Your Righteousness is Not An Illusion

How many times have you heard the phrase “we are sinners saved by grace”? It’s a common phrase in Christian communities. And most people agree with it. Another one is “God sees you in Christ”… that is a very true statement; God does indeed see you in Christ today. However what I want to share with you is why He sees you in Christ, and the totality of what that statement means. Because we have started to accept a distorted, lesser view of who we are and what we have in Christ Jesus today, than what is actually true, and God wants us to see all of who He has made us to be.

You see, most believers have this idea that they are actually still a sinner, still dirty, still unclean, but that because of what Jesus did on the cross, that God can somehow “look passed” all of that filthiness and see you clean, as if your cleanliness was some kind of trick or fraud or just an illusion. That is not the truth however, your righteousness is not just a mere illusion, and we will see why today.

True Fasting in God’s Eyes

Simply mention the word “fasting” and most people will conjure up images of giving up food, depriving oneself of something vital, or otherwise sacrificing something. The word “fasting” in secular usage has only the meaning of abstaining from food and/or drink, and that is what most Christians understand it to mean as well.

Furthermore, I have encountered many people that fast as a religious observance, because they are trying to “get God’s attention” – although not everyone will readily admit that. In our discussions, when I have asked them why they were fasting, it has always boiled down to the core of either wanting an answer to prayer or wanting to be closer to God – and while these may seem like holy and righteous reasons, I have had to tell them the honest truth, that nothing they could ever do, will ever make them closer to God than what Jesus did over 2,000 years ago on the cross. No sacrifice that we can make today, can ever make us closer to God than the one offered by His Son all those years ago. And most of these people were offended at that statement.

What I want to share with you today, is the portrait of true fasting. Not what man thinks fasting is, but instead what God says fasting is, and the type of fasting that He actually wants. And I believe that by the end of our study today, many chains will be broken, and many burdens lifted, because it is the truth of Jesus Christ that will make us free, and that includes His truth regarding fasting as well.

The Generosity of God Revealed

God is generous. I know by making this one statement, I’ve probably managed to offend someone. The idea of a truly generous God is not very popular today. Many people will say that they believe in a giving and generous God, but when you dig a little deeper, you will find that those same people only have a superficial belief in the generosity of God – which is to say that they don’t really believe that He is generous at all. I have encountered quite a number of people who feel that they must beg God to give them things and barely scrape by in life, and even some who think that the more needy and poor they are, the more it gives God glory and keeps them holy and humble.

On the other side, I have encountered people who say that God could not possibly be generous, because He wants to “test and try us” or “teach us lessons”, and then there are those think that God would just be some kind of magical genie, and so they oppose His generosity on those grounds. So what I want to share with you today, what the scriptures say about God’s generosity, and what He says about Himself.

The Healing Heart of Jesus

Healing is a controversial issue among believers, and most of the contention is around whether it is God’s will to heal, or whether He wants to or not. Many people question God’s heart when it comes to healing, thinking that He only heals in certain circumstances or at certain times. But I want to share with you a different perspective. It comes from Mark chapter 10, and it shows us an amazing picture of Jesus’ heart for healing if we stop and take a look at it.

Why is it important to see Jesus’ heart for healing? Some people would think that it is superfluous; some people would think it’s not important… they relegate healing off into the territory of a curiosity… but for the many people who are sick, in-need and even dying in their physical bodies, the healing of Jesus is very much center-stage – and God knows it. That’s why these pictures of Jesus are in your Bible., not merely to fill pages, but to show you the life that is available to you through Jesus Christ.

God Has Spoken Through Jesus

Do you want God to speak to you? Have you been desperately searching for a word from God? Many people want to hear from God, but they are uncertain exactly how to know whether He has spoken to them or not. Often-times I hear people say, “well, I think He spoke”, and other times people want so desperately for Him to speak that they become deceived and start believing a lie, sometimes for years. I hear the frustration of people when they say, why can’t God just make it simple to hear His voice!

Well, God has made it simple. God has spoken. And what He has spoken is so profound and so vital for each and every person, that once heard and received will change your outlook and your entire life. Today we will be studying exactly how and what God has spoken to us, and by seeing this truth, we will not be uncertain any longer.

Your Reality in Christ, and Why Some Never See It

God’s will for you is nothing short of perfection. That fact must be completely understood right from the very start. His will for you is perfect and that is exactly what He has given to you as a gift. Perfection. He has given you Himself. He has given you Jesus, and through Jesus, you are madeperfectly justified, perfectly righteous, perfectly redeemed, perfectly holy, perfectly whole and perfectly healed. He paid for these things to be yours in Christ, and for all of those that have received Jesus, this is actually your reality today, as amazing as that sounds.

Why is it then that some never see this reality for themselves? Why is it that for some this reality seems to be nothing more than a fleeting wish. Why do some shrug it off as a fantasy. These are questions that many believers struggle with, these questions have even shipwrecked the faith of some people. And so we will be examining these questions today, and see what God’s Word says about them, in the light of the finished work of Jesus Christ, so that these questions will not stumble people any longer.

Trust in Christ and Be at Rest

There are many verses in the Bible that speak of rest… the importance of rest, finding rest and remaining in rest are all topics that can be easily found – or even stumbled across when reading scripture. Why is it then that so many believers are searching for rest? Why is it that so few believers have actually found rest, both for their body and for their soul? Have we all been deceived? Is the scripture on big lie? Or is something else going on here?

Today in this study, we will be taking a look at the rest mentioned in the Bible, to see the details of it, and exactly how it is received. This information is crucial to living the abundant life which Jesus came to bring, and He wants every one of His children to be enjoying His rest.

Receive the Righteousness of Christ and Be Blessed

One of the more common questions that people ask, is how to receive the blessings of God. They are looking for something to do, some action to perform that will bring about miraculous change – almost like a magic spell. They are looking for some new bit of wisdom that will suddenly enlighten them to see a way to acquire what they are searching for. They often think that if only they could find this elusive bit of wisdom, all their questions would be answered and all doors would be opened to them… and so they keep going from this to that, from here to there, hoping to stumble across it somewhere.

Well, today, I am going to show you the hidden treasure. We are going to see it straight from scripture. And as we see this truth today, every door of blessing will be open to us. We have often heard it said that the best place to hide is right in the open, and this truth, this valuable gem and pearl of wisdom has been right in-front of us all along.

God Will Surely Show You Kindness

Over the years I have spoken to believers from all across the globe. Different nationalities, different ages and different backgrounds. For all of their differences though, besides their admission of being believers, they all have something else in common: They are all worried and unsure – not unsure of God’s existence, but rather unsure of His intentions. They aren’t sure of God’s intentions towards them – whether He will do them good or evil… they aren’t sure whether God will protect them and provide for them.

In all honesty, I do understand this mentality, because I used to experience it myself. It’s impossible to be totally sure when it comes to God if you’re on a shifting foundation based on self. If you are looking to your own behaviors and performance to dictate whether you receive blessings or not from God, then you will always be on the shifting sand of your current performance-level. However, thank God that the Bible does not actually teach that we earn favor from God through our own performance or behavior! Today we will be studying how God will surely do us good, and all because of Jesus Christ and His perfect obedience.

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.