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.

Change Your Lenses, Change Your Life (part 3)

Welcome back to part three of our discussion about perceptions; where we are exploring how the lenses that we see ourselves and the world around us by, can have a powerful and dramatic effect on our entire life. And not surprisingly, the scriptures have quite a bit to teach us about our lenses.

Last week, we paused after seeing how the Israelites failed to enter the Promise Land, by allowing their circumstances and their skewed lenses speak louder to them than the multiple promises of God that they had already been given. This is a scenario that plays out today as well, in the lives of a great number of believers, and it keeps people wandering in the “spiritual wilderness”, continually lost, weak and defeated, when in fact they have countless unclaimed promises of victory right in-front of them.

I also mentioned last week, at the end of our study right before we paused, that even if that picture resembles you today, that there was no need to despair, because there is a way out of the wilderness, thee is an answer, and we will find out what that answer is today in this study. So join me now, as we continue our discussion about changing our lenses, and changing our life.

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.