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But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord.  (2 Cor 3:18)









By David A. DePra



Turning Grace Into License


Legalism, License, and Liberty


Naked but Not Ashamed


Naked and Ashamed


The Fig Leaves


The Law of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus


In The Flesh


The Carnal Mind


One of Two Minds


The Spiritual Mind


Knowing the Truth


Governed by Christ


Joint-Heirs With Christ


Suffering With Christ


The Inward Groaning


The Redemption of the Body


Our Flesh Will Not Behave


O Wretched Man That I Am


The Battle for Faith


A Work of the Flesh


The Real Person


Knowing According to Christ


I Never Knew You


Dominion Over Faith


Edification, Not Destruction


Spiritual Guides


This is the Work of God


The True Sabbath Rest


The Seed of Abraham


Heavenly Places in Christ


The Basis of Christ in Us




Aug 1

Turning Grace Into License


For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ.  (Jude 1:4)


      The Truth of grace cannot be turned in license and remain the Truth.   Therefore, those who do turn it into license are deceivers – they are denying the only Lord.  Furthermore, many who believe and teach such error are NOT SAVED – they have, “crept in unawares.”  They are not saints, but, “ungodly men.”


      There is a high profile preacher today who openly DENIES that in order to be saved that we need to repent and come to the Cross.  He considers such teaching to be, “putting people down.”  But let’s ask:  If a person denies the need for repentance, how likely is it that he, himself, has repented?  If a person considers the Cross needless, then how likely is it that he, himself, has come to the Cross?  Clearly, this person has not repented, has not come to the Cross, and is therefore not saved.  That is not a judgment of him.  It is simply a conclusion based on his own teaching.  Paul said, “For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness (Greek, “needless”), but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.”


     If a person is saved, they GOT saved by believing and embracing Jesus Christ and Him crucified.  Therefore, to deny these Truths but still claim to be saved is a contradiction.  A saved person will not deny the Truth by which they were saved.  A saved person will not deny Jesus Christ and Him crucified. 




Aug 2

Legalism, License, and Liberty


     The solution for legalism is not license.  The solution for license is not legalism.  The solution is not a balance between legalism and license.  No.  They are two sides of the same coin of unbelief.  The solution for both is faith in Jesus Christ as our only means of life and righteousness.


     Christianity is, “Christ in us.”  (Col. 1:27)  The Christian walk is the outcome of faith in Christ as our life and our righteousness.  Legalism bypasses Christ as our only righteousness and attempts to maintain our righteousness through works.  License bypasses Christ as our righteousness and denies the need for righteousness altogether. 


     God never intended for man to create or maintain his own righteousness.  Yet it is impossible to be made one with God unless we are made righteous.  Thus, we must be made one with God on the basis of a righteousness not our own.  When Jesus Christ joins us to Himself, His life becomes ours, and thus His righteousness is imparted to us.  Liberty in Christ is a faith in Christ as our righteousness.  We recognize Christ is made unto us righteousness (I Cor. 1:30)  – and that this is the basis of a life before God.   

Aug 3

Naked but Not Ashamed


And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed.  (Gen. 2:25)


     This is God’s description of humanity BEFORE Adam’s sin.  Thus, it is His original design.  Man was created to be, “naked but not ashamed.”


     To be naked is to have NOTHING of yourself as a resource for life.  Now note:  This was not a bad thing, but a God-ordained thing.  Man was MADE to have nothing in himself for life – God created man to BE naked.  Why?  Because man was created one with God – and thus all resources for life were to be found by man in God Himself.


    But Adam was not only naked of all resource for life -- he was, “not ashamed.”  In other words, because originally Adam was one with God, and abiding in Him by faith, he was fully at home being without any resource in himself – he was fully alive and complete in God.  There was no shame – no consciousness of lack or emptiness.


     When we come to Christ, we are joined to Him in spirit and made one with Him.  (I Cor. 6:17)  We are therefore COMPLETE IN HIM.  (Col. 2:9)  He IS our life.  (Col. 3:4)  Thus, what we see is that the new birth is, in many ways, a restoration of what Adam lost through his sin and rebellion against God.




Aug 4

Naked and Ashamed


And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked….and Adam said, “I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself.”  (Gen. 3:7-10) 


     BEFORE his sin, Adam was naked but unashamed.  AFTER his sin, Adam was naked but ashamed.  God created man to be naked, and thus, dependent upon God for life.  Thus, the sin did not change the nakedness.  Rather, the sin changed Adam – he was no longer unashamed -- but ashamed and afraid.


