Did Jesus Really Finish the Work? (Being Secure in Christ)

One of the biggest areas that I struggled with in the past, was the idea that I was waging a constant battle to “improve myself”.

– Improve my performance – to commit less sinful actions

– To look more like Jesus, meaning basically the same thing, to commit less sinful actions

– To never be comfortable, but always in this constant war to try and become what God wanted me to be.

This feeling was spurned on by the Christians around me who said things like: If you’re comfortable in your Christianity, you’re doing it wrong. A phrase which always struck me as a bit of a dangling-carrot. Did Jesus die to subject us to further futility? Is the work complete or isn’t it? Did Jesus only perform a half-redemption?

I have since come to realize that I am not alone in these questions. And millions of Christians around the globe are on a mental and spiritual treadmill. Constantly running to try and reach an unreachable goal. Never being satisfied, and never feeling any comfort – because if they dared to, they would be a “lukewarm Christian” in their view.

Well, today we are going to examine this, as we have a discussion about being secure in Christ.

God Has Spoken to You Through Jesus

One of the things which I repeatedly hear people express is that they do not know the will of God. They don’t know what He actually wants to do in their current situation, or sometimes even on a day-to-day basis. And when we are unsure of the will of God, it often leads us down a spiral of confusion that can sometimes be very deep, and very discouraging and fear-inducing. After-all, how can we be sure of anything, if we are supposed to follow the will of God while simultaneously not knowing what His will is? This very question in-fact has led many to abandon God altogether.

Well, as you may have already deduced from the title of today’s study, things aren’t as mysterious or complicated as they may seem. And the truth is that God has actually revealed His will.

Today we do not need to guess at His will… nor do we need to pray in uncertainty and desperation, hoping to hear Him speak – because He has already spoken to us, and His will can be clearly known to us.

Pictures of Jesus in the Beatitudes (part 5)

Alright! Welcome again to part 5 of our series of studies about seeing pictures of Jesus in the Beatitudes.

We have been taking our time and moving slowly through the Beatitudes, and we are taking this approach purposefully, because not only does it allow us to focus on one specific picture of Jesus at a time, and therefore dig deeper into it; but this slower pace is also beneficial because so often the beatitudes are seen as a list of rules to try and live for and towards, rather than as the pictures of Jesus and aspects of our new identity in Him today.

So today, we continue where we last paused in part 4, as we see more pictures of Jesus, and our new identity in Him.

The Double-Minded Person

There’s an interesting group of verses in James chapter 1; a stipulation regarding asking God for things, the verses end with the pointed statement that a double-minded man is unstable in all his ways. That seems like a fairly serious thing to be… but what exactly does it mean to be double-minded?

If we don’t understand the term, how do we really know if we are double-minded? How can we avoid double-mindedness?

It’s important to understand this, not only for our own peace-of-mind, but also so that we can actually receive things from God… because He truly does want us to receive His gifts, but double-mindedness can stop us.

So today we are going to explore this, and answer these questions… as always in the light of the finished work of Jesus Christ.

Rejoice That You Are Reconciled

Romans chapter 5 verse 11 contains an interesting statement. The verse reads: “And not only so, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received reconciliation.” The verse reads: “And not only so, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received reconciliation.”

And it led me to this line of thought and question: What does it mean to be reconciled? And do we honestly rejoice in our reconciliation?

Sure, we may hear talk about rejoicing, but how often do we even think about our reconciliation to God through Jesus Christ? If we are honest with ourselves, many times we act and think as if we still have not been reconciled at all!

So today in this study, we are going to explore this topic and answer these questions, because Paul spends quite a bit of time explaining this – not without reason – he clearly wants us to know and understand the precise reason and foundation for why we can truly rejoice in God.

How to Handle Emotions, Thoughts and Feelings

The title of this study today, is honestly a topic that people have struggled with from the very beginning of time. When a thought, emotion or feeling comes your way, especially a negative or even oppressive one, what do you do about it? How do you handle it?

For some, thoughts, emotions and feelings can be controlling and even rule their life. Some people are held captive by their emotions, and allow their feelings to rule their life. But what can be done about it?

Well, in-fact God has quite a bit to say on the subject, and we are going to answer these questions today, as always by looking at Jesus, and seeing the reality of His finished work for us.

The Essence of the Gospel and Love

At first, the title of today’s study might seem a bit disjointed, the essence of the Gospel and love. You might wonder if it wouldn’t be better to split these into two separate studies. Well, I thought about it, but the more that I explored each, I came to realize that the two cannot truly be separated; they are integral to one another. Without Love, there is no Gospel, and without the Gospel there is no Love. A surprising number of people today do not understand the basic foundation, the basic central core and essence of the Gospel message… all they really know, is that this guy Jesus, at some place and some time, died by crucifixion, and that for some reason He did it for them. (They may also include that He died for their sins).

What I have found is that for most people, these have become empty statements, lacking substance, lacking the essence of God’s Love and their personal identity in Christ. It’s one thing to say with your mouth that Jesus died for your sins – but it’s quite another to apply that reality to your life and to live from that place every single day. To take the fact that Christ has made you a completely new creation, and to apply it personally, and to make that identity completely yours, is the true essence of the Gospel. A fact that has been largely watered-down and even lost in many Christian circles today.