by Lani W Finley

 
 

The Many Blessings of God's Grace

Table of Content

The Goodness of God

Who Is Worthy?

The Purpose of Man

Our Heritage In Adam

The Power of the Blood

Love and Justice

The Supreme Exchange

Forgiven By His Death - Saved By His Life

Our Righteousness In Christ

A New Ancestor and Heritage In Christ

Grace Is Not About Our Feelings or Emotions

All of the above are contained in this article.


 

The Goodness of God

If we are to begin to comprehend the depths and splendor of God's grace, then we must first believe in the absolute goodness of God. It is the only basis upon which we can start to accept the truth about God's gift of salvation. It is only when we come to believe that God has our best interest at heart that we will begin to trust in His love, forgiveness and promises. Our Heavenly Father has never asked anyone to give up anything that would not ultimately destroy him or her. He only wants to give us good things that will ultimately bring us life, health and happiness.

Man's transgressions had separated him from God and closed the door to eternal life. However, God's goodness prevailed. He never stopped loving man, even though man was living a life of sin and rebellion. "But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us" (Rom 5:8). The most costly thing God ever did, was to love mankind. It cost Him the life of His precious Son, Jesus Christ. God ordained Jesus to suffer a painful death, in order to save us from eternal judgement. Therefore, Jesus Christ can be considered as the personification and proof of God's Goodness.

The gospel of grace is about God's desire for a relationship with man. It is God who has reached out to His creation, through Jesus Christ.

And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation; 19To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation (2 Cor 5:18-19).

Since the fall of man, the human heart does not naturally seek after God. It is the heart of the Father that has stretched forth His hand and pursued a relationship with mankind. He risked all to open the door of salvation and reconcile man to Himself. When we realize that the gospel message is about God's desire to love us, then we will begin to behold the splendor and depths of grace. Back to beginning of booklet

Who Is Worthy?

The primary weapons, which Satan uses against all Believers, are fear, guilt, deception and lies. They work together to produce one of the most damaging feelings

that a Christian can experience. The feeling of being "Unworthy." Most Christians have wrestled with a little hounding voice that whispers,

Just look at all the horrible sins you have committed in your lifetime. Do you really believe God could forgive such a terrible past and accept you as His child? A holy and righteous God could never have fellowship with such a sinner.

How dare you believe that you are worthy of His love and forgiveness. Your sins are too deplorable for Him to forgive. And look at how many times you have failed Him, and not lived up to His standards.

You promise God that you will do better, but you keep on committing that same sin repeatedly. You are a weak and helpless failure. God cannot use you. His promises could never apply to you.

These words of discouragement do not proceed from the Holy Spirit, but rather, from the Hiss of the Serpent. "For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind" (2 Tim 1:7). The Greek word translated as fear in this scripture is deilia and in its truest sense, it actually means not to be timid. However, who could be more timid than those who are burdened with the emotion of fear? It is Satan who continually troubles us with these feelings and tries to make us believe we are unworthy. His goal is to convince every Christian that God is angry with them and they are out of the reach of His love and mercy.

The devil knows that if he can convince us of these lies, then he will cripple our Christian Walk with God. We will become so paralyzed with a sense of unworthiness, that we will be unable to accept God's truth about our absolute salvation in Jesus. We will begin to doubt that God's promises belong to us and we will be hesitant to step forward and take hold of the peace and confidence that Christians should posses. We will also begin to question our relationship with God and be reluctant to reach out for the power and gifts that He longs to give us.

The apostle James reveals that, "...the devils also believe, and tremble" (James 2:19). It is Satan and his demons that are afraid of God and tremble before Him. Satan is terrified of God's wrath, because he will never repent of his sins and he wants Christians to share his feelings of guilt, condemnation and hopelessness.

The apostle Paul assures Believers of the love that God has for us and refutes the evil whispers of the enemy.

However, God commended his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. 9Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him (Rom 5:8-9). Emphasis of scripture is mine throughout.

It is only those who refuse to be cleansed by the blood of Jesus, which have to fear the wrath of God. His children are saved from His judgement and are free to enjoy a deep and personal relationship with their Heavenly Father. "For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ" (1Thes 5:9).

The truth is that no person is worthy of the saving grace of God. That is why it is called a gift. The word grace, as it applies to our salvation, simply means an "undeserved pardon." It is not based on our worthiness. God's grace is not about our ability to please Him through personal performance or righteousness. Therefore, why should Christians allow themselves to be tormented over this issue? There is only one person that has lived a sinless life in the flesh, and that person is Jesus Christ. Only the Lamb of God is Worthy!

And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation (Rev 5:9).

Pastors should be careful not to sow a sense of unworthiness in the members of their congregations. They must make sure that every Believer understands his complete redemption in Christ. Sermons regarding sin should never leave worshippers with the feeling that, "God hates sin. I am a sinner. Therefore, God must hate me." While God does not approve of sin, He still loves the person who has accepted His mercy, through Christ. Mature and seasoned Christians will always struggle with the lustful desires of the flesh and battle sinful strongholds. God never expected us to live the Christian life without any failures. That is why we have a Living Savior who constantly intercedes for our weaknesses. We can be comforted by the word of the apostle John.

My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: 2And he is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world (I Jn 2:1-2).

It is Satan's name, which means "slanderer or accuser." In Revelations 12:10, the devil is described as the evil one who relentlessly condemns Christians before God. However, Jesus Christ has never taken a single transgression of a Believer before the throne of God. This is confirmed by the words of the apostle Paul.

Who will bring a charge against God's elect? God is the one who justifies; 34 who is the one who condemns? Christ Jesus is He who died, yes, rather who was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who also intercedes for us (Rom 8:33-34 NAU)

Jesus is our intercessor. His blood forgives all past sins and any future sins that we confess. He does not discuss our faults with the Heavenly Father. He is our advocate who testifies on our behalf and witnesses that we are clean through Him. Only Satan wishes to condemn us. If we listen to the voice of the devil, we will not be able to experience the true joy of Christianity.

