Tag Archives: repent of your sins

Is God A Judge? What Is God’s Judgment? Who Gets Judged?

What is God’s judgment and who gets judged?

Many Christians believe God’s judgment happens when He comes back. He will separate the goats from the sheep. God will get those nasty evil people who refused to repent and ask Jesus into their lives.

My goodness what a vindictive and punitive mindset to have about God who loved the world!

Scary judgment versus True judgment

Judgment is a confusing and scary topic. Religion makes it so.

If we do not understand His judgment through His everlasting lovingkindness, then it will continue to be intimidating, unsettling, and fearful.

Understanding of true judgment comes when we recognize that everyone is made in the image of God, God does not make bad reflections, and He sent His Son to restore this truth.

Is God A Judge?

Does God judge?

Sadly religious Christianity preaches that God is a judge – meaning, someday He will deal with all this sin in the world and all those sinners. He will pound the gavel and declare “guilty” or “innocent”.

Really?

What do we do with the following scriptures that negate this religious vindictive punitive mindset?

  • God didn’t send His Son to judge the world, but that the world be saved through Jesus. (Jn 3:17)
  • The Father judges no one (nothing) but gave all judgment to the Son. (Jn 5:22)
  • I can do nothing of Myself. As I hear, I judge; and My judgment is righteous because I do not seek My own will but the will of the Father who sent Me. (Jn 5:30)
  • You judge according to the flesh, I judge no one. (Jn 8:15)
  • …I did not come to judge the world, but to save the world. (Jn 12:47)
  • God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them. (2Cor 5:19)
  • While we were sinners, Christ died for us and justified us by His blood and saved us. (Rom 5:8,9)
  • When we were enemies we were reconciled to God through His Son’s death, and since reconciled we are saved. (Rom 5:10)
  • Through one man’s offense judgment resulted, so through one Man’s righteous act resulted justification (GR. acquittal, absolution, approval) to all. (Rom5:18)

Sure looks like God is a non-judge Judge! Or His definition of judging is certainly different than ours.

Example of non-Judge judging

When Jesus said, “you judge according to the flesh, I judge no one”, He was speaking to those judging the woman caught in adultery. The self-righteous wanted to stone her to death, because the law commanded it.

But, Jesus had no words of condemnation. He came to fulfill (perfect) the law. Its perfection meant He spoke to her true identity. When He said ‘go and sin no more’, He didn’t mean do not commit adultery ever again. Jesus was exposing her emptiness and speaking of her true identity.

Sin (hamartia) means to have no share, to have no part, to be without, to be empty, to have no substance, to miss the mark.

Our mark, our identity, our part, our origin is God and He made us to enjoy and reflect His fullness of goodness. When we do things that don’t reflect Him we are without substance, without share. We are left empty as are others affected by our lack.

Jesus did not judge her actions, He spoke to her true being and for her “to be” so!

Meaning of Judge and Judgment

judge (krínō) – I judge, decide, to separate, distinguish, think good

judgment (krísis) – a decision, a judgment, divine judgment

Now, isn’t it interesting that ‘judge’ also means ‘think good’?

If “God is good and all the time God is good.”, then why wouldn’t His judgment be to ‘think good’ of all of us? Certainly something to think about.

Dig In

  • We tend to see judgment as a negative thing. We hope to escape God’s judgment because we believe it will be fierce. How quick we are to gloss over – God did not come to judge, but to save the whole wide world!
  • God’s judgment is reconciliation, restoration, salvation. The Greek word for salvation means deliverance, preservation, healing, wholeness. God is not against man, He is for man – His wondrous reflection. We have believed lies about ourselves. God’s judgment dealt a death blow to those lies and falsehoods. One day He is coming to make it very clear who we all really are, in the meantime He is bringing this truth here and now. Yay!
  • If we understood what His judgement really means, then exceeding joy would be our confidence and perspective. One big result – we would judge with a “righteous judgment” – just like His.
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Satan Fell Like Lightening Names Written In Heaven Things Hidden From The Wise Part 2 Names Are Written in Heaven

Then the seventy returned with joy, saying, “Lord, even the demons are subject to us in Your name.” He said to them, “…do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rather rejoice because your names are written in heaven. (Luke 10:17,20 NKJ)

Part 2 Your Names Are Written in Heaven

Jesus told the seventy.

