“He ever lives to intercede”, “He is the life”, the “I AM”, “the same yesterday, today and forever”, “slain from the foundation of the world”, ” He is before all things and in Him all things hold together.” These few verses quickly came to me while pondering the timelessness of our Savior.

We are creaturely and therefore limited by time, but God being the Creator isn’t confined to time. Eternity, instead of being what we might call a long time, really can’t be defined by time at all. Sometimes we say things like “in eternity past” or “eternity future.” The truth is eternity is simply eternity. It is a timeless realm where everything simply “is”. This is where our God, the Great “I AM” resides.

You may be asking, “why is he talking about this?” Well, the question will inevitably arise, “How does Jesus Christ dying 2,000 plus years ago affect me today? How can what He did on the cross, on a hill called Calvary, in a place called Golgotha, at a specific time in history that many years ago include me?”

While there may be many ways to go about answering this question, for now let’s look in Numbers 19. This chapter is dealing with a red heifer and how it provided cleansing for the Old Testament worshiper. Without attempting to define all of what this means, let me just say the red heifer was in fact killed and burned at a particular point in time yet its ashes were sprinkled on the worshiper at a later date. For instance the heifer could have been killed and burned to ash on a particular day of one week, but then sprinkled, or applied, to the worshiper a week later. So we see, while the death of the heifer did in fact take place at a very specific time and place, yet the worshiper is declared clean days later. In the same way we can see Christ crucified on a specific date, in what we call the past, and yet even now His death, burial and resurrection is sufficient and can be applied to us, by way of His Spirit, on what we call today.

As you read through the letter to the Hebrews, you will see that all of what came before Jesus Christ such as the Old Covenant, Temple, sacrifices, priesthood, etc. were what are known as types and shadows. In fact Hebrews 8 tells us “Christ appeared as a high priest of the good things to come, He entered through the greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this creation; and not through the blood of goats and calves, but through His own blood, He entered the holy place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption. For if the blood of goats and bulls and the ashes of a heifer sprinkling those who have been defiled sanctify for the cleansing of the flesh, how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without blemish to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?”

So we can see that everything used in the work of the Old Testament priesthood to cleanse the worshiper was temporal at best. These were simply tools God gave Moses in order to reveal Heavenly, timeless truth to humans living an earthly, time-based existence. The good news is we now have a better Covenant with better promises. The Old Covenant was only put in place till Christ came; so now, through His Spirit, we can enjoy not only the cleansing of our flesh, but we can actually enjoy a cleansed conscience. Unlike the ashes of a heifer, the blood of Jesus Christ enables us to enter the Holy Place with confidence. We can now “draw near with sincere hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water” (Hebrews 10:19-22).

Jesus Christ was God in the flesh. He came here to offer “whosoever will” an eternity with Him in Glory. Even though the Lamb was slain from before the foundation of the world, It was manifested through Jesus’ perfect, sinless life being given as an offering for many on the cross. So, essentially what had been ordained from before the foundation of the world, in eternity, was worked out in the life of Christ in a specific time and place. What an amazing God we have that He would go to such lengths to save us!

Jesus Christ is “The Lamb slain from before the foundation of the world” (Revelation 13:8). 

“Jesus is now our High Priest forever”; and He “has become such not on the basis of a law of physical requirement, but according to the power of an indestructible life” (Hebrews 7:16-17).



Jesus’ fiercest opponents during His three plus years of ministry were the religious leaders of His day. It seems they tracked His every move and weren’t shy about quizzing Him at every turn. They would say things like “Moses said, such and such…what do you say?”

Reading Galatians in Sunday School recently, it has become very clear to me religious people had become Paul’s opposition too. The whole purpose of writing the letter to the Galatians was to reiterate that Christ is sufficient. You see the Galatians had received Christ but were being tempted by some religious leaders to put themselves under the Law of Moses. It seems the freedom Jesus and His disciples were enjoying was a bit too much for the religionists.