God's Word gives us comfort by assuring us of His love.

For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, 39Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord (Rom 8:38-39).

The apostle John informs us that Christ came to destroy Satan's works. "... For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil" (I Jn 3:8). God expects His children to continue with Christ's ministry. Satan knows if he can make us weak, through a feeling of condemnation, then we will be unable to wage a successful war against him.

Our Heavenly Father has promised to forgive all of our sins and never remember them. "For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more" (Heb 8:12). All Christian should remember these words and apply them to the following remarks of Pastor Erwin Lutzer.

If God is able to forget your past, why can't you? He throws our sins into the depths of the sea and then puts up a sign on the shore which reads, "No fishing". 1

The lyrics of a popular hymn will help us to grasp the personal nature of our salvation in Jesus. "When He was on the cross, I was on His mind." Jesus not only died for the sins of the world, but for you and me. In Christ, there is no condemnation upon us and we are counted worthy to be called the children of God.

God encourages us to live by faith and believe every word He speaks. "... It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God" (Matt 4:4). He also desires us to approach Him with complete confidence. "Let us therefore draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and may find grace to help in time of need" (Heb 4:16 NAS). We must never allow Satan to rob us of the peace that is ours through Jesus. May we believe the Word of God and not the "hiss of the serpent?" Back to beginning of booklet

The Purpose of Man

Mankind was created to become members of the Family of God. This has always been God's purpose for man. It has never changed. How sad that most people have misunderstood the true destiny of the human race. Today's television and movie industry consistently depicts those that have died, and "supposedly and gone to heaven," as becoming glorified angels. They are usually portrayed as angelic beings that return to earth and help those who are facing life's difficulties.

However, God did not create man to become angels, nor did He create him out of a need to be worshiped. God had a kingdom and He had a government before the creation of the world, but He did not have a family (Job 38:4-7). His generous and loving heart longed to share His life, power and possessions with other family members. God created angels to fulfill a specific role in His Kingdom, but He created man to fulfill a specific role in His family. "And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father. Wherefore thou art no more a servant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ" (Gal 4:6-7).

Only man has been blessed with the opportunity to become members of God's glorious family. The apostle Paul delivered this truth to the Believers at Rome.

For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. 15For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. 16The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: 17And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together (Rom 8:14-17).

This great opportunity has never been offered to the angelic world.

But to which of the angels said he at any time, Sit on my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool? 14Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation (Heb 1:13-14)?

Angels were created from the power of God, but have never been offered sonship in the Family of God.

Notice the word Abba in the scriptures quoted above. It is an Aramaic word that is comparable to our English word Daddy. It denotes a close, personal and endearing relationship with one's dad. God no longer wants His begotten children to embrace Him only as their God, but also as their personal and loving spiritual Father. Begotten Christians are now joint-heirs with Christ. We have the opportunity to inherit the same quality of life that our Savior, Jesus Christ, now possesses.

Every human being has been formed in their mother's womb by the very hand of God. "Thus saith the LORD, thy redeemer, and he that formed thee from the womb, I am the LORD that maketh all things; that stretcheth forth the heavens alone; that spreadeth abroad the earth by myself (Isa 44:24). Each one of us has been created for a specific purpose and role in the Family of God. He created man in His very own image and with dignity, dominion and free-moral agency (Gen 1:26-27). He gave Adam and Eve a choice in the Garden of Eden. Sadly, our ancestors chose to seek their own destiny apart from the love, wisdom and protection of God.

Nonetheless, the fall of man never changed the purpose for which he was created; it only necessitated the need for our salvation through grace. God, through Jesus Christ, is now restoring man to his original destiny - to become a member of the Household of God. The apostle John speaks of this truth with great affection.

Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not. 2Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is (I Jn 3:1-2).

Christ's apostles understood the reason and purpose for grace. Will we accept the truth that God created mankind to become His very own children? It is the basic reason why God was willing to pay such a high price to save humanity. Back to beginning of booklet


Our Heritage In Adam

We sometimes read the account of the fall of man without fully realizing the damaging effects that this event had upon the human race. The account of this event is much more than just a story about two people in a garden. It penetrates to the core of human misery. It is vitally important that we understand the destructive consequences of Adam and Eve's first sin. It is the reason why this world so desperately needs the saving grace of God.

We all know the story surrounding the sin of man. Adam and Eve were deceived by the cunning words of the serpent and ate the "forbidden fruit" (Gen. 3:1-7). God had warned them that if they disbelieved the integrity of His word and disobeyed His voice, they would surely die (Gen. 2:17).

We must not fail to fully grasp the devastating consequences of this incident and how it is responsible for every tear that man has shed in pain, grief and sorrow. The very moment that Adam and Eve transgressed the instructions of God, three dark forces took control of the life and destiny of mortal man. Death, human nature and damaged human emotions. They filled the heart, soul and body of Adam and Eve and launched the family of man into a collision course with disaster. Sin had entered the human race and its consequences would be handed down to all future generations. All the woes of mankind were inherited at that very moment. Humanity had become a bond slave to these cruel and unforgiving masters.

Man's first new master was death. Man's relationship with God was broken and death entered the soul of man. His body would begin to deteriorate and be subject to suffering, pain, sickness, disease and ultimately death. Eternal life had eluded our ancestors and was no longer within their reach. God possesses the souls of all humanity and His law is simple; the soul that sins shall die. "Behold, all souls are mine; as the soul of the father, so also the soul of the son is mine: the soul that sinneth, it shall die" (Ezek 18:4). Every gravesite is a painful witness to this truth. This fact alone should convince us to believe and trust in the every word that God speaks. Death became a part of man's heritage.

