Articles

The Message of Jeremiah for Today

If you have read the book of Jeremiah before, or heard a sermon preached from it, the book probably seemed very legalistic. Such was the situation of the Old Covenant prophets – after all, they were still under the Old Covenant, and the Law of Moses was their life. Jeremiah’s message to the nation was to stop thinking that you are safe when you are committing so many terrible sins; he was warning the people of the coming judgment for not holding to their covenant obligations. A very serious and important message, and to be fair, he was actually doing the nation a favor, because that was their covenant, and by warning them to change he was giving them an opportunity to avoid punishment.

Sadly though, many believers today when they read the book of Jeremiah (or any Old Covenant prophet) and when such things are preached from pulpits, they are usually expounded upon as if the Old Covenant were still in-effect, striking the people with judgment and warnings to avoid committing sinful acts to avoid punishment, as if Jesus did not suffer punishment and finish His work on the cross. Jeremiah still carries a message for today, though it is a message that can only be seen in the light of the finished work of Jesus Christ; and this is what we will be studying today.

You Are Completely Clean in Christ

How clean are you? This question is often posed to congregations of believers in an attempt to motivate them to good works. However I am posing this question to you today for an entirely different reason… Not to expose your perceived failings or shortcomings, but instead to show you how completely clean you are in Christ Jesus today. You see, many believers are living life with the belief that they are clean one-moment (when they think they are behaving well) and then dirty the next moment (when they fail), so they are on some sort of spiritual teeter-totter – up one moment and down the next moment.

This however is not how God wants us to live. This shifting-sand, roller-coaster mentality is not the abundant life which Christ died to give us. So today we will be examining the truth of how completely clean you are in Christ (in every way) and how by seeing this truth, you will be on the unshakable foundation of Jesus Christ, instead of the shifting sand of emotions, feelings and your own performance.

The Love of God is Better Than Human Love

Have you ever played a word association game? If I say to you “chocolate” what’s the first thing that comes to mind? Word association games are something that I used to play all of the time. And as humans we tend to associate things with words all of the time. If I say to you “love” what do you think of? What if I say “God’s love”? Many of us associate the love of God with ideas and thoughts of human love. We may associate with with a really good feeling of human love, or we may associate it with a really bad feeling of human love depending on our personal experiences… but most of the time we think and behave and have ideas of the love of God really not being much different than the love of a human.

However I want to share with you the truth of the love of God. His love is far superior and much better than even the best love that any human can ever offer. His love is divine. His love is all-encompassing and His love never fails. Today in this study we will be exploring the Divine love of God and how it is so much better than the love of humans. And by seeing this love, you will be able to approach God with a new attitude, free from fear, free from uncertainty and free from the shifting-sand of human ideas and emotions.

Be Yourself! A New Creation in Christ

Sometime in the past you have probably heard the famous advice that everyone likes to give: “Just be yourself!”. This advice is usually given when someone is nervous or apprehensive about meeting new people or standing before a crowd. Just relax! Be yourself! This phrase also implies the negative, don’t be someone or something that you are not. Stay true to the truth.

Spiritually speaking, this advice is very Biblical… both regarding ourselves personally and in judging others, in both cases we should always stay in the truth and be ourselves. This has some surprising benefits for us as believers, and a vast majority of Christians today do not even realize that this advice is in their Bible. So we will be taking a look at this today, and seeing the glorious benefits of being ourselves in Christ.

Stay in the Simplicity of Christ

There’s a statement I often say that sometimes offends people… that the Gospel is simple, and there is great simplicity in Christ. This sometimes offends people because they are thinking of the word “simple” to mean stupid. This sometimes also offends people because they have spent their entire lives working hard and studying the scriptures, yet the Gospel is so simple that even a child can understand. So with one single statement I have managed to offend a wide audience. Yet in no way am I suggesting that the Gospel of Christ or Christ Himself are stupid, nor am I suggesting that studying the Gospel is of no value. It may in-fact surprise you to learn that my statement does not originate with me, but it is from the scriptures themselves.