     The reason for Adam’s fear was that he was no longer one with God.  God had been the source of all life for him before the sin – thus, despite being naked, he was unashamed.  He was fully completed by God and withour fear.  But now, after the sin, Adam was all alone in his nakedness.  He had declared independence from God and that is exactly what he got – he was alone and afraid, without resource for life.  Or, to put it another way, Adam was now spiritually dead.


     This is man in Adam – naked and ashamed – without realizing what is actually wrong with himself.  The human race has tried every manner of solution to try to fix what ails us, including religion  But the only solution is that we must once again be made one with God as our life.  Jesus Christ has restored this relationship.

Aug 5

The Fig Leaves


And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons.  (Gen. 3:7)


     Before his sin, Adam was naked but unashamed.  After his sin, he was naked and ashamed.  The reason for the change from unashamed to shame was that Adam was no longer one with God.  God was no longer His life.  Adam was dead.


     Adam immediately tried to fix the damage.  He was naked but without God as his source for life, and so he tried to cover his nakedness.  He used fig leaves – a man made means to deal with the situation.  But God made Adam to be naked.  The solution would therefore never be to cover his nakedness.  The only solution would be to confess his nakedness and come back to God for life.


     Fig leaves represent any means we use to try to fix what sin has done.  One of the most common fig leaves is that of our own righteousness.  We try to make ourselves righteous by covering up our true condition with works.  But God says, “This is a façade.  It is a lie.  You are naked.  What you need is the righteousness found only in the Person of My Son.”  Jesus Christ is the only true covering.  Only in Him is there life.




Aug 6

The Law of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus


There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.  For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death.  (Rom. 8:1-2)


     Why is there NO condemnation for those In Christ?  Because, “the law of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus has set us free from the law of sin and death” – from the law’s power to condemn us for sin.  In short, Jesus died FOR US – He met the death requirements of God’s law: “God sent his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin,” and He, “condemned sin in the flesh.”  Jesus fulfilled all death on the Cross.


     Jesus Christ bore, “the old man of sin,” in His body on the Cross and died.  Thus, through His death, “our old man is crucified in Him, that the body of sin might be destroyed.”  (Rom. 6:6)  But if the body of sin of the human race died with Christ, then justice is served.  We are raised in Christ unto the newness of HIS life.  There is no condemnation to Christ, and thus, none possible for those who are IN HIM.


     The result is that, “the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.”  If we are in Christ, the just requirement of the death is fully satisfied.  And likewise the righteousness of the law is fulfilled IN US.  How?  Christ is in us – “He is made unto us to be…the righteousness of God.”  (I Cor. 1:30)  This is the law of the Spirit of LIFE in Christ Jesus.  There is no condemnation possible.

Aug 7

In The Flesh


So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.  But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you.  (Rom. 8:6-9)


     If I am born from above, I am joined to the Lord and one spirit with Him.  (I Cor. 6:17)  This spiritual union automatically creates a division in me between what is within that spiritual union with Christ, and what is outside of it.  This is the separation of our soul from our spirit.  (see Heb. 4:12)  What is within our union with Christ is the new creature in Christ; the new man; the inner man.  What is outside of it is, “the flesh; the natural; the carnal; the earthly.”  Thus, we have the warfare of flesh vs. spirit.  (Gal. 5:17) 


     The carnal mind is a mind that is of, “natural man.”  It operates from the knowledge and perspective – really from the LIFE – of that which is outside of our union with Christ.  The carnal is governed by the earthly realm or environment.  Worse, it is defined by the SELF principle:  Everything and everyone is defined and valued by their relationship and effect upon ME.


     Those who are, “in the flesh,” or, “walking according to the flesh,” are those who are governed, not by Christ as their life, but by what is outside of their union with Christ – even if they are saved.  They are governed by their own interests, their own desires, and their own pride.  The have not lost their life for Jesus’ sake.  This is why those who are in the flesh cannot please God.  They are walking contrary to all that Christ IS.




Aug 8

The Carnal Mind


  For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.  Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.  So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.  But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you.  (Rom. 8:6-9)


     The carnal mind is the SELF mind – it is the mind that operates from the SELF  nature that is outside of our union in spirit with Christ.  Jesus said we must deny SELF and lose this natural life, in order to find Him as our life.  (Matt. 16:24) The SELF life wants to save itself FOR itself.  This is why the carnal mind is at enmity against God – it’s very nature, motivation, and goals, are contrary to all that God is doing. 