His second new master was human nature. Man's heart was now focused on the self and driven to fulfill the sinful desires of the flesh. Jealousy, lust, sensuality, envy and murder had replaced the innocence of his heart. His new nature was hostile to God and he would begin to covet the possessions of his fellowman. "Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be" (Rom 8:7). God's laws were revealed in order to teach us how to love one another. However, man's fallen nature would diminish his desire to share his love and possessions with others. Instead of an inherent desire to give, he would become obsessed with the need to possess and to protect the self.


His third new master was damaged human emotions. Just as soon as Adam had sinned, he experienced in his heart, the anguish of negative and damaged human emotions. The first human emotions that sin produced within man's spirit were fear, guilt and shame and a desire to run and hid from God.

"And he said, I heard thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid {fear}
because I was naked {guilt and shame};
and I hid myself"{running from God} (Gen 3:10).

There is nothing more tormenting and debilitating than these negative emotions. The offices of pastors, doctors, and psychiatrists are filled with broken people who are victims of these damaged emotions. Depression, mental illness and physical sickness are often caused by unresolved guilt. It has been estimated that up to one-half of the hospital beds in America are occupied by patients with emotionally based illnesses. Some doctors have stated, that many of their patients could be released, if they could only be totally convinced that God has completely and absolutely forgiven them. Hospitals and mental institutions are testimonials to the fact that the stress of fear and guilt, will eventually cause the human mind and body to break down.

The desire to run and hide from God was also a product of man's fall. Pastor P.P. Waldenstrom explains how sin had changed man's heart toward God.

...Just as soon as Adam had sinned, he received in his heart another image of God than he had had. Instead of returning, as a fallen son, to God with confidence, he fled from Him with terror, hid himself from Him and endeavored to conceal the truth from Him. The change, which had taken place in Adam's heart, made him believe that God, also, had changed.

Adam and Eve enjoyed healthy emotions under the supervision God. However, their actions had caused the turmoil of human emotions to replace the serenity that God had given them. This too, was passed on to all generations.

This is our earthly inheritance in Adam. Our ancestor's disobedience severed man's relationship with God and brought chaos upon all flesh. Death, human nature and damaged emotions had become man's new masters. How could he be redeemed from this hopeless bondage? Who could pay such a high ransom and free him from these evil and ruthless masters? How could his relationship with God be restored?

The only answer, which could be found in heaven or earth, was the blood sacrifice of Jesus Christ. Our loving Creator had agreed to offer His life, for His creation, before the foundation of the world (Rev.13: 8). However, after Adam and Eve had sinned, the matter was now settled. Jesus must die - or humanity would perish. Adam and Eve's sin not only brought death to their future children, but it also caused the death of our Creator, Jesus Christ. Back to beginning of booklet

The Power of the Blood

Why was it necessary for Jesus to shed His blood in order for us to be forgiven? The answer can be found by understanding the power of the blood. The New Testament tells us that, "... almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission" (Heb 9:22). Just what is there about blood that could give it any value toward a person's redemption and why is blood necessary for forgiveness? The answer is found in Lev. 17: 14, "because the life of every creature is its blood. That is why I have said to the Israelites, You must not eat the blood of any creature, because the life of every creature is its blood..." (NIV).

The penalty for sin is death. Therefore, the life of the guilty party must be forfeited in order to satisfy the requirements of the law. The life of the flesh is in its blood and the shedding of its blood ends the life of the donor. When the guilty party's life has ended, through the shedding of its blood, then the wages of its sin has been paid.

The value of the blood is determined by the value of the life that possesses it. For instance, the blood of a small dove is considered less valuable than the blood of a goat. Likewise, the blood of a ram is considered less valuable than the blood of a bullock. The blood of a man is more valuable than the blood of all animals, because he is the only being created in God's image and has been endowed with a spirit of reason, understanding and creativity.1 That is why the animal sacrifices in the Old Covenant could not forgive the sins of man. The blood of all animals could never equal the value of one man's blood. It was only a temporary covering of man's sins until the coming of the Messiah. Therefore, man's sins were never erased by the sacrifice of animals - only temporarily covered. The apostle Paul speaks of this truth in Heb 10: 4, "For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins."

The eternal life of the Godhead flowed through the veins and spirit of Jesus. The scriptures reveal that Jesus was not begotten from human seed, but from the seed of God. "The angel answered and said to her [Mary], "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; and for that reason the holy Child shall be called the Son of God" (Luke 1:35. NAU). It is a proven fact that the father's seed determines the blood of a human being - and the life of the flesh is in its blood. Therefore, the life of Jesus was divine, because He was conceived from the very seed of God. That is why the scriptures reveal that He was God in the flesh. "Call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us" (Matt. 1:23).

The seed of God is holy and possesses no sin. For that reason, there was no sin handed down to Jesus. It was not only necessary that the Savior of the world lives a sinless life, but he also had to be conceived and born in a sinless state.

Consequently, only Christ's blood can bring redemption to mankind. For it was Jesus that created the human race, and He is the spiritual source from which all humankind has derived its life (John 1:1-4). Therefore, Jesus is the only one whose blood is valued more than all of mankindís combined. It was only through His holy and sinless blood, that the sin debt for all humanity could be paid. Back to beginning of booklet

Love and Justice

"Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned" (Rom 5:12). Yes, we all find ourselves plagued with this same fatal disease. The wages of sin is death (Rom 6: 23) and sin is the transgression of God's laws (1 Jn 3: 4). The scriptures tell us that, "...all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God" (Rom 3:23). Therefore, every human being owes a debt of sin that they are unable to pay.

Why can't God just forgive us, excuse our transgressions and overlook them? After all, doesn't God understand that we have to fight against invisible wicked spirits that have great power? "For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places" (Eph 6:12). In addition, doesn't God understand that we possess a natural tendency to desire things that are forbidden? "Because the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God; for it does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is not even able {to do so} (Rom 8:7-8 NAS). So, why can't God just give us forgive us, and give let us have a break?

The answer to this question lies in the essence of God's character. He is a God of love, but He is also a God of uncompromising justice. His word cannot be broken! The scriptures tell us that the "wages of sin is death." Therefore, the sins of man created a dilemma for God. How could He be known as a God of love, but still enforce the death penalty of sin?