Boy, that sure stirs up questions!

• Why did Jesus only tell the seventy?
• Does God have favorites?
• Jesus said, “are”, not “will be”, written – how can that be when He hadn’t even died yet?
• Why did their names get written in heaven? Did the disciples do something to make this happen? Maybe because they were casting out demons, i.e. doing the ‘work of the Lord’?
• Did Jesus mean they would be ‘in heaven’, as religion defines it?
• Is that what it takes to ‘get into heaven’ – having your name written in heaven?

The big questionYour character is written in heaven

If their names are already written in heaven and they hadn’t asked Jesus to forgive them of their sins and be their Savior, then has religious Christianity been preaching the wrong message?! Selah

The big point

Time for some Greek understanding of a few key words in Lk 10:20.

names   (GR character, reputation, fame, (figuratively) the manifestation or revelation of someone’s character)

are written   (GR I write, inscribe, to engrave)

in   (GR on, among, inside, within)

heaven   (GR more correctly translated ‘the heavens’, the visible heavens: the atmosphere, the sky, the starry heavens; the spiritual heavens)

In essence, Jesus was telling the seventy (who basically represent all of mankind):

Your character, your fame, your being, your true identity as a reflection of Me, made before time began, is engraved within the heavens. Your fame shouts everywhere! It has nothing to do with anything you do. It has all to do with how I see you, made you, and know you.

My Father and I reconciled and restored the world to Ourselves (2Cor 5:19) to reconfirm the certainty that who YOU are is beautiful, astounding, and worthy. That is why it takes something big, like the heavens, to eternally and joyfully manifest this truth of significance and value.

There is nothing you have to do to be written up like this. I did the write up. In fact, I heavenly engraved it before foundation of the world.

So rejoice in this – your names are engraved within huge places!


Dig In

• So much for the religious notion that your name could be erased. Engraved and inscribed declare permanency. Don’t ever forget, there is a permanency for God’s unconditional love for all.

• Doing the work of the Lord can cause rejoicing, but the greater joy is about the certainty of your true identity and your place in Him. By the way, heaven is not our destination, Jesus is. And speaking of ‘place’ – Eph 2:6 reads in the Greek – “and raised us up together and seated us together within the heavenly realm/divine/sphere of spiritual activities within Christ Jesus.” Now religion says this only happens after you repent of your sins and ask Jesus to be your Savior. My how religion negates His finished work. His wondrous truth comes by revelation, not by doing something. Enter into the joy of where you are and who you are. It’s free.

• Why does traditional religious Christianity make it so hard to enter into the joy of the gospel and the joy the Godhead has over us? Hmmm

Your Sin Influences God and God Judges You. Really?

Do you believe your sin influences God in His attitude, feeling, or actions towards you?

Judgment on sin

  • Is God going to judge you for your sin?
  • What if you have repented of your sins, is God still judging you for new sins?
  • Does God send people to hell because of certain sins? How about those people who are cutting off heads, of late?
  • What about Robin Williams, was he judged for his sins?

If “Yes” is to any of the above questions, then know that you are bound up in a religious Christian mindset that believes in a false Gospel.

The true Good News really is good news, not ‘kind of’ good news.

The False Good News – YOU must deal with your sin

Traditional Christianity teaches that sin still needs to be dealt with.

And if you don’t deal with it by

  1. Acknowledging you are a sinner
  2. Repenting of your sins – i.e. feel sorry for your awful self and be deeply remorseful
  3. Ask, plead, beg God to forgive you
  4. Ask God to cleanse you
  5. Ask Jesus to be your Savior and Lord

Then you cannot go to heaven. In other words you get to go to hell.

It’s up to YOU

It is up to you to determine your eternal place after this earthly life.

My, what a big responsibility and requirement we put on ourselves and everyone! What bondage the traditional religious mindset has put on ‘believers’ and ‘unbelievers’!

Horror or delight

With this kind of conditional ‘it’s up to you’ religious ‘Good News’ comes our clear determination of who won’t or will make it to heaven. Our determination will be much to our horror or much to our delight.