     There are many ways to be carnally minded.  But for the believer, the most common way is to try to live IN Christ -- but from OUT OF the flesh.  We try to draw from the natural man as the source of life in the Lord.  What emerges is carnal Christianity – not necessarily a sinful religion – but one that is of man, for man’s goals – supposedly FOR God.  Much deception and error in the church finds at it’s root the neglect to lose one’s natural life in order to find Him as our life.  Instead, we seek to save our life, and we develop a carnal Christianity geared to getting God to help us to do this.

Aug 9

One of Two Minds


For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit.  (Rom. 8:5)


     Jesus said, “That which is born of the flesh is flesh.  That which is born of the spirit is spirit.”  (John 3:6)  Those who are born of the flesh will do all things, “after the flesh.”  It is all they can do, because it is all the can BE.  But those who are born from above can mind the things of the Spirit, but also the things of the flesh.  Why?  Because despite the fact that Christ is in us, we continue to have a natural, flesh man.


     The word, “mind,” is not limited to thoughts or imagination.  It includes the will or intent.  A growing saint is supposed to be have a mind that is the result of being joined to the Lord as a new man.  Paul says, “the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him.”  However, Paul also says, “If you then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sits on the right hand of God.  Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.  For you are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.”  These exhortations would be senseless if a saint could not set their mind on the earthly. 


     The mind of Christ is one that lives for God, has God’s interests as the goal, and is able to discern all things through a knowledge of Jesus.  Faith allows one with the mind of Christ to leave earthly needs and issues to God.  But a person with a carnal mind cannot leave themselves alone.  They might live religiously, “for God,” but at best, there is nothing beyond an earthly, self-centered, version of Christianity.




Aug 10

The Spiritual Mind


To be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. (Rom. 8:6)


     The spiritual mind is the mind of Christ.  We might even say that the spiritual mind is a matter of always having Christ in mind – everything is governed by knowing Him.  All discernment is the result of knowing Jesus Christ.  All direction is the result of knowing Jesus Christ.  All motivation is the result of knowing Jesus Christ. 


     No one can create a spiritual mindedness in themselves.  There is nothing in us out of which to create it – you cannot turn a carnal mind into a spiritual mind – not even through study or obedience.  That which is born of flesh IS flesh.  Rather, you must first receive from above HIS LIFE.  In His life is His mind.  Then as you, “grow in the grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ,” (II Pet. 3:18), you will grow to have His mind.  CHRIST IN US is the basis for a spiritual mind.  He must be formed in us, and as He is, we will come to know Him, and thus have His mind.  But this is not without impact on the carnal mind.  The spiritual mind will seek to drive out the natural mind – even the natural religious mind.  Unless this is happening we will not get far in the purpose of God.

Aug 11

Knowing the Truth


And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.  (John 8:32)


     Jesus did not come to affirm us, or to affirm what we believe.  The words, “You SHALL know the Truth, and the Truth SHALL make you free,” indicate that man in Adam does NOT know the Truth, and is NOT free.


      Man in Adam is born spiritually dead; without a shred of light or life in Him.  That is because he is severed from God, who is the source of both.  We are in this condition of death and darkness when we are saved.  Christ is the Light and Life.  He doesn’t come to affirm us.  He comes to set us free through a knowledge of Himself.


     Most of us usually think of error as theological error – wrong doctrines, etc.  But although these are affected, the real error is IN US – errors of faith, a double-mindedness, a heart that is not fully God’s, self-righteousness, and a possession of ourselves.  These conditions provide the ground for false teaching to find a home in our lives to begin with.  The solution, therefore, is not merely true theology.  Rather, we must BE MADE TRUE UNTO GOD. 


     If we know the Truth, that Truth will set us free – the Truth will make us true to God – by exposing all of the error and unbelief and revealing to us Christ.  We will be able, “to walk in the light as He is in the Light.”  (I John 1:7)  If we will hear the Truth and renounce error, we will be formed together with Christ and be able to fellowship with Him.




Aug 12

Governed by Christ


For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.  (Rom. 8:14)


     The children of God are ones who are GOVERNED by the Spirit of God.  This means more than simply being, “led by God.”  It would be a rather shallow Christian life if all God did was give us LEADINGS.  No.  Rather than simply give us leadings, God gives us Christ.  He is seeking to form Christ in us.  If we come into a inner knowledge and realization of the Christ who is in us, we will not only be governed by Him, but we will be able to discern what is of Him.