God's ultimate love and wisdom prevailed, the solution was found in the cross. The apostle John reminds us that the cross is the sign of God's love for mankind.

"For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life" (John 3:16).

The apostle Paul explains how the cross is also God's remedy for maintaining His honor and promise of justice.

For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. 25God presented him as a sacrifice of atonement, through faith in his blood. He did this to demonstrate his justice, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished-- 26he did it to demonstrate his justice at the present time, so as to be just and the one who justifies those who have faith in Jesus (Rom 3:23-26 NIV).

It was by the punishment of Jesus Christ that God was able to demonstrate His absolute love without compromising His justice. Jesus received the full punishment for our sins, in order to satisfy the demands of the law. He was the innocent Lamb of God, who paid a sin-debt He did not owe, because we owed a sin-debt we could not pay. Jesus paid our debt, and for that reason, the justice that God's Word demanded was never compromised.

We should be extremely grateful for God's justice, because it shows us His trustworthiness. If we cannot have trust in His promise of justice, how can we have trust in His promises of mercy and grace?

It is important to understand, that my reference to the word cross is not speaking directly to the apparatus upon which Jesus was crucified. The device used to bring death to our Savior is not the important issue. It is the act of Christ's crucifixion, upon the cross, that should be the center of our attention. We should be careful never to worship the instrument of His death. In reality, the cross was an instrument of torture, devised by pagan societies and used by the Roman government to punish criminals. Our worship should be focused upon our Savior, who was fastened to the wooden members and suffered the painful consequences of our transgressions. It is the act of the crucifixion that gives life to the unsaved and makes payment for our debt of sin. Our salvation rests in Jesus alone, not in the tool that was used to slay Him. Back to beginning of booklet

The Supreme Exchange

There is an exchange that took place upon the cross and it is offered to all those who earnestly seek it. Jesus received the curses due us, that we might receive the blessings due Him. The apostle Paul reminds us of this exchange in his epistle to the church at

Galatia, "Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree" (Gal 3:13).

The curses that Paul is referring to began with the fall of man and are described in Deuteronomy 28:15-68. They affect every part of a human being's life and are the results of disobeying God's commandments. God shared His counsel with the nation of Israel and encouraged them to choose blessings and life.

Behold, I set before you this day a blessing and a curse; 27A blessing, if ye obey the commandments of the LORD your God, which I command you this day: 28And a curse, if ye will not obey the commandments of the LORD your God, but turn aside out of the way which I command you this day, to go after other gods, which ye have not known (Deut 11:26-28).

I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live (Deut 30:19).

However, man has chosen to ignore God's counsel and is struggling under the burden of curses and death. Jesus came to free us from this bondage and to suffer all the curses that we deserve.

The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me, because the LORD has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives, and release from darkness for the prisoners (Isa 61:1 NIV)

We are offered this freedom by the exchange that took place during Christ's crucifixion. The words of the prophet Isaiah will help us understand how this took place. They are recorded in Isaiah, Chapter 53, which is known as the Redemption chapter. Please notice how the prophet explains the personal nature of the crucifixion of our Savior and how many times the words our and he are used when speaking of the aspects of this exchange.

3 He is despised, and left of men,
A man of pains, and acquainted with sickness,
And as one hiding the face from us, He is despised,
and we esteemed him not.

4 Surely our sicknesses he hath borne, And our pains
--he hath carried them, And we--we have esteemed him
plagued, Smitten of God, and afflicted.

5 And he is pierced for our transgressions, Bruised for our iniquities,
The chastisement of our peace is on him, And by his bruise there is healing
to us.

6 All of us like sheep have wandered, Each to his own way we have turned, And Jehovah hath caused to meet on him, The punishment of us all.

10 And Jehovah hath delighted to bruise him, He hath made him sick...

12 ...And with transgressors he was numbered, And he the sin of many hath
borne, And for transgressors he intercedeth
(Young's Literal Translation)

Isaiah sums up the reason for the cross in verse 6, when he states that, Jesus suffered "the punishment of us all." These scriptures should make it obvious that Christ died for

"Our transgressions"
"Our healing" (by his stripes we are healed)
"Our separation from God"
"Our shame, rejection and humiliation"
"Our unrighteousness"
"Our weaknesses of the flesh"

Only the sacrificial offering of the Lord Jesus can remove every curse and partition that stands between man and God. It is only through the atoning death of our Savior that man's relationship with God can be restored. The cross left nothing undone. It was so complete in nature, that nothing can be added to, nor taken away from it.

The following account of Christ's crucifixion will help us understand the impact of our punishment upon the body and spirit of Jesus. The Lord's last Passover meal had ended and His spirit became overwhelmed as He pondered the events of the next eighteen hours. He knew every horrifying detail of the gruesome murder that He was to suffer. For it was Jesus Himself, who had revealed them to the Old Testament prophets. The fate of mankind was upon His shoulders and God's desire for a family was at stake. It had to be accomplished in pure love; no human feelings of hate or revenge could be allowed to enter His heart. The hour had come, and the weight of the words of the Old Testament prophets would begin to torment the spirit of Jesus. Mark's account of this Passover evening describes the oppression of our Lord's heart.

And they came to a place which was named Gethsemane: and he saith to his disciples, Sit ye here, while I shall pray. 33And he taketh with him Peter and James and John, and began to be sore amazed, and to be very heavy; 34And saith unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful unto death: tarry ye here, and watch. 35And he went forward a little, and fell on the ground, and prayed that, if it were possible, the hour might pass from him. 36And he said, Abba, Father, all things are possible unto thee; take away this cup from me: nevertheless not what I will, but what thou wilt (Mark 14:32-36).

