Live in Love, Live in Jesus

There’s a lot of religious lingo in our culture today – and Christianity is no exception to that statement. Christians use phrases such as “being in Christ” a phrase that I use often as well, and even borrowed it for the title of today’s study. Some others are “saved” and “redeemed”,”sanctified / holy”, even “eternal life”. We use these words, but do we really have an understanding of what they truly mean?

If we don’t know the meaning of words, the message falls flat… if I’m speaking another language, one that you don’t know, the message of what I am saying will be lost to you.

Even the word “Gospel” has lost it’s meaning to people today. The word comes from the phrase “God Spel” meaning “good news”. The Gospel of Jesus Christ is indeed good news, even better than what we have come to make it out to be most of the time. God has done something greater than what we can even imagine. And it is the good news for us to receive; but many have not been receiving because the message has been lost. This is what what we will be studying today.

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.

You Will Never See Judgment

Are you fearful of God’s judgment? Surely the thought of His judgment is something to be afraid of. However as believers in Christ who have been redeemed by His blood; who have received His atoning sacrifice for us, are we still fearful that somehow we will not escape His judgment? For many, the answer is still “yes.” There are many believers today, who still in one way or another, for one reason or another, believe that God’s judgment can still come upon them – or that they are even under His judgment right now. This often gives them a crippling fear and sabotages the wonderful relationship that Jesus Christ came to restore us to with God.

This is why in this study today we will be examining the Biblical truth, that because of what Jesus has done, you will never be subject to the judgment of God. Jesus took all of the judgment upon Himself in your place. He drew all of God’s holy wrath and punishment for sin to Himself and bore it all in His own body on the cross so that you would be spared. And as I like to say, there’s no reason for two people to pay the same debt twice! This is what we will be taking a look at today.

The Love of God is Better Than Human Love

Have you ever played a word association game? If I say to you “chocolate” what’s the first thing that comes to mind? Word association games are something that I used to play all of the time. And as humans we tend to associate things with words all of the time. If I say to you “love” what do you think of? What if I say “God’s love”? Many of us associate the love of God with ideas and thoughts of human love. We may associate with with a really good feeling of human love, or we may associate it with a really bad feeling of human love depending on our personal experiences… but most of the time we think and behave and have ideas of the love of God really not being much different than the love of a human.

However I want to share with you the truth of the love of God. His love is far superior and much better than even the best love that any human can ever offer. His love is divine. His love is all-encompassing and His love never fails. Today in this study we will be exploring the Divine love of God and how it is so much better than the love of humans. And by seeing this love, you will be able to approach God with a new attitude, free from fear, free from uncertainty and free from the shifting-sand of human ideas and emotions.

The Secret of Effectual Faith

One of the most common questions asked within Christian circles today is how to properly apply our faith. How do we take the information that God has given us and apply it to our lives in a real and working way that makes it be of some benefit and effect? Often-times this is the “million-dollar question”. And the lack of a real answer to this question has stumbled many people over the years. People become frustrated because the answers that are usually given, generally are not really answers at all. People say things like “Well, just keep on fighting, keep on pressing in.” – and that’s a nice word, the Bible does speak about the importance of perseverance, but at the same time, it totally fails to answer the question at hand… how do we apply our faith to our lives and make it effectual?

This very question is what we will be answering today in this study, and we will be answering it directly from scripture, so that this important question will not be a stumbling block any longer. If you have been looking for a breakthrough regarding faith, then you will find it today in this study.

Jesus Fulfilled the Law in You

I have had many talks with believers over the years, many of whom are at different places in their relationship with Christ. Even so, there is one issue that seems to be brought up again and again… and that is this inner-desire or perceived need to fulfill the Law. These people feel as though the Law somehow remains unmet or unsatisfied and that they are left to fulfill it themselves, and that to not do so, disappoints God or shows Him disrespect.

Another commonly held belief is that by attempting to keep or fulfill the Law, we are showing gratitude toward God for what He has done. However both of these ideas are simply avenues by which the Old Covenant is being reintroduced – placing new wine back into an old wineskin, which Jesus said cannot be done in Mark 2:22. This desire to fulfill the Law ourselves, is erroneous because it fails to recognize the finished work of Jesus Christ for you and in you. This is what we will be studying today.

Christ Jesus: Your Victory Over the World

Nearly every single day, I invariably have at least one encounter with someone struggling in their behavior to some degree. I am not speaking about people of the world here, but about believers. People who genuinely want to “do the right thing.” but find themselves incapable of accomplishing their goal. This should not be surprising, because as we have been studying in the scriptures, it is very clear that we have no ability to perform within ourselves. Our victory does not come from our own self-effort, striving or willpower.

This does not mean that we have to live in defeat. There is a source of strength, there is an avenue of victory over the world – though it may not come the way that you expect. Many believers actually think that victory only comes by buckling down, gritting your teeth and clenching your fist tighter – in other words through “trying harder”, but this is not what the Bible teaches. What we will be studying today is how to have true victory, through Jesus Christ.

Boldly Embrace the Gospel of Grace

One day I was speaking with a gentleman and proceeded to invite him to our weekly Bible study. His response to my invitation was unexpected. He replied “You’re not one of those fluffy grace guys are you? I don’t want any of that!”. He proceeded to tell me that in his opinion, what we all need is more fire and brimstone preaching against sin, and how all of these fluffy grace preachers are diluting things further.

This kind of thinking is actually fairly common. However, is this what the Bible actually teaches? I know that it is a commonly held belief that too much grace is a dangerous thing… but is that commonly held belief supported by what the scripture says? This is what we will be studying today. As we see the truth of what the scripture says, it will quench any doubt that we have have regarding the message of Grace.

Justified Freely: The Gift of Jesus to You

Once someone said to me: “James, I just don’t understand God.” I responded “in what way?” Because there are some aspects of God which we will never understand while still under the confines of our human brain. However there are some aspects of God which we are not only made to understand, but it is vital that we do so,. This man replied, “I don’t understand how God can still love me when I sin.”

At this point I realized that this man was struggling with something that all of us at one point have wrestled with, and many believers are still battling with this very same thought. Many still do not understand that marvelous work which Jesus Christ has done for them. Even in the church, there are a great number of people who profess Christ with their mouth, and claim to have received the gift, but they have not even started to unwrap it. So in this study today, we will be examining the gift of justification which Jesus Christ has freely given to each and every one of us, and how seeing this truth, can bring peace to any lingering doubt about where you stand in Christ today.

You Are the Beloved of God in Christ

Do you know that God loves you? Most believers would answer “yes” without thinking. However, I want to go deeper than that. Do you know that you are the beloved of God? Do you know that God loves you more than any other thing or person in existence? Even choosing to sacrifice His dearly beloved Son so that you would be spared? Most believers have a superficial awareness of the love of God for them, but have never really explored the depth of His love.

This is what we will be doing today. Digging deeper into the love of God which is poured out upon us. The matchless love which in Christ Jesus we have full access to today. By seeing the love which God has for you, it will make it easier to experience intimacy with Him, and help us to frame the right mindset for our relationship with God.