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How do you know what is right or wrong? The first answer usually involves the 10 Commandments. The Bible tells us that the believer is dead to the law, so what is the guide line? If we are dead to a law, we can neither keep it nor break it. Adam and Eve discovered right and wrong in Eden. They were kicked out. And while the penalty of death came on us all as a result, the Bible also says that their failing was not counted against them.

After Jesus fulfilled all the law and the rules were nailed to the cross, ending them, we once again live without our failings counted against us. For the Jews, this also meant that their trespasses of the law were forgiven. For the Gentiles, who did not have the law, Paul says this:

Romans 2:14 (The Message)

When outsiders who have never heard of God’s law follow it more or less by instinct, they confirm its truth by their obedience.

This means that the law makes sense and the natural man knows to do right, at least in part. But the outsider/Gentile is not bound by laws of which he is unaware. His failing to keep the law is not counted against him. And since the cross, neither is the Jew bound by law.

It is over!

This leaves the question, as to how we know to do right, still without an answer. The people came to Moses and asked him to judge, and the result was the law given on Sinai, written on stone. Sacrifices were instituted to make atonement for the trespasses of the people. More laws were written to cover every conceivable trespass.

Still there were problems, so for a while, there were judges in Israel, to decided these things (if you deal with kids, you know that the more rules you have, the more you will need). Later, there were kings. And the scribes and religious leaders advised the kings. The prophets spoke God’s mind and warned of judgment.

Then the perfect came, which was Jesus, and did away with the imperfect, which was the law. And still man seeks rules instead of freedom. Man without the spirit of God within him will always need rules and laws, but those who are born from above by the living God seek rules too. This is should not be.

Having begun in the spirit, why would we then live by rules? Yet, when one tries to live by only walking in the spirit, by faith only, the religious people will seek to put rules on him.

The religious will quote the passage that says if one knows to do right and doesn’t do it, to that person it is sin. Well, it does mean that person failed. It doesn’t mean that person is guilty of anything.

Sin implies guilt, but there is no real guilt in failing. There can only be guilt if a law is transgressed.

Sin is not a good translation of the actual Greek, which is an archery term that means to miss the mark and fail to share in the prize. What mark, you ask? The mark of the high calling that Paul spoke of. And we know that none are perfect. Only Christ was perfect. Only in Him have we hit the mark, because He hit it.

To do what is right is to do what you know you should do. The un-regenerated will need rules and laws. But those in whom the spirit of God lives have His guidance.

One of the meanings of grace is the divine influence on the heart. Grace and the fruit of the spirit are very similar.

 

Grace operates in us and produces the nature of God. No rules, no laws. Only the rule of the spirit of life in Christ – which sets us free from sin and death.

Setting people free to walk in the spirit did not bother Jesus, nor the apostles. It only bothers the religious who want to control and fear freedom. Fear is not from God.

Grace operates out of supply, and does not place demands on us. It abounds to us. Love covers a multitude of errors, and mercy triumphs over judgment. We only need to let go and let God work in us. And in others.

If they don’t like your grace walk, show them more grace. It is the only way to counter those who want to put us under bondage and deny us the freedom we are meant to have in Christ.

So, if you are His, just live your life, because it is hid with Christ in God. The God of all the earth will do right in you and by you and through you. We have many great promises that this is so. Trust Him. Trust yourself. It’s not supposed to be complicated. It is unsettling to the religious mind. It’s called freedom in Christ.

 

 

 

 

 

 

by André van der Merwe on Friday, June 17, 2011 at 7:04am

G265 ἁμάρτημα ham-ar-tee’-ah

From G264; sin (properly abstract): – offence, sin (-ful)

 

G264 ἁμαρτάνω ham-ar-tan’-o

Perhaps from G1 (as a negative particle) and the base of G3313; properly to miss the mark (and so not share in the prize), that is, (figuratively) to err, especially (morally) to sin: – for your faults, offend, sin, trespass.

