Receiving Divine Power

Divine power. Supernatural ability. Going beyond human strength, human limits. Being something more. For years we have been infatuated with the idea of having power – even from the very beginning. It’s one of the reasons we like super-heroes… because they have strength and abilities beyond regular humans.

If we are being honest, “regular” human beings are rather weak on their own. Relying on devices and machines to accomplish most of our advanced tasks… not even the strongest among the animals when compared strength for strength and speed for speed.

Yet we have access to something that these others do not have, we have access to divine power which would actually put our favorite comic book heroes to shame – the kind of power that makes evil forces run and hide in terror. It has been given to us by God Himself.

This probably sounds to good to be true, and you’re doubting it in your mind right now… but I’m going to prove it in scripture, and by the end of this study today, you’re going to realize just how strong you truly are, and how to receive divine power; not just a nice thought or a warm fuzzy feeling – but real and effectual power that makes a difference.

Know That You Are Completely Clean Forever

One of the biggest hindrances (if not the only hindrance) to intimacy with God, is sin. Almost every single believer, and even most non-believers know this to be true. With that said, what is to be done about it?

This is where most people tend to branch-off into different directions regarding the solution to the sin problem. Some people set-out on a grand life-long quest to try and rid-themselves of wrong behaviors, wrong thoughts, and to “clean themselves” up, always reaching but never truly attaining perfection.
Others become so confused and intimidated by the whole problem that they become discouraged and defeated and just shut-down on the whole thing.
Still others accept their sin and decide that since they can’t do anything about it anyway, they might as well indulge it all the way.

But are any of these ways correct?

Must we live a defeated and striving life here on this earth dominated by sin and beaten-down with sin-consciousness?

Today in this study, we are going to answer that question, and through the finished work of Jesus Christ and His New Covenant of Grace, you will be able to have assurance, and confidence in your position from this day onward.

Your Marriage to God (and what it means!)

If you have spent any time studying scripture, or even just listened to sermons preached over the years, the topic of marriage to God – being the bride of Christ – will eventually come up. And this is very interesting terminology, and can jump-start the imagination in a bunch of different ways. Countless pastors and theologians have gone in many different ways regarding this single idea of a marriage to God; and some have gotten into deep trouble with it as well. Yet since Jesus was the one who taught on this topic and used this terminology, and the Father even spoke along the very same lines back in the Old Covenant, we can make a couple of conclusions:

First, that it is not out-and-out wrong to think of our relationship with God in marital terms. It is not high-minded, or presumptuous.
And secondly, there is something very important about this perspective of our relationship with God, that He wants us to see and receive.

So today in this study, we will be examining our relationship with God, from the perspective of marriage, and what this means for us today in Christ as part of the New Covenant.

Understanding the Sheep and the Goats

The sheep and the goats is one of the most striking and the most controversial statements made by Jesus regarding the final judgment. It is a time when the genuine believers (the sheep) will be separated from the non-believers (the goats).

Now over the years, this has caused a lot of fear and confusion, as I have heard people express to me their fear that they might be a goat and not know it. After all, what exactly is a goat, and how do we tell a goat from a sheep in the spiritual sense? There are some who say that a genuine sheep will be the hardest worker for God, while a goat will slack-off on their spiritual duties and responsibilities.

Is that true?
If so, how do we know when we’ve worked hard enough to merit sheep-hood? And afterwards, can we fall back to being a goat?

In order to have any real assurance and security, these questions must be answered – and thankfully, God hasn’t left us wondering about the answers; Jesus spoke plainly about them.
This is what we will be examining today in this study, and by seeing this, you will not need to be confused or afraid about the sheep and the goats any longer.

It’s Okay to Admit the Truth

I invite you to perform a little experiment… the next time you’re in a Church-building, or a Christian setting, listen to the things that the people often say about themselves. You’ll usually hear things such as:
– Oh, I’m just a sinner saved by grace.
– I’m a work in progress.
– I’m a piece of metal that’s being refined.

And there are other things as well, but these are the most common phrases that I often hear. And with each of these phrases, there is one common point in all of them – that the work isn’t finished yet.
People are going around constantly telling themselves and others that, well no, Jesus really hasn’t finished the work yet… that it’s still in progress. This is what most people actually believe, and it saddens me, because it’s really not the truth.

