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Archive for November 2011

Gen 2:16-17  But the Lord God gave the man this warning: “You may eat any fruit in the garden except fruit from the Tree of Conscience-for its fruit will open your eyes to make you aware of right and wrong, good and bad. If you eat its fruit, you will be doomed to die.”  (TLB)

The word for peace in Greek is to, ‘set-at-one’ or ‘to join’. This is the peace that Adam enjoyed with God in the garden of Eden. They were so close in relationship, a razor blade could not pass between them.

But the moment Adam sinned, that oneness, that join, that peace was shattered and broken, and his conscience which had only registered good, now began to register bad. Guilt, condemnation, fear and shame began to operate in his life.

He knew that he himself had shattered the peace with God, and cowered in fear behind the trees awaiting the punishment that would follow - “You shall surely die” (Gen 2:17). But instead of letting the sword of Damocles fall upon Adam’s neck, God’s grace kicked in, He sacrificed animals on behalf of their sin and covered them with the skins (Gen 3:21).

Adam’s sin nature and sin consciousness now passed onto the whole future human race. His rebellion, his shaking the fist at God was now embedded in man; And as we saw in Pt 1 of this Blog, once man loses his vertical peace with God, he loses his horizontal peace with other men.

In fact, by Gen ch 4 Cain slew his own brother Abel out of jealousy, hatred and anger; And we see throughout 2000yrs of history there has been non-stop war, violence and division between the nations. Peace has been a fleeting emotion!

Suddenly, Jesus Christ is born and the angels announce, “Glory to God in the heavenly heights, peace to all men and women on earth who please him”. (Lk 2:14 TM).
But mankind have misconstrued this peace. They think that by working hard and seeking to understand each other, that peace can reign. What a myth!

NO – the peace Jesus came to bring cannot be earned, it can only be received, and only received by those who bow the knee in humility and surrender to God, to His Lordship, by receiving the work of the cross of Christ into their lives.

Christ came to be a peace maker not a peacekeeper, and He gave His life to join God and man together again. In our next Blog we shall be looking at Christ as, ‘Peacemaker’.

Meditation Point:  If Christ has made peace between us and God, have I received the fullness of His peace, or am I still plagued by guilt, condemnation, shame, rejection and fear etc.

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The Grace Revolution

There is rapidly occurring across the earth, a division between Law teaching and Grace teaching. God Himself is doing it. Some of those who still preach a mixture of Law and Grace will first try to be diplomatic and reasonable but under the surface they will carry hatred and envy. They will seek to disguise this in a form of godliness and theological reasoning but God in these days is going to expose the true state of their hearts. This is not a gentle reformation. This is a true revolution.

Those that do not understand this will be utterly dismayed at how quickly this revolution is about to spread. In this revolution the gospel of Grace as revealed in the New Covenant will spread like wildfire.

There will be unhealthy extremes on the right and the left in reaction to this.There will be voices that attempt to gain advantage by appearing to be balanced diplomats  calling for calm but God will sweep these self-appointed voices of reason aside and silence them swiftly. Those with secure, pure hearts will steward this revolution, not panicking at the unhealthy extremes or trying to prematurely balance everything.

For you see, it is not the message of Grace that is causing the extremes or unbalance, but it is the result of an entrenched and deeply established legalism and man’s control surfacing because of the intensifying pressure of the Grace revolution. This revolution will force the mask off every form and appearance of godliness that denies the power of the New Covenant.

This gospel revolution is not to be blamed for the ugliness that will appear in some. It is simply forcing the true nature of legalism out into the open and stripping it of all its disguises so that even the naïve and deceived will see how truly hideous it’s face really is. The camouflage of legalism is being removed so that it can no longer harass from hidden positions that have an appearance of godliness.

The people in these days who fearlessly embrace Grace and remain pure hearted and faithful, enduring hardship and refusing to be polluted by bitterness during persecution, will be partners with the Holy Spirit in seeing entire nations birthed into revival.

(By permission)

Rob Rufus – Hong Kong. 2009.

Book: ‘Invading The Impossible’  ISBN 978-988-18223-3-8

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Isa 48:22 There is no peace,” says the Lord, “for the wicked.” (NIV)

When we look around the world today, we see mankind at war within themselves and toward each other. The staple of everyday life is characterised by violence, abuse, terrorism, divorce, broken families, political and financial upheaval, and worst of all,  Nation fights nation. So great is the conflict of the nations, that many are saying, we are on the brink of worldwide disaster.

Christians are encouraged to,’pray for the peace of Jerusalem’, whose name means, ‘City of Peace Peace’ in the Hebrew language.. Yes, that’s right, city of double peace. Yet since it’s inauguration, it has never known peace, but war and violence.

So why are we seeing this absence of peace? it’s because man is not at peace with God, and we can only have horizontal peace (person to person) when we first have vertical peace (mankind with God).

Then we have the so called, ‘Peace-makers’, Henry Kissinger, Tony Blair, the United Nations et all. These men travel the world seeking to pour oil on troubled waters. They do the best job they can but it amounts to little because they are not peacemakers, they are peacekeepers. There is a difference:

1) Peacekeeper – A peacekeeper is someone who seeks to keep the peace through dialogue,  but has no authority over any party. They can’t resolve conflict. Only their continued presence keeps a fragile peace.

2) Peacemaker- A peacemaker is someone who does whatever it takes to resolve the problem and make the peace. Sometimes this involves confrontation and conflict. Winston Churchill went to war to repel the evil tide of Adolph Hitler. Churchill won the battle and made peace.

