How to Profit from the WORD of God

Before we all got born again, we already had fixed ideas, that have formulated what is known as our worldview. A worldview is simply what it says, “the way we view (see, interpret) the world (and the people, events and actions in it)”. These ideas are the ways we interpret life, define ourselves, and of course, choose our course or direction in life.

We have gained this worldview through culture, entertainment, education, upbringing and religion. It is on the basis of our unique worldviews that we are practically different from each other, not because of our tribe, nationality or even social status.

This way of thinking, informed by your worldview, remains with you, even after you get born again, unless you go on by “renewing your mind” with the word of God (Romans 12:2). And it is these individual perspectives that we often times bring to the word of God. So, we read INTO the Scriptures our ready made ideologies and belief systems, instead of reading what God’s word actually says with an open mind.

What is an open mind?

This is an unbiased mind. A mind that refuses to determine the meaning of facts before considering the “figures”, that is, the content of information available. While this is not talking about an empty mind, with no fixed set of ideas, it is a mind that gives a set of information the chance to explain (or prove) itself. And as you know, the Scriptures affirm that we who are born again have been given a sound mind, which is the mind of Christ (2 Timothy 1:7, 1 Corinthians 2:16, Philippians 2:5).

Even though the books of 2 Timothy and 1 Corinthians show that we already have this mind as our inheritance, we see the Spirit of God saying in the book of Philippians, to “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:” (2:5). That is, if you do not insist that this is your new mind, you will keep indulging your old mind, and you will suppress the agenda of God for your life. Until you belief exactly what God says in His Word, not your old mind’s worldly interpretation of what He says, you cannot profit from the Word of God.

Renewing the mind

So how do we renew our minds? First, you must know that to renew means to change the settings of your mind, you know, as if to return it to factory setting. Renew! It means all that you have believed contrary to God’s Word must now be dropped. And you experience this renewing in a progressive fashion. Your mind is being renewed as you exchange your old beliefs for God’s truth.

Now, it is a mind that is constantly experiencing this renewing that can read the bible and profit from it.

To use aids or not

While it is proper for us all to read what others have written about portions of God’s Word, however, it is our renewed mind that helps us to discern what is a correct interpretation and application of God’s Word and what is simply a result of human ideas. I read expositions of a number of respected men of God, who themselves are examples of a renewed mind, but every once in a while I come across certain interpretations or even applications that I tend to pause, and check the Scriptures like the Bereans (Acts 17:11).

This a result of a mind undergoing constant renewing. The product of such “checking” might be a challenge of something I still quietly believe that is not supported by the full counsel of God. What do I do? I drop it, by the grace of God. But sometimes also if, in checking the Scriptures over and over, I realize that what is being taught is really not supported by Scriptures (unless it is made to say what it doesn’t say), then I will have to set aside that one, and uphold God’s Word.

I wish most of our brothers and sisters will do this. We love men too much that even when the Word of God clearly cancels out (or contradicts) what they are preaching, we will only excuse them, and “sanctify” their opinion as God’s Word when it is not. I believe we should honour men, but we must have an unbroken loyalty to Jesus much more, to always choose Him over anyone who preaches or teaches otherwise, as we seek to live fully for Him.

Without a renewed mind, we will keep reading denominational sentiments into the Word of God. And you know, that’s why people read this Bible, that is so clearly written, and refuse to see what it actually says, simply because a preacher has taught otherwise. If God is going to make progress with us, we have to allow God’s Word to change all our preconceived ideas (things which we’ve never questioned but is not supported by God’s Word). This is what it means for His Kingdom to come in our lives.

So, what have we said:

1. To understand God’s Word, we must read it with an open mind.

2. The best “open mind” is the renewed mind or the mind that is constantly being renewed by God’s Word.

3. We must learn to accept God’s Truth over self-imposed interpretations and/or applications of God’s Word.

4. When we continue with sectional or denominational sentiments that are clearly unbiblical, we are showing the measure of our unbelief, and we limit how far God can go with us.

And what have we not said yet: 

5. The Holy Spirit is the One assigned to lead us into ALL aspects of the TRUTH. Hence, He must be the One to interpret the Word He inspired in the first place, and show us how to apply it (2 Corinthians 3:6, John 14:26). Which means we have to seek Him in prayers to know His mind (what He means in each Scripture). 

6. And how do we know that IT is of the Spirit? Whatsoever He teaches us will glorify Christ. Among other things, that means it will not emphasize ALL that God has found fault with (Hebrews 8:7-8, 13) and it will not promote any aspect of the divine revelation to an extreme that will sideline other equally important aspects of God’s Word  (2 Timothy 3:16-17). It will encourage us to leave all shadows in the Scriptures in order to embrace the risen LORD Himself, who is the Substance. We leave the pictures for the PERSON!

John 15:26, “But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me:”

7. There is something about the love of the Truth that separates those who can profit from God’s Word from those who cannot. In 2 Thessalonians 2:10-12, we see that one critical thing that can make a person to perish is to not love the truth (v.10). In such a case, “…God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie”  (v.11) and they further confirm this fate as their own choice by (still) believing “…not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.” (v.12).

All these 7 points revolve around one central principle of life: the principle of freewill. You are always free to choose. You can either believe the Truth or dismiss it. You can either love the Truth or despise it. Anyone who profits from God’s Word is certainly one who LOVES the Truth, has his FAITH in the Truth and HOPES in the Truth. 

Hebrews 4:2, “For unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them: but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it.”

Cf: 2 Thessalonians 2:10, 1 John 3:3, 1 Corinthians 13:13

Note: Unless otherwise stated, all Scripture quotations are from the King James Version.

Picture credit: DoNotDepart, Swordsearcher

The Divine Order in Dealing with Errors and False Teachings

2 Timothy 2:14 “Of these things put them in remembrance, charging them before the Lord that they strive not about words to no profit, but to the subverting of the hearers.”