     Many of us want God to speak His mind to us.  But God wants us to HAVE His mind.  (Phil. 2:5)  This is not simply a matter of knowing what to do.  Rather, it is a matter of having God’s goals, attitude, and purpose in what we do. 


     All of this is captured in the term, “The Kingdom of God.”  The kingdom of God is the rule of God, or government of God that is IN US.  (Luke 17:20-21)  But this is not a THING.  It is found in a Person, Jesus Christ.  Christ IS the power of God.  (I Cor. 1:24)

Aug 13

Joint-Heirs With Christ


The Spirit itself bears witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God.  And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ.  (Rom. 8:16)


      A child of God is one who is born of God.  This is the birth from above.  It happens when Christ joins up to Himself and we become one spirit with Him.  (I Cor. 6:17)  This is why John is able to say that the Spirit bears witness with our spirit – we are children of God because we are one in spirit with His Son, Jesus Christ.


     God’s purpose is inheritance in Christ for every child in Christ.  But you will note that every aspect of this purpose is accomplished IN Christ; WITH Christ; and JOINTLY with Him.  In other words, we do not get a piece of the inheritance, or have a throne of our own, on which to sit.  No.  We are joint-heirs WITH Christ, and we sit WITH Him IN HIS throne.  (Rev. 3:21)  In short, as we are partakers of Christ, we become partakers of all of His inheritance.  To the extent that Christ governs IN US, we will govern WITH Him. 


     There is nothing God has for humanity outside of the Person of His Son.  But in Christ, God has freely given us all things.  God’s plan of inheritance is:  The Father, the Son, and all who are IN the Son.  Everything God has for man is based upon our relationship with His Son.




Aug 14

Suffering With Christ


We are….joint-heirs with Christ if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.  (Rom. 8:17)


     A saint suffers WITH Christ if the suffering is the result of the forming of Christ in us.  (Gal. 4:19)  This suffering is what the Bible calls, “suffering for Jesus’s sake;” “suffering with Christ,” or, “the fellowship of His sufferings.”  (Phil. 3:10)  Another way to describe, “the fellowship of His sufferings,” is that it is the result of, “losing one’s life for Jesus’ sake,” so that we might find true life in Him for God’s glory.  (Matt. 16:24-25)


     According to Paul, we cannot function as joint-heirs with Christ except it be the outcome of, “suffering WITH Him.”  Sure.  The suffering crucifies our life, but releases HIS life through us.  His life is inheritance.  Thus, we see that even now there is a suffering that produces an inheritance in Christ -- in which we are joint-heirs.


      When we, “bear about in our body the dying of the Lord Jesus,” such that, “the life also of the Lord Jesus might be made manifest” (II Cor. 4:10), Christ has been formed in us.  NOW we are joint heirs in Christ.  But there will yet be a greater release in the eternal ages.  Note the words:  “Christ in you, the HOPE of glory.”  (Col 1:27)  “Christ in us,” during this age is a downpayment, limited by our natural frame.  But He is in us unto, “the hope of glory” – a release into the fulness of all that Christ is. 

Aug 15

The Inward Groaning


We ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body.  (Rom. 8:23)


     The saint groans because until the redemption of our body, we are incumbered by the flesh.  Paul groaned, “Who will deliver me from the body of this death?  I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord.”  (Rom. 7:24-25)  Imagine being set free from the natural man and being in fellowship with Christ completely free and unhindered by YOU.  This is the future of the saint:  “Now we see through a glass darkly.  Then face to face.”  (I Cor. 13:12)  Our natural man comprises much of the dark glass through which we see the Lord.  Someday we will be free of it.


    Of course, it is possible to NOW have a taste of what lies ahead.  Christianity is, “Christ in you, the HOPE of glory.”  (Col. 1:27)  We can experience Christ NOW – but even this present experience is but a HOPE of an eternally greater fullness.


     There are a number of passages in the Bible that speak about the future redemption of the Body.  Some have misinterpreted these as saying that our salvation is not eternally secure.  Or they are made to mean we can lose salvation -- if we don’t hold fast until the end -- or that God is still in the process of saving us, but will save us, etc.  But all of these passages are explained once we understand that in this age we are saved only in our spirit by being joined to the Lord, and not yet saved physically.  Many of those verses are speaking of the redemption of our body which is yet to come, and not the redemption of our spirit which is already finished.