Here’s how it works

  • horror if your beloved relative or dear friend has not done the religious steps to secure a place in heaven
  • delight if your beloved ones did go through the steps to attain heavenly security
  • delight because certain one, for example – ‘vicious head chopping terrorist’, have to go to hell (because we know there’s no way they will do the salvation steps and obviously are not worthy to go to heaven anyway)
  • horror to imagine that someone like those ‘vicious head chopping terrorist’ could possibly even get into heaven – just the possibility of it is nauseating

Sin Controls God is impotent

Do you realize this kind of religious thinking gives power to sin and implies that God is impotent?!

It says in effect

  • the torture Jesus experienced was not sufficient
  • Jesus’ death was not enough
  • God’s love is conditional
  • you have to live in uncertainty in your relationship with God
  • your sin dictates God’s actions
  • your sin determines God’s feelings toward you
  • evil ultimately controls and influences God
  • your actions determine whether you are on God’s good side or God’s bad side
  • God is fickle, schizophrenic, unpredictable, partial, demanding

Many Christians are fixated on this delusional perceived power of sin and the requirements to clean up their act.

Crap or Truth

If you identify with any of the above ‘crap’ (excuse my language, but remember even Paul used ‘dung’ to describe all his self-righteous efforts – Php 3:8), then please know God does not want you stuck in this.Scoop Shovel of Truth Deals With Religious Crap He has a big shovel to get rid of it for you.

 

This scoop shovel is powered by Truth. Truth sets you free. Jesus came to set you free, free indeed. (Jn 8:22) Hey, do we even know what that means?!

 

Dig In

  • Know up front, your sin does not in any way, affect how God feels about you. He thinks you are wonderful and have always been wonderful.
  • Religious Christianity focuses on sin. That is not God’s focus, so why should it be yours? (Heb 10:17)
  • Do you really understand judgment when it comes to God? Do you realize that we put our notion of judgment onto God? You will be amazed at the judgment already wrought by Jesus. God’s justice and judgment are nothing like our worldly way of justice and judgment. His wonderful judgment on you is part of your fullness and your certainty!

P.S. Next post – exploring His wonderful Scoop Shovel of Truth.

Who Are The Ten Virgins? What Do The Ten Virgins Show About The Kingdom of God?

Have you ever considered how the traditional religious punitive retributive mindset about God will keep you from understanding the kingdom of God?

The parable of the Ten Virgins is one of many parables that Jesus used to mystify us rather than inform. The Kingdom is so full of goodness for all that most were blind to that fact. Hence their conclusions (and ours) on this parable meaning would focus on judgment, punishment, and hell.

Ah, but there is good news in the parable of the Ten Virgins!

Check out the video and be surprised at what these virgins show us about the fullness of the Kingdom of God:

 

Dig In

  • Do you have your walk figured out, kind of like the five ‘foolish’ virgins? You have enough. Or do you think God only has a little bit for you? Or are you open to getting so full of Truth that you would be like one of the five ‘wise’ virgins lugging around a jug of oil?
  • Do you think God has delayed, is delaying, or will delay in things you are waiting for? God doesn’t delay. “Behold the Bridegroom!” HE IS HERE NOW! Fill up your jug!
  • Has your religious teaching put a hard edge on the parables and programmed you to see the negative? Do know you really can grasp the fullness of grace that is hidden within them. Repent! 🙂 In other words change your mindset and enter into the inclusiveness, joy, and fullness of the kingdom, of which the parables point.

God Is Watching You and You Must Give Account! But Religion Mistranslates Hebrews 4:13!

Do you know that God is watching you? Does that scare you?

Hebrews 4:13 would suggest we need to be a little scared, after all He is watching and we have to give an account.

“And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him, to whom we must give account.” (Heb 4:13 NKJV)

Make you a little nervous? Years ago, it did me.

You just might be surprised at what Hebrews 4:13 is really saying!

Click on the video  and/or open the PDF below to get the real truth!

Free PDF download – God Is Watching You And You Must Give Account! But Religion Mistranslates Hebrew 4 13!