“Remind everyone about these things, and command them in God’s presence to stop fighting over words. Such arguments are useless, and they can ruin those who hear them.”  (NLT)

Arguments and debates however justified, reflects a misplacement of divine priorities and a departure from the true spirit of the faith. No matter how genuine the arguments, and how superior the winning polemic, it is an abuse of the grace of God to use the divine oracles to score intellectual points. It undermines the power of salvation (the divine rescue that could snatch the heretic from his error). It bypasses the heart where the gospel can really transform us, and preoccupies the mind with biblical theories that are emptied of divine inspiration (2 Corinthians 3:6).

“Who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life.” 2 Corinthians 3:6

YOUR LIFE FIRST

So, while the two opposing sides (persons) in a major scriptural argument, may be truly saved, they unknowingly turn their audience, who are gullibly taking sides, (while their eternal destiny may still be in doubt), into twofold children of hell. (Please refer to opening scripture to get the basis for this conclusion.) The life we live, the LORD Christ that we express, through our meekness and patience is more important than winning an argument. Although we must confront error and even correct it, the spirit with which we approach it can make all the difference for all who will hear us (or read). This is so critical for us so as to make for a soft landing on the side of those we are correcting and to keep ourselves from the deceit of spiritual superiority. 

Galatians 6:1, “Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.”

We must choose whom we will believe; whether it is ourselves or the LORD?

The true test of the correctness of doctrine is not in the superior intelligence that claims victory but in the superior diligence to maintain the “…unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.” (Ephesians 4:3). Paul was speaking to Titus and he said, “In all things shewing thyself a pattern of good works: in doctrine shewing uncorruptness, gravity, sincerity” (Titus 2:7).

Again, we are pursuing the divine order in dealing with errors and false teachings. The first thing here is that Titus must not lose sight of his own life. In the bid to correct others, he must not now produce the works of the flesh (in anger, name calling, rage etc) rather than the fruit of the Spirit. So, it was as if Paul was saying to not allow the incorrigibility of false teachers to break the pattern of good works (behaviours) that the LORD was already working out in Him. All these deal with his own life and it is God’s priority. You are God’s priority!

AND THEN YOUR DOCTRINE

Then, the Holy Spirit comes to doctrine, that is, teaching. Even in teaching, we are told to show uncorruptness, gravity and sincerity. Three quick points! Uncorruptness: we must never compromise on the truth. Then, gravity is the manner of approach, the way the correction comes out. This deals with the balance of the truth with love (Ephesians 4:15). This is the capacity to rebuke yet not accuse or malign. And then, there is sincerity. If gravity is the balance of the truth with love, sincerity is the application of that same balance to our own lives.

So, you see there is this emphasis on our own lives first. The LORD already knows that if we speak the truth in an argumentative way, we cannot get any spiritual work done. There can be no recovery of those who are in error, and there is a feast of intellectual fireworks for the supporters, who are aided to fight possibly to their own ruins. 

Although the mouths of false teachers and deceivers must be stopped (Titus 1:10-11), and they must even be rebuked sharply (v. 13), we must understand that it is for a purpose, and our eyes must be fixed on that purpose. It is because these people, whether they know it or not, are *subverting whole houses (groups and institutions).

(*Subvert: to overturn or overthrow from the foundation, ruin, to pervert or corrupt – Merriam Webster). The damage being done by such people is of eternal significance! And they must be sharply rebuked. The rebuke is sharp so as to make them sound in the faith (v13) so that the perversion might be stopped and they themselves might be rescued. 

THE ORDER OF DOCTRINE

1. Teach the truth to all saints

2. Confront those (clearly) in error and correct them

In verse 9 of Titus 1, Paul shows the right teaching response to error. “By holding on to the trustworthy word just as we teach it, overseers can help people by using true teaching, and they can show those who are against the true teaching that they are wrong.” (Titus 1:9 NCV). Look at the divine order again. First things must always be first. And the first thing here is to teach the truth to all saints. That will be the right basis to now proceed to the next side of teaching, which is correcting those who are wrong. It’s like the two wings of a bird that helps it to take off and even balance once airborne.

The kind of utterance required to keep us from mere intellectual arguments with people (that only makes the hearers more lost), comes as we focus on teaching those who are not yet confused, the whole counsel of God, as the Spirit helps us. This is what will give us the spiritual credentials and inner capacity to tackle doctrinal errors, without turning the whole thing to a mere intellectual entertainment (to those who are still far from the kingdom) or even an all-out polemical war (with false teachers).

SEVEN FINAL THOUGHTS

2 Timothy 2:23-26 

[23] But foolish and unlearned questions avoid, knowing that they do gender strifes. [24] And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient, [25] In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth; [26] And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will.

1. Avoid questions that can only lead to strife (v.23).

2. It is taken for granted that it is not in your nature to strive with others (v.24).

3. The anointing within you is not for cheap arguments; it is for the transformation of lives (vv. 23-24).

4. Gentleness means you will never fight back even when you are being personally attacked (v.24).

5. While we must instruct those who are clearly wrong, it is the LORD that we must plead with to bring them to repentance (v. 25)

6. Our real enemy in every doctrinal error is not really the person in error, it is the devil (v. 26) 

7. Once we get personal with people in error, we have lost the battle to the enemy. Hence, we should overlook every offence because we are convinced that the right person to deal with is the devil (v.26)

Other references:

1 Timothy 6:4, 2 Timothy 2:23, James 1:16, Titus 3:9

Note: Unless otherwise stated, all Scripture quotations are from the King James Version.

Picture credit: AMen

The Growth of Life

John 10:10, “The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.”

There is a thief on the loose in this planet. His fiery eyes and corrupted heart is set on something of inestimable value. He must wield his powers of deception to distract man from that which is timeless to that which is limited, within the limits of time. (Satan distracted man from the tree of Life to that of knowledge of good and evil.) He must make a case against God to discredit His grace and goodness, and thereby (stealthily) seize man’s rest so as to plunge the entire mankind into spiritual death. (Satan lured Eve to eat from the forbidden tree, after discrediting God to her).