Aug 16

The Redemption of the Body


We ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body.  (Rom. 8:23)


     What is salvation?  Salvation is not a THING God gives us, sort of like a bucket of eternal life.  Neither is it merely a new legal classification because of Christ.  No.  Salvation is life – it is HIS LIFE in us.  Christianity is Christ in us.  (Col. 1:27)  And if He is in us, then Life Himself is in us.  Thus, He is our life (Col. 3:4), and we are alive in Him.  Even in the OT we read continually, “The Lord is my salvation.”  (Ps. 27:1)


     We are saved when Jesus Christ joins us to Himself and makes our spirit one with His Spirit.  (I Cor. 6:17)  This union is the new creature in Christ – it is where and how we are saved.  But this also means that every part of us that is outside of that union with Christ is NOT presently saved.  It remains natural.  This is why you are saved, but your body isn’t saved.  Your emotions, soul life, temperament, and brain isn’t saved – they are all natural.  God wants them to come under the governing life of Christ, but in this age they are not OF that life.  The redemption of the body is yet to come.

Aug 17

Our Flesh Will Not Behave


For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwells no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not.  For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do.  (Rom. 7:18-19)


      A saint is one who has been joined to the Lord, and is therefore one spirit with Him.  (I Cor. 6:17)  That union IS the new creature in Christ.  The very presence of Christ in us creates a separation in us -- between our union with Him, and what is not in union with Him – the flesh.  Paul is talking about what is outside of resurrection union in Christ -- his emotions, temperament, body, and all is of the human soul realm.  These do not act like a new creature in Christ.  Despite Paul’s desire to make them obey God, they simply will not behave.  Why?  Because they are not raised in Christ.  They remain of the natural.


     It is a fact that over the course of time, the natural is to be brought into subjection to the Christ Who dwells in us.  But this is a life-long process.  Paul’s answer is that despite the fact that the flesh often seems to run rampant through us in ways that are contrary to Christ, that nevertheless there is no condemnation for those in Christ.  The flesh is already under death.  Christ is now our only life. 


     What this tells us is that our faith in Christ must not be moved by the fact that our flesh will not behave.  Our faith is not to be based on whether our flesh behaves.  Our faith is never to be based on anything that is outside of our spiritual union with Christ. Our natural man is not our life.  Christ IS our life.




Aug 18

O Wretched Man That I Am


O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?  I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord.  (Rom. 7:24)


     There are some people who teach that Romans 7 is Paul’s description of himself BEFORE his converson.  That is nonsense.  It is Paul’s description of himself AFTER his conversion – and a description of each one of us in Christ.  If we go on with the Lord, we are going to more and more discover the wretchedness that is in our, “body of death.”  But it will not move us from the fact that our faith is not in ourselves, but in Jesus Christ, our Lord. 


     Jesus Christ is IN US.  And He is the Truth.  Thus, the more we come to know Him, the more we will see all of the UNTRUTH about ourselves – but not unto condemnation from God.  No.  Unto freedom.  The Truth about ourselves will show us that our faith must be solely in Christ.  Paul could have forever lamented over himself.  But rather, he had seen the Truth – Jesus Christ was his only life.  Paul had been not only delivered from sin, but also brought into the freedom of leaving himself alone in Christ’s hands.

Aug 19

The Battle for Faith


Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.  For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that you cannot do the things that you would.  (Gal. 5:16-17)


     Paul is telling us the solution for the lusts of the flesh is to, “walk in the Spirit.”  Note that he does NOT give as the solution:  Keep the law.  Most of us have thought that the warfare in the Christian life is for obedience to the law.  We think faith in Christ will somehow give us power to obey God’s law.  But do we realize that when we make keeping the law THE GOAL of the Christian life that we have put ourselves right back under the law – even if we think faith will enable us to keep it?  No.  Paul says, “the law is not of faith.”  (Gal. 3:12)  Faith does not put us back under the law.  Faith sets us free to live from Christ through the Spirit.  This is what it means to, “walk in the Spirit.”


     It is virtually impossible to make someone see the Truth on this matter if they are still under the law.  They will accuse you of teaching license.   They just don’t see and cannot see – they must be brought to the end of their delusion by failure.


     The warfare in the Christian life is one of FAITH.  The issue is not what I do, but the issue is in whom I am putting my faith.  All obedience in the Christian life is to be the outcome of faith in Christ.  But rather than make law-keeping the GOAL, this means that faith is the goal -- obedience to God being an outcome of resting in Him.