Dig In

  • Perfect love casts out fear. (1Jn 4:18) Yet, we can still read some scriptures with a sense of fear of what God will do to us. Remember, fear involves punishment. If you think you might be punished by God then you still need a clearer revelation of His love! If you think He needs to punish certain people then you do not understand pure love. God is not about punishing, He is about love and caring for His children,  which is actually ALL mankind!
  • If you see italicized words in a scripture verse that means those are added words. They are not part of the original Greek. Might be a heads up to check out the real meaning of that verse. Bible Hub is one online resource to do just that.
  • To grasp – God can’t take His eyes off you because you are such  a delight to Him – is understanding more of your true identity. As you truly grasp His delight in you, in turn, you will delight in others. Oh, relish the certainty and fullness in knowing He is always ‘watching’ you – His ‘logos’, His expression of a beautiful thought!

“Heaven Is For Real!” Movie – The Case for Nearness and The Supernatural

Heaven is for real! You bet it is!

The movie, “Heaven Is For Real!”, is heartwarming and stirring. It stirs one about the substance of faith, shallow beliefs, confusion about who God really is, and confirmation of that other truer ‘Reality’.

Just remembered my other confirmation! I forgot to mention on the video about my grandmother, at age 91, dying at the nursing home while eating her lunch in the cafeteria. She was by herself at the time. When the nurse noticed her slumped head, she went to check on her and felt no pulse. They quickly wheeled Grandma to her room. The nurse began to check her heart and vitals to confirm she was dead.

All of a sudden Grandma swung her arm and knocked the stethoscope from the nurse. Scared the living daylights out of the nurse! Grandma’s first words were, “I saw Ernest! I saw heaven! It was beautiful!” Here is my grandma, suffering from dementia, but she was clear as a bell about what she saw. She saw her deceased husband who had died about 16 years earlier, and she saw incredible beauty. You can’t tell me heaven is not for real! By the way my grandparents had been married for over 60 years. Cool, huh?

Now why would God do that with my grandma, and to realize she wouldn’t die for another five years? I don’t know.  But it sure blessed my dad some forty plus years ago. In fact Dad can still get choked up telling that story. Hey, by the way my dad is 92! Another cool.

God has so much for us here and now, and in the future. He doesn’t want us living in doubt, unbelief, anger, resentment, confusion, or fear.

Speaking of fear, little Colton said, “There is nothing to be afraid of.” One of his big take aways from his encounter with Jesus and Heaven. Big truth in that statement.

Check out the video for my thoughts and confirmations that this true story- based movie declares.


Dig In

  • God really cares and God is really involved in our lives. His involvement is part of our fullness.
  • Let the children come to Me, for such is the kingdom of heaven. Don’t be afraid to be a child (again).  Mt 19:14
  • Receive His perfect love, you will experience freedom from fear and freedom to love freely! 1Jn 4:18,19

 

What Does It Mean God Prunes Us?

The previous post addressed the first half of John 15:2 to show that Jesus DOES NOT cut off those who abide in Him if they don’t bear fruit. He actually lifts them up!

Now to the second half of verse two –

“…and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit.” (NKJV)

Check out the Greek to better understand –

and – ‘kaí’ – also, moreover, even, indeed

everyone  – pás – each, every, each part(s) of a totality (note: ‘branch’ is not specifically listed in the Greek translation)

fruit‘karpos’ –  fruit, result, gain

bearing – phérō – properly, to bear, carry (bring) along, especially temporarily or to a definite prescribed conclusion

he prunes‘kathairó’ – I cleanse, purify, prune; make clean by purging (removing undesirable elements)

that hína’for the purpose that (in order that), looking to the aim (intended result)

more ‘pleión’ – greater, more, of higher value

fruit (‘karpos’)

it bear (‘pheró’)

A paraphrase in light of the Greek   –

…moreover for those in Him bearing fruit He will cleanse or purge of any undesirable elements so they can bear even more fruit of higher value.

Okay, looks like the Vinedresser, Father God, has to do occasional cleansing in order to get more fruit from us. How do you think He prunes, Does the Vinedresser Pruneif this is indeed what He does? Some might say:

  • expose more sin in our lives
  • get us to repent more of our sins
  • feel more sorry (grieve more) for our sins
  • make a deeper commitment to obey Him
  • follow His commandments better
  • wants us to do more things to try and abide

BUT

What do we do with Jesus’ next statement?!

