July 2006

church-skyMy purpose is to share the Good News of Jesus Christ in a way you can understand it. On a recent visit, a new friend named Steve said, "I never saw it that way!" He saw that receiving Christ is not about doing religious works, but receiving the work of Jesus Christ. Jesus came to make us right with God through His work -- His death, burial and resurrection. 1

The Problem With Religion

The problem I saw with "church" as a kid was how boring it felt. I didn't know that being a Christian was all about having a relationship with my Father in heaven. God looks down from heaven on the entire human race. He looks to see if there is even one with real understanding, one who seeks for Him. 2 Jesus died that He might bring us safely home to God. 3 Be exalted, 0 God, above the highest heavens! May your glory shine over all the earth. 4

What a miracle it is for me to share this Good News with you. Just think, today I'm writing in prison and in a few days, these words will be shining over the whole earth by satellite. I am humbled that God would lead you to listen to a message He speaks through me. As King David prayed: "That I may publish with the voice of thanksgiving, and tell of all His wondrous works." 5 I am His servant desiring to fulfill His purpose for me.

A.W. Tozer says in his book The Pursuit of God that "...the presence of God is the central fact of Christianity. At the heart of the Christian message is God Himself waiting for His redeemed children to push in to a conscious awareness of His presence. This type of Christianity, which happens now to be the vogue, knows this Presence only in theory. It fails to stress the Christian's privilege of present realization. According to its teachings we are in the presence of God positionally, and nothing is said about the need to experience that Presence actually." Are you actually experiencing the Presence of God? If not, I have Good News for you.

The Presence of God

The blood sacrifice always proceeds the presence of the Holy Spirit taking up residence in the temple. In the Old Testament, the blood of bulls and goats were sacrificed before the glory of the Holy Spirit filled the temple. Jesus promised to fill us with the Holy Spirit, so we would not be left alone after His death. He said: The world at large cannot receive Him [the Holy Spirit], because it isn't looking for Him and doesn't recognize Him. But you do, because He lives with you now and later [the Holy Spirit] will be in you. No, I will not abandon you as orphans -- I will come to you. 6

The Holy Spirit comes into our heart to live when we receive Christ's work on the cross. The Apostle Paul said: Don't you know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself, for God bought you with a high price. 7 The high price that God paid for your sin was the blood of His Son, Jesus Christ, making you right with Him. Is there any doubt that God loved you? Look at what He has done!

I am often asked how to experience the presence of the Holy Spirit or the present awareness of a realization of God as Brother Tozer mentions in his book The Pursuit of God. Not that I feel I can be a greater blessing than his book has been to me, but I counsel those who ask, to look to the blood of Jesus Christ. It is the same spirit of faith [the act of believing and speaking the blood of Jesus] that originally made us righteous in Christ. 8 Faith in Christ keeps our hearts free to experience the presence of God. It is good for every believer to refresh their hearts daily by meditating on the Word concerning the blood of Jesus, building yourself up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost. 9 As you hear yourself speak the Word, the Spirit of faith will overflow from your heart, causing you to experience God's presence. For the Blood of Jesus Study Chart with the Daily Steps, Click Here.

A Royal Priesthood

I realize that meditating the Word of God daily may seem like a lot of work. But within a few weeks you will find yourself addicted to the joy the Holy Spirit brings. The Psalmist David said: "You [God] will show me the path of life: in Your presence is fulness of joy; at Your right hand there are pleasures forevermore." 10

As you meditate the blood Scriptures, you will recognize that you were bought with a price and brought into the presence of God. As you confess the word with your mouth, God's glory and presence will follow. King David recognized that at God's right hand there are pleasures forevermore. You will too, praying from your throne room position in the Name of Jesus Christ. As you pray, praise God for the revelation of being seated with Christ in heavenly places. 11 There you will find grace to help in time of need at the throne of grace. 12

It is good to live in the presence of God. This means whether we are at home, work, church or at play, the blood of Christ is to be upon the meditations of our heart. It will take awhile to achieve this desired flow of discipline, but it will be the most rewarding pursuit of your life.

The Apostle Peter proclaims: We are redeemed with the precious blood of Christ, as a lamb without blemish and without spot. We are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people. That you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light. 13 The Apostle John shared this act of praise saying: Unto Him [Jesus] that loved us, and washed us from our sins in His own blood, And has made us kings and priests unto God and His Father; to Him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen. 14 Let us say the same thing the Apostles say!