Aug 20

A Work of the Flesh


Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings.  (Gal. 5:19-21)


      Most of the works of the flesh on this list are not surprising.  But among them is listed, “heresies.”  Heresy is OF the flesh.  The Greek word denotes, “a choosing.”  That might seem odd, but think of this in terms of a person choosing for themselves what will be the truth.  In other words, heresy is a work of the flesh because it is the result of a person deciding for themselves what the Truth will be – based on their lusts, bias, ignorance, and unbelief of the flesh.  Anytime I adjust the Truth to fit myself, believe a teaching because it fits me, or try to produce the Truth from out of myself, I am choosing what Truth will be – it is a work OF my flesh – and it is heresy.


      There are always reasons why you and I will believe lies and heresy:  We will believe a lie if it fits a lie that is in us.  Or, to put it another way, we will believe a lie if there is not Truth in us.  This need not be conscious.  But it is why people are deceived.  The real question, however, is what we do when presented with the Truth Himself, Jesus Christ?  How will we then choose?

Aug 21

The Real Person


Wherefore henceforth know we no man after the flesh: yes, though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now henceforth know we him no more.  Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.  (II Cor. 5:16-17)


     To know someone, “after the flesh,” is a two-way street.  First, we know them after OUR flesh – we interpret them according to US.  Second, we know them after THEIR flesh. But Paul said that this should no longer be the basis of how we know we each other.  We should know each other according to, and, in Christ.


     But embeded in this verse is another great Truth:  God does not know us after our flesh.  No.  He knows us in His Son.  That ought to be good news.  Our flesh does not behave according to the Truth.  But God looks at the real person – who we are to Christ, and who Christ is to us.


      God inspired, “all things are naked and open unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do.”  (Heb. 4:13)  God looks at our heart and at our faith – the real us.  The flesh is but a façade.  It is all a cover up.  What God wants to do right now in His people is to strip off the façade and reveal Christ IN US.




Aug 22

Knowing According to Christ


Wherefore henceforth know we no man after the flesh….therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature.   (II Cor. 5:16-17)


     What constitutes the new creature in Christ Jesus?  It is spiritual union of Jesus Christ with our human spirit.  That is the new man.  All that is outside of that – our natural man or flesh – is not the new creature.  It remains of the old.


      Most Christian people, however, do not know each other by the means of Christ.  Rather, we do know each other according to the flesh.  We define others according to OUR flesh, and we define them according to THEIR flesh.  We look at personality, temperament, and even outward talents, and based on those, we think we know someone.  In fact, most of us even create God out of our own imagination and religious bias.  We know Jesus Christ by the means of our natural man or flesh.


     How often those with outgoing personalities are mistaken for spiritual people!  In contrast, how often those who do not have good social skills are considered to be lacking in Christ!  In the Body of Christ today, it is often about personality.  It is about friendliness.  It is about feigned love and charisma.  But this is all OF the natural man. According to Paul, NOT ONE of these things matter to God.  What matters is the life of Christ in us.  We can know nothing except we see through a knowledge of HIM.

Aug 23

I Never Knew You


Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in Your name have cast out devils? and in Your name done many wonderful works?  And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, you that work iniquity.  (Matt. 7:22-23)


     Most of realize that we need to know Jesus Christ.  Obviously, these people did not know Jesus.  But Jesus said something else to them – He said that HE did not know THEM.  In fact, this is the basis for His judgment upon them.


     What does it mean for Jesus to KNOW US?  It means that we have fully opened ourselves to Him, and allowed Him to make Himself at home in us.  We are in the Light as He is in the Light.  We have fellowship with Him.  Of course, Christ already does know us – completely.  But Jesus is speaking of a person’s willingness to allow Him access.  These people gave Him no access – they were hiding behind all of the things they had done FOR Him.  They were evidencing a self-righteousness.  Indeed, after these people rehearsed all the good things they did FOR Jesus, He called them, “you that work iniquity.”  Hide yourself from Christ and rely upon your works, and, in the eyes of Christ, this is what you are. Self-righteousness is not only deception, but it is sin.  Ultimately, it is the result of not giving Christ access --  the people in this parable are the tragic outcome of faith in what I have done for God, rather than in what Christ has done for me.