“You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you.” (Jn 15:3)

Yikes! Did Jesus just contradict Himself?!

First He told us the Father prunes (cleanses) every branch that bears fruit, but then He tells us you are already cleansed! Does this mean He does not really prune us since we are already clean?

How can the disciples be already clean? For goodness sake, Jesus hasn’t even gone to the cross yet! In fact they have not even asked Him to be their Lord and Savior!

Here’s something to note:

  • prune (verse 2) is ‘kathairó’, which comes from katharos.
  • katharos is the word for clean (verse 3)!  Selah

Back to verse three – let’s elaborate a little more on the Greek words –

alreadyḗdē (a temporal adverb) – already now, referring to what is not yet strictly present but already impacts the present

you

are – eimi – I am, exist

cleankatharos – clean, pure, unstained, either literally or ceremonially or spiritually; guiltless, innocent, upright. what is separated (purged), hence “clean” (pure) because unmixed (without undesirable elements); (figuratively) spiritually clean because purged (purified by God), i.e. free from the contaminating (soiling) influences of sin.

because of diá (a preposition) – on account of, by reason of, for the sake of

the

word –  lógos (from 3004 /légō, “speaking to a conclusion”) – word, speech, divine utterance, being the expression of a thought; lógos (“word”) is preeminently used of Christ (Jn 1:1), expressing the thoughts of the Father through the Spirit, God’s logic.

that hos – who, which, what, that

I have spoken  – laleó – I speak, say

to you

To very loosely paraphrase Jesus:

Already now – even though it has not happened in the strictest sense, but what will happen has already impacted the present (because it actually happened before the foundation of the world –i.e. the lamb was slain) – you are clean. Let me help you understand this ‘already now’ a little more – Disciples, it is like when I said to the woman at the well – “an hour is coming and now is”. Okay back to already – already you are like Me – ‘I am’, you exist as I am  – in other words you are a reflection of Me, you are a reflection of My image. Thus I say you are already clean. And this is true because of the word (which is actually Me, the final word) that declares you are clean, innocent, guiltless, and without mixture.

Now some of you might get bent out of shape with my loosely paraphrased verse 3 because of the implications. That being, some might consider it heretical because it sounds like you don’t have to ask Jesus to cleanse you, get forgiven, be “born again”, get saved, etc.

Perhaps it is good to let this simmer (please don’t let it boil over) ;-), before we find out (in the next post) –

what was the word that Jesus had spoken to them – that already made them clean?

Dig In

  • What do you think it means to be pruned by God? Do you see it as hurting? Does it make you a little afraid of God, if that is what you think He does? Please know, He never ever wants to hurt us or make us afraid of Him.
  • Have you ever thought that Jesus would contradict Himself? If you did, have you ever considered how often we just might misunderstand what He is really saying because our religious filters contort who He really is?
  • Have you ever thought your understanding of His unconditional love and the cross might be too small? Have you ever considered that traditional western Christianity is what makes Him so small?! So to even consider that we might already be clean is just too far out there.

Why Is Born Again A Big Deal!

The previous post about Jesus NOT saying “you have to be born again” certainly stirred up some questions and challenges from some readers. Great!

Hearing ‘Born Again’ For Years

Having heard the ‘born again’ phrase for over sixty years, I too was taken aback when I heard the real meaning to what Jesus said. So I am not surprised that those raised in or involved in ‘church’ would balk, dismiss, or wonder ‘what in the world is she talking about?!’.

It is unsettling and even upsetting to have our traditional religious teachings and phrases called into question, dismantled, or (gasp!) blown up! Resistance is to be expected.

Question

Let me ask you a question. Does the Christian teaching you have had, does the truth that you know -REALLY set you free? Do you live in abundant joy? Do you live in certainty and confidence? Are you content in whatever circumstances you are in? Do you abide in a place of rest and peace? Do you really love yourself? Do you experience love for ALL people?

If your answer is “no” to any or all of the above questions, then maybe what you know as truth is not the fullness of truth. Just maybe you have not heard or understood the pure Gospel, the really good news!

Do I live in all those things (above) all the time? No. But I now realize it is mine to have right now right here – because that is what the New Covenant scriptures declare! I am maturing in these truths.