The more I looked at this the more I could see why “religion” is really the enemy of God. I guess I should clarify what I mean when I use the word “religion.” While there are several definitions, the way I would define it is “man’s attempt to get to God or make himself like Him.” In other words religion is a set of rules, rituals, traditions etc. that if closely adhered to will get you closer to God or even make you “like Him.” I pray that you don’t misunderstand me here. I’m not saying all rules, rituals or traditions are sinful or even bad. What I am saying is when you start to believe they can do anything, by way of getting you to God, outside of placing your faith in Christ, you’re deceived.

According to the scriptures “the Law” or Old Covenant was meant to point us to Christ. The Apostle Paul called it a “schoolmaster to lead us to Christ.” Once It has done that, we no longer need it, right? I mean if it’s whole purpose is to point us to Christ, and we’ve now come to Him and received Him by faith, we have no need to go back to the schoolmaster.

In Isaiah fourteen you discover the attitude behind the fall of Lucifer, and what I think is also in the minds of many religious people today. Isaiah 14:14 says, “I will make myself Like the Most High.” Wow! Did you catch that? Lucifer’s fall came about from his thinking he could “make himself like the Most High.” Remember my definition of religion? Man’s attempt to make himself “like God.” Now we might start to understand why Jesus and the early church had such trouble with the religionists. While believers had become one with God through His Spirit, the religious leaders were still attempting to make themselves “like Him” through laws, traditions and rituals. The deceived notion of fallen man is that they are independent, which is the very thing Lucifer claimed to be. He thought he could “make himself” like God. Do you see how diabolical this is?

Jesus called the proud religious leaders of His day “hypocrites, fools, blind men, cups clean only on the outside, whitewashed tombs full of dead men’s bones, etc.” He told them all the righteous blood that had been spilled all the way back to Abel was on their heads (Matthew 24:35). Elsewhere He told them their father was the devil and it was his lusts they were doing (John 8:44). You see Jesus wasn’t distracted by their antics; He understood exactly where their rigid, self-righteous religiosity came from.

The next time you read the letter to the Galatians just keep in mind it isn’t primarily sin Paul is dealing with rather it’s religion. His main goal in that letter was to inoculate the Galatians from the temptation to fall into religious observance rather than simple faith in the finished work of Jesus Christ. “It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery (bondage)–to religion that is” (Galatians 5:1). He goes on to tell them if they let themselves get caught up in “the Law”, the bondage to which he was referring, they have “fallen from grace.”

Fallen from grace is a term I think has been misunderstood for a long time. The scriptures in Galatians 5 make it clear that Paul meant if we are attempting to get in good with God by way of the Law we have turned from Christ. In other words, you can’t have both, you either trust in Christ and His work on the cross or you trust the Law which means your own power or ability to please God. If you are working for salvation it is no longer grace because grace is favor and favor can only be received not earned.



One definition of the word “law” is how something works. For instance if you let go of a book you will discover that it falls to the ground every time…every time. This is gravity. When you observe this take place time and time again and it never fails, we then call it a law, the law of gravity, right? Well, what if we took this same definition and applied it to God?

In the book of 1 John the Bible tells us “God is love.” If God is love then it is safe to say, love is God’s law or the way God operates. God’s kind of love is not necessarily the same kind of love the world thinks of. In fact there are several ways to define the word “love” but what we’re talking about is “agape” love which is an unconditional love which is a sacrificial love which is always for others.

If love is the law of God, or the way He operates, then anything that is attempting to operate apart from love is what we would call broken law. Therefore since God is love and we are made in His image, it just stands to reason that we were originally designed to operate in love, by love and for love. Sin therefore is something that defies how the universe was designed to operate therefore it brings in death.