Aug 24

Dominion Over Faith


Not for that we have dominion over your faith, but are helpers of your joy: for by faith ye stand.  (II Cor. 1:24)


     People who have dominion over the faith of other people all have common traits.  First, all of them claim to have God-given authority to do so.  Thus, they claim to speak for God.  Second, based on this claim of authority, they determine for others what to believe and how to live – all, “in the name of love.”  Third, they claim that if you refuse to obey them, you will face consequences from God.  If you can convince people you speak for God you can get them to do almost anything – you can get them to knowingly drink Koolaid with poison in it.  People who demand dominion over the faith of others are spiritually sick people.   They are never servants of Jesus Christ.


     The purpose of all true ministry is NEVER to have dominion over the faith of another, not even, “for their good.”  No.  The purpose of true ministry is to get people into their own relationship with Christ so that HE can have dominion over them as their only Lord. Being available to teach, and to give counsel, is much different that thinking you are God’s authority over them in His stead.  There is ONE Head of the Body.  And there is ONE Mediator between God and man.  There are NO sub-heads.  There are no sub-mediators.  No one who knows Jesus Christ will violate these basic Christian Truths.

Aug 25

Edification, Not Destruction


For though I should boast somewhat more of our authority, which the Lord hath given us for edification, and not for your destruction, I should not be ashamed.  (II Cor. 10:8)


     There have always been those in the body of Christ who have claimed to have authority from God over the lives of others.  In most cases, they will teach that you need to submit to them in order to keep in God’s will – and in many cases, it doesn’t matter if they happen to be wrong.  They claim God will nevertheless back them up as His authority.  In short, it is your job to submit to them.  It is their job to hear from God FOR YOU.  Such teaching is not the Truth; not freedom in Christ.  It is, in fact, heresy.


     Paul was an apostle, and as such, the highest authority in ministry.  Yet he told those he taught that his authority over them was the authority of TRUTH – his ministry was to preach the Truth and thus edify each believer in Christ.  How is this done?  By being a vessel through whom Christ could minister life – and thus establish each person fully mature in Christ FOR THEMSELVES.  Paul said he had NO authority to tear down the relationship another person had with Jesus.  But this destruction is exactly what happens if a leader makes relationship with God contingent upon a person’s submission to them.  This cuts off the believer from direct access to God and tears apart the very fabric of Christianity – Christ in the individual.


     A sure sign of spiritual destruction is when unity is imposed through law – a law that requires submission to a leader if we are to keep right with God.  But a sure sign of edification is when unity is the result of LIFE -- EACH believer established in Christ for themselves, resulting in a voluntary and automatic unity with each other in Him.




Aug 26

Spiritual Guides


Remember them which have the rule over you, who have spoken unto you the word of God: whose faith follow, considering the end of their conversation.  (Heb. 13:7)


     No spiritual leader in the Body of Christ has the, “rule over you.”  Paul emphatically states that elsewhere.  (see II Cor. 1:24 and II Cor. 10:8)  This verse from Hebrews is a rather woeful translation.  It could be paraphrased, “Allow yourself to be persuaded of the Truth by those who are your spiritual guides.  Follow them as an example only as they follow Christ in Truth.  This will be evidenced by their lives.” 


     Leadership must take strong action to protect the church from heresy or other sin. But this is much different than leadership imposing their authority on the personal lives of others.  True ministry is the outcome of the work of the Cross in the minister so that LIFE might be ministered to others.  Paul said, “We have this ministry….so then death worketh in us, but life in you.”  (II Cor. 4:1,12)  Try to impose life through law and what you will create is death.

Aug 27

This is the Work of God


Then said they unto him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God?  Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.  (John 6:28-29)


     The, “work of God,” is faith.  That is obviously a play on words.  But it is a fact.  There is absolutely nothing we can do to merit anything from God.  But faith is the outcome of realizing I have no merits.  There is nothing we can do to help ourselves.  But faith is the outcome of realizing there is nothing I can do.  In short, faith comes to be in me if I hear the Truth about my hopelessness, and God’s grace in Christ.


     The epistle to the Hebrews has a similar phrase, “Let us labor to enter His rest.”  (Hebrews 4:11)  Get that:  Labor in order to rest.  In one sense of the word, it is only if we work ourselves to exhaustion that we will finally come to the end of our rope and see the Truth, and rest solely in Christ.  In another sense, faith is a work because it is the one choice we can make when we see that we can do nothing else to help ourselves.


     Faith is not our contribution to our own salvation.  Rather, it is a withdrawal from God of what He freely gives.  Once we see we have nothing to contribute then will be able to put our faith solely upon Jesus Christ.