The thief is here…don’t allow him

The word “cometh” in the scripture above emphasizes this as current matter. Even now, the thief is here! Even though Jesus has come, man has been redeemed, and all those who believe have been saved; yet, “the thief cometh…”. The thief does not come just to make you miserable in life; he has come to steal, to kill and to destroy. Now the context of that scripture shows us the thief’s target. And it is Life. In as much as he may disguise his interest and you may think he is after your money, your job, your family etc, he is a master trickster. The real thing he is after is Life.

He got Adam and his wife to ignore the tree of Life and rather to eat the other tree. And that is what we see the thief doing again today: he will preoccupy you with everything, as long as “Life” is missing, it is OK! He doesn’t even mind you having a knowledge of the scriptures. He who knew how to keep the Pharisees from coming to Jesus to receive life, even though they knew the scriptures, has not run out of tricks to try on this generation (John 5:39-40). In Paul’s time, this thief was so much at work that much learning in scriptures did not automatically translate to knowledge of the Truth, which is a personal one-on-one knowledge of Christ (2 Timothy 3:7). 

There are three steps to his approach. 

1. Isolation: “…to steal…”

2. Disconnection: “…to kill…”

3. Damnation: “…to destroy…”

We see how he comes in to steal in verse 1 of the same scripture: “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that entereth not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbeth up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber.” He doesn’t come through the door because Christ Himself is the Door, and Christ will not open to him so that he can steal. He climbs up some other way. When you begin to entertain another way different from the Way, another gospel different from what the bible actually teaches, and another Jesus that is loved by all other belief systems, philosophies and religions, you are preparing the way for the thief to strike (you). Galatians 1:6-9, 2 John 9-11

When he strikes, he will isolate you (that is stealing). You will find “good” reasons why you should be out of the fellowship of the saints. You will feel that you know something that others don’t know. All of these is to lure you out of fellowship, out of the church life. Please note that the thief can’t kill until he steals, he can’t disconnect you from God until you allow him to isolate you from the sheepfold. Even when you linger in this deception, God’s mercies continue to flow towards you, to restore you, and to recover you. If you yield, God intervenes instantly and you are recovered into the fellowship of the Spirit and the saints. But if not, the thief will carry on his assignment. He will not only kill (spiritual death and disconnection), he will destroy (eternal damnation). 

Experiencing the second stage of Life

“…I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.”

Two stages of life are involved here. The Life we received instantly at new birth and then, the multiplication of that Life. The first one is objective; the second one is subjective. We only believed and we are saved; we received new Life. Yet, God’s will for us is the overflowing of His Life in us, the complete mastery of God’s will over our wills, the increase of His government or economy spreading out from our spirit man into our souls (thoughts, mind, emotions, will, intellect) and bodies (our 5 senses). 

Immersed into God’s Word

In John 3:3,5, we see this two stages expanded for us. “…Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” (v3). This is the first stage of life. We did nothing. We only received what was done, and we believed and we are saved. Now, this is just a beginning. This is standing at the threshold of the Door (John 10:7,9), where you are seeing the possibilities and the promise of the New Life. But you must press on. “…Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.” (v5).

This is the means for multiplication, overflowing and abounding of the Life promised. Apart from the physical baptism that symbolized our death, burial and resurrection with Jesus, “water” in a more deeper sense, actually points to our immersion into God’s word. “That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word,” (Ephesians 5:26). A life not only washed but born of water, that is immersed into God’s word, will and purpose, such that it is now subjected to all the objective privileges of God’s household administration. All the wealth of the New Creation that we have as a will (title deed), we now begin to inherit it, as a way of life, because we are heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ (Romans 8:17).

Immersed into God’s Spirit

The abundant Life that Jesus promised us is a life we experience in positive, forward movement into the kingdom of God. When we got born again, it was a very instantaneous and objective event. It was a change of life and location. We now have Christ as our life and location. Although Christ is yet little in our experience, it is our God-given privilege to have Him in fullness.

To be born of “water” (God’s word) and to be born of the ” Spirit” (Holy Spirit), is what makes us legitimate sons, who are now partaking of the nature of Christ (Hebrews 10:5-11). If we are truly immersed into God’s word, we will (seek to) be immersed into the Holy Spirit. This is a twofold experience that occurs simultaneously. For it is by Him (Holy Spirit) that we are sealed (marked as God’s own) until the day of redemption (Ephesians 1:13, 4:30). When we are immersed into the Spirit, He will lead us not to fulfill the lust of the flesh (desires against God’s will and order), but to walk in the Spirit (which is the very same way Jesus walked). (1 John 2:6). 

To be born of the Word and the Spirit are the twofold immersion that will make you an overcomer. We are born of the Word by reading, studying, meditating and obeying God’s word day and night. This will produce the proper renewal of mind that should accompany our salvation (Romans 12:2, Joshua 1:8, 2 Timothy 2:15). We are born of the Spirit by receiving the sovereign Baptism into the Holy Spirit by Our LORD Jesus Christ Himself (Matthew 3:11-12). 

“Fire” is an accompanying effect of the Holy Spirit as seen in Matthew 3:11-12. We need this immersion to deal with the “leftovers” of our old ways in our mentality and personality. “…he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.” (v.12). Hence, the “water” cleanses us presently in our inward parts (mind, will, emotions), while the “Spirit” purges us more deeply with “fire” in our hidden part (conscience and motivation) (Psalm 51:6). 

All the “chaff” of our carnal sentiments and behaviours are burnt with “fire” So, we see that while the Word is watering the seed of God’s nature in us on the positive side, the Spirit is burning all the leftovers of the flesh on the negative side. And the burning continues to deal with any inflow of wrong ideas, behaviours or mannerisms that wants to infiltrate our spirit man.

Jesus said, John “…was a burning and a shining light…” (John 5:35). That is the burning of the Spirit and the shining of the Word. While the Spirit of God works God’s will into us, the Word of God works it out. Entering into the fullness of God’s purpose and inheritance for us in God’s kingdom demands the growth of Life, which comes by being born of “water” and of the “Spirit”. This immersion into the ” water” and “Spirit” is maintained as we remain in the sheepfold of Christ, staying connected as a branch on the Vine and not neglecting our fellowship with the saints. 

