” here which means to appropriate, “to take to or for oneself; take possession of.” You see the new man is in the likeness of God, righteous and holy but we have to receive by faith so there is something we do. We simply receive what God has for us which is his Son.

I read once that faith means something is available and desirable so I take it. I see an empty chair, I desire to sit in it therefore I take it. Then something else happens; the chair takes me. You see faith is receiving what God is offering us, and when we do, what we have received takes us over. So when we read the new man, righteous and holy, is available and we want him we simply receive, or take, him. Upon receiving the new man, or putting him on, he then becomes us. In other words we soon discover righteousness and holiness being displayed through us, but it isn’t of or from ourselves, it’s Christ displaying his character in and through us. Wow!

Elsewhere in Philippians 2 we read, “work out your salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure.” Working out our salvation means we appropriate it by faith. We simply receive God’s Son and let him will and work in us for his good pleasure. As he moves us within we find ourselves moving without.

The letter to the Colossians tells us “Therefore as you have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him.” How does one receive Jesus, by faith of course. We heard the good news about Jesus Christ being the savior of the world, we came to realize we need a savior so we appropriated him by faith. This is the same method, if you will, in which we live the Christian life. We walk by faith in his provision every step of the way. You see it isn’t just our ticket to Heaven we’re trusting him for it’s our everyday provision and protection. By faith we say he is keeping me.

When situations such as temptation to go back to the old man’s ways arise we simply remember we have become a new creature in Christ. Christ in us is our hope of glory and “he has become to us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification, and redemption…” Temptation to go back usually comes from a sense of lack which is and can only be filled through Christ; and true fulfillment will never be achieved through the old counterfeit means but only through Christ and his moment by moment keeping.

Louie

 

While the world may see those deemed addicts as unique or different from everyone else, God’s word doesn’t make such a distinction. While not everyone struggles with alcohol, drugs, sex or food in the same way we do all have something that will rule over us if given the chance. Jesus in fact said, “everyone who commits sin is the slave of sin.” So, in other words, we all come into this life with a problem the Bible calls sin. Whether you ever choose to label it addiction or not is entirely up to you; but we do know without Christ we will all remain “addicted” or a “slave to sin.”

Recently Tracey and I had a visit with a lady whose son has become hooked on alcohol. Like plenty of us he had some bad things happen in his life and he turned to alcohol for comfort resulting in an inability to stop drinking. She told us when he drinks “he talks out of his head and doesn’t make any sense.” When he’s sober he’s just as quiet and sweet as ever. She said, “When he’s drunk he tells me he hates it, and yet he can’t seem to stop.”

Whenever we, or someone we love, is struggling with some particular sin or fleshly habit and can’t seem to gain victory the analysis begins. We’ll start trying to diagnose the problem in order to come up with solutions. Sometimes we over-analyze things with hopes of finding the root of the problem. While I agree we do need to get to the root of the problem; the root is much deeper than a dysfunctional family, alcoholic parents, lack of education, lack of money and so on. While all of these make considerable contributions to the pain and suffering there is yet one even deeper problem the Bible addresses.

God’s word is the only place that provides the answer to the real problem and it’s sin. You see one thing we all have in common according to the Bible is we all come from a sinful forefather. “Through one man (Adam) sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned…” You see all of us were in Adam when he sinned therefore he wasn’t alone in his guilt. While that is bad news thank God it isn’t the final word. There is some good news “For as through the one man’s disobedience (Adam) the many were made sinners, even so through the obedience of the One (Jesus Christ) the many will be made righteous.”

When you find yourself listening to someone attempting to figure out why they or someone they love does what they do just remember we’re all in the same boat. Just because you may not drink, do drugs or gamble to soothe your conscience doesn’t mean you’re any different. Sin has a way of cropping up in our lives in many ways and just because yours appears a little different than mine doesn’t mean it is any different at the root. This is what the Apostle Paul is telling us in Romans 6 &7. He tells us in Romans six “all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into his death.” You see God knows we can’t be fixed so he has us joined to Christ in his death and burial in order to raise us back to life in Christ as a brand new creature! We have been crucified with Christ therefore we are to walk in newness of life. That my friend is the answer for you and the addict in your life. Just like all of us we must be born again of God’s Spirit by being joined in Christ’s death, burial and resurrection.