 

Hamartia (missing the mark) is often misinterpreted to mean “breaking the 10 Commandments”. But if this were really the case, what about those people who lived before the law was given to Israel? Because the Bible clearly says that sin was in the world before the law was given:

 

…for until the Law sin was in the world, but sin is not imputed when there is no law. But death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those who had not sinned in the likeness of the transgression of Adam, who is the type of Him who was to come. (Rom 5:13-14 MKJV)

 

This scripture says that death even reigned over those who hadn’t sinned like Adam did. This means that they missed the mark too, even though they hadn’t broken any laws, because remember that the law hadn’t even been given yet.

 

Doubly Guilty

 

Mankind was dubbed into a condition of sin through Adam’s disobedience, and was made aware of this sinful condition through the giving of the Old Testament Law:

 

1)     We were made guilty through the condition of sinfulness, inherited from Adam:

Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life. For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous. (Rom 5:18-19 KJVA)

 

2)     Each and every person who tries to justify themselves before God through trying to obey the law, are made guilty by the law as well:

 

Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God. Therefore by the deeds of the law no flesh will be justified in His sight, for by the law is the knowledge of sin. (Rom 3:19-20 MKJV, emphasis added)

 

Missing the Mark?

 

It’s easy for some to say that we sin when we “miss the mark”. But let’s think about this for a moment: What is the mark? How big is the mark? And how do we miss it?

 

If “hitting the mark” means that we perfectly obey the requirements of the law, then it gets very interesting, because remember the law didn’t just consist of the 10 Commandments. No, a total of 613 laws and stipulations were given to Israel (from Exodus to Deuteronomy) which they had to obey down to the last letter for as long as they lived. The law was given as a covenant, which means it was a life-long contract. Suddenly the mark becomes a 1mm little pin prick set against a wall about 9,000km away.

 

Paul the apostle talked about a different kind of righteousness; a way of being able to stand perfectly justified before God apart from trying to obey the Old Testament laws:

 

But now a righteousness of God has been revealed apart from Law, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets; even the righteousness of God through the faith of Jesus Christ, toward all and upon all those who believe. (Rom 3:21-22 MKJV, emphasis added)

 

The entire New Covenant (after the cross) proclaims a redeeming message of being made perfect through faith in Christ. Through faith we enter into unity with God, receive eternal life, we have all our sins forgiven and we are made completely, 100% righteous… forever. As a mark of our salvation we receive the promise of the Father, the indwelling Holy Spirit.

 

But you are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if the Spirit of God dwells in you. But if anyone has not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of His. (Rom 8:9 MKJV)

 

The Sin of Unbelief

 

Although God has already forgiven the sins of the entire world and extended His Grace towards all men, not everybody chooses to receive this offer of peace. If it were somebody’s birthday and their friend arrived at their door with a gift, the birthday person still has to make a choice to open the door and take the gift. The gift becomes useless if the gift bearer is left standing outside the door.

 

The only choice that can nullify the redemption of the cross in a person’s life, is choosing not to believe in Jesus. The Bible is clear that it’s only through faith that a person becomes born again:

 

Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ has been born of God. (1 John 5:1a MKJV, emphasis added)

 

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. (John 3:16 MKJV, emphasis added)

 

 

Because if you confess the Lord Jesus, and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you shall be saved. (Rom 10:9 MKJV, emphasis added)

 

Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. (Rom 5:1 MKJV, emphasis added)

 

The Sin of Trying to Live According to the Law

 

The Law isn’t based on faith. It promises life only to people who obey its commands. (Gal 3:12 CEV)

For whatever does not proceed from faith is sin. (Rom 14:23b ESV)

 

The Old Testament Law is not based on faith, because it didn’t take any faith for a person to know that they were wrong when they transgressed one of the commands. But it does take faith for us to still believe we are the righteousness of God, even when we just messed up!

 

When we combine Gal 3:12a with Rom 14:23b it says this:

 

“Living according to the Old Testament Law is sin.”

