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.

The Essence of the Gospel and Love

At first, the title of today’s study might seem a bit disjointed, the essence of the Gospel and love. You might wonder if it wouldn’t be better to split these into two separate studies. Well, I thought about it, but the more that I explored each, I came to realize that the two cannot truly be separated; they are integral to one another. Without Love, there is no Gospel, and without the Gospel there is no Love. A surprising number of people today do not understand the basic foundation, the basic central core and essence of the Gospel message… all they really know, is that this guy Jesus, at some place and some time, died by crucifixion, and that for some reason He did it for them. (They may also include that He died for their sins).

What I have found is that for most people, these have become empty statements, lacking substance, lacking the essence of God’s Love and their personal identity in Christ. It’s one thing to say with your mouth that Jesus died for your sins – but it’s quite another to apply that reality to your life and to live from that place every single day. To take the fact that Christ has made you a completely new creation, and to apply it personally, and to make that identity completely yours, is the true essence of the Gospel. A fact that has been largely watered-down and even lost in many Christian circles today.

The Spirit’s Role in Your Life

What role does the Holy Spirit of God have in your life? I have asked this question to a lot of people over the years, and I have heard a lot of different answers. Some people say that the Spirit of God tells us when we sin. Others say along a similar line, that the Spirit is our conscience, telling us wrong from right, good from evil. And of-course there are others still who just plain have no idea what the Spirit is for, or if the Spirit of God even exists today at all.

What I want to share with you today, is what the Bible says about the Spirit’s Role in our life today, and how the Spirit of God interacts with us. Jesus said that it would be better for us when He departed, because He would give us another Comforter, that being His Spirit – and He didn’t leave us guessing about who this Comforter was or what role the Spirit would have. So we shouldn’t be hesitant to look at it.

Living in Truth and Love

It’s no secret that the body of Christ is divided today. There are all manner of sects, churches and ministries to fit any particular tribe, taste or temperament that exists. There are even entire ministries dedicated to specific topics and categories. Personally I think that there should only be one category: Christ and His Finished Work – and from that, everything else will flow and every problem solved. Now, not surprisingly, when I mention this, some people get put-off and offended… they think that it is narrow-minded to say that the finished work of Christ can solve every problem, and when they tell me that, I typically respond by telling them that they have a very limited view of what He accomplished.

Sometimes that statement makes them curious and they want to know more; and sometimes it offends them even deeper – especially if they have been a believer for many years. Yet regardless of how long someone has been a believer, that doesn’t change the fact that there are countless people who have not been properly shown what the finished work of Christ actually accomplished, and so they have a dim view of what Jesus has really done for them.

Yes God Loves You That Much

Over and over again, I hear people say “If God loves me, then why did this happen?” – and you can fill in the blank with almost anything. If God loves me, then why did I get sick? If God loves me then why did this person die? If God loves me… then He would’ve prevented it. This is a real stumbling-block for a lot of people. And it’s okay to admit that. It’s okay to ask the question, and it’s okay to admit feeling that way. And I want to prepare you for what I am going to share with you today, because I am not going to give you the standard canned-response that most religious leaders would… I’m not going to tell you that the bad things that happened were actually good. I’m not going to tell you that you just need to grin and swallow it because God works in mysterious ways and we can never understand it so just suck-it-up and take it. Absolutely not!

Now here’s the shocker… The Bible also does not tell us to behave that way! Those are all things that religious leaders have come up with. Distorting the truth of scripture, usually not on purpose, but because they themselves didn’t have the answer and they were trying to protect people’s feelings and emotions, but ended-up doing more harm. So what I want to share with you today, is what the Bible actually says about the love of God – specifically in hard times – and how His love can be clearly seen in it.

Obey the Truth of the Gospel

Obedience. The word conjures up images and thought of behavior and performance for many people. Legalistic pastors and leaders often teach on obedience in an effort to spur people on in their works – trying to make people fall in line and follow rules and regulations; leading many people into guilt, despair, confusion and fear when they fail… wondering how they could ever measure up, “be good enough” or be accepted and approved-of by God.