Hey, it really is okay to question. Just think, how many times Jesus called into question the traditions of His day!

Back to the ‘born again’

Two more points:

1)      John 3:3 – Jesus totally changed the direction Nick began with, by starting with the words (various translations) – “Most assuredly” “Truly, Truly” “Verily, verily” “Truly…emphatically” “the solemn truth” “guarantee this truth” “Most certainly”

The Greek words in the text are “amḗn, amḗn…” Phonetically (am-ane’)

amḗn definition: verily, truly, amen, so let it be; as an “emphasis marker,” introduces a statement of pivotal importance – i.e. that is essential in interpreting the over-all passage.

Nicodemus You Are From Above!

Verily, Verily. Pay attention Nick!

Looks like we need to pay close attention to what Jesus was saying!

2)      Did you notice this in Jn 3:7?!

Jesus seems to conclude with a little humor by including Nick’s Greek word gennáō  (Greek  beget, give birth to Jn 3:4), as He re-enforces His anóthen point about needing to be ‘from above’.

“Do not be amazed that I said to you, “You must be born again.”

Now if we grew up with this ‘born again’ phrase we would automatically think Jesus is confirming what we’ve been taught in church – ‘you have to be born again’ – i.e. you have to repent of your sins in order to be saved, you have to be forgiven of your sins, you have to ask Jesus to be your Savior. Then you are saved and can go to heaven.

But, Jesus is NOT saying that!

The Full Import of Jn 3:7

Let’s look at a few Greek words from this verse, to get Jesus’ point.

  • amazed – Greek thaumázō – astonished out of one’s senses; awestruck, “wondering very greatly”
  • must be – Greek deí – properly, what must happen, i.e. what is absolutely necessary, inevitable
  • born – Greek gennáō – properly, beget (procreate a descendant), produce offspring; (passive) be born, “begotten”
  • again – Greek  anóthen  – from above, from a higher place, from the first, from the very first, from of old, anew, over again, indicating repetition

Here’s my very loose paraphrase of what Jesus was reiterating for Nicodemus:

“Hey Nick, don’t be bent out of shape, what I am saying is an absolute must.  Your natural birth must first originally begin at the very first from a higher place. Where you began has to happen anew, it must happen over again.”

In other words, Jesus was trying to get Nicodemus to see where man originally began, before he came from his mother’s womb. Jesus would renew and restore our original source and beginning. He accomplished this through His death and resurrection. And, He also dealt sin a final death blow, once for all!

My point is to help you begin to see how important it is to get back to your beginning, your origin, your true identity. That is the really good news! Talk about freedom!

Dig In

  • If you find yourself absolutely unwilling to question your religious traditions then consider how confined you are. Jesus came to bring freedom. Religious rituals, rules, doctrines do not bring freedom.
  • It really is okay to question what you’ve been taught. God is not nervous about or disappointed in you questioning. He longs for you to be immersed in abundant truth and know fullness.
  • Don’t let your shallow identity keep you from discovering your true identity. You are meant to be ‘wowed’ with who you really are. God is certainly ‘wowed’ by you. For goodness sake – you are made in His image – why wouldn’t that be a ‘wow!’?

More points to follow! Stay tuned!

Negative Consequences of Religious Christian Gospel Part 3

The previous post laid out three of the five negative consequences I feel result from our traditional gospel message. Those three were:

  1. guilt and fear
  2. judgment and favoritism
  3. perpetuation of a system that promotes expectations and works.

Below are the other two negative effects that I see coming from the sin focused traditional Gospel.

4.      Grace + law = Gospel

The Fallen Man Gospel (as I call it) is actually a mixture of law and grace. The traditional gospel declares we are “saved by grace and not by works” (Eph 2:8), but you can bet your bottom dollar that what follows this initial ‘grace message’ is works and lots of ‘shoulds’. The true gospel is not a morality gospel, nor is it about do’s and don’ts.

The pure gospel is about a new covenant, not of the letter. (2Cor 3:6) It has absolutely nothing to do with the law (Old Covenant). We cannot mix even a little law with the Good News of grace and expect any kind of fullness of life. Paul made it clear – even when we were dead in our trespasses, Jesus made us alive together with Him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, having wiped out the hand-writing of requirements that was against us…took it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross. (Col 2:13,14).

