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As I step out of the system called religion, and into Abba, I am constantly left high on the pure air of his spirit. He whispers, “Love!”

This is from a friend on Facebook, Gustavo Flores:

 

The most significant sign of GRACE is that one becomes more human NOT more “spiritual.”
Sometimes I see Grace people feeling like they have to justify their “doctrinal” stance by being “more spiritual” or “more moral” or “more happy” or “more peaceful” or “more deep” or more WHATEVER.

Guess what? We DONT.
Just BE.

We’re allowed to be “regular”.
We don’t have to be an “example”.
We don’t have to “watch our witness”.
We’re allowed to have bad days.
We’re allowed to get pissed off.
We’re allowed to lose debates.
We DONT have to have all the answers.
We don’t have to have “experiences”.
We don’t have to have “visions”.
We don’t even have to “sound spiritual” when we talk.

Don’t trade one form of fake performance religion for another one called “grace”.

JUST.BE.

GRACE is unpretentiously beautiful…

~ Gustavo Flores

Religion and sacrifice, worship and service, seem to get confused.

We are in the spirit, and walk in the light, so when we worship it is in spirit and in truth, as Jesus said it would be. Out of our relationship to Him come our “acts” of worship.

We are the worshipers that the Father seeks.

Out of our worship come our expressions of true religion, such as seeing to the fatherless and widows, and keeping ourselves from the influence of the world’s ways (which just may only mean the ways of the law/Jewish system – and by extension pagan rites/ways – but necessarily worldly culture/technology, etc.)

James 1:27 Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.

This is an exhortation from James not to let the world’s religious ideas influence our spiritual walk, not as a command to be pure and/or to please God.

God is pleased with Jesus and He is pleased with us.

It is not a moral choice. It is living in the kingdom way, and comes from grace. Christ lives it through us and we live it in Him. It is the divine dance – perichoresis (peri-circle resis-dance). This term was used by the early church to describe the Trinity; we are part of it in Christ.

The agnostics of apostolic times said that flesh was evil – Paul countered this by saying we are good and acceptable to God in our flesh – for we are redeemed. The Jews were only used to offering dead animals on the altar, to be burnt up – Paul countered this by saying that there are no more acceptable animal offerings. Jesus’ offering was once and for all. We then live through faith in the Son of God.

Because God’s ways are not like the religious world’s ways, and because He loves and favors us, we are lined up with His program.

Paul says it is reasonable to be workers with Him, to learn His ways, to get a right mind in this, and to prove/show what His will is here on earth.

His work is supernatural and when we are joined with Him, we become His point of contact with the world, bringing His grace for salvation and healing.

This is important, because we frustrate grace when we try to do anything “for” God, thinking we are being “spiritual”, or becoming “more spiritual”. We are to walk in the faith that all we do is in Him and for Him. This is reasonable.

If we seriously think we can ever surrender our ALL to God, we don’t understand why Jesus died!

The NASB says: Romans 12:1 Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship.

J. P. Green’s Literal Translation says: 12:1 Therefore, brothers, I call on you through the compassions of God to present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, pleasing to God, which is your reasonable service.

The Greek actually says that he (Paul) invites them to present their bodies a living sacrifice, holy, pleasing to God, which is their logical service.

The word, spiritual, is not in the text!

The NASB (and a few others) get that from the word for service, which can mean ritual service in the temple. I know, it’s a stretch, but that’s what you come up with when you don’t recognize what worshiping in spirit and truth means.

These things matter. A bad translation can mess us up. It can have us running around, thinking we are worshiping God by offering ourselves as a living sacrifice, when this is not true at all.

We are already acceptable, and our worship is in spirit and truth, not in any sort of sacrifice.

No more sacrifice remains. Even alluding to presenting ourselves as a sacrifice is repugnant. It treads on the work of Jesus. Pure religion is not sacrifice, according to God. It is service to others. Get with His program.

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