New Covenant obedience as defined in the scriptures, however, shows us a different kind of obedience. One not founded on the works or self-effort of man, but one based on the perfect work of Jesus Christ. This kind of obedience is backwards to man’s idea, and the thinking of the world. The world says that we must perform to become… we must perform properly to become accepted. However the scriptures tell us that in the New Covenant, we believe that through Christ, we have become accepted already, and we perform because we are New Creations through the Spirit. In reality, our belief is our obedience. We are obedient to the truth. And this is what we will be studying today.

God Has Spoken Through Jesus

Do you want God to speak to you? Have you been desperately searching for a word from God? Many people want to hear from God, but they are uncertain exactly how to know whether He has spoken to them or not. Often-times I hear people say, “well, I think He spoke”, and other times people want so desperately for Him to speak that they become deceived and start believing a lie, sometimes for years. I hear the frustration of people when they say, why can’t God just make it simple to hear His voice!

Well, God has made it simple. God has spoken. And what He has spoken is so profound and so vital for each and every person, that once heard and received will change your outlook and your entire life. Today we will be studying exactly how and what God has spoken to us, and by seeing this truth, we will not be uncertain any longer.

You Have Been Freed From the Curse

Close your eyes for a moment and imagine yourself bound. Imagine your hands, arms and legs bound with chains; imagine being shackled tightly and how you would feel, not being able to move at all. Now imagine that there was a divine miracle, all of the chains that bound you have instantly fallen off; you are no longer bound. You were not able to move at all before, and now you are free to move around as much as you desire. You have a reason to rejoice! You have a reason to celebrate! You were a prisoner, and now you are free!

This scenario is actually more than just an imagination – it is a wonderful reality. You and I were prisoners once; prisoners to sin, prisoners to sickness, disease and all the curse of the Law of Moses. Now however, we have been set free. We have been released from all of the curse, however many people do not yet realize that they have been set free. They are behaving and living as though they are still bound, even though the shackles are no longer holding them in-place. Today we will be studying the wonderful reality that you have actually been released from the curse. You do not have to live in bondage and fear any longer. Jesus has delivered you.

Jesus Is Your Answer

It’s considered cliché these days to say Jesus is the answer. People upon hearing the phrase will typically react with an eye-roll, or say “Yeah, I know, but…” – as if to admit that they do not really believe that He is the answer at all. Believers continue to search for new truths, new ideas, new philosophies and theologies every day because they are still searching for answers. They are searching for something more, as if Jesus was not enough, and in the eyes of many, He secretly isn’t enough.

Now it’s okay to admit feeling that way. It’s okay to admit thinking that… because the honest admission that sometimes we feel or think that Jesus isn’t enough is a starting-point upon which to build the true Gospel foundation of Jesus Christ. I’ve watched many professing believers over the years, who were too afraid to make that admission, live their entire lives searching for answers, going from this thing to that thing, attending every conference they come across, reading every book, laboring in all kinds of works – so busy, yet still not finding their answer, because in all of their busy-ness, they have missed Jesus… never even truly realizing that He is the One and Only Answer that they need. Today, we will be taking a look at how Jesus is our true answer, and saying that will no longer be an empty cliché.

You Are the Manifestation of Jesus Today

In our continuing study of who we are in Christ, one thing that tends to receive a lot of push-back from the traditionalists in the world today, is the truth that in Christ Jesus today, we are the manifestation of Him on the earth. We are the manifestation of Jesus to all of the people of the world today. This idea irritates those who believe that it is insolence to in any way liken ourselves to Jesus They believe that because He is so much greater than us, that it is an insult to even make any kind of comparison which connects Him with us. It may seem right to our human thinking, however, God Himself has a different idea than this traditionalist view.

That’s why as we study today, we are going to be taking a look at precisely what Jesus has to say about Himself and us, and what our relationship to Him actually is. And by seeing this truth, we will no longer have this perceived distance between us and God any longer. We will be able to embrace our true nature in Him; and live in the truth that He wants us to live in.