Many say, “God created everything from nothing”, and in a sense that is true, but the truth is everything came “out from” Him. We read in Hebrews 11:3 “Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.” So we see here things were made from “unseen” things which isn’t the same as something that didn’t exist. God is love and everything was created by Him, through Him, and for Him. Love is the fulfillment of the Law of God.

You might say, well that oversimplifies things a bit doesn’t it Louie? I would say, yes and no. Yes because all that is required of us is to “love God with all our heart, mind and strength and love our neighbor as ourselves.” No, because without God Himself dwelling within us and loving others through us, as us, we are looking at an impossibility. The good news is “what the Law could not do, weak as it was through the flesh, God did: sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and as an offering for sin, He condemned sin in the flesh, so that the requirement of the Law (loving God and loving your neighbor) might be fulfilled in us, who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit” (Romans 8:3-4 NASB).



The average Christian you meet seems to be preoccupied with sin rather than Christ. My question is “is that what God is after?” I don’t think so. Reading in Hebrews 8 you discover God’s plan for a New Covenant. In the New Covenant it says, “I will remember their sins no more.” Now that in itself is pretty amazing don’t you think? But let’s look a bit further.

In Chapter nine of Hebrews we see the gifts and sacrifices of the Old Covenant “cannot make the worshiper perfect in conscience…” In other words they can’t take away the consciousness of sins. “But when Christ appeared as a high priest of the good things to come, He entered through the greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this creation; and not through the blood of goats and calves, but through His own blood, He entered the holy place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption.” You see the earthly Tabernacle was a copy, so Moses used animal blood but the real, actual Tabernacle in Heaven required the perfect, spotless man Jesus’ blood. According to Hebrews ten, while the animal blood couldn’t cleanse us and actually served as a reminder of sins, Jesus’ blood not only takes away the sins it actually removes the consciousness of sins in the worshiper.

The good news of this New Covenant is what gives us the freedom and confidence to approach the throne of grace in our time of need. “Since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful…”

So while most of Christendom struggles to calculate and manage their sins, why don’t we focus on Christ instead? The Apostle Paul told us he wasn’t into self examination. In 1 Corinthians four he said, “To me it is a very small thing that I may be examined by you, or by any human court; in fact, I do not even examine myself. For I am conscious of nothing against myself, yet I am not by this acquitted; but the one who examines me is the Lord. Therefore do not go on passing judgment before the time, but wait until the Lord comes who will both bring to light the things hidden in the darkness and disclose the motives of men’s hearts…”

If a christian sins God will reveal it to you, and according to 1 John we have an “advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous…” Our role, as a christian, is to be Christ conscious, not sin-conscious. If we keep our thoughts on things above, we can trust the Holy Spirit to direct us away from sin.

“Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to make you stand in the presence of His glory blameless with great joy, to the only God our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen!” (Jude 1:24-25)



There is a young man in the Bible study group in jail who has been blessing my socks off lately. He came for a week or two without saying a word then he spoke. He shared how he seemed to always have a short fuse, so anger and violence has been a mainstay throughout his life, until now. He said, “The other day in the cell I was having a conversation with someone and another guy came up and just started talking and butting in, so I felt disrespected.” Here’s where it changed. He said, “Instead of reacting in anger I looked at this guy and just said, ‘I’m gonna pray for you’ and walked away.” These types of things are why I look forward to sharing the Word in jail.

This same young man has had an encouraging word each week ever since. The week after his victory over anger he told the group he had been called to ministry. He said, “My grandfather was a preacher and my uncle was a deacon.” He said, “when I was little I wanted to grow up and be a preacher but I went the wrong way.” His pastor came to visit him from Indiana and told him, “I’ve never visited anyone who was incarcerated before. My own son is in jail and I have never visited him.” It seems this pastor had seen God doing something in this young man way before he did. Isn’t that how it usually is though? Others seem to know God has a calling on our lives long before we do.