Note: Unless otherwise stated, all Scripture quotations are from the King James Version.

Picture credits: georgeofei, foundedonfaith


The Two Trees

The two trees of Genesis 2 and 3 give us a way of understanding God’s original intentions for man and grasping the limitations of the human nature, the result of man’s experimentation with the tree of knowledge of good and evil. From the instruction that God gave to Adam, we see that whatever we gain from eating the tree of knowledge of good and evil, even if it is humanly good, religiously good, philosophically good, socially good etc, it can only bring death. 

Genesis 2:16-17 “And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: [17] But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.”

The capacity to know and do right, under a different set of circumstances, can also become the capacity to know and do evil. The problem is not with what is known and done, the problem is the source of what is known and done. 

Why do we have two trees at the centre of Eden?

Genesis 2:9 “Then the Lord God caused all the beautiful trees that were good for food to grow in the garden. In the middle of the garden, he put the tree of life and the tree that gives knowledge about good and evil.” (Easy-to-Read Version)

You will notice that of all these trees, the two life-altering ones, the two most defining ones, were at the centre of Eden. Let us also agree that everything God created was good, including these two trees (Genesis 1:12, 31). Later on in Genesis 2, God gave man access to all the trees in the garden (v.16), except the tree of the knowledge of good and evil (v.17). So, again we must establish that what makes that tree forbidden for man was not an inherent evil in the tree, but the instruction that God gave.

Although Adam was the head of government of the earthly realm, he was under the authority of Jehovah. Hence, he was only God’s delegate on planet earth and he was to live and rule by God’s principles.

But there was another tree at the centre of the garden, and it was never forbidden for Adam. And it is mindboggling that they never ate of that tree. The tree of life was the most important tree there but it was despised, bypassed, ignored and may we say, rejected. Yet, the very tree that was declared out of bounds by God, was the tree that attracted man’s attention. Of course, we must take into account the activity of the tempter, who brought that tree into the spotlight for man, and by deceiving Eve to lust after it and disobey God’s instruction, he brought man (male and female) into darkness. 

The tree of life is the tree of God’s life (GRACE) and it is available to all who will seek it. The tree of knowledge of good and evil is the tree of God’s law (WORKS) at work in man. And it is as if these two trees are a divine picture of how God and man should be one, living together and working together. It is also a picture of how grace and works are complementary. However, there is an order: the tree of life first and then the tree of knowledge of good and evil (please note the order in Genesis 2:9). God’s life in us will definitely produce God’s righteous works within and through us (Philippians 2:12b-13, Ephesians 2:10, James 2:17-18, 20, 26). Since, the tree of life was first mentioned in that scripture, it means it was God’s priority for man. It was the tree that he ought to have eaten and become forever perfect in God. But since he ate the other one, he had to be temporarily banished from the garden because he had changed the order.

Having eaten of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, it was not possible for man to have the life of God. He had to wait for his redemption. And until the Son of God became the Son of Man, who lived sinlessly and freely gave himself in death and was raised powefully by the Holy Spirit, we who were made in the likeness of Adam, through his disobedience, could not become the sons of God again (Genesis 5:3, John 1:12, Romans 5:12, 14, 19).

The proper place for the second tree

Adam and Eve had only one source of life when it all began, and it was God Himself. The issue for them was not what they knew and did but of whom they were. Because they were produced in the very image and likeness of Elohim, there was not a single problem, mistake or wrongdoing. Remember Adam named all the animals and there was nothing for God to correct (Genesis 2:19-20a). The life of Him, of Whom they were, guaranteed their actions. Everything done could be taken as done by God Himself. Yet, because man was made by God a volitional being, who has freewill, he had to be brought to the point to choose life or reject it. Hence, the two trees in the middle of the garden. 

Remember that God Himself created this tree of knowledge of good and evil and we must agree that it is good. But God says to not eat from it. Without trying to spiritualize anything, knowledge of good and evil also come across as one thing, “discernment”, a derivative of law. Now, let’s look at this scenario critically, so we can understand the mind of God for us. Although discernment is a work of God, in God’s divine order, it is not the first thing you need, and it is certainly not the most important thing you need. 

It is a good tree no doubt but it is not the best (first) one for you. Even when you have discerned what is right, it doesn’t guarantee your commitment to it. It doesn’t mean you will do it. So, we imagine that a gift of God could be in operation and that gift itself cannot make us choose the right course of action. This is also embodied in the ten commandments that God gave the children of Israel at Sinai. With the law, we can say they had discernment, but that in itself didn’t guarantee their obedience. That was why the law failed. They didn’t draw near to God to receive His life, to have His law written on their hearts, which is grace. The only righteous purpose the law served was to unequivocally confirm to our conscience that we were all sinners (Romans 7:12-13, 3:19-20, Galatians 3:22a). It was not God’s way of making men righteous.

This is why we must solemnly agree with the word of God that “knowing” is not the same as “living”. Knowledge is one thing, life is another. However, whosoever has the life of God will eventually walk in discernment…will not be culpable by the law of God. You see! Life first, then knowledge. If the knowledge we have is as a result of life, we will not have hidden compromises in our lives. But when it is knowledge itself we are fascinated with, even the knowledge of the word of God, because it is not God’s order, we will not be able to live according to what we are learning.

“Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.”  2 Timothy 3:7

“Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me. [40] And ye will not come to me, that ye might have life.” John 5:39-40

Apart from the inflow of (new) life at salvation, the entire Christian experience must be driven by “life” first, and then “knowledge”. To change the order is to put ourselves into trouble. It is disastrous! The truth is, within this life, there is all the knowledge we need to have (1 Corinthians 1:30, Colossians 2:3). But in this case it will not be knowledge merely in the head, it will be knowledge at work in the heart. Jesus was showing the Pharisees in the scripture above that although they had knowledge, they didn’t have (His) life. And it was because they didn’t come to Him first; they went for knowledge instead. 