Luke continues to explain the awesome weight that was upon the spirit of Jesus, "And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly: and his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground" (Luke" 22:44). Jesus began to suffer from a medical conditions known as, "hemophidrosis" or "hematidrosis". According to the Christian physician, Dr. David Terasaka, this condition has been seen in patients who have experienced extreme stress, or shock to their system. The capillaries around the sweat pores become fragile and leak blood into the sweat. A case history is recorded in which a young girl, who had a fear of air raids in WW1, developed this conditions after a gas explosion occurred in the house next door.1

Dr. Terasaka goes on to describe the great agony that Jesus was experiencing, "It is here that Jesus agonized in prayer over what was to occur. It is significant that this is the only place in the KJV where the word "agony" is mentioned. The Greek word for agony means to be "engaged in combat". Jesus agonizes over what He is to go through, feeling that He is at the point of death (Mark 14:34)." The last recorded prayer of Christ's human life would be answered by the touch of an angel. "And there appeared an angel unto him from heaven, strengthening him" (Luke 22:43).

The tranquility of the garden was soon shattered as Judas led a multitude of armed citizens to seize Jesus and take Him to the Roman leader, Pontius Pilate (Mark 14:43). Although Pilate could find no fault with Jesus, he allowed his guards to beat, abuse and humiliate the very Son of God. The soldiers blindfolded Jesus and ridiculed His divinity. A mock crown was made of thorns and placed upon His head. The guards began to pound the two-inch thorns into Christ's scalp and skull. They also spit upon the Lord and struck Him on the face with their hands and a reed (Matt. 27:27-31 & Luke 22:63-65).

Bloody, humiliated and exhausted, Jesus would continue to be mocked and beaten throughout the night (Luke 22:66). The next morning He was led to the site of His execution. The ordeal of the night before would pale in comparison to the events that were about to take place.

It was customary to strip the clothing from the one who was to be crucified. Most likely, Jesus was also stripped of his clothing before He was nailed to the wooden members. The cross was laid upon the ground, and the Savior's torn and bloody back was pressed into the splinters of the rough-sawn wooden beams. His body was attached to the cross by driving six-inch spikes through His wrists and ankles. The pain that He was suffering would be multiplied as the cross was raised into place and His weight came crashing down upon the spikes that were driven through His body. Ashamed and naked, the Lamb of God was made a disgrace for all humanity.

The Roman soldiers began to scourge Jesus with great fury. His flesh became so ripped and torn that He could look upon His bones and internal organs.

...the assembly of the wicked have inclosed me: they pierced my hands and my feet. 17I may tell all my bones: they look and stare upon me (Ps 22:16-17).

His executioners were so cruel and ruthless that they even tore the beard from His face. The countless lashes from the soldier's whips mutilated and disfigured the face and body of Jesus. He received so many stripes that He could not be recognized as a human being.

I offered my back to those who beat me, my cheeks to those who pulled out my beard; I did not hide my face from mocking and spitting (Isa 50:6 NIV).


As many were astonished at him-- his appearance was so marred, beyond human semblance, and his form beyond that of the sons of men Isa 52:14 RSV).

 

Our Savior's blood pressure almost certainly begun to plummet as the blood drained from His multiple wounds. His heart most likely began to race and pound as it tried to supply oxygen to His body. All of Christ's bones had been dislocated from their joints and He was suffering from dehydration. His strength had been exhausted and Jesus was approaching death.
I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint: my heart is like wax; it is melted in the midst of my bowels. 15 My strength is dried up like a potsherd; and my tongue cleaveth to my jaws; and thou hast brought me into the dust of death.

Alone and forsaken, Jesus endured all the pain and punishment due mankind. He had been abandoned by His countrymen, as a blasphemer (Matt. 26:64-65). His fearful disciples had deserted Him and even Peter denied knowing Him (Matt 26:70). His own creation abhorred Him and the demonic world celebrated as they watched the execution of God's Son.

However, the ultimate pain was yet to come. During the crucifixion, Jesus became so identified and filled with the sins of man, that God had to abandon His own Son. This is confirmed by His agonizing cry upon the cross, "... My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me" (Matt 27:46)? Do we realize the impact of ours sins upon our Savior? For the first time during His life on earth, Jesus was no longer able to address God as His Father. God is no respecter of persons (Acts 10:34) and the words of Isaiah were also applied to Jesus. "But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear" (Isa 59:2). Becoming filled with the sins of man had shattered Christ's relationship with His Heavenly Father, and turned the face of God away from His only Son.

While Jesus was being held captive to the cross, darkness covered the earth (Luke 23:44). His soul was being crushed by the tremendous weight of man's sins and guilt. The last ounces of His blood were flowing from His wounds. Heaven and earth had forsaken Him and He knew that the end was near. Jesus made one last gesture to insure that we could have full confidence, that He had consumed all of our sins. He said, "I thirst."

After this, Jesus knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the scripture might be fulfilled, saith, I thirst. 29 Now there was set a vessel full of vinegar: and they filled a spunge with vinegar, and put it upon hyssop, and put it to his mouth (John 19:28-29).

The significance of this act should not be overlooked, because it symbolizes Jesus taking the fullness of our sins into His body. It also fulfilled the prophetic symbols of the Old Testament Passover. Dr. Terasaka gives additional insight into the fulfillment of these symbols.

The drink was given on the "stalk of a hyssop plant". Remember that these events occurred at the Feast of the Passover. During this feast, (Exod. 12:22) hyssop was used to apply the blood of the Passover lamb to the wooden doorposts of the Jews. It is interesting the end of this hyssop stalk pointed to the blood of the Perfect Lamb which was applied to the wooden cross for the salvation of all mankind. In addition, the wine vinegar is a product of fermentation, which is made from grape juice and yeast. The word literally means "that which is soured" and is related to the Hebrew term for "that which is leavened". Yeast or leaven, is the Biblical symbol of sin. When Jesus took this drink, (i.e. a drink which was "leavened") it is thus symbolic of His taking the sins of the world into His body.2

When Jesus had received the vinegar, He gathered His last ounce of strength, raised Himself upon the cross, gasped for one last breath of life and cried out, "IT IS FINISHED"!

