Grace & Wrath

July 18th, 2020 § 1

To understand how the grace of God in Jesus and the wrath of God for an evil world are both a present reality, you must be able to see the two worlds.

As a believer we have been translated from this world of flesh and darkness through the Portal into the kingdom of the beloved Son.  The evil world still exists and those who are in the flesh are subject to that world and in that world the wrath of God abides upon them.

“He that believes on the Son has everlasting life: and he that believes not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abides on him.”  John 3:36

We have the Good News that Jesus took all of the wrath of God for us and if we only believe then all our sin will be considered as taken away completely and we will pass through the Door into a new world where there is no law and no judgment.  A new reality in the Spirit.  We are witnesses to this new world.  Witnesses of Jesus primarily. 

As Paul said to the Galatians, Christ will be of no benefit to the one who does not believe.  No benefit.  The unbelieving world receives no benefit from the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross, except for the love of God they receive from believers.

So while it is true that God loves the whole world and that He judged the whole world on the cross at the death of Jesus, that universal act only benefits the individuals who believe on Jesus.  If we believe then God baptizes us into the Spirit of God and thus into the history of Jesus where we also died and where we also were raised again.  If a person does not believe then he has no history with Jesus and he remains one of the fallen sons of disobedience still in Adam under the power of the evil one and subject to judgment.  Still a prisoner of this fallen world.

We see the judgment of God falling on Herod in the book of Acts after the resurrection.  Ananias and Saphira were also judged as unbelievers who were trying to become a member of the body of Christ with the wrong currency, a living faith being the only coin of God’s realm.  These were judgments from God falling on unbelievers even as the Good News of God’s grace was being proclaimed.  Believers need not fear the judgment of God.  Jesus said, “He who believes in Me shall not come into judgment but has already passed from death and into life.”  Believers have passed over into another world.  His world.  His realm where we sit with Him in heavenly places.

Paul said, “Behold the goodness and severity of God.  Goodness toward you who have believed but severity toward those who have refused to believe.”  So Aslan is not a tame lion and though He seeks to rescue the lost and has given His life that all may live, His roar and terror still lives because He lives and evil will be judged, one way (the cross) or another.

James Barron

What Men Call Balance God Calls Mixture

July 13th, 2020 § 1

Men sometimes mix law and grace when they teach the Gospel. They are afraid of teaching “too much grace” so they will say we need “balance” when we preach the Gospel. But when you add law to grace it is no longer the Gospel and God calls it mixture and not a pure Gospel.

This mixture of law and grace (that men call balance) goes something like this: A person is forgiven and born of the Spirit when they believe that Jesus is the Son of God and that He took away all our sin by His death on the cross and that He was raised again on the third day, BUT a believer must keep the law in order to be righteous and confess his sins every day and ask God to forgive his sins again and again every day to stay right with God. Those added words after the BUT are not balance. That is mixture. That is error.

This thinking will cause a believer to not enter into God’s rest and allow Jesus to live His own life through the believer. Now as a believer we let the Spirit guide us, not the law, and when we sin as believers we thank God for the forgiveness we already have because Jesus died once for all sin, for all people, for all time and we don’t keep asking God to forgive us.

The true Gospel leads us to a growing revelation that we are one with Jesus. Paul said he who is joined to the Lord is one spirit. Jesus prayed in John 17 that we would be one with Him even as He was one with the Father. He in the Father, the Father in Him and now we in Him and He in us. One. That is now the reality for every believer. This awareness of our union with Jesus, where He Himself is our righteousness, is what brings a deep peace in our lives. We have peace with God and the peace of God that surpasses all understanding. This is the root of all rest.

When we know God’s love is toward us unconditionally and that we have the gift of righteousness then we know we can never mess up or not measure up before God. He loves us as much as He loves Jesus. Jesus said that in John 17.

So let this unconditional love of God and this rest in Him grow in you and you will find a new freedom and you will not worry about meeting other people’s expectations or be concerned about being perfect all the time. Ask God to make life full of joy again for you. Ask Him to show you how you can mentor other believers because that will bring joy. Ask Him to give you the desires of your heart and then go after it knowing Jesus is with you and in you to bring it to pass. Dream big because He is a very big God and He likes to bless your socks off. If you are a believer, you are His son or daughter and there is nothing you can do to cause Him to love you less or love you more.

James Barron

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