 

Bottom line.

How can we reconcile fearing God and the scriptural statement that perfect love casts out fear?

We have a movement within the body of Christ that is trying to take us back to fearing God. Can we fear God (the Greek, phobos, is the root word for our phobia) and still love Him as Father? What’s up with this, anyhow?

If I fear my father, I don’t tend to spend a lot of time with him, climb up into his lap, kiss him…

….and if I did, it would be seen as neurotic, unhealthy, and dysfunctional. I would be responding to mix signals from my father. God does not send mixed signals, or create confusion.

Let’s go on, and see what is really being said.

Proverbs says that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of both knowledge and wisdom. The scripture also tells us that the fool says in his heart there is no God.

What is a fool, but one who has no knowledge or wisdom?

Proverbs 9:10 goes on to say that knowledge of the holy ones is understanding. I think we should not be slicing and dicing so much, but look at the whole.

Paul tells us that for one to come to God, he must believe that He exists and is rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.

Hebrews 11:6  But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.

And again, we have James saying this: If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.

Wisdom is from God, true wisdom. We only need ask. Him. Not another. And He does not chide us for asking. Same thing, really.

This in essence is what it means to fear God. One who doesn’t fear God will thumb his nose at Him and disregard Him. That person is a fool, according the scripture.

But the one who believes God exists has the beginning of wisdom. Not the end of it, but the right start. He will be rewarded by God.

I know there are many who say fear means we have to quake and be frightened of God. They are welcome to that opinion. By looking at the words only, they are justified in their belief.  

One cannot look at Jesus, who was the exact image of the Father, and conclude that we are to relate to God in fear.

Hebrews 1:3 Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high;

Jesus never quenched a smoking wick or broke a bruised reed. He never condemned. He loved with a consuming passion.

His harshest words were reserved for the hypocrites, the religious leaders (who claimed to fear God).

Today, the voices telling us, passionately and sincerely, to fear God, are the very ones who will put us back under the yoke of bondage to rules and the law.

So, you get to choose.

Leave grace, follow the “musts” and “have tos” or be free from that yoke. Fear God, then try to love Him and be close to Him, and relate to Him.

Or, love Him in spirit and in truth. Perfect love casts out fear.

You can’t have it both ways! You can try, but it will kill your knowing.

Read the Old Testament through the finished work or Jesus, or you will be double minded in your ways.

Examine Yourselves?

by Melissa Perez on Tuesday, April 5, 2011 at 7:16am

2 cor 13:5″ examine yourselves whether you are in the faith.(His faith, view yourself from HIS perspective) Test yourselves. (Test=dokimazo, root word dokimos=accepted,pleasing-this word was used to give name to men of integrity who during ancient times would not accept counterfeit money)

To test yourself is NOT to look to what is wrong with you, but what is TRUE OF YOU.

God does not want you to accept anything counterfeit that is said about you!He wants you to be one of integrity and accepet only that which is Truth and who is truth Jesus,That which is true of Him is NOW true in YOU

1 John 5:20 “And we know that the Son of God has come and has given us an understanding, that we may know Him who is true; and we are in Him who is true, in His Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God and eternal life”

See we are to examine ourselves whether what we are believing is aligned with what HE KNOWS, because what exists in the mind of God alone is TRUE.

Philemon .6 says “ That the sharing of your faith may become effective by the acknowledgement of EVERY GOOD thing which is IN YOU in Christ Jesus“…

See our faith, will be as effective as our acknowledging of  the GOOD in US By Christ. Often times we read scriptures like the one above in corinthinas and think we are to make sure that we are not being” bad”, that we are trying really hard to be “good”, and we check for all our “sins” (which He NO LONGER REMEMBERS) rather than recognizing and APPRECIATING HIM IN US!

We’ve been taught to look at our “sin” when God doesn’t want us living sin conscious, BUT CHRIST conscious.