The simplicity of the Gospel of Christ has been largely corrupted in modern Christianity today; replaced by something complicated, convoluted and full of mans efforts… not at all what Jesus intended. This is what we will be studying today. We will be taking a look at what the true simplicity of the Gospel is, and by seeing this we will also be able to see some of the ways man has complicated what God has made simple.

Jesus’ Word to You: It is Finished!

There are quite a number of people today who are looking for a word from God. A word which gives them hope, direction and encouragement regarding their situation. I spoke with someone once who was convinced that they needed a word from God before their situation would change, and they were right… they did need a word from God before their situation would change, however they were failing to recognize that the word had already been given – and many people are in the same situation and making the same mistake.

Wouldn’t it be nice to have God tell you that your situation will be okay? To have Him say that everything is taken care of? Most people are searching for this and desperately seeking exactly these things, and I’m here to tell you today that He has already said these things to you. This is what we will be studying today.

The LORD Destroys Your Pursuers

As we grow more and more in the truth of Grace and the reality of the finished work of Jesus Christ and what He has done, one of the things that happens is that we see more clearly what He has freed us from. We begin to see that many of the things which we have blindly accepted all of our lives without question and a lot of the things we put up with, simply need not be upon us. We have grown accustomed to many afflictions, hurts, pains, diseases and infirmities – we regard them simply as “facts of life” without giving them a second thought.

In this study today, we will be looking at the truth of what the scripture says regarding these things. As we see what Jesus has done for us, we will also realize that we need not suffer the things which we have accepted as natural, and how we are actually more free than we have even imagined.

There Are No Barriers to Receiving

Over the years I have read many books and listed to many speakers, teachers and preachers when it comes to receiving the blessings of God; everything from financial prosperity, to prosperity in your body (healing) and a common theme among them is that they all try to enumerate different “steps” that one must complete in order to receive from God. They list things such as unconfessed sin, lack of faith, roots of bitterness, as things which can prevent us from receiving from God.

These things may sound correct, they may seem holy and right, but are they actually want the Bible teaches? Must we indeed cleanse ourselves of all sin before we can receive from God? And if so, how can we do it? This is what we will be studying today. So if you are tired of all the steps and hoops that we are told that we must jump through in order to receive from God, this study today will set you free from that by the Word of God.

God is For You, Not Against You

The title of today’s study might be seen as almost too obvious. However while many believers may claim to already know that God is for them and not against them, when we dig a little deeper, we make some startling discoveries. For example, a surprising number of people actually live their lives from the perspective of God actually being against them even while claiming to believe that God is for them. When we pray, we often do so in a manner that seems more like trying to convince a reluctant God to move on our behalf, rather than the way scripture instructs us to address Him: as a loving Father willing to freely give us every good gift. And this is just one of many common examples.

In this study today, we will be examining in detail, exactly how God is for us, what that means, and what is rightfully ours as a result. This is as much a study of our rights and privileges in Christ Jesus today as it is of our relationship with Him – because really, both are connected. It is by seeing this truth that we will be established on the good foundation of Jesus Christ, rooted in His Grace, that enables us to stand firm in faith and receive what is ours.

God Finishes What He Starts

Have you ever started a project and then left it unfinished? I have. In today’s hectic modern lifestyle where everything is competing for our attention, I sometimes find myself starting one thing, getting distracted – sometimes for hours – and then remembering that I left the task I began still unfinished at the end of the day. Even if you’ve never done that yourself, you have probably had someone else do that to you at one time or another; and it can be disheartening, frustrating and disruptive.

Sometimes, leaving a project or task unfinished is unavoidable for us. However it is not so with God. Many of us unconsciously project this same trait onto our Heavenly Father. We assume based on our own experience with others and ourselves that God will also leave some of His tasks unfinished – this can subconsciously create fear, worry and anxiety, because we may start to wonder “Will God actually do this? Will He really bring about what He promised?” However, by seeing the truth of Christ, we can be set free from this anxiety, knowing that He who promised is faithful, and this is what we will be studying today.