Today, you also have a choice to make: there are two trees at the heart of seeking God; tree of life and tree of knowledge of good and evil. The first represents grace; the second speaks of the law. Both are good, but there is a divine order. If you follow the order, it will be a relationship, a fellowship, if you don’t, it will be a religion, a dead doctrine. 

When you choose the second, the law, it brings weakness and condemnation; but when you choose the first, grace, it brings strength and justification. And then when you partake of the second tree (of knowledge of good and evil), after enjoying the tree of life, it will be healthy and approved of God, because it will not merely be the law anymore, it will be experienced as Truth (John 14:6). 

John 1:17 For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.

Psalm 51:6 Behold, thou desirest truth in the inward parts: and in the hidden part thou shalt make me to know wisdom.

Cf: John 1:14, Colossians 1:6

Note: Unless otherwise stated, all Scripture quotations are from the King James Version.

Picture credits: lifehopeandtruth, YouTube, wideawakechristian

The Way of the Cross

Romans 5:10 “For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.”

Two aspects of the cross

When the cross goes to work in a life, it brings to death ALL that belongs to Adam because we were in Christ when He died. And that is the first part of the work since there are two sides to the cross. We were “dead” with Him (2 Timothy 2:11, Romans 6:8). We “were” crucified with Him (Romans 6:6, Galatians 2:20). All past tense. Hence, we must reckon ourselves dead to ALL that belongs to Adam, the life we were born with. This death has been achieved by the LORD Jesus already; when we come to believe, we only need to reckon it, put it into account, make it the working principle in our own lives, that we are indeed dead to sin (Romans 6:11).

This is a function of your will in alliance with God’s will. By this “knowing”, you are laying down a working principle for your mind to be subject to the renewal that had begun in your spirit (Romans 6:6). 

The second aspect is the reason why you must take up your cross and follow Jesus. “…much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life“. While what it takes for us to be translated from the kingdom of darkness into light was accomplished by the death of the LORD Jesus, having being reconciled, there is a saving work that continues to occur in us as we allow Him to live in us. The point here is this: in order to experience His life, we have to allow the cross to keep working inside us, that is, in our souls

 Psalm 19:7 “The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple.”

What if we refuse this saving work of the cross?

There will be no experience of life. Conversion stands on two legs: reconciliation and salvation. The first deals with a restoration of relationship with God while the second deals with the actual experience of Christ life, which brings fellowship (James 5:19-20). If we are restored and we are not in fellowship with God, that is, we are not abiding in Him, then there can only be a cutting away (John 15:2, 6; Ephesians 5:1-5, Galatians 5:19-21). 

The first diagram below shows man before he is reconciled to God, and the second one shows man reconciled and saved, the two legs of conversion. The spirit is not only alive (Ephesians 2:1) but has recovered its rule over the soul (Ephesians 4:23-24). Hence, the reality within the spirit becomes the legislative principle of the soul. Christ is no more obscured but clearly seen in the personality by all. 

What does the cross do?

The cross is not just a place we come to at the moment of salvation; it is the evidence we must keep carrying about to confirm our loss of the adamic life, on one side, and show forth our gain of Christ life, on the other. All of this occurs as we subordinate our will, which is in the realm of the soul (inward parts), to God’s will, which is in the realm of the spirit (hidden  part). 

Psalm 51:6 “Behold, thou desirest truth in the inward parts: and in the hidden part thou shalt make me to know wisdom.”

The hidden part: your spirit

According to Psalm 51:6, the Holy Spirit will make you to know wisdom, that is, God’s will, in your hidden part – your own spirit. When the cross has worked, and the spirit that was once dead is now brought to life, you cannot now say you don’t know God’s will. Proverbs 2:7 says “He layeth up sound wisdom for the righteous…” You may be wondering, so where is this wisdom (God’s will)? He has lodged it in your spirit.

Your spirit is the hidden part, where God dwells; and it is from there He works out His government through your soul (mind) into your whole being. Your soul is the inward parts. It is inward but not hidden, you see! It is not hidden because you have built a reputation for yourself, either good or bad, based on the condition of your soul. Your soul is the seat of your willpower, emotions, intelligence, mind, motivation and conscience.

The inward parts: your soul

But there is a problem! The first part of that Psalm 51:6 says, “…thou desirest truth in the inward parts”. What is that? When truth is not the governing principle of the inward parts, which is your soul, the will of God within your spirit will be frustrated. That is why the work of grace to be done when we have entered into new life is the reprogramming of our inward parts. There are views, traditions, cultures, principles, policies etc that are inherently antagonistic of Christ and the kingdom of God. These have become a part of your subconscious way of acting and reacting, that means, it has penetrated so deep that it doesn’t require your active thinking to work anymore. It is now on autopilot! And it makes it look like you are not born again!

The truth in the inward parts that God desires is Christ Himself. Therefore, no matter what the ruling is in your spirit about a matter, an unrenewed mind (soul) will only make it to be a ruling in principle but not in practise. It is like what Paul was describing in Romans 7. You know the ruling of God in your spirit, that is, the will of God, but there is another (different) principle at work, which has been working in you before your new birth experience, and has dominated your thinking to the point that you cannot do God’s will. Let’s say it in a different way: you consciously know God’s will (in your spirit) but you always act unconsciously on the opposite (which is your own will) that is in your mind. 

Being a believer only proofs one thing; you have been born! Having been born, we must now live for Him who redeemed us.

This is the reason why you cannot just remain a mere believer, you must proceed to be a disciple of Jesus Christ. You have allowed one side of the cross to affect you, when you were reconciled to God; now, you need to allow the other side of the cross to work, or else you will frustrate the grace of God (Hebrews 12:15, 2 Corinthians 6:1). Our spirits were reborn as we believed in the LORD Jesus Christ, yet our minds will remain the same until we renew it by exchanging our old views, norms, traditions, principles for that of the kingdom of God (Matthew chapters 5-7)

Romans 12:2 “And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”

The cross is the link between the renewed mind and the spirit

Ephesians 4:23 “And be renewed in the spirit of your mind;”

Whereas the mind seems to be in charge of our lives when we were yet ignorant, the cross actually works to change that order as we discover God’s mind. The cross, being a place where God’s will was executed, has a mandate to restore God’s order in every life that allows it. The way the mind is described here shows a mind that is now been controlled by the spirit, your spirit.