"When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost" (John 19:30).

The last words that Jesus spoke as a human being were, "It is finished". This phrase has been translated from the single Greek word "teleo." In English, the truest sense of the word can be understood by the phrase, "completely complete," as in the discharge of a debt. The spirit and body of Jesus had absorbed all the punishment due mankind. The sacrifice of Jesus was perfect and complete. Nothing more could be absorbed. Nothing more can be added.

The means for our eternal salvation and the healing of our physical bodies were finished in Christ. We are now free to exchange our curses for the blessings that were due Jesus, because of His sinless life of obedience. These blessings are now available to all those who will open their hearts and accept them in simple and unquestioning faith.

What a tremendous price Jesus paid in order for us to become the children of God and to receive physical healing for our sick and diseased bodies. Without doubt, the exchange has been made, the ultimate price has been paid and the victory is ours. The faithful Christian can rest assured that he is now reconciled to God, and made His child, according to His promises. Back to beginning of booklet

Forgiven By His Death - Saved By His Life

The birth and death of Jesus Christ were certainly two of the most universally astounding events that will ever occur. However, as great as these events were, they are just the beginning of God's plan of redemption for the human race. When God looked upon mankind, He not only saw the necessity for forgiveness of sins, but He also saw that
death had claimed His future children. Man not only needed forgiveness, but also needed life. We sometimes focus so intently upon the crucifixion of Jesus that we fail to understand the importance of why it was necessary for mankind to be forgiven and cleansed. For what purpose have Christians been cleansed?

This question can be answered by a simple illustration used by Bob George. It is so simple and basic, yet clearly demonstrates the process God uses to beget us as His children. This idea is paraphrased in the following words:

Most of us have witnessed our mothers canning preserves and vegetables in the family kitchen. First, our mothers would boil the jars to sterilize them. However, why did they sterilize them? To just sit on a shelf and decorate the kitchen? No, the jars were sterilized so that they could be filled with something.1 (Emphasis mine).

That is exactly the reason it is necessary for Christ's sacrifice to sterilize (or cleanse) us. So that He can fill us with something - with the same Spirit that God filled Jesus. Christ's purpose in cleansing us is to give us HIS LIFE. For it is Jesus, who baptizes us with the Holy Spirit (In Mark 1:8). We must always remember that we are forgiven by the death of Jesus, but we are saved by His life. "For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life (Rom 5:10). The whole purpose of Christ's sacrifice was to prepare us to receive God's seed of life - the Holy Spirit.

There is another aspect of the canning process that also relates to the Believer. When the canning jars are sterilized and filled, then they are sealed.2 We have also been sealed with the Spirit of God. "Now he which stablisheth us with you in Christ, and hath anointed us, is God; Who hath also sealed us, and given the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts (2 Cor 1:21-22). The Greek word for sealed literally means, "to stamp with a private mark for security or preservation". God gives us this seal to preserve us for a role in His wonderful family.

The scriptures remind us that we are mere vessels (11 Tim 2: 21). The American Heritage Dictionary defines a vessel as, "a hollow utensil used as a container." This is a fitting description of the state and condition of mortal man. Although he was created as an empty mortal vessel, his destiny was to be filled with the Life of God, through the indwelling Christ.

And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. 11 But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you (Rom 8:10-11).

The Holy Spirit could not be given, until the blood was shed. For God could not inhabit a vessel that was filled with sin. However, in Christ, the believing and obedient Christian has been cleansed by His blood, filled with His life and sealed unto the day of redemption (Eph 4:30). Back to beginning of booklet

Our Righteousness In Christ

The death of Jesus not only made it possible for mankind to be forgiven, but it also bestowed upon the New Testament Christian another extraordinary gift - the righteousness of Jesus Christ. Sometimes it is difficult for Christians to understand and accept this wonderful truth. It is not easy for the human heart to believe that God could reckon (or account) us just as holy and righteous as Jesus Christ. However, if we fail to believe this vitally important message, then we have missed the very core and heart of the gospel of God.

The prophet Isaiah revealed this truth in the scriptures of the Old Testament.

... by his knowledge shall the righteous one, my servant, make many to be accounted righteous; and he shall bear their iniquities (Isa 53:11 RSV).

The key word in this verse is accounted, or set to one's account. This simply means that God deposits this free gift of righteousness into our account based on our faith in the works of Jesus Christ - not ours. Since every human being has sinned, this disqualifies them from ever being able to amass a track record of good works, or obedience to the law, that meets the necessary requirements for obtaining Godly righteousness.

Some Christians have mistakenly accepted the belief that they have to earn their own state of righteousness by personal achievements and obedience to the law. However, only Jesus earned His righteousness, because He is the only one who has ever lived a perfect life without committing a single sin. "For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him" (2 Cor 5:21).

The apostle Paul cautions Christians not to fall into the deceptive trap of believing that good works and obedience to the law will gain them righteousness in God's sight.

Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ, 9And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith (Phil 3:8-9).

What shall we say then that Abraham our father, as pertaining to the flesh, hath found? 2For if Abraham were justified by works, he hath whereof to glory; but not before God. 3For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness. 4Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt. 5But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness (Rom 4:1-5).

Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin. 21 But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets; 22 Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe (Rom 3:20-22).

 

The Barnes Notes offers the following commentary on this subject, which gives additional insight into the apostle Paul's revealed understanding, that only faith in Jesus and God's goodness can please God and clothe us with Christ's righteousness.

[Righteousness which is of God by faith] Which proceeds from God, or of which he is the great source and fountain. This may include the following things:


(1) God is the author of pardon-- and this is a part of the righteousness which the man who is justified has.

(2) God purposes to treat the justified sinner as if he had not sinned-- and thus his righteousness is of God.