While alcohol, drugs and every other life controlling issue you can name is painful, costly and even devastating at times it doesn’t have to have the last say. Since Jesus Christ died, went into the grave, and came out victorious on the other side, we too can overcome anything sin throws at us. The key is to recognize God created us human beings to be powerless in and of ourselves. He doesn’t mean for us to be without power though but he means for us to receive Him by the Spirit so he is the power in and through us. Once we see this we will join with the Apostle Paul when he said, “Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me.”

“For we also once were foolish ourselves, disobedient, deceived, enslaved to various lusts and pleasures, spending our life in malice and envy, hateful, hating one another. But when the kindness of God our Savior and His love for mankind appeared, He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to his mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out upon us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior…”

Louie

 

 

“Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come” (2 Corinthians 5:17 NASB).

“In reference to your former manner of life, you lay aside the old self, which is being corrupted in accordance with the lusts of deceit, and that you be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and put on the new self, which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth” (Ephesians 4:22-24 NASB).

“…since you laid aside the old self with its evil practices, and have put on the new self who is being renewed to a true knowledge according to the image of the One who created him” (Colossians 3:9b-10 NASB).

So many Christians struggle when it comes to walking the walk. The only thing I can think of as a solution is for us to simply take God at his word. In the above verses we are told in Christ we are a new creature needing to be renewed in the spirit of our minds. What, you might ask, does that really mean? Well, I’m glad you asked, and what it means is we are to start seeing ourselves the way God sees us with or without any outside confirmation.

According to the scriptures God created man in his image and likeness. What this means exactly, I think is sometimes lost on us; so let me put it this way. God is Spirit and created us so he might reveal himself. We were meant to be a visible expression of the invisible God. In fact Colossians says, speaking of Jesus, “He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation.” The good news here is that Jesus was never meant to be alone in his role of expressing God. You see he was to be the “firstborn among many…” This means through his death, burial, resurrection and ascension, and our union in him, we too are to be restored to our original purpose which is displaying the image of God.

As a Christian the Holy Spirit of God has moved in to our lives in a very real and tangible way. The Bible encourages us to be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is…” (Romans 12:2 NASB). You see what Paul is telling us over and over throughout his letters is we are a new creature in Christ, but many of us have yet to truly embrace this as true. We have grown so accustomed to living our lives by being led around by our feelings when it comes to being a Christian we can’t seem to let go and simply believe what God says about us. The main reason is because we don’t always “FEEL” like a new creature. I like to tell people sometimes when I wake up in the morning I don’t “FEEL” married, but I am. Salvation is sort of like that. Just because you don’t feel it at any particular moment doesn’t change anything.

How does this new creature behave then, you might ask. The answer is found in every letter the Apostle Paul wrote to the early church. In fact his usual method of writing was to tell his readers who they were in Christ (Holy, blameless and perfect) and then move on to tell them how the new creature behaved. You see without knowing who and what we are in Christ first there is no way we will behave or live like it. The more I study Paul’s writings the more I am astounded at his genius. Of course I know God is the inspiration behind it but it was through Paul’s character and intellect that he expressed these things. This is yet another example of what I’m talking about here. Paul’s whole life had been transformed after his meeting with the risen Jesus Christ on the road to Damascus, and the nature of the new man shined brighter and brighter through him from then on.

Holy, blameless and perfect you say! I’m not perfect! I’m only human! You see this is the type of thing I’m talking about here. We are so accustomed to seeing ourselves as dirty, rotten scoundrels we struggle when we read things such as “He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before him…” (Ephesians 1:4 NASB). He has “raised us up with him, and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus…(Ephesians 2:6 NASB). “In him you have been made complete…(Colossians 2:10). “For by one offering he has perfected for all time those who are sanctified” (Hebrews 10:14 NASB).