The Greek word meanings, for the phrases “wiped out” and “took it out of the way” elaborate on what actually happened:

  • wiped out exaleiphό – I wipe away, obliterate; remove totally from a previous state with the outcome of being blotted out (erased)
  • tookairό – take away, lift up, removed, I raised
  • out ofek – out from among, from out, suggesting from the interior outwards
  • the way mesos – middle, in the midst, within

Certainly no ambiguity with what He did! Do you realize that Jesus could take those requirements out of the way because He fulfilled the law, for us! (Mt 5:17)

Hey, did you grasp what Paul said in Colossians? We were dead in our sins – we were corrupt – in a bad place. But, in the midst of our corruption and failure He made us alive! Why? How? Because, He forgave us ALL our trespasses! That’s a big ‘Whoa!’! For goodness sake, since we are already forgiven, then why is the traditional gospel message focused on sin?!   

The law cannot declare unconditional acceptance and forgiveness. The law states there is still stuff you have to do or not do. Sadly, many Christians continue to do ‘stuff’ not realizing they are living a mixture of law and grace. This is not the good news.

5.      God Is Misrepresented

Misrepresentation is the most grievous harmful consequence from our traditional Fallen Man Gospel. God is presented as distant and separate – all because of our sin.

Further misrepresentation happens. The Fallen Man gospel implies that God is still angry about sin. But He will stop being angry with you if you are sincerely remorseful for your sins, repent, and ask for His forgiveness. Until then don’t expect any kind of relationship with God. Of course if you sin again, then you are separated from God and have to go through all the hoops of remorse, repentance, and asking forgiveness, in order to be reconnected.

This was my general understanding of God – loving, yet I had this sense of some distance and that He could be provoked. Well, doesn’t the Old Testament portray Him that way?! I used to think so. Now I see how tradition, the sin focused gospel, lies, and deception have veiled our eyes from seeing the fullness of  the gospel of the glory of Christ.

By the way, Robert Capon’s (oops) Paul Copan‘s book, “Is God A Moral Monster?”, sure cleared up my misunderstanding of God in the Old Testament. Maybe it will help you.

Check your foundation  Check Your Foundation

Have you ever wondered if your foundation, about God and who you really are, is built on lies or truth?

Paul said there is no other foundation than Jesus Christ. (1Cor 3:11) Then on top of this foundation He builds His temple. Us! ((1Cor 3:9,16) The big question is – what is the FULL meaning and implications of the foundation of Jesus?

Unfortunately religion has an unstable foundation of law and grace. Religion also likes to build its own temple! From this structure, that is a big part of our sin focused gospel, come many expectations and requirements. No life in that! No wonder there is so much uncertainty among many Christians today.

In contrast, God puts no expectations or demands on us. He has freely given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness. (2Pet 1:3) We have been enriched in everything by Him. (1Cor 1:5) He saved us with a holy calling…according to His own purpose and grace which was given to us in Christ Jesus before time began. (2Tim 1:9) He has abundant life, unspeakable joy, and pleasures forevermore for us. Is it really that good? You bet. Check your foundation.

Dig In

  • Please know that the ‘law’ can be very subtle in your life. You might think you are living in grace but anytime you sense ‘I have to’, ‘I should’, or ‘God expects me to’, then you are living in a mixture. No fullness will be found there.
  • If God seems distant from you – even a little bit, or occasionally – then know you are not believing the true good news! You are believing a lie, a misrepresentation. God wants to displace that with truth!
  • Make sure your gospel foundation is based on Jesus and His good news, not man’s tradition. His good news is liberating and fulfilling.

If Repentance Is Not Scriptural Where Did It Come From

Recently, in a gathering, as we were discussing that repenting of our sins to God was not part of the New Covenant, someone blurted out, “But, repenting of my sins is what I was taught all my 60+ years of life going to church! What am I to do with that?!” I could relate.

What a quandary – stay stuck in tradition or move into truth that sets you free?!

Have you ever considered how powerful religious traditions are? Jesus sure blasted all ‘the traditions of the elders and the things they received in order to observe’. He summed up His rejection of all their religious observations by stating “you are invalidating the word of God by your tradition which you have handed down; and you do many such things as that.” (Mk 7:1-13) Yikes, Jesus is basically saying, ‘you are invalidating Me by your traditions’!

