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.

Present Yourself Properly

Anyone who visits here, or has listened to me teach before, has probably heard me mention our identity in Christ. I speak about our identity more than any other topic, simply because it is so very vital to understanding our relationship with Jesus Christ. Nearly every day, I end up meeting someone, or having a discussion with someone who fails to understand the reality of who they truly are in Jesus, and who He has made them to be. This literally breaks my heart to see people in such a state, because I know the pain of living that way far too well. I was stuck in that same spot for many years, and there was no one around to help me through it.

So whenever I encounter someone who needs to know this truth, I don’t hesitate to share it with them – and so I end-up talking about it quite a lot here as well in our studies. Yet I don’t always explain exactly why it is true. Most of the time, I mention it in passing, or as an aside to whatever topic we may be studying in-particular, and this sometimes leaves people wondering where exactly I am getting it from, or if I just made it up!

In light of this, today I want to share with you, how we are to truly see ourselves in Christ Jesus, and why it is true. And by seeing this, it is my wish (and God’s wish) for you to stand on the solid foundation of the finished work of Jesus Christ, for you.

The Last Adam and Who You Really Are

People often ask me why I talk so much about our identity in Christ. I have been asked on more than one occasion, why I don’t talk about something “more relevant”… and each time I respond the exact same way: I say, Sir / Ma’am, there is nothing more relevant than the Gospel of Jesus Christ; there is nothing more relevant than the truth of what He has done and of who we are in Him. That is the very truth that makes us free.

Now there have been some I have said that to, that had their eyes opened, and suddenly realized what I was saying – and there have been others I have said that to, that have snickered and became offended and went off in search of whatever trending topic was going on for that week, but the truth remains, that a vast majority of Christians in the world today are still living weak and powerless lives, with more defeats than victories, and it’s all because of a simple lack of understanding regarding the truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It’s all due to ignorance of what Jesus has really done, and who we are in Him; and so that is what I want to share with you today.

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.