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.

See Yourself the Way God Sees You

Anyone who has listened to these studies before, knows that our identity in Christ is my main topic… I speak on our identity as New Creations in Christ Jesus more than any other, because it is one of the most neglected aspects of life in Christ – and sadly it’s the foundation of it – it’s the very essence of what Jesus accomplished for you. He has allowed you to be “born again” He has completely regenerated you, from the inside out. And most people are unaware of it.

So I often speak about and study our identity. And today, I would like to show you a practical example in scripture, of this change taking place in the very father of faith, known as Abraham, back when he was just known as Abram. And as we see this happening, we can see how God changed his entire perspective, in the same way that we have studied in the past – and by seeing this you will have a better understanding of what it means to live your new identity in Christ Jesus today.

Beware the Bait-and-Switch

A very old scam with a long history, is called the “Bait-and-Switch”, were people are promised goods or services at a substantial discount, and then later come to find out that what they were promised is either not available, or not as good as was originally expected. The customers are then often highly-pressured to consider more expensive items instead of what they were originally promised.
In the United States, such actions are generally considered to be “false advertising” and many lawsuits have been filed over the years for such practices.

So it saddens me when I see people falling victim to the exact same type of bait-and-switch tactics in modern Christianity. There’s a lot of this going on today and most people don’t even realize that it’s happening to them. In many ways it happens very slowly and subtly, over a period of years, and it ruins people’s spiritual lives.

Well, the scriptures are not shy in warning about it, and so today I want to share with you some common bait-and-switch tactics in Christianity that I have come across, and how you can avoid them by knowing the truth of Jesus Christ.

Give Thanks In All Things

At one time or another, most of us have probably heard at least one sermon preached on the famous verse of 1st Thessalonians 5:18. This well-known verse says that we are supposed to “give thanks in all things.” It’s a tough pill to swallow for many people – not because the instruction itself is difficult, but rather because our interpretation of it makes it harder than it actually is.

You see, what I was taught long ago, and what many people still believe today, is that this famous verse says that we must “give thanks for all things”, when in-fact it doesn’t say that at all. And what I want to share with you today, is what this verse actually is saying, and why this in itself is a testament to Jesus Christ and your relationship with Him.

God’s Standard Has Never Changed

One of the most often recurring objections to the Gospel message is that people say that it lowers God’s standard, or that God has somehow “gone soft” on sin. They say that the Gospel message of Grace is an affront to God’s holiness, and they say because of these things, that it must be a false message, and that the Gospel of Grace must therefore be rejected.

You may be surprised how often I hear these things, and whenever I hear them, I respond with a simple statement: that no, the Gospel doesn’t lower God’s standard, in-fact His standard has never changed.
This doesn’t negate the Gospel message in any way, in-fact it strengthens the Gospel message one-hundred fold.

What I want to share with you today, is how the fact that God’s unchanging and perfect standard is actually a testament to His marvelous grace, and how in Christ Jesus today, you don’t need to be afraid of His standard, but you can honestly rejoice in it.

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.

What Message Are You Listening To?

I’m going to describe a scenario for you… this is a scenario that is played out literally millions of times every week. A person goes to a church building, faithfully, each week; sometimes even twice or three times per week, and dutifully listens to a message, from someone whom they have venerated, and allowed to speak into their mind… someone whom they have allowed to shape the most important part of themselves; the most important part of their lives, because it will affect their eternal destiny.

And since this is so important, you would think that precisely what message is being taught, would be of utmost importance… but for many people; the message is secondary, or even tertiary to other aspects of the “church” (and yes I’m using air-quotes here).

The people I have talked to, have told me that many enjoy going to a church building, for the social aspect of it; they get to see their friends, and participate in activities, and have food… the message isn’t even foremost on their minds – to them, it’s just another part of the social club experience – and my friend, that is dangerous.

It is dangerous because these precious people, are allowing their very beliefs to be shaped by a message each week, that they aren’t even examining against scripture… they let it slide, just because they like the people, they like the atmosphere, they enjoy the social club, and they feel like they “belong” and so they don’t give much thought to what they are actually feeding their soul – or just let it slide because to them, it just isn’t important enough.

So today, what I want to share with you, is what the scriptures say about the true Gospel message, and to show you the genuine article, so that you can know without any doubt, what the true message is.

Who’s Your Daddy?

There are literally millions of people who claim to believe in God, and Jesus Christ. Millions of people claim to be part of a vast spiritual family, and claim to be brothers in Christ. The question that I want to pose to you today in this study, is the one in the title… Who’s Your Daddy? Do you know who your daddy is? Do you know His character? Do you know His love? Are you simply existing in a spiritual family that you don’t really know… and if so, what can you do about it?

I had a conversation recently with a person who claimed that they didn’t really know what the will of God was… they didn’t really know what He would do (this happened to be in regards to healing, but the same could be applied to anything really) – this seemed strange to me, because if you have a close, personal, intimate relationship with someone, you get to know them, and you get to know their character and how they respond to things. If you see a couple that has been married for a long time, you find that they know one-another so well that they finish each-others sentences!

So what I want to share with you today, are some things about the character of God, the way in which He has revealed Himself, and how you can get to know Him in a more personal way.

Let Jesus Restore You

I’ve encountered a lot of resistance to the Gospel message over the years. I used to resist it myself before Jesus was really introduced to me. And in mostly every instance, it boils down to one single thing… the unwillingness of the person to let Jesus restore them. And I’m choosing my words very carefully here. You see, there usually is no argument that a restoration needs to happen… most people accept that, but where they have difficulty (and where I also had difficulty myself) was in recognizing who the active agent of that restoration actually is. Again, most people are not willing to simply let Jesus restore them, they usually want to be restored by some other means or method – usually themselves.

This is nothing new however, it has been going on since the beginning in the Garden of Eden; and a lot of people are stuck in the spiritual mud with this mentality that they must achieve restoration some other way before presenting themselves to God. The reasons for this are sometimes fear, and sometimes pride.

The prideful ones want to try and impress God: They want to have a Tada! Moment where they can say to God something along the lines of “Here I am, all nice and clean for you! Aren’t you proud of what I did?”

And the fearful ones are too afraid to approach God at all because they know that they are dirty and are afraid of His reaction.

Both of these are mentioned in scripture, and I have personally lived on both sides of the aisle myself as well. What I want to share with you today is how to truly handle both of these situations, and find real peace with God, not through your own efforts, but by letting Jesus truly restore 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.