When all is said and done being renewed in the spirit of our mind means that we believe what God says about us as his new creation. Being a Christian means God placed us into Christ and we have been eternally joined to him through his death, burial, resurrection and ascension. If he is the exact representation, or express image, of the invisible God and he now dwells in us, by way of his Spirit, we too have been made complete. We have been restored to our proper place as the image bearer of the one and only invisible God. Our job if you will is to let the invisible God become visible to all that see us walking in our new found freedom won for us by Jesus Christ on the cross.

Louie

 

 

Jesus told his disciples (Us) that he would send the comforter after he returned to the Father. He said, “In that day you will know that I am in My Father, and you in me, and I in you” (John 14:20). The truth of this promise came home to the disciples in a mighty way as recorded in Acts 2 at the celebration of Pentecost. They were all huddled into the upper room awaiting to be filled with power from on high, just as Jesus had promised, when the Holy Spirit came in like a mighty rushing wind. Soon after the disciples were filled they hit the street to preach the good news of salvation found only in Jesus Christ.

The Apostle Paul writes “For in him (Jesus) all the fullness of Deity (the Godhead–Father, Son and Spirit) dwells in bodily form, and in him you have been made complete, and He is the head over all rule and authority” (Colossians 2:9-10). Did you catch that? The complete Godhead dwelt in Jesus Christ in bodily form and now that we are “in Him” we are complete! We have been joined to Christ through his death, burial, resurrection and ascension therefore we are now one with God. Go ahead and read that last sentence again I know you want to. You heard that right! We are now as close to the Godhead as we will ever be; that is what being complete means. When Jesus shouted from the cross “It is finished” that is exactly what he meant.

You might ask, “Well, if we’re complete why do we still mess up?” The simple answer to that would be so we would learn to look to him in faith rather than looking to ourselves. You see we are made up of three parts and what I’m talking about here is spirit. Upon being born again the Spirit of God takes up residence within our formerly dead, human spirit and resurrects us. The rest of our lives is spent getting our thoughts and feelings to follow the facts of our newly reborn spirit. Sometimes we “mess up” because we are walking according to our own understanding or feelings rather than the Spirit. The good news is when we discover we’re going the wrong way we get more and more accustomed to walking in the Spirit. Like most things in life we usually only learn the correct way after going the wrong way first.

It seems God’s plan all along was to have a whole race of men created in his image to express himself through. Since Adam, and subsequently us in him, failed to do so he sent his Son. Jesus was the perfect human prototype if you will. He came in the likeness of sinful man, as a sin offering in order to condemn sin in the flesh. Along the way he modeled for us what God’s original intentions were for his image bearers. You see God’s original plan hasn’t been scrapped and we are still on target.

Now that Jesus Christ has finished his mission, by passing through death and coming out the other side, we can place our faith in him, receive the Holy Spirit and be restored to our true position in God’s plan.

“What a birthright is ours in Christ! Not only do we escape by flight from the moral decay (rottenness and                    corruption) that is in the world but we also “become a sharers (partakers) of the divine nature”

 It was God’s original intention that by the indwelling of the Spirit of Christ, every human being should                          fully experience His life and become a participant in the divine nature.

When this is established spiritually within your soul, it means that not only does the Lord Jesus Christ live by His Holy Spirit within your human spirit, but he now controls your mind, your emotions, and your will. By all that you do and say and are, His Life and likeness are expressed through you. People around you become aware  of the fact, though they may not understand it, that by something God Himself has done, you have become a partaker of all that He is.”  

excerpt taken from “The indwelling life of Christ, all of him in all of me” by Major Ian Thomas

 

Louie

 

Most are familiar with the words of Jesus as recorded in John 3:16 “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.” While that is an amazing verse, and I don’t want to dismiss it in any way, what I would like for you to notice is the verses following.

In John 3:17-21 we discover even though God loves us so much, and he gave us his son in order to save us, many will still not come to him. The problem and solution is found in love. You see God loves us so much he gives but as Jesus said in v.19 “men loved darkness rather than the Light…” So the question is “What, or who, do you love?”