Naturally, your mind will like to stand alone and that is how it unwittingly fulfills the agenda of the devil, since it has not been subjected to your spirit, where God’s government resides in you (1 Corinthians 3:16). But when you (your spirit) present your body as a living sacrifice, because your mind is within your body, it is included in that transaction. This is a change of government, which leads to a change of principles, policies and practices. 

A “living sacrifice” is a paradox because it is made up of two opposites and yet true. A sacrifice always speaks of death, how then can it be “living” anymore? This is a beautiful description of the cross and its two aspects; while self is dead in us, Christ is now alive.

This presentation of your body to God after been born again is what applies the cross in the most forcible way to your soul (mind) and reverses the order of government from soul leading the spirit and body to spirit leading the soul and body. It is this that makes you henceforth to “Walk in the spirit”, so that you do not fulfill the lust of the flesh (the old ways of thinking and living). Galatians 5:16.

The cross now becomes the link between the mind (soul) and the spirit, such that your thoughts, speeches, actions, interactions, and entire experience (representing the outworking of the willpower, emotions, intelligence, mind, motivation and conscience) are brought under the righteous rule of your recreated spirit.

“And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.” 1 Thessalonians 5:23

This is the divine order that the cross restores into your life. Your recreated spirit is where God dwells and He works out the “increase of His government” (Isaiah 9:6) throughout your soul until all members of your body becomes instruments of righteousness (Romans 6:13).

Note: Unless otherwise stated, all Scripture quotations are from the King James Version.

 Picture credits: Ray Stedman, Emily Tomko, ChristianBlessing, Catholicbb dot org

Take up your cross

Matthew 16:24 “Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.”

Everybody in the world is need of salvation. The substitutionary death of Christ is for as many as will come to Him. If the entire world comes, there is more than enough grace to save them; yet, some choose to come while others refuse. Now, for those who come, they find a preliminary rest, and they must now be tutored in the comprehensive benefits of redemption (Ephesians 1-3, Colossians 1-2) in order to fully enter into their rest. This will lead to a lot of celebration.

God has made all things ready; He has only asked me to come and feast (Luke 14:16-17). 

This is where the problem usually begins in the Christan life. Although many realize the need to be forgiven, and they do come to Christ and they are saved, yet they eventually turn down the offer of the actual feast they were invited to. Many rejoice at the discovery of what Christ has done and who we are now in Christ, but to settle down into their inheritance and feast on Christ, which is a different matter entirely, is dismissed. That is both an unfortunate and unpleasant irony! To be saved is only the beginning. You need to proceed to “…work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.” (Philippians 2:12)

The first stage of our Christian experience is a period of celebration, where we just rejoice and stand in amazement at what God has done for us in Christ. But there is a second stage! It is a time of consecration, where we now enter into the responsibilities of our elevated position in Christ. This does not end the celebration, it only makes it richer. You are not only a child of God’s royal family anymore, you are now becoming a son (because of your Christ likeness), in whom God is well pleased. Galatians 4:1-6, Isaiah 9:6a, Matthew 3:17

“…let him deny himself…”

The enemy of our souls, who is the prince of this world, knows how to interfere and even frustrate the experience of salvation. And he does this by injecting the false notion that, “as long as you are saved, you don’t really need to feast on Christ… you don’t need to obey the word of God, you can keep living according to your old life, and you will make it to heaven. That is an illusion you need to wake up from.  “Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these…of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things SHALL NOT inherit the kingdom of God.” (Galatians 5:19-21 emphasis ours)

Therefore, the LORD says “…let him deny himself…” That is, you… you yourself must deny your own self. Or else you will listen to these suggestions of the enemy of your soul, who is like “…a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour” (1 Peter 5:8). He is ever on duty, looking for ways to deceive you and keep you in a state of deception. The only way to deal with him in this matter is not primarily by binding him. If there is anything to bind at all, it is your self. The scriptures didn’t say to ‘deny the devil’, it says to ‘deny yourself’. SUBMIT YOURSELVES therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you (James 4:7). When we submit to God, we are denying ourselves; and that is when we can resist any offer (of sin) from the devil.

Remember that the devil did not suddenly close up his entire evil enterprise because you became a Christian. He continues to refine his ways and methods to see how he can still gain you for himself, in spite of your claim of salvation.

Why deny self?

Self is the “image of God” compromised. Sin entered into the world through Adam, therefore all became sinners (Romans 5:17-19). Through sin, the image of God that we carried at creation has been exchanged for the image of the devil at the fall (Genesis 5:3). This image of the devil in every child of Adam works by exalting your own will over and above the will of God. Hence, the entire experience and exposure you have had in life, in living to please yourself is what we call “self”, which is the devil’s disguised agenda for your life. Please note this: the devil knows that by luring you to live for your self, to prefer your will over God’s, he is confirming before heaven and earth that you actually belong to him. 

Once you deny yourself, the devil has no means of luring you again into his cosmic propaganda. 

“…and take up his cross…”

In Matthew 11, after the invitation to come to receive salvation in verse 28, the LORD then presents the means by which the salvation received is perpetuated according to his plans. Let me note with you that our salvation is meant to be permanent, it was not made to be something that can be lost. Yet, the permanence that God intended depends on knowing His ways and living according to His plans. So we see the LORD introducing the yoke in verse 29. 

Matthew 11:29 “Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.”