How many Christian traditions have been handed down to you as a child, with no questions asked? Into adulthood many continue to believe and obey what has been received, unmindful of Jesus’ incredible words: “It is finished.” That sure was my story!

The religious system and those caught up in it say, “No, it is NOT totally finished. We still have to do, we should do, we ought to do…”. Have you ever thought about how many of those handed down traditions place the emphasis on you doing something?

That dynamic of ‘doing’ is at the crux of the religious doctrine of repentance, which basically means we need to repent of our sins in order to get saved and continue to repent in order to maintain a right relationship with God. We have to work at our salvation!

Thomas F. Torrance (Scottish Protestant Theologian, 1913-2007), in his book ‘The Doctrine of Grace in the Early Church Fathers’ explains this ‘do’ mindset – “In the Apostolic Fathers grace lost its radical character. They developed a doctrine of salvation by works of righteousness… A Christian ethic was codified, and the charismatic life under the constraining love of Christ [was] reduced to rules and precepts. The centre of gravity was shifted from the mainspring of the Christian life in the person of Christ Himself to the periphery of outward conformity and daily behaviour.” (emphasis mine)

Before the Reformation, these were some of man’s traditional mindsets about sin and repentance:

  • Only sins prior to baptism were forgiven thus emphasizing the importance of baptism (not the finished work of the cross).
  • Upon baptism the new believer started with a clean slate, but any future sins were not forgiven.
  • Then early church leaders solved the issue of future sins after conversion/baptism by developing the action of ‘doing penance’, later called ‘repentance’ (totally ignoring that the New Covenant confirms He forgave all our sins – once for all)
  • Penance was made difficult to do, because the early church fathers did not want the masses to abuse ‘doing penance’ thinking once they did it they were free to sin again, repeat the cycle and all is well.
  • Thus a complicated doctrine about sin and repentance was developed – those in charge decided which sins were forgivable, how many times you could be forgiven, how much you would have to ‘pay’ for each type of sin, even the sincerity of your repentance and depth of regret were considered. The early church fathers thought this would discourage people from sinning. It did not!

When scriptures were translated into Latin by Jerome (382AD), these doctrines St Jerome Writing Vulgate of penance/repentance were so ingrained that they influenced the translation of the actual text. Thus the Greek word metanoia (lit. to change one’s mind) became purposely mistranslated as ‘acts of penance’ and later as ‘repentance’ (a repetition of penance). They had to make a way for the continuance of their complicated format dealing with sin that brought in much money and kept the masses beholden to them!

Augustine, who greatly influenced western Christianity, used the Vulgate as his preferred translation. His doctrine of repentance was based on Jerome’s erroneous translation of metanoia.

Throughout early church history, this mistranslation of metanoia in the Latin Vulgate, has been pointed out numerous times. One example, in 1430, theologian Lorenzo Valla, decried this error. But the traditional doctrine of penance/repentance was so deeply rooted in religious Christianity that his corrections were overruled. Isn’t that something?!

Now you can see why we are so steeped in this religious traditional mindset of repenting of our sins. What a travesty, as it totally negates the scriptures that proclaim the absolute forgiveness of sin and the removal of all sin. (Col 2:13  Rom 11:27  Heb 10:17)

Our total forgiveness is part of the Good News but there is even more to this stunning Gospel. However, as long as we cling to the tradition of repentance we will be blind to the liberating truth.

No wonder Paul prayed that “the eyes of your heart may be enlightened so that you will know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints.” (Eph 1:18)  Open our eyes Lord that we may truly see! Oh my goodness, You have so much FULLNESS for us!

Dig In

  • If it is offensive to hear, ”You don’t have to repent of your sins, all of them are already forgiven!”, then you might consider that tradition is influencing your life, not God.
  • Religious tradition permeates us in many ways – to keep us confined, controlled, hindered, shallow, deceived, guilt laden, fearful, striving, busy, tired, uptight, rigid…
  • If you experience any of the above in your walk with God, then realize that is not His kind of walk for you! Ask Him for the real deal. He will show you! You will never be the same again.