As I pondered loving the darkness I remembered the many years of my own life in which I lived and loved it. I had extremely dark tinted windows on my car, kept the blinds pulled shut at my house, wore dark sunglasses most of the time and even my clothing was black. Looking at me you would think I was a vampire. Just as Jesus said, I loved darkness rather than light.

Recently I have come to the conclusion this love of the darkness stems from a misunderstanding of the character of God. After all if you think God is a fun-sucker, and he’s out to get you, why would you come to him? On the other hand if you came to see how much he loves you, and is for you, that might change things a bit.

In Romans 2:4 it says, “It’s the kindness (goodness) of God that leads to repentance.” Once you start to see how good God is you will begin to trust him and maybe then you will start to move toward the light. You see it’s only through the power of a greater affection that we are able to let go of the deeds of darkness. Looking in 1 Thessalonians 1:9 we read where he commended them because they “turned to God from idols to serve a living and true God…” You see once we come to understand the things we’re clutching so tightly to in the dark can’t hold a candle to the living and true God we’ll be willing to let go of the one for the other.

After the death, burial and resurrection of Christ, Peter went back to fishing. One morning Jesus met them on the beach with breakfast already cooking. He asked Peter on three occasions “Do you love me more than these?” While it doesn’t say explicitly in the text I think Jesus was probably talking about the fish. You see Peter was a fisherman by trade when he met Jesus and it seems he went back to his old routine after the crucifixion. Maybe Jesus was doing a little fishing himself in order to find out if Peter’s love for fish had taken first place over his love for Christ. Jesus told him if you love me “feed my sheep.” It seems Peter may have been in danger of turning back but thank God Jesus was there to redirect his thinking. Changing your mind is what repentance is after all. In this case the question is do we love Jesus more than our old life?

When it’s all said and done everything boils down to love. What we love shows up in what we talk about, where we go and how we spend our time and money. In 1 John 2:15-17 we read, “Do not love the world nor the things in the world, If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world. The world is passing away, and also its lusts; but the one who does the will of God lives forever.”

God is love and all he created came out from him. Therefore everything was created by love, for love to be loved. Since the fall mankind has lost touch with his purpose so he has misplaced his love. The love of this world shorts out our love for the Father but it’s ultimately based on a lie. You see the enemy has blinded us to the true nature of God so we live our lives for what is very temporal. Men kill for power and prestige only to leave it behind one day as their funeral procession winds through town on the way to the graveyard. Thankfully, while no one wants their friends and family to die, it is a great opportunity to be awakened to the fact we’re not going to live here forever. We are on our way to another place; the same place Abraham was looking for “which has foundations, whose architect and builder is God.”

“Turn your eyes upon Jesus. Look full in his wonderful face and the things of this world will grow strangely dim in the light of his glory and grace.”

Louie

“For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them” (Ephesians 2:10 NASB).

Although the Bible warns against squabbling over the meaning of words there is still a need to define them from time to time otherwise how can we know what we’re reading?

Reading in Ephesians, I came across the word “workmanship” and decided to look it up in the concordance. What I discovered is the Greek word “poiema” translated into English as workmanship. Do you see this might be where we get the English word poem? As far as defining the word “poiema” it says, “a product, i.e. fabric–thing that is made, workmanship.”

We are God’s product, after all he did say “Let Us make man…” I started thinking about what a poem is and where it comes from and thought, well, it comes from within the poet doesn’t it? When I asked the guys in the Bible study at the jail one of them said, “It comes from the heart.” I think that says enough doesn’t it? Mankind was thought up and brought forth straight from the heart of God. He longed to create little expressions of himself and give them authority to rule over the rest of his creation. We are God’s work of art designed to express his wisdom and design.

In the context of the Ephesian letter Paul is writing about how we used to live according to the world, the prince of the power of the air and how another spirit used to operate in us when we were in disobedience. But God saved us by his grace and raised us up seating us in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus. So God’s plan has always been for us, his creation, to be in a position of authority not subservient or ruled over by another spirit or other created things.