Aug 28

The True Sabbath Rest


There remains therefore a rest to the people of God.  For he that is entered into his rest, he also has ceased from his own works, as God did from his.  (Heb. 4:9-10)


     God created the first creation in six days, including man himself on the sixth day.  He rested on the seventh day, not because He was tired, but as a celebration of His finished work.  That first creation fell into the realm of darkness when Adam sinned against God.


     Through Jesus Christ, rather than repair or resussitate the old creation, God has made a brand new creation.  Jesus Christ ushered in this new creation in HIMSELF by being raised from the dead on the first day of a new week – showing that His life would be a brand new start of a brand new creation – one that had never existed before.  Indeed, if we want to consider the resurrection to have occurred on the eighth day, eight is the number for resurrection in scripture.


    In the new creation, the sabbath rest is not a day, but a Person.  We, “remember the sabbath and keep it holy,” by entering into Christ, the Rest of God, by ceasing from all of our labors, and resting in His finished work.  To continue to keep the seventh day, or any day, does nothing.  We are to rest in Christ as the sabbath rest that remains for the people of God.

Aug 29

The Seed of Abraham


Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He said not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ….and if you be Christ's, then are you Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise.  (Gal. 3:16,29)


     There is only ONE seed of Abraham:  Jesus Christ.  He IS the Promise of the Father, who joins His people to Himself by His Spirit.  But if we are IN Christ, then through that oneness with Him, we are likewise the seed of Abraham, and joint-heirs with Him. God has freely given all that He has to give us IN His Son.  There is therefore nothing outside of Christ that God has to give.  Thus, to the extent that we are partakers of Christ, we are partakers of the eternal inheritance.


     The eternal purpose of God can be stated as such:  The Father, the only begotten Son of God, and then, all who are in the Son.  Jesus said, “In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.”  (John 14:2)  “The Father’s house,” is a term that always represents inheritance – in this case, Christ Himself.  Jesus said He was preparing an place of inheritance for us in Himself.  Hebrews affirms, “My son, despise not the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when you art rebuked of him:  For whom the Lord loves he chastens, and scourges every son whom he receives.  (Heb. 12:5-6)  The word translated, “receives,” means, “positions.”  Jesus Christ is positioning us in Himself as the Father’s house – that we might receive in Him an inheritance.  This is the destiny of the Seed of Abraham.




Aug 30

Heavenly Places in Christ


Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ.  (Eph. 1:3)


     The way to receive blessing from God is not by keeping laws, rules, or principles.  It is not by anything we do whatsoever.  It is not the result of practicing the right religion.  ALL of the blessings of God are found solely in His Son.  Thus, it is through experiencing Christ that the blessings of God come into our experience. 


     If we are born from above, Christ is already in us – He has joined us to Himself in spirit.  Thus, “heavenly places,” are not a places in heaven.  No.  “Heavenly places,” are  in Christ – the same Christ who dwells in us NOW.  And so, because Christ is in us, those, “heavenly places,” are of His life in us.  This means that NOW, in Christ, we have been blessed – if you will, imparted with, all spiritual blessings from the Father.


     The spiritual blessings in heavenly places are found in Christ, and because Christ is in us, we are blessed with them through Him.  Thus, everything God has to give to us is found only in His Son, and nothing of value is found elsewhere.  The work of the Spirit is to form Christ in us, and as this happens, the blessings in Him are likewise unfolded.

Aug 31

The Basis of Christ in Us


Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ.  (Eph. 1:3)


     When we are born from above, Christ joins us to Himself and we become one spirit with Him.  (I Cor. 6:17)  But the natural man remains.  Thus, we have the separation within each believer of the new creation – our resurrection union with Christ in spirit – and all the is outside of that, which remains of the old man in Adam.


     All that God has for us is found in Jesus Christ – and is ministered to us through the very life of Christ that dwells in us.  Yet because we do not understand this Truth, many of us continue to try to merit, receive, and live in, those blessings on the basis of the old life – on the basis of the natural man that continues to be part of our makeup.  We think that we must make our flesh behave to earn blessings.  We think that God wants to bless our old life and our old nature and bring out the best in them.  No.  God wants to crucify our old life – which is why Jesus told us that we must pick up our Cross daily and LOSE our lives in order to find Christ as our life.  It is futile to try to walk with Jesus Christ on the basis of our old nature.  We must put all of it aside and leave it alone, and realize that God is forming Christ in us and bringing us into a new life and creation.

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