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.

Without Jesus, We Can Do Nothing

The name of this ministry ThrivingBranch, comes from the discourse that Jesus makes in John chapter 15, about Him being the Vine and us being the branches. We have done studies in this discourse before. Today however, we are going to focus in on one specific area of what Jesus said – one specific point which often gets overlooked; that without Him we can do nothing.
I emphasize that last part, because it is actually very important to our understanding and perspective of our relationship with Christ, and it’s also a point that is devastating to our own human pride.

You see, we tend to not really believe that Jesus meant what He said… that without Him we truly cannot do anything. Surely, He was exaggerating a little bit, right? Of-course He didn’t mean that we can’t do a single thing without Him, did He?

Indeed He did. And this is what we will be taking a look at today in this study. And by seeing this, we will be able to truly embrace our relationship with Christ, and understand the necessity for Him and everything that He provides to us.

God is Not Just Your Light, He is Your Salvation

We recently did a study on how God is Light, and the Father of it, and it is absolutely true. The plain and simple analogy here is that without Him you can’t see anything clearly (or at all!). It is certainly true that He is Light – but that is not all that He is!

You may think that this is an obvious statement, but let me tell you that back in the days when I was entrenched in legalism and the religious performance mindset, I never really saw God as anything other than light. Oh sure – I knew of the scriptures which stated that He was more, but for myself personally on a daily-basis, I never factored-in anything other than God merely being a source of spiritual light. And there are a great number of people today who are still in that exact same place.

The implications of this are widespread and quite damaging to our relationship and union with Christ. For example, seeing God as only a light to point you in the right-direction, which you then must strive for through your effort and work, can actually totally negate the finished work of Jesus Christ.

So what I want to share with you today in this study, is the fact that God is so much more than light. He’s not just a pointer to salvation; but rather He is salvation.

What if God Wasn’t Recording Your Sins?

I invite you to look at the title of today’s study, and ponder it deeply for a few moments. What if God wasn’t recording your sins? How would that change your life? How would that change the way you think, or the concerns of your heart? How would that affect your conscience, or the guilt and shame that so easily burdens us? How would this change your relationship with God and how you view Him?

In this study today, we will be looking at these questions, and the truth of scripture that surrounds them. We will be examining all of this through the lens of the grace of God, and in the light of the finished work of Christ – His sacrifice for you, and who you are today in Him.

As you see this truth today, your eyes will be opened to the amazing Grace of God, that we sometimes sing about, but never stop to consider the reality of what it means for us. And many chains of guilt, shame and condemnation will be broken as a result of seeing this today.

Eat Healthy… Spiritually

You may have heard the phrase before, You are what you eat. It’s a common phrase that is often used to promote a healthy diet and healthy eating. If you consume unhealthy foods, you will become unhealthy – likewise if you consume healthy foods, you will become healthy. That is the general idea behind this popular phrase.

Spiritual leaders have sometimes latched onto this phrase as well, saying “You feed your body healthy food, why not your spirit?” (or something similar to this). And it’s true, that many people pay more attention to what they are feeding on physically, than what they are feeding on spiritually; even though the spiritual is far more important.

Today, I would like to share with you about eating healthy, from a spiritual perspective. How to eat healthy… spiritually – and how by seeing this, we can also see how Christ is the best possible spiritual nutrition that you could ever feed on.

Deconstructing Common Anti-Grace Beliefs

I have encountered many anti-Grace beliefs and positions over the years. One of the most common push-backs against the Gospel of Grace in Christ, is that “Grace gives people a license to sin”. This is the one that I have encountered more than any other. It is a sentiment that is expressed in a variety of different ways, such as “So you’re saying people can live however they want?”, to the more subtle “well, there needs to a balance to prevent hyper-grace”.

Regardless of what form this sentiment takes, it is all rooted in the same thing: a fear of Grace. Many people have been trained to be fearful of the very Grace that can save… the very Grace that Jesus came to bring; and the sad reality is that this fear (which is based on man-made doctrines) actually prevents people from receiving the Grace that can save them.

So today in this study, we will be examining the most common anti-Grace beliefs, and see how they hold up to the truth of scripture.

Don’t Sleep With the Enemy

A phrase that is often heard (at least in the United States) is “Don’t sleep with the enemy” – it’s a phrase of advice, and it is basically advising against maintaining a friendly relationship with an adversary, or someone on an opposing side.

It’s good advice, not only for the physical world, but for the spiritual realm as well. In-fact there is a very interesting example of just such an occurrence happening in scripture, and through it, we can see an amazing truth and a wonderful picture of Jesus, and what we have today in Him. That is what I want to share for you today in this study.

What the Finished Work Means For You

Why did Jesus die? It’s a simple question that will get you a myriad of different answers. There is also another question that follows along with it… since He died, what does that mean for you today? It’s amazing that something so simple and so foundational to this thing known as Christianity, can be so confused and so misunderstood. But answering these questions is essential to living the live that Christ truly wants us to live… and it may not be what you expect – it probably isn’t what you have been told or what you have believed.

You see, Jesus didn’t die just for your old identity to endure – for you to remain a “sinner” and just suffer here on the earth as a broken vessel hoping and waiting for everything to be made well one day when you finally go to Heaven.

No, Jesus died for your remove that old identity from you and to give you a completely new identity, and to place His Spirit back inside of you, to indwell you fully and to give you His righteousness and a proper place as a beloved child of God.

This is the truth that I want to share with you today, and as you receive this truth, you will be able to enjoy new levels of union with Christ and enjoy the new identity that you have in Him.

What it Means to Have Love

Most people who have read the book of 1st Corinthians, are familiar with the phrase from chapter 13, stating that if you do not have love, nothing else matters. Most people and most preachers for that matter present this in a way which makes it seem as though this verse is saying you must work up love, and do your best to love others – and most people tend to accept and believe that to be true.

However, what I want to share with you today is a different perspective. As we take a look at 1st Corinthians 13, through the lens of Grace and the finished work of Christ, we begin to see something different than what is generally assumed. Something less focused on our efforts to try and work-up love within ourselves, and something more (properly) focused on Christ, His finished work, and His love for us. By seeing this, you will have a new appreciation and application of the love of God in your daily life.

Jesus in Proverbs 15

The book of Proverbs is many things to many people. Some see it as a book of wisdom. Others see it as poetry. From one standpoint, it is both a book containing wisdom and poetry; many of the wisdom verses are written using Hebrew poetry. However while all of that may be nice, in the long-run, to be quite honest, it doesn’t really matter. It doesn’t save anyone, or change anyone’s life, to know that Proverbs is considered a “wisdom book” or a “poetry book” – at the end of the day, it is just an interesting fact, just another piece of what I call Bible trivia.

Reading the Bible is more than just absorbing facts, scriptural knowledge or Bible trivia. The focus should never be on raw data retention or interesting tidbits . It’s not a what that we should be focusing on, but rather a who… it is Jesus. All of the scripture reading in the world, is all meaningless if we do not see Jesus in it; because He is the one who gives it meaning.

So today, I want to share with you, some beautiful aspects of Jesus, directly from Proverbs 15, and by seeing Him, you have a new way to appreciate and savor Jesus, in the book of Proverbs.