Further on in Ephesians 3:9-11 we discover the church is the means by which God’s wisdom will be displayed throughout the heavenly places. In other words we are invited to participate in something we can’t even begin to fathom. In 1 Peter 1:12 we read even “the angels are longing to look into these things.” You see God has something so far beyond our comprehension in store for the church even the angels in heaven are wide awake in wonder as to what it all means. Even now all of creation waits in earnest expectation for the sons of God to be revealed.

Louie

 

 

We’ve been studying the Gospel of Matthew in our Sunday school class. You really learn so much when attempting to teach others. In chapter 12 the religious leaders accused Jesus of being possessed by a devil, and there seemed to be division between he and his own Mother and brothers. In the 13th chapter we read where his own hometown didn’t believe in him, and finally in the first part of chapter 14 Herod, who represents the Gentile world, had John the Baptist killed signifying he didn’t really want what Jesus had to offer either.

So Jesus, obviously saddened by the news of John’s death, went to find somewhere to be alone. This is where conviction came in for me. The Bible says, “Now when Jesus heard about John, He withdrew from there in a boat to a secluded place by Himself; and when the people heard of this, they followed Him on foot from the cities. When He went ashore, He saw a large crowd, and felt compassion for them and healed their sick.”

Jesus had been rejected by the Jewish religious leaders, separated from his earthly family, rejected by his hometown and the Gentile world, and then hears about John the Baptist being killed. Yet, even though he didn’t have anytime to himself, he was present and available to help others.

As I read Matthew 14:13-14 it was as if God showed me how most of us would have responded. Let me illustrate for you. This is my version mind you. “When He went ashore, He saw a large crowd, and growled and yelled at them saying, can’t you see I’m mourning here? I just can’t deal with this right now! Leave me alone!

Maybe you’re different, but most of the time we come up with reasons to justify mistreating others. We say things like, “I haven’t had my coffee yet”, or “I’m tired, I didn’t get enough sleep last night or “I just got home from work, ask me later.” I’m sure you could fill in several more excuses as to why you are unfriendly, impatient or snippy with people, but do you see why this brought me conviction?

Jesus never gave in to those fleshly urges to lash out at others in that way; and that is what walking in the Spirit is all about. We all have times in our lives when we lose a job, don’t feel well, have to bury a friend or maybe it’s just that things aren’t going our way; but according to God we really have no excuses to mistreat others simply because we are agitated. I know, I know I don’t like this kind of talk either but I’m just sharing what we talked about in Sunday school this morning, settle back down will you?

What’s even more amazing is the rest of the story. After Jesus showed the crowds compassion instead of grumpiness he sat them down and fed them. The disciples came up to him telling him “This place is desolate and the hour is already late; so send the crowds away, that they may go into the villages and buy food for themselves. But Jesus said to them, “They do not need to go away; you give them something to eat!” You see the disciples were thinking they needed to earn their food, in other words they needed to work for it, whereas Jesus wouldn’t have it. He wanted to freely give them something to enjoy and that’s what he did. You see even though we haven’t been too good, even in our attitudes most of the time, God loves us and freely showers his blessings on us.

Thank God for his grace, mercy and love for us. There is nothing we can do to earn the provision he provides us everyday. I know things happen that are hurtful and we don’t like but we don’t have to lash out at others. The next time you find yourself about to strike out ask yourself “What’s your excuse for the attitude?”

Louie

“If anyone is willing to do His will, he will know of the teaching, whether it is of God or whether I speak from Myself.” (John 7:17 NASB)

Jesus was constantly hounded by the religious leaders of his day who seemed to always have a finger ready for pointing. It was as if they followed him around just to oppose and accuse him at every turn. They would say things to him like Moses said…what do you say? They were always poised with the gotcha!

When teaching Jesus would speak in parables which caused his disciples to ask him “Why do you speak to them in parables?” Jesus’ response to them was “To you it has been granted to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been granted. For whoever has, to him more shall be given, and he will have an abundance; but whoever does not have, even what he has shall be taken away from him.” This struck me today in a new way.

What Jesus is telling them, and us, is since the disciples had already shown willingness to trust and follow after Jesus they were being shown the mysteries of the kingdom. In other words they were willing to do his will whereas the religious leaders weren’t. It’s as if the parables were keys to understanding and without willingness to follow they made no sense.

