Rightly Discerning the Body and Blood of Christ

Let me state right at the very start that this is a controversial issue. Yet though it is controversial, it is also extremely important. The reason for its importance is because aside from salvation, health is the second-most important gift which Jesus paid for us to have. Without health, everything else falls flat. You could have a great family and wealth of every kind, but if you are sick and laid-up all of the time, you will never be able to enjoy any of it. And God does want us to enjoy life, both now in this present time and of-course in the future with Him in Heaven as well.

That’s why He has not left us helpless; He has not left us without provision. In-fact He has paid an extremely high price for us, for our complete salvation: spirit, soul and body. Yet many people are not experiencing this, due to the fact that many pastors and leaders are not teaching the complete message of what Jesus has paid to give us. Many leaders in the church shy away from what they perceive to be a false doctrine of health and prosperity – however the Bible does not make any attempt to hide the reality of what Christ has paid to give us, and how we are to receive it. And this is what we will be studying today… the complete picture of salvation that Christ has paid for us, spirit, soul and body.

The Real Sacrifice of Praise

A long time ago, there was a popular praise song that we always used to sing; the lyrics in-part were “we bring a sacrifice of praise into the house of the LORD.” This is a reference to Hebrews 13:15, saying that we should continually offer such a sacrifice to God. This phrasing has always puzzled me. Because in my human mind, the word “sacrifice” always implied cost, or some kind of a victim. Often times we hear preachers say that in order for our praise and worship to mean anything to God, it has to “cost us something”, and this left me even more confused because it really wasn’t costing me anything to praise God – as a matter-of-fact I enjoyed praising Him! So did this then mean that my praise was worthless?

I struggled with this thought for many years, and it led me into a performance-driven, merit-centered mentality where I was trying to give something of value back to God, which I naturally assumed was my own works and efforts; my performance and law-keeping. However, this idea is not actually supported in scripture. In-fact the Bible is very descriptive regarding what the real sacrifice of praise is which we are to offer, and this is precisely what we will be studying today.

You Have A Different Spirit

Ask a typical Christian to describe themselves, and you will likely hear one of a few answers, ranging from “sinner”, to “sheep”, to the more esoteric “nothing”. Likewise, if you ask them to describe their position, status or power, they will often tell you that they have none. Most believers think that they are utterly helpless and totally powerless today, due to a lack of understanding of what the Bible teaches regarding such things.

While it is true that we have no power, authority or position of ourselves, it is also true that we have great power, authority and position in Christ Jesus. The scriptures go into wonderful detail when explaining who we are in Christ and what we have in Him as well. This is what we will be studying today: the realities of the Holy Spirit of God on the inside of us, and what this has made us in Christ.

Rejoice That Your Body is the Lord’s

We’ve all heard it quoted before, that “Your body is not your own, you were bought with a price…” and this quote from scripture is usually delivered in a negative and condemning way in an attempt to bring guilt and fear on the people. In my earlier years, I used to become angry at the mention of this scripture – not because I hated the verse itself, but because I hated the guilt and condemning tone in which it was being presented; and many people also feel the same way about it even today.

It may surprise you then to learn that this verse was never intended to be guilt-inducing, fear-generating or condemning in any way… in-fact it is actually a great encouragement and reason to rejoice! What we will be studying today in scripture is how the promise that your body belongs to the LORD is actually a fantastic assurance, and how this verse no longer has to be something that brings guilt or condemnation, but great joy in Christ Jesus.

Surely Jesus Carried Your Sicknesses

There are many different opinions among believers today when it comes to healing. There are entire denominations today that have built complex doctrines around whether God heals today or not. People in general have a hard time believing in the miraculous aspects of God. If they can’t see it, touch it, or feel it, then it is not “real” to them. This of course is nothing new, people have always been this way, and Jesus understands that. In John 14:20, Thomas declared that he would not believe that Jesus was risen unless he saw the physical evidence for himself, which Jesus indeed gave him, but Jesus also said to Thomas, “blessed are those who have not seen and yet believe.”

Today we will be taking a look at the healing which Jesus provided for – specifically for your physical body. This is important because there are a great number of believers today who are suffering in their physical bodies. They are suffering with sicknesses, diseases, disorders and pains that God never intended, and He went to great lengths, suffering and dying on the cross, bearing the full punishment for your sin and mine so that we would not have to suffer any longer. As we examine this truth today, we will see how important this truth is to God, and to us as well.