He wants us aware of what has been made right IN US!

He wants you aware of that which Christ came to redeem the image and likeness of God in YOU.

2 corinthians 3:18″But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord”

See it is in our BEHOLDING(constant) as in a MIRROR(revealing what is NOW) NOT a window (revealing what could be) that we are transformed into the same image.It’s in our acknowledging HIM and HIM IN US that we are awakened to experience HIS REALITY.

This is why paul could say “we regard NO man according to the flesh any longer”  because He had become so aware of a greater reality than that which He saw and even experienced in the physical realm. He had discovered CHRIST IN HIM which led him to preach CHRIST IN the nations. Galations 1:16

It is this truth that  moves you and over takes you, because you begin to see Him in the face every sinner and every saint.

We are to NOW regard (greek text eido– to KNOW) ALL man according to THE TRUTH=Jesus. 2 cor 5:16

John 1:4 states ” In Him was the life, and the life was the LIGHT (Phos- the TRUTH and its knowledge) of men” As francois says, Christ did not come to be an example for you but OF YOU! Through His living and His being He was revealing God’s intent for Man, our ORIGINAL design was and is revealed in HIM.

To walk in the Light as He is in the LIght is not about works, but about walking in this greater reality. To live in the place  where darkness has been dispelled and you can once again see and live aware of His imprint, His image, and likeness in YOU and in ALL creation. It’s in this place where competetion, strife, and condemnation ceases to exist  because mankind’s value is again revealed.

 Romans 8: 30 b – Those He justified, These He also glorified (literal text glorified To cause the dignity and worth of someone to become manifest and acknowledged)

You have been justified, that you may be glorified and your worth manifested and acknowledged!

Know that Jesus is God’s final word about man.

EVERYTHING He would ever need to say TO YOU, FOR YOU, or ABOUT YOU He has SAID IN CHRIST.

Hebrews 1:1 “God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets,Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds;” 

Christ is His opinion of You!

He  is the revealing of God’s original design for man- which He has come and redeemed.

Discover yourself in His thoughts and do NOT settle for less than HIS OPINION OF YOU!

 

Do we have to be “broken” before God can use us? Actually, I find no New Covenant reference to being broken by God.

Matthew 12:20 – A bruised reed shall he not break, and smoking flax shall he not quench, till he send forth judgment unto victory.

[Mt 12:20 (The Message) He won’t walk over anyone’s feelings, won’t push you into a corner. Before you know it, his justice will triumph;]

Luke 4:18 – The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised

The bruised are not broken, and instead are set at liberty.

God is not in the habit of breaking His children. As a child of God, I cannot say that I am broken by Him. I must change my thinking on this if I see myself as broken; renew my mind and be transformed.

I have victory, not brokenness.

Being yielded means to be near or beside; to stand by or come near (the Greek is peristemi – near/beside to stand).

We are to stand close by, ready to express His life in the world. Since we are in Christ, and He is in us, His life is ours and our lives are His. We act as one. Only we don’t accomplish it, He does.

We walk and He works.

Will we ever be led by the Holy Spirit to act against God’s ways? No. Will we ever do something that is not what God is leading us into? Yes. And when we discover that we have erred and missed it, we just adjust our actions and continue on.

We are called to do His will here, as it exists in heaven. To heal the sick, proclaim liberty to those who are captive to dead religion and evil, and to proclaim that the kingdom has come. We should get on with it!

By grace, we have what we need – it is sufficient.

It is our focus on ourselves that causes us to despair. If our focus is on Christ in us, we will not despair. Our minds are being renewed and we are being transformed – but being broken is not what gets us there. Grace gets us there.

It’s been said that we do more for God by accident, with Him working through us, than we ever do on purpose. We have God-given desires in our hearts. We just need to be ourselves and let God work through us, for He has made us new.

We will be moved by what moves Him and act on it.

God does not cause us to come to a place of brokenness. We are to be living a victorious life, not a broken one!

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