What I want to share with you today in this study, is what the scriptures actually say regarding your status right now as a child of God, washed and redeemed by His shed blood and broken body for you. And that in-fact, it is okay to admit the truth of what He has done for you.

Your Purpose: To Be Loved By God

What is your purpose in life? Why are you here? What exactly does God want or expect from you?

These are all common questions that people ask, and they are questions that sometimes cause doubt, confusion and even feelings of guilt and inadequacy for not knowing the answers. There are people that I have spoken with who feel restless, and unfulfilled because they think that more is required of them, and so they are constantly looking for the answer to the question of “what must I do?”.

In our conversations, I would gently suggest to them that perhaps God just wants you to relax and enjoy Him. To which, these people would force a half-smile, and a muffled laugh, because they didn’t really believe that God could want them to do nothing but simply enjoy Him – it couldn’t possibly be that simple…

Or could it…

What I want to share with you today, as you probably have guessed by now from the title of today’s study, is that yes, it really is that simple! God does simply want you to rest and enjoy Him, and enjoy the identity which He has given to you. In-fact it is vital that you do so – for your own well-being (and He knows it)! By seeing this truth today, you will finally be able to release the burden of “what must I do” – a burden which you were never meant to carry in the first place.

Transformed By the Renewing of Your Mind

Ask any number of believers whose image they should have, and most people will readily answer “Jesus of-course!”; and it’s true the Father desires us to have the very image of His Son Jesus (and it benefits us as well). Yet have you ever stopped to consider how exactly we accomplish this goal? How is it that we are to have the very image and nature of Christ Jesus?

This is where people start to diverge and different camps are entrenched. Many will say that some form of works are required, some traditions, some legalism, or certain other types of sacrifices are required (be it fasting, or tithing, or any number of things).

But as you can probably figure out from the title of today’s study, the scripture speaks of a different approach; one not based on works or efforts of ourselves, one not based on the traditions and sacrifices of men, but rather one based on the truth of Christ and His finished work on the cross. A solution based on the Gospel of Christ alone, apart from the works of man.

The Judgment Seat and Rewards Doctrine

Attend a typical church building, or read a regular study or commentary and you will eventually come across the doctrine of the Judgment Seat (or Bema Seat) and rewards doctrine – which is typically explained as various “crowns” which people will receive (or not receive) based in some way on how they performed on the earth.

They say that there are two different judgments, one which they call the Great White Throne judgment… where those who do not know Jesus and are not in the Book of Life, will be “judged” (i.e. condemned) while believers will be sectioned-off for a second judgment to determine how many rewards (or crowns) we receive or don’t receive based on our life.

So in-essence, even though Jesus has totally and completely forgiven and removed all sin from us, and made us completely new creations in Him, you still must worry about your performance on some level, because your eternal rewards in Heaven, are still dependent on your performance. Or so this doctrine would have you believe.

In this study today, we will be taking a look at this common doctrine of the Bema seat, and Crown rewards, and see what the scriptures actually say about it.

World Information vs. Spiritual Information

In a few of our past studies, I’ve alluded to the fact that faith is information. And I have received some messages from people since those studies, with questions regarding exactly what this means and how to apply it.

In those messages which people sent to me, it became immediately clear that they were not understanding the difference between world information and spiritual information. Indeed, those two things are very different. Not all information is faith. Faith is a very specific type of information; information that deals specifically with Christ, what He has accomplished, and who we are in Him today.

So today in this study, I would like to share with you, the very important difference between world information (information that comes from worldly circumstances and what the world presents to us) versus Spiritual information (information about Jesus Christ, what He has accomplished on the cross, and our identity in Him today) – that is the information which is properly identified as faith.

This is what we will be looking at today.

As Moses Lifted Up the Serpent…

A very interesting and enlightening statement that Jesus said as we was talking to Nicodemus, is found in John 3:14. It is there that Jesus, describing His sacrifice, says that “As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up.”

This one phrase is often skimmed over and overlooked in favor of the much more popular verse of John 3:16. However verse 14 is actually extremely significant, and the key to receiving anything from God at all (including eternal life). It’s unfortunate that so many people have missed the incredible meaning of this verse and they key that it holds.

I too, missed this verse for many years – never really grasping the real meaning behind it and what Jesus was really saying. So today in this study we will be exploring this statement made by Jesus, and the real meaning behind it – and by seeing this, we will also discover the key to receiving salvation from Jesus, and everything along with Him.