The Revelation of God's Love

It is the blood of Jesus that brings you into the revelation of God's love. What the Bible calls a veil is removed from your eyes, revealing the love of God after all these years of blindness. The eyes of your understanding is enlightened so you may know the hope of His calling, the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the Saints, and the exceeding greatness of His power to us who believe according to the working of His mighty power, which God worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead, and set Him at His own right hand in heavenly places. 15

It is the Holy Spirit that causes this revelation to become reality in you. It becomes clear that it is only because of Christ that you are securely sitting in heavenly places. It is His calling, His inheritance and His power that has made it possible for your salvation. He made us alive in Christ all because of His great love. 16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. 17

We understand that Abraham is the father of many nations. Jesus Christ is the promised seed of Abraham, Who inherited all God's blessings for us. 18 For this to happen, the curse that the Law of God demanded for your sin went upon Christ, so that the blessings of Abraham might come on you; and that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith. If you are Christ's then you are Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise. 19

Religion or Relationship

This may sound like religion to you, but let me assure you, it is the only way to have a relationship with God. Man is a sinner, and he cannot save himself. It is only by the blood of Jesus, and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit that you can be brought into a relationship with your Heavenly Father. There is salvation is no one else! There is no other name in all of heaven for people to call on to be saved. 20

There are heresies recorded in the New Testament of groups who refused to believe in the simplicity of the Good News of Jesus Christ. One sect of false believers were called the Gnostics, originating from the Greek word gnosis or knowledge. It refers to the concept of a hidden, secret, or special knowledge. The "Gnostic Gospels" are where much of the fictional information was derived for the book The Da Vinci Code.

Scholars agree that Dan Brown's unreliable information about the life of Jesus was written in the late 2nd to 4th centuries. Whereas, it is well documented that the canonical Apostolic Gospels [Scriptures that were accepted by the early Churches as God-breathed, or inspired] were written from 60 to 90 A.D. by men who walked with Jesus. Sadly, modern-day Gnosticism is challenging the beliefs of those who do not have a sound Biblical foundation.

Here's The Answer

The Gnostics believed they had no sin nature. The Apostle John addressed the Gnostic heresy when he wrote The First Epistle of John, saying: If we are living in the light of God's presence, just as Christ is, then we have fellowship with God, and the blood of Jesus, His Son, cleanses us from every sin. If we say we have no sin, we are only fooling ourselves and refusing to accept the truth. But if-we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to have forgiven us our sins and to have cleansed us from all unrighteousness. If we claim we have not sinned, we are calling God a liar and showing that His word has no place in our hearts. 21

It is time for you to claim Jesus Christ as your Savior, Lord and King! The problem is the sin of one man, Adam, caused death to rule over us. But all who receive God's wonderful, gracious gift of righteousness will live in triumph over sin and death through this one man, Jesus Christ. Yes, Adam's one sin brought condemnation upon everyone, but Christ's one act of righteousness makes all people right in God's sight and gives them life. 22

There is fact. There is fiction. You decide online. The mix of fact and fiction in The Da Vinci Code is reason for great concern. The film, based on the best-selling novel, is causing audiences to question the Bible's message and its impact on history. The website, The Truth About Da Vinci sponsored by Westminister Theological Seminary, incorporates the best resources available to set the record straight and commend the historic Christian faith. Click here.

A Prayer For You...

Father, I need You. Thank You for the sacrifice of Your Son, whose blood brings forgiveness of my sins and for offering me Your righteousness and resurrected life. I now accept by faith Your gift of salvation. Through Your Holy Spirit, teach me about Your love and grace and about the new life that You have given me. Begin the work of making me into the person You want me to be. Amen!

Footnotes:

1) 2 Cor. 5:21
2) Psa. 53:2
3) 1 Peter 3:18b
4) Psa. 57:5
5) Psa. 26:7
6) John 14:17-18
7) 1 Cor. 6:19-20
8) 2 Cor. 4:13
9) Jude 20
10) Psa. 16:11
11) Eph. 2:6
12) Heb. 4:16
13) 1 Pet. 1:18-19, 2:9
14) Rev. 1:5b-6
15) Eph. 1:18-20
16) Eph. 2:4
17) John 3:16
18) Gen. 17:1-8
19) Gal. 3:13-14, 29
20) Acts 4:12
21) 1 John 1:8-10
22) Rom 5:17-18

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