(3) God is the source of all the grace that will be imparted to the soul, making it really holy. In this way, all the righteousness which the Christian has is "of God." The idea of Paul is, that he now saw that it was far more desirable to be saved by righteousness obtained from God than by his own. That obtained from God was perfect, and glorious, and sufficient; that which he had attempted to work out was defective, impure, and wholly insufficient to save the soul...

The apostle Paul goes on to share his heart-felt love for Israel with the church at Rome.
He is deeply grieved for Israel, because they have sought to gain their own righteousness apart from Jesus, and have set about to gain God's favor by their personal works.

Brethren, my heart's desire and prayer to God for Israel is, that they might be saved. 2 For I bear them record that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge. 3 For they being ignorant of God's righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God. 4 For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth (Rom 10:1-4).

Notice that Paul does not say, "Christ is the end of the law". But rather, that Christ is the end of the law for righteousness sake. We must remember that the law is an indispensable part of a Christian's life. It identifies the principles of love and respect that we are to have toward God and our fellowman; for "...love is the fulfilling of the law" (Rom 13:10). In addition, it gives life to sin when we violate these principles of love "For sin is the transgression of the law" (1John 3:4). Its function is very different from that of grace. God's laws of love make us aware of unloving thoughts and conduct, but can never forgive these transgressions.

In reality, it is the laws of God that shows us that we have acted in an unloving manner toward God and/or our fellow man - and helps us to understand why we need the grace of God. The law is simply a collection of the principles of love. It was never intended to save a person, offer them justification or forgive an unloving act. Therefore, faith in Jesus in the only law that can offer forgiveness, salvation and embellish us with His righteousness.

The prophet Jeremiah also describes the only source of our righteousness in the following scripture: "In his days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely: and this is his name whereby he shall be called, the Lord our righteousness" (Jer 23:6). Thousands of years ago, the Holy Spirit proclaimed the message, that the Lord Jesus is our only source of righteousness.

So, just how does God perform this great miracle in a Christian's life? How is He able to bestow the righteousness of Jesus Christ upon another person? How does He see the righteousness of Jesus, when He looks upon His begotten children? The key to understanding this great blessing is revealed in Paul's epistles to the churches at Rome and Galatia.

But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof (Rom 13:14).

For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ (Gal 3:27).

The words "put on" are derived from the single Greek word enduo. It literally means to "clothe oneself," as in the sense of sinking deeply into a garment. When we put on Christ, we have clothed ourselves with Jesus and are covered by His righteousness. Just as we step into a piece of clothing, we step into the Person of Jesus and are concealed within His holy garments. Therefore, when God looks upon us, His eyes are only focused upon Jesus Christ, who has wrapped us within Himself and clothed us with His righteousness.

Just as an expecting mother holds an unborn child within her body, Jesus holds us within Himself. We cannot see the tiny infant inside a mother's body; we can only see the woman who is carrying the unborn child. Likewise, when we are in Jesus, God sees the Person of Christ, not the imperfection of the child within Him. This is how God bestows the righteousness of Christ upon the members of His Family. Just as the unborn child is dependent upon its mother for supplying all that is needed for its life, the child of God is dependent upon Jesus for all the spiritual necessities needed for justification and acceptance before God. It is essential to remember that this can only be achieved in Christ - not outside of Him.

The word justified appears over thirty times in the New Testament. The original Greek word dikaioo simply means to be made righteous. If God said it that many times, He must have wanted His children to know how much He loves and accepts them, in Christ. The righteousness that God seeks is not based upon our ability to live the Christian life without any failures. It is based upon the righteousness that Christ possesses, because of His sinless life of perfect obedience.

The Bible tells us "God is no respecter of persons" (Acts 10:34). Therefore, God has no favorites and no one person has more righteousness than another does. There is only one righteousness that exists - and that is the righteousness of Jesus. Consequently, there cannot be different degrees of righteousness among the brethren. Although each Believer, within the body of Christ, has been ordained to perform different services for God, they can only be clothed with one source and degree of righteousness - Jesus Christ.

It is difficult for some to believe that they have received this gift apart from any personal works. However, a gift that been has paid for - is no longer a gift. It has been earned. A very wise pastor gives the following remarks for those who still believe they can achieve a state of righteousness through human efforts.

We live in a "do-it-yourself society. Thousands of "do-it-yourself" books have been written... We take pride in our own works and we build trophy cases and take pictures to remember our accomplishments. There is a lot to be said for carrying one's own burdens in society. But, there is no such thing as carrying one's own salvation. There is no such thing as a "do-it-yourself" salvation. There will be no boasting in heaven except boasting of Christ! Empty barrels make the most noise.1

It is essential that we understand the blessing of our righteousness in Christ. Otherwise, we will never grasp the true depths of God's grace, and this will hinder us from having a deep and personal relationship with Our Heavenly Father and His Son, Jesus Christ. Our Heavenly Father wants us to understand that by having the righteousness of Jesus bestowed upon us; we can stand in His presence, without the sense of sin, guilt, or inferiority.

What a loving and merciful Heavenly Father we have, who would allow us to be made the righteousness of God by clothing us with His Son. God is good - and His goodness surpasses our ability to comprehend its depths. Only a God of love could have conceived such a remarkable plan for man's redemption. Back to beginning of booklet


A New Ancestor and Heritage In Christ

Erwin W. Lutzer sums up our new heritage in Christ in the following statement,

But because of Christ's death, believers are transferred from being "in Adam" to being "in Christ". God breaks your past ties and Christ becomes your new ancestor. That's why Paul refers more than 100 times to believers as being "in Christ". It is the basis for a whole new life. ...God identifies all believers with Christ, not in some mystical or theoretical way, but by changing our legal relationships. 1 (Emphasis Mine).

The New Testament is in fact, the Last Will and Testament of Jesus Christ. It is not just a collection of stories about church history. It is a binding legal document, which grants to the Believer all of God's promises that He has made in His written Word. The New Testament is the most powerful Legal Document that has ever been created. It was authored by Spirit of Jesus Christ and written in His blood. It grants to His heirs, all the rights, privileges and possessions that are now enjoyed by God and Christ.