Remember that there was a promise of rest in verse 28 for those who come, but in the look of things, it is quite clear that if you refuse to “take the yoke of Jesus” so as to learn of Him, the rest that was promised cannot be found. You will actually find rest for your soul when you settle down to feast on Christ (John 6:33-35). The rest is in what you feed on. It’s just like wanting nourishment without actually eating the food you have before you. The rest that Jesus promised, which is an indication of transformation, of the takeover of grace from all self-effort to change, and of walking in the newness of life, is only for those who will “learn of Christ”. 

How do we learn of Him and feast on Him?

Exactly why He says to “take up your cross and follow him” (Luke 9:23)  and “take my yoke upon you” (Matthew 11:29). Let us note that wherever grace meets faith, the cross goes to work, unless we frustrate it by refusing to deny ourselves. Taking up your cross and taking His yoke upon you suggests that this is a matter of your choice. In this case, to take up your cross is to live by the victory of Christ on the cross (John 19:30). Practically speaking, it is to:

1. Disown your will and ways

                  AND

2. Choose God’s will and ways

John 6:38 “For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me.”

But, we need to know what the cross is, that is, what it represents:

1. Taking up the cross is like carrying your obituary with you wherever you go. Galatians 2:20, 5:24

2. Taking up the cross is serving the *world* the notice of your death to it, and it’s death to you. Galatians 6:14

3. Taking up the cross is showing the *world* that there is no hope in the flesh, and that it must die. Colossians 3:3, 5

4. It is showing forth the receipt of the “dying of the LORD” that gives you the right to live like Him. 2 Corinthians 4:10

5. It is simply, “not my will, but thine be done”

Luke 22:42 “Saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done.”

*The world as used here is not the earth, it is a system (gr: kosmos). It is the evil system of satanic government ruling over the mind of unsaved mankind (Ephesians 2:2, John 14:30).

Since the cross was not a place of pleasure but of pain, it means carrying the cross, in a sense, will mean bleeding, going through the pain of not having your own way. Yet there is a joy that comes with it. “…who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame…” (Hebrews 12:3). The cross is one side and it is a side of suffering and pain, but there is another side, which is the resurrection. This is the side of enjoying and pleasure. 

The Cross: The Suffering Side

Philippians 1:29 “For unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for his sake

Philippians 3:10 “That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death”

The Resurrection Life: The Enjoying Side

Psalm 16:11 “Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.”

So, taking up your cross to follow Jesus is choosing to share in Christ’s suffering in order that you may share in His glory (Romans 8:17). What is this suffering? When we surrender our will (Luke 9:23), lose our lives (Matthew 16:25) and love the LORD Jesus more than father, mother, children and even ourselves (Luke 14:26), it is suffering. This makes every attempt of our flesh to rise again from the dead, to make us live like those who are not yet saved, to prove abortive. 

What about the yoke?

In agriculture, a yoke is an instrument of gagging two animals (usually oxen) of the same nature together for a higher purpose. One is usually more experienced, while the other is less experienced. Binding their necks together makes the inexperienced one to go along with the experienced one to achieve the higher purpose. That yoke “makes” the inexperienced animal to become like the experienced one. Therefore, the yoke of Jesus is the means of binding and gagging ourselves to Him, so that the direction and character of our lives henceforth is determined by Him, and we only follow

That yoke makes us to walk side by side with the LORD every single day of our lives. That is why without it, we cannot learn of Him. By taking His yoke, we seize to be in the general multitude of people who are admiring Jesus from afar but never following. This yoke is the evidence that we are learning Him, following Him and are becoming like Him. Whether you will take His yoke upon you or not, whether you will take up your cross or not is entirely up to you. Jesus will never force it on you. But it is the only way to find that true rest you are seeking for your soul. 

Note: Unless otherwise stated, all Scripture quotations are from the King James Version.

Picture credits: Highlands Baptist Church, Pinterest, Pastor’s Postings

The Economy of Grace

Sometime ago in eternity past, a meeting was convened in the heavenlies, and going by the records we have, it was a closed door meeting between the three highest, strongest, wisest and closest persons (Genesis 1:26). The Oneness that exists between these three defies the capacity of language and description. And because language relies on human experience to furnish with terms of definitions and communication, how will it not break down in any attempt to express the most beautiful union that exist, beyond the boundaries of time and space? Words fail us here!

Anyway, Father, Son and Spirit, came into this meeting, not to deliberate in order to arrive at a resolution, rather they came to revisit and then implement a highly classified programme they had previously planned (Ephesians 1:4-5, 9, 11; 3:11, Colossians 1:26, Romans 16:25-26).

Without any angelic input, “…God (all three in one) created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.” Genesis 1:27 (with bracketed explanation). In verses 26 and 28, we see what was freely given to this man (both male and female). Absolute dominion, which is control, regulation and management, of the earth. Basically, man was made a divine representative in charge of implementing God’s agenda on earth. Please note that this man had nothing to contribute to his own creation and he didn’t receive anything at the beginning of his life by labour or as a payment/reward for any work done. It is all of grace!

Elohim (God: Father, Son , Spirit) is so complete in Himself that all that is ever needed by this man was supplied by Him. Even the twenty four elders, having a sense of their own nothingness, and having only received all that appears to be their glory, they bow repeatedly and cast down their crowns (the symbol of their glory) before God (Revelation 4:4,10). We don’t know what we are meddling with whenever we ignore or abandon the grace of God, to deploy our own efforts, either in the continuation of the Christian life or even in the most mundane routines of our lives

“Grace is the divine cure for sin and self” John 8:3-12

Fast forward to Genesis 3

Unfortunately, the first man failed. He set aside the grace of God and fell into an economy of works, *the ability to know good and evil, which was the beginning of the human conscience, and also the ability to experience good in the context of evil and evil in the context of good. Originally, man was made to live by his personal knowledge of God and not particularly by differentiating between good and evil. The former is an economy of grace (all the work is God’s and it only requires positive volition or faith) while the latter is an economy of works.

Having lost the life of God, he could no longer achieve the real intentions of God, and he could not implement or fulfill God’s predetermined programme (Ephesians 2:10, 1:4-5, Romans 8:29-30, Genesis 1:26-28). Whatever he does now, no matter how good it is externally, even if it is purportedly done for God, it is actually done for self. It is done as a result of works, not of grace; as a result of silent calculations in favour of self and not purely of God’s pleasure and purpose. 