Grace is the Cure for Carnality

All across the world, good and honest believers have this idea that they must work at “doing good”. They must struggle and strive to “do the right thing”, to make God happy or to prove their love for Him, or whatever the underlying motivation may be; it leads to the same place: a merit-centered, man-centered mentality which is not focused on God, but is focused on self-performance and behavior.

Many believers think that if they themselves or their fellow brother or sister in Christ is failing in a particular area of behavior, that it is due to some sin in their life, or that they are just being lazy and they need to try harder. But is this what the scriptures actually say?

In this study today, we will be taking a look at what God has to say on this very subject, and how God’s diagnosis of the problem of wrong behaviors is not what we might expect. As you see this truth, it will give you a new mindset regarding this issue, and a new confidence in your relationship with God as well.

Jesus Finished the Old Covenant

Last week we studied how Jesus Christ has ushered us into a new covenant with better promises. However even though this is absolutely true and a wonderful reality for us in Christ, there are still many believers who have an inward unrest within themselves – a doubt and a seed of confusion regarding whether they should still keep the Law of Moses. They know the scriptures, they know what we studied last week about not mixing the two covenants, but they still have some questions.

In the past when I have taught on the covenants, I always had questions arise about the Law, and indeed the same questions still come up today. So we will be addressing these same questions today in this study. Questions such as: Jesus said He didn’t abolish the Law, so does it still apply to believers? And also: Even in the New Covenant God says that He will put His laws in our minds and write them on our hearts, is this the Ten Commandments?

These questions have stumbled many believers over the years and kept alive this uncertainty and fear regarding the Old Covenant, and therefore they have not been able to fully embrace grace. So if this describes you, then the truth of Jesus in this study will set you free today.

You Have a Better Covenant With Better Promises

One of the issues that keep resurfacing in Christian circles today is covenants. Many believers still do not have a fundamental grasp of which covenant they are under today in Christ, or why they cannot have both Mosaic and the Messianic covenants (The Law and Grace). It’s interesting to note that while there were many different covenants in the Bible, only the Law of Moses, only the Mosaic Covenant has seemed to persist and be a point of confusion and an area of stumbling for many believers today. Of-course this is not a coincidence, Satan knows all too well, that the strength of sin is the Law which brings about the sting of death as mentioned in 1st Corinthians 15:56. As long as the enemy can keep believers in confusion about their place and position in Christ Jesus, then they will always be weak and vulnerable due to plain and simple ignorance of the truth. And God does not want that.

That’s why in this study today, we will be taking an in-depth look at the covenant which we are under today, the Messianic Covenant of Grace in Christ, and we will also be addressing the common areas of confusion that many believers have today regarding the Mosaic Covenant of the Law and how it relates to us today in Christ. By seeing these truths, you will be set free from confusion, able to freely enjoy the Covenant which Jesus has placed you in today.

Healing is Your Right in Christ

Over the years I have talked with a lot of people about healing. And it is surprising how often the conversations take the same paths over and over again. Many people suffer from the same misconceptions and wrong beliefs when it comes to the blessings of God and specifically healing. Sure they know that God is capable to heal, but they do not believe that he is willing to heal, and this can take many different forms, such as God is using a sickness to teach me a lesson, or that God is keeping me sick so that I can be a greater witness for Him – even though none of these ideas are supported in the scriptures. However, the fact that these wrong beliefs are not taught in this scriptures, has not really stopped them from spreading to many people in the body of Christ, and caused them to develop a wrong understanding of the nature and character of God as a result.

That’s why in this study today, we will be examining how healing is actually your right in Christ Jesus. He has paid for you to have it, and He wants you to be healed even more-so than you can possibly imagine. God is not withholding healing from you, nor is He your enemy. As you see these truths from scripture, they will expand and increase your ability to see the goodness and mercy of God, and will help you to replace the many misconceptions about God and healing with right believing founded on Biblical truth.

Understanding Love in the New Covenant

One of the common misconceptions that I encounter in the discussions I have with believers, is that Jesus’ commandment to love one another is actually a reference to the Old Covenant Law of Moses. This tends to confuse people because they believe that Jesus is reinforcing the Mosaic Law, even though scripture is quite clear in many other places about us not being under Law but under Grace. So it seems very contradictory and it often confuses people.

We know however that God is not the author of confusion, and He doesn’t want His dearly beloved children to stumble over such fundamental things. That’s why today in this study, we will be looking at love through the lens of Grace; love in the finished work of Jesus Christ. By seeing this truth, we will be able to understand the differences between the Old and New Covenants in the area of love, and how indeed God is supplying us completely, even in the area of love.