The most recent story this man told me was how God has reconciled him with his family. He told me, “My mom came to visit me and we had the best conversation we’ve had in probably 17 years.” This guy is only twenty seven mind you so his relationship with his mother has been strained since he was ten. He told her of his calling, and he said, “I saw a look on her face I haven’t seen since I was a boy.” He had been indicted that very morning but he said, “when she told me she was proud of me none of that mattered anymore.” This young man is a good sized fellow. He said, “I went to state four times in football and had weight lifting tournaments and my mom never came to any of them.” He said all this with a giant grin on his face and told me when he and his mother ended the visit she told him “I’m going right now to tell the preacher!” There are also signs that his brother is coming around because the brother told mom, “I think he means it!”

As our time together ended, I shared with him how God was in the business of reconciliation. The Bible tells us “God was in Christ reconciling the world to himself.” It then goes on to say, “He has given us the ministry of reconciliation.” I told him it looks like God is doing a miracle in your life. You didn’t even have to work at it you simply began trusting Christ to work all these things out. Another inmate, who was standing by, chimed in saying, “It’s Mathew 6:33, seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things will be added to you. If you put God first all the other stuff will fall into place.” With that the door popped open and we walked down the hall parting ways as they went into their cell and I went down the hall to booking to leave.





Paul’s letter to the Romans presents the case of our need for Christ in a pretty airtight fashion. He begins of course with identifying himself, as an Apostle set apart by God, and tells us the letter is written to all beloved of God, called to be saints in Rome. It seems this is a letter aimed at humanity as a whole, not simply geared toward Jews or non-Jews exclusively. He tells us rather quickly ungodliness in anyone brings about the same results which is a steady spiral downward away from God’s intended righteousness.

Ultimately Paul, or should I say the Spirit in Paul, sees all of us as having the one and the same trouble and that’s rebellion. “We have all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). While the Jews were, and I believe still are, God’s special, chosen people He doesn’t treat them any different than the rest of us. To Him we are all in trouble and have absolutely no ability to recover on our own. This of course is why God Himself has to save us, which leads me to my point today. How exactly are we to be made “right”, or “righteous” with God?

If we look in chapter 4 of Romans we will discover Abraham is the Father of our faith, that is to all who believe. The Apostle Paul does a masterful job of explaining the circumstances in which Abraham was accepted by God. He says simply, “Abraham believed God and it was credited to him as righteousness.” Wow! That’s it? Simply believing is what God is after? Of course this now brings us to question what exactly does “believing” God mean? Well I’ll tell you it is much more than believing He exists. In fact James tells us “the demons also believe, and shudder.”

When we read that Abraham believed God it means Abraham “believed into” God. In other words, Abraham trusted God, he had placed his faith, or trust, in who God was and what He had told him. You see God had promised Abraham he would be the father of many nations even before Abraham had any children. In fact from an earthly point of view Abraham and his wife Sarah, who was barren, couldn’t have children. So you see Abraham was believing something he couldn’t rationalize or figure out apart from faith. Apart from a miracle this simply wasn’t going to happen.

Romans four tells us “In hope against hope Abraham believed, so that he might become a father of many nations according to that which had been spoken…” Without becoming weak in faith he contemplated his own body, now as good as dead since he was about a hundred years old, and the deadness of Sarah’s womb…” If you think about it this isn’t that different than what we are called to believe is it? I mean Jesus was crucified and buried-He was dead! There was nothing that could be done to bring life into His body outside of a promise God had given which was, “You will not abandon my soul to Hades, nor allow your Holy One to undergo decay” (Psalm 16:10). King David wrote these very words and Peter used them in Acts 2 to reiterate the resurrection of Jesus was prophesied long ago. The promise David had declared in his psalm had come to pass in the resurrection of our Savior Jesus Christ.