Next week we’ll look at the shattered peace between God and man.

Meditation Point: In my relationships, do I avoid conflict in order to keep the peace, or am I willing to address situations in order to make the peace.

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Grace Swallows Up Sin Pt 6


1 John 1:7
The blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanseth us from all sin. (KJV)

In my last Blog, we saw how at the cross, Jesus was offered ‘ONCE’ as a sacrifice to forgive and take away all our sins, past, present and future. (1 Jn3:5, 1Jn 1:7). Hence when we sin, we need no longer ask for forgiveness, we simply receive it. It was all dealt with 2000 yrs ago.

So instead of being sin conscious (inward looking), which brings guilt and condemnation, we have now been set free to be righteous conscious (outward looking) in Christ (2 Cor 5:21). We look to the cross to see where Christ has set us free.

Rom 6:14  For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under law but under grace.  (NKJV)

Using the Scripture above, let’s look at an example from life to see the different ways law (sin consciousness) and grace (righteous consciousness) can be applied to a problem area.

Eg: A man is a Christian but still struggles with an alchohol addiction. How can he break free from sin’s grip?

The law says, in order to please God, he must be victorious over his sin. The law says he must put God first in his life (Ex 20:3). He tries every remedy available to conquer his habit:  prayer, fasting, not placing himself in temptations way, councelling etc. But they all end in failure because his desire for alchohol is all consuming.

The inability to overcome his sin brings  hopelessness, defeat, shame, guilt, condemnation, and a sense of failure of falling short of God’s law. What’s happening? Sin has dominion over him. He is at the mercy of sin. Sin is his master.

You see, all the law can do is point out his sin, but it can’t deliver him, it can only condemn him. In fact, it is the law that is keeping him trapped in his sin. Let’s turn the Scripture around: For sin shall have dominion over you, for you are not under grace but under law.

But what does grace say……………………………………………………..

Rom 8:1-4  There is now no condemnation awaiting those who belong to Christ Jesus.  For the power of the life-giving Spirit- is mine through Christ Jesus and has freed me from the vicious circle of sin and death.  We aren’t saved from sin’s grasp by knowing the commandments of God because we can’t and don’t keep them, but God put into effect a different plan to save us. He sent his own Son in a human body like ours-and destroyed sin’s control over us by giving himself as a sacrifice for our sins.  (TLB)

Grace has now deposited the life giving Spirit of Christ into our hearts, and it is His role to bring victory over every sin. So……………..

1) This man can now ask Jesus (prayer) to do what he himself couldn’t – bring deliverance from alchohol addiction; and to stop wrestling with it and give it to Christ and rest in His delivering power and confess that he is looking to Christ to set him free.

2) As this process is taking place (however long that may be), if he slips and has a relapse back into drink, instead of coming under condemnation and shame, he receives forgiveness, throws off guilt and condemnation, confesses that he is still the righteousness of God and puts his trust back in Christ to deliver him and moves on in peace.

What’s happened: Where sin abounded, grace did much more abound (Rom 5:20),  and sin is no longer reigning over him because he is under grace not law Rom 6:14  For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are under grace.

As he stands in this grace, God will begin to work in him and ultimately bring deliverance and set him free from alchohol, or drugs, or homosexuality, or pornography, or any addiction or sin.

Friends, until we allow the grace of Jesus to set us free, the law will keep us trapped in our sin, and the world, instead of seeing a victorious, beautiful, glorious bride, will see, a defeated, barren and shame filled church.

Meditation Point: To experience freedom from sin’s dominion, I must come out from under law and come under grace.

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Grace Swallows Up Sin Pt 5

1 John 2:1
If you sin, there is someone to plead for you before the Father. His name is Jesus Christ. (TLB)

Many Christians are crippled in their relationship with God because they have what the church calls, ‘A besetting sin’. This is a sin they keep repeating.

Because they keep repeating it, they think God won’t keep forgiving them because they should by now have conquered it. This plays havoc with our belief system,  and because we are not sure if God will continue to forgive us, we are plagued with intense guilt and condemnation.

This way of dealing with sin is an Old Covenant (O.C.) Law approach to resolving sin and will always keep us trapped, never to break free from it. Under the O.C., every time a person sinned, a sacrifice would be offered on their behalf. Hence over their lifetime, many such sacrifices would be repeated. This knowledge would make the people sin conscious because it would be a reminder to them that they were sinners (Heb 10:1-4)

Sin consciousness means we are always looking inward at our failures, defeats and sins, triggering guilt and condemnation. But we are no longer under the O.C. sacrificial system of law, we are under the New Covenant (N.C.) of grace.

Step forward Jesus Christ. When He died on the cross, Jesus took the full punishment for our sin, past, present and future; His blood cleansed us from all unrighteousness, and whereas, under the O.C., the same sacrifices would be offered again and again to deal with sin, under the N.C., Jesus offered Himself ‘ONCE’ for sin, for all time and eternity.

Therefore, if all our sin has been dealt with, we no longer have to be sin conscious because all our sin has been forgiven and cleansed away. It doesn’t matter if we repeat the same sin 5000 times. At the cross, God looked forward up the corridor of the future, saw us committing all our sin, and took the punishment for it out on Jesus.

In the next Blog, I will look at how the sacrifice of Jesus, breaks the power of besetting sin.

Meditation Point: Heb 10:1-4. We are no longer sin conscious because of the ‘once’ for all time, sacrifice of Jesus Christ.

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