Did God REALLY say THAT?

Since the beginning of time the devil has been in the sales business and he has been pretty successful at it. To get a glimpse of his tactics we have to go back to where his career began. In Genesis 3:1-5 we read “Now the serpent was more crafty than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said to the woman, “Indeed, has God said, ‘You shall not eat from [a]any tree of the garden’?” The woman said to the serpent, “From the fruit of the trees of the garden we may eat; but from the fruit of the tree which is in the middle of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat from it or touch it or you will die.’” The serpent said to the woman, “You surely will not die! For God knows that in the day you eat from it your eyes will be opened and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” (NASB) I want to draw your attention to 5 words the enemy used then and is still using today… DID GOD ACTUALLY SAY THAT? The devil as we know is not creative but he is very crafty. The deceptive tactic he uses is one of confusion. He knows he cannot steal our salvation (although many believe and are taught they can lose it) so he goes to his default setting of attempting to confuse as he did with Adam & Eve. Notice he says in verse 5 “For God knows that in the day you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” He was convincing them that they must DO something (eat the fruit) in order to BECOME like God. Is it any different today? Many believers are still falling for the lie of you must perform in order to become. Unfortunately it is widely taught either by the spoken word or is implied that we are saved by grace but perfected by performance. And we wonder why so many people are confused and want nothing to do with Christianity. It is taught that salvation is a gift and cannot be earned. This part we have right. Then we turn right around and say now you must “pay God back” for what He did for you. I believed this lie for years and it brought me so much frustration and lead to eventually burning out. One day the light bulb went off and I discovered that a gift cannot be earned. How insulting if after receiving a gift for your birthday you then tell the person who gave you the gift “ thank you so much now how much will I have to pay you back”? Doesn’t that look a lot like how we approach our relationship with Christ? It’s either a gift or a wage, and God does not hand out wages!

Now to get back to the point (sorry I went off on a rabbit trail) the enemy is still saying “Did God REALLY say THAT?? For example in 1 John 4:17 we read an almost unbelievable statement that says “as He is so are we in this world”. The thought the devil would like you to think is “ Did God really say you are like Him? That can’t be true because your behavior today and this last week looks nothing like Him’. One secret I will let you in on is the devil will never say “you are dirty or unholy, or whatever. He will convince you to say to yourself “I am dirty and unholy.” See the difference? This is where the back and forth in and out of fellowship mindset comes from. Also, a lot of teaching out there will lead you to believe that “one day you will be like Him if you obey perfectly, and confess every sin you ever commit so you can stay in fellowship”. Once you get to heaven THEN you will be like Him. Here is a truth for you to meditate on…everything you will be THERE you already are HERE!! God is not going to do a last minute polish before you go to heaven. What is true there is true here NOW!! You are not waiting to be sanctified there, you are fully sanctified here (Hebrews 10:14) You are SEATED WITH CHRIST in heavenly places (Ephesians 2:6) Here are some more unbelievable truths that are actually in the Bible! See if you can see why the enemy would TRY and say to you ” Did God REALLY say THAT?”

John 3:17-18- For God did not send His Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him. He who believes in Him is not judged ; he who does not believe is judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

Colossians 2:9-10- For in Him all the fullness of Deity dwells in bodily form, and in Him you have been made complete, and He is the head over all rule and authority.

1 Peter 3:18- For Christ also died for sins once for all, the just for the unjust, so that He might bring us to God, having been put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit.

Let me end with this. Remember the game many of us played as kids where we sat in a circle and one of us was given a sentence or phrase? We would then say it to the next person and it would travel all the way back to the original person? What was originally said sounded nothing like the original statement! This is exactly what has ben going on for centuries, and it continues today when it comes to the gospel. Rather than saying something or teaching something that sounds like the gospel, why don’t we just go back and read the ACTUAL words of Christ and the apostles. Be encouraged today that WHO you ARE in Christ is REALLY true RIGHT NOW!!!

Jeff Fitzgerald

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