* The tree of knowledge of good and evil represents the unrealistic, satanic and carefully disguised policy of cohabitation of good and evil. The fact that we can be good in our own way. That is, the possibility of doing good works without dealing with the inherent evil in us through salvation (Luke 18:18-25). And it is also the permission to do evil to others as long as it will bring us good (Exodus 1:15-16).

Three personalities

In order to gain a divine viewpoint that will lead to your choice of grace over works, let us consider three personalities in the history of eternity. Lucifer, Adam and Christ. We already hinted about Adam earlier in the discussion. We will get back to him shortly!

Enter Lucifer.

Before the world began, which, of course, was before the existence of man, Lucifer was undoubtedly God’s highest and most endowed creature (Ezekiel 28:12-15). Unfortunately, he entertained a thought that totally obscured (despised and rejected) all that God had done for him. In his heart, he longed for what he could do for himself and despised all the gracious things God had done for him (Isaiah 14:12-15). This was the beginning of works, as well as, the introduction of sin.

It is a grave thing to discard God’s grace, which exalts His righteousness, in order to embrace our own works, which exalts self-righteousness (Romans 10:3, Isaiah 64:6). This is a serious matter. Lucifer was instantly sentenced (Ezekiel 28:17b) alongside the angels that joined him in the revolt (Jude 6, Revelation 12:7); and that was the beginning of self-works, the hallmark of Satan’s new kingdom. Lucifer wasted no time to steal the authority of man, as the coordinator of all physical creation, through deceit. And how did he achieve this? He simply reproduced the same dissatisfaction with God’s work (grace) in the woman, which led to unbelief, and then to eating the tree of knowledge of good and evil. 

Enter Adam.

Lucifer had succeeded in deceiving the woman by sifting out any value whatsoever she has for the grace of God, and shifting her focus (which could also be worship) from God to herself (Genesis 3:6). Being fully aware of what had happened and the implications of the same, Adam submitted to the error of works, in false humility, and likewise despised the grace of God.

Enter Christ.

Remember that this is God’s universe and it is only His plan that will eventually be fulfilled, regardless of temporary hitches, reflecting the negative volition of man, you know, man turning down God’s purpose. Man had failed but God’s plan was still on course. There was no need to create another man because the seed of the woman (Christ) will ultimately bruise the head of the serpent (Genesis 3:15). Christ is the seed of the woman because he was not a direct offspring of Joseph, Mary’s husband-to-be. Mary became pregnant of Him without any “work of man”, again showing the supremacy of God’s economy of grace (Luke 1:34-35). 

His entire life was a testimony against Lucifer, that God’s purpose can never be denied, even if gets delayed. The delay is due to the principle of volition. Whenever a factor involved in the materialization of God’s purpose chooses contrary to God’s will, in this case man, it only excludes him from being a beneficiary, because God will eventually have a Man that will please Him on all counts.

Now, here is a mystery and it is a production of Agape Love: only God could please Himself! Hence the Second Person in the Godhead came as a Man, so that He could fulfill this grand design of God, that man will fully cooperate with God, and at the same time, He became the only means by which all men can reproduce the same extent of faithfulness in their personal lives. 

Hebrews 2:10 KJV

“For it became him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings.”

Lucifer lost his entire position with God because he looked away from what God had done for him and he wanted to do something else for himself. Adam lost his dominion for the same reason, preferring to eat the tree of knowledge of good and evil (the symbol of independence from God and declaring sufficiency apart from the grace of God), and the effects of his lost position remain evident among us. Except those of us who have believed into the Son of God, Jesus Christ (John 3:18, 36).

Enter you and me

Now, we are confronted with the same big question, as it were, as if we were in the Garden of Eden. The two trees are in the midst of the garden, the tree of life and the tree of knowledge of good and evil. And we are to choose one, only one. Previously, the instruction was just pointing to what not to eat, the tree of knowledge of good and evil, which if we eat, we are sent out of God’s grace into the outer darkness of self-righteousness and self-works. However, today, we now have the instruction pointing not only to the tree to avoid but to the tree to embrace, the tree of life. This instruction comes to us as an introduction and invitation to Jesus Christ.

John 14:6 KJV

“Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.”

John 10:10 KJV

“…I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.”

Matthew 11:28 KJV

“Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”

In order to enter into God’s economy of grace, we (have to) believe on Him, accept His terms and disdain anything that wants to set us back unto depending on ourselves, instead of Christ. If it is not of faith, it cannot be by grace. Faith, the evidence that we have seized from trusting ourselves and we are now depending on God, is the means by which we enter into all the works that God has done for us

In this economy, no one has more access to God than you do and there is nothing God has done for one in the past, that your journey requires, that He cannot do for you. Although, those who actually exercise their privilege, pressing into this access by the Word of God and prayer, will experience more benefits of divine access like befriending God (Genesis 18:17-19, James 2:23), being certain of God’s will (Romans 12:2, Ephesians 4:17) and seeking to know Him more (Philippians 3:10). 

This is all of grace, and we dare not credit ourselves with any evidence of growth we have in our lives. Grace is the means by which we enjoy the necessary growth that accompanies salvation. Anyone who despises Grace has despised Christ Himself, and can only struggle to live the new life. Thankfully, God, in mercy, will normally allow us to struggle for a while so that we can see the utter foolishness of trusting ourselves or trying to help Him. Have you learnt to wait on Him, to seize from your own works, in order to experience His abundant life that He gives freely?

LORD, please have mercy on me for neglecting your righteousness and going about to establish my own self-righteousness. I reject the way of Lucifer. I refuse to belittle your work of grace and mercy. I humble myself to walk with you. Henceforth, I dissociate myself from all that is not your grace. I take my place in Christ. Christ is now my life. Grace is now my method. AMEN.

Picture credits: kingdom culture, Bible Pic, Psalm 16:11 ministries