As we do what God tells us to do our understanding is opened and more light will flood in, but until we are willing we will remain confused and mixed up. You see the Bible tells us “without faith it is impossible to please him.” Much of the time faith requires us to step out into something without knowing all of what it’s about, but once we do we will be given more understanding.

Louie

“For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse.” (Romans 1:20 NASB)

As I drove down the road the other day this verse came to me and started me thinking. I thought, what exactly is it that can be learned about God’s attributes and nature by observing creation only, without even reading a Bible?

So here’s what I discovered. Everyday the Sun rises, goes through its course and sets like clockwork. In fact that is how a clockworks isn’t it? We judge what time it is by the Sun. Looking at the ocean we realize it comes in only so far before it has to go out again. The seasons change right on schedule. In fact this is the promise God gave to Noah in Genesis 8. He said, “While the earth remains, Seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease.” So, even if you had nothing else you could come to the conclusion God is orderly and faithful.

The next thing that came to me is how everything we need to live and thrive on this planet is right here on the planet. We don’t have to send for anything outside of our system in order to sustain us. All the food, water, material and energy we require is found right here on good ole planet earth or within our system. From this we can surmise God is a provider. Just by watching the birds we discover, as Jesus said, “They don’t store up food in barns and yet our Heavenly Father feeds them.”

We can even learn a little something about how life comes from death by simply looking at seeds. For all practical purposes a seed seems to be insignificant; and yet once it’s planted, has a little water and sunlight, it brings forth life. Jesus himself said, “Unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.” This is a principle with God, it’s how things work. God is into bringing life out of dead things.

So I would wrap this up by saying even without a Bible we can determine there is a God and he is a faithful, orderly provider who has the power to bring life from death. I’m sure there are more, but to me these few are more than enough to see that the God who created everything is a God we can trust.

For those of us that do own a Bible I would consider us beyond blessed to have the ability to read about this God and his relationship with the many others that have come and gone before us. On top of that, through the Word, we also have the privilege to read about Jesus Christ, not just to believe in but to receive him so we might have that eternal life he has promised.

Louie

I just read part of an interview with Debbie Harry, the lead singer of the band Blondie, where she said, “Well, I’m not so much a person who deals with facts as much as feelings.” What a statement! This seems to be where many Christians I know live as well.

Recently I’ve heard more than one person, Christians mind you, say they have said or done something that bothered them deeply. While anyone with the slightest bit of a conscience would agree we’ve all been there; could it be we are looking for a feeling rather than trusting in the facts?

The Bible teaches us that Jesus Christ and him crucified is enough to deal with our trespasses and sins. In fact we’re told “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” Notice what it doesn’t say. It doesn’t say he will give us a feeling of confirmation to go along with the forgiveness.

While humans were created to think and feel, thoughts and feelings don’t get the final word. If in fact the Bible is the Word of God, and I believe it is, we have to trust what it says, even when our feelings don’t confirm it. While feeling forgiven would be nice we can’t always count on it. If we’re holding out for a feeling we may be committing yet another sin, the sin of unbelief.

When a Christian commits a sin they are instructed to confess it to God. Confessing means agreeing with God, in other words, he shows us we’ve sinned and we agree with him saying, “Your’e absolutely right God that was wrong of me…thank you for the forgiveness and cleansing you have provided for me in your Son Jesus Christ.” Of course there’s a good chance you need to go to someone and make things right with them too. “If we walk in the light as he is in the light we have fellowship one with another”, but for now let’s just stay focused on the matter at hand.

After the sin and confession we are to continue our walk in the Spirit trusting Christ to be ever present just as he has promised. When we fail to do so, instead walking around in self-hatred and condemnation, it proves we don’t really believe in Christ’s provision. The truth is that’s what’s called unbelief. I know that’s a harsh thing to say, but what else could it be? If we have confessed the sin, and God’s promise is to forgive and cleanse us, why don’t we trust that? I’ll tell you why, because we,like Debbie Harry, are not people “who deal with facts as much as feelings.”

“He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things?” (Romans 8:32)

Louie