The New Testament is also our Legal Adoption Papers. "For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God" (Rom 8:14). We are now legally the Children of Our Heavenly Father. A true follower of Christ is no longer the legal child of Adam and is no longer subject to the eternal penalty that was passed on to all generations. Christ now lives in us and has become our New Landlord. Our old landlord, Satan the Devil, has no legal claim to us, or our bodies. We are now free to serve God. Christ has reinstated our family relationship with our Heavenly Father and we are now entitled to all the gifts, privileges and Kingdom rights of our new spiritual family.

Webster's Dictionary defines heritage as: "something transmitted by or acquired from a predecessor and property that descends to an heir." Let us look at the contrast between our heritage in Adam and our new heritage in Christ.

Inherited From Adam ...............Inherited From Christ

  • Mortal death .........................The Resurrection
  • Eternal death .........................Eternal life
  • Sin and guilt ..........................Grace and forgiveness
  • Separation from God .............Reconciliation to God
  • Unrighteousness The .............The "Righteousness of Jesus"
  • Condemnation .......................Justification
  • Cruelty and ruthlessness .........Mercy and compassion
  • Sickness and disease ..............Healing and health
  • Fear, despair and sorrow ........Faith, hope and joy
  • Hate and destruction ..............Love and peace
  • Born corruptible ....................Born Children of God

This list just begins to establish what a wonderful legacy that we have in Jesus. Our future does not lie in the bleak inheritance we received in Adam. We are no longer associated with earthly things. God's Word tells us that our citizenship is now in heaven. "For our citizenship is in heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ" (Phil 3:20 NAU). The true Believer's ties with Adam have been severed and he is now, in Christ.

The apostle Paul confirms our better heritage in Christ. "But now He has obtained a more excellent ministry, by as much as He is also the mediator of a better covenant, which has been enacted on better promises" (Heb 8:6 NAS). God has guaranteed our rights of son ship in the pages of His Holy Word. He recorded it in writing and signed it with the blood of His Son. This is our better heritage in Jesus. Back to beginning of booklet

Grace Is Not About Our Feelings or Emotions

When we speak of salvation by grace, we should also consider what grace is not. It does not consist of our feelings and emotions, nor does it involve our ability to please God through our performance. It also is not about our self-image, or lack of self worth. No one is worthy of the free gift of salvation through Jesus. It is a gift from God, apart from our works.

It is about the redemptive work that Jesus performed upon the cross. His suffering, shed blood, death and resurrection to life. Grace is a fact - it is a reality. It has nothing to do with the senses of a human being. Feelings and emotions cannot be trusted and relied upon for truth. They are tied to our physical bodies and nature, and are outside the realm of spiritually revealed truth.

Feelings are the shallowest part of a human being. They can change every few minutes depending on our state of health, diet, sleeping habits and circumstance that surround us. If we really search our hearts, we cannot deny our feelings. As human beings, do we really feel like loving our enemies? Do we feel like praying for them, feeding them, and forgiving them? Not really. Our true human feelings cry out for revenge. It is not in our nature to love those that have injured us. Therefore, feelings should never be considered a proper measuring-stick for the truth.

Emotions are just reactions to our thoughts or circumstances. Neither can they be trusted for truth. Emotions have no brains; they are controlled by, and connected to our thoughts. Neither do they have a sense of time. They are mindless and can be tied to events that happened today, yesterday or may happen in the future. You can arouse an emotion by simply thinking about something, or someone, that you either love or hate. If you imagine someone hurting your child or spouse, you become angry, even though the event is not real. Likewise, if you recall a wonderful day you spent fishing with your dad, your emotions will respond with great joy and serenity.

Let us take a look at an illustration that might help us better understand the relationship between reality, our feelings and emotions. You are walking down the sidewalk and see a pedestrian that is fixing to step off the curb, into the path of passing car. You run as fast as you can, knock the stranger down to the pavement, and out of harm's way. However, the pedestrian did not see the oncoming car, and thinks that you have intentionally hurt him. His initial response may be one of anger, or fear. However, once he understood that you saved his life, by throwing him to the ground, the anger and fear quickly changes to gratitude and thanksgiving. Were his initial feelings and emotions truthful? Not until the they caught up with the truth in his thought process. Do we begin to see how emotions are only a tool of our thoughts, and how they have no sense of time or reality?

Sound feelings and emotions, can only be produces by sound thoughts. God's Word should be our only standard for obtaining sound thoughts. His Word is a fact. It has either taken place, or is promised by God to take place in the future. The integrity of His Word is at stake.

Carole Mayhall, beautifully summarizes this fact in her book, Help Lord, My Whole Life Hurts. Carole relates how we are to trust God, even when we do not feel it.

...God is teaching us a unique lesson, and it sifts down to this: God is God whether we feel Him or not. God's promises are true whether we experience them or not. His ways are far above our comprehension. He is too big for us to understand, or assess. Whether or not we hear or feel Him, we are to trust Him.

Grace should never be confused with our human nature, or senses. Our salvation took place on the cross nearly two thousand years ago and is available to all those that honestly seek redemption. Jesus finished the work of salvation and has "sat down on the right hand of God." It is not based upon our emotional state, or how we may feel at any given moment.

It is very pleasing to God for His children to worship Him with great emotions and feelings; if they are established upon truth, and not sensationalism. Emotions and feelings can be whipped-up into frenzy, although they may be based on lies. They cannot distinguish between lies and the truth. Therefore, we should never use them as a barometer for measuring truth. We must make sure that our enthusiasm for God is grounded in His Word - not human sensations. It is important to remember that the Bible speaks to our minds, not our feelings or emotions. Jesus is our only hope of glory, whether we feel it or not.


1Several of the analogies used in this article gathered from
Mr. Bob George, Growing in Grace.

 

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