When all is said and done, whether we are Jewish or Gentile, religious or non-religious, God sees us all in the same position of hopelessness if left to ourselves. The good news is He has provided a solution to our conundrum. Paul, a self-proclaimed Zealot for the traditions and religion of his people, the Jews, came to this conclusion. In his letter to the Philippians he said, “Whatever things were gain to me, those things I have counted as loss for the sake of Christ. More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish so that I may gain Christ, and be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own derived from the Law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which comes from God on the basis of faith…”

In another of the Apostle Paul’s letters, 2 Corinthians the first chapter we read another astounding statement. Paul said, “we had the sentence of death within ourselves so that we would not trust in ourselves, but in God who raises the dead.” Like Abraham and Paul, we have to come to the same conclusion. Apart from God’s promise, which is fulfilled in Christ, we are doomed. Everything depends upon the trustworthiness of God and we simply have to believe Him.




Many people have heard the gospel message in part but when they hear it fully they seem shocked. This past week I have had the privilege to share the gospel during our weekly Bible study on Wednesday, our monthly visit to prison on Saturday, Sunday School class and in our local jail Sunday night. During each of these opportunities there was at least one person truly enlightened through the sharing of the full gospel message. There is nothing better than getting to be a part of what God is doing in people’s lives and the joy of watching the lights come on in their eyes as they begin to understand God’s love for them on such a deep level.

As I prepared for bed on Sunday night, I found myself reflecting on the past five days and was simply amazed. Since I’ve been teaching the Bible I have had many memorable moments but this week has really been extraordinary. Wednesday night Bible study found us discussing Galatians 2:20 and Romans 6. For those unfamiliar with these verses let me just say I think they are the core of the gospel message. They establish for us that through the cross we, that place our faith in Jesus Christ’s death, burial and resurrection, are to consider ourselves as having been joined with Him. In other words, we too have been crucified with Christ! While this is plainly taught over and over throughout the letters of the Apostle Paul, I saw clearly this week many have never really heard this. One lady in our Bible study was so effected by this understanding she chose to stay with us rather than go to a meeting she previously planned to attend. She simply couldn’t tare herself away from the scriptures.

On Saturday night I shared Romans six with the ladies in prison and the response was the same. All but maybe one of them never took their eyes off of me as I talked. I joked with them saying, “Isn’t it amazing how this has been in your Bible the whole time?” You see while many may have read Romans 6 not many really believe what it says. For instance one of the ladies made the comment that “We, meaning Christians, still sin everyday.” While she’s not alone in this view, I simply asked her the same thing the Apostle Paul asked in Romans 6:2-3, “How shall we who died to sin still live in it? Or do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death?” As our time at the prison came to an end, a few of the ladies excitedly said, “I’ve never heard preaching like that before!” While I’m not sure what she specifically meant, I think it’s because we didn’t berate them to do more, and try harder, instead we shared with them that God loves them so much He has done it all through His Son Jesus Christ and by faith we have become one with Him in spirit (1 Corinthians 6:17). As we left them one lady said, “You need to tell everyone that message, I know that’s what I’m going to do right now!” as she made her way back to her dorm.

For the sake of any who misunderstand, let me just say, no one is advocating that a Christian can’t sin we are simply saying we don’t have to. While the gospel to many means we have come to God in repentance and He has forgiven our sins in order for us to enter Heaven one day, the gospel message is really much more remarkable than that. According to the scriptures, we who have received Christ have been joined to Him in an inseparable, eternal union. God sees us as having died in Him and been raised back as a brand new creature in Christ. This is not just an old sinner who has been washed off, patted on the back side and told to try a bit harder this time. This is a creature in which God’s Spirit is joined to your human spirit in a way that has never existed before.

One reason many have such difficulty with counting themselves as dead to sin is because we far too often live from our natural senses rather than simple faith in the Word of God. What the Bible calls walking in faith or walking in the Spirit is a foreign concept to the natural man. In fact the Bible tells us the natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned” (1 Corinthians 2:14). Maybe we’ll discuss that a bit more some other time. For now I pray God will clarify for you what being born-again really means according to the scriptures.