Category Archives: Christ in me

Q282 “which is best – obedience or surrender?”

Is obedience to God still an expectation of one who has been set free from all expectations ?

I don’t think it’s possible to answer that question adequately without a deep revelation of the magnitude of God’s love and the astounding sacrifice Christ made for us. Without these, any answer will contain a trace of the law, it will contain a need to satisfy a God who is already completely satisfied.

It is interesting to observe the perspective Jesus has in the book of John 6:38; “For I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will, but the will of him who sent me” and John 14:24; “The words which you hear are not mine, but the Father’s which sent me”. Jesus was uniquely qualified to respond to the Father, he understood the magnitude of the Father’s love for him ~ this revelation gave him the security required to surrender his whole being to the Father without reservation… in fact the Father expressed His complete pleasure in Christ at His baptism, before He had even set about His ministry, when He declared; “this is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased”.

When one discovers that their security in God is unshakeable, that His love is unconditional, and that His presence is unquenchable… then obedience takes on a whole new meaning. It becomes the choice of a free will that no longer has to satisfy God in any way. A God who can never be angry again, never be dissatisfied, never ever to judge you again… can be obeyed in a brand new way, it’s called “letting go” yielding to the greatest love in the universe… it’s not so much obedience as joyful surrender. There is nothing to lose and everything to gain from this divine obedience ~ who wouldn’t want to do it.

Many consider the transition from law to grace as being like “the carrot and the stick”, they view the law as a stick of punishment that they must obey without choice, and grace as the carrot of reward that they can obey if they choose. In fact, life in the Spirit is so superior to both of these that it bears no resemblance at all; life in Christ means that we have the reward whether we obey or not ~ and then we face a previously unheard-of invitation ~come and obey just because you can, just because you are free… allow yourself to fall into my goodness by surrendering every fibre of your being to me, just because you have discovered my love expressed at the cross“.

There is no fear in this new grace based obedience, there is no possibility of retribution, no un-voiced disapproval ~ it is motivated by the purest motivation possible ~ the wonder of Him, the sheer joy of living from His divine presence that abides in us forever, without measure.

cheers Graeme

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Filed under Christ in me, Renewing the mind, The adventure of Faith

Q203 ” what’s the worst thing you have ever done ?”

As far as I know I haven’t met anyone who has murdered anyone, (but you never know for sure because it’s not the kind of thing one broadcasts). Taking a life has got to be high on the list of bad acts, but there are plenty of others; adultery, robbery, deceit, abortion, pride, addiction, indifference…etc.

One thing I am certain of is that if you ask a person what is the thing they are most ashamed of doing in their life – something immediately comes to mind. It seems to me almost everyone has got a ‘stand-out failure’ that they regret deeply. Whats yours ?

Being mindful of our failings is a normal human condition, we are wired up toward guilt, we wish we could relive that moment or period in our lives – we wish we could take it all back and do it the right way. We wish…

My observation is that in the main, Christians are not as good at forgiving themselves as God is. We have a tendency to hold on to regret and guilt as if it is a burden we are expected to bear for life, in exchange for our salvation. The notion of forgiving ourselves for our past failings can seem irresponsible considering the hurt and pain our actions may have caused. We tend to see forgiveness as being a condition that pertains to eternal life after we die, but not especially related to the here and now… Why?because our mind wont let us forget our worst moments.

Rom. 12:2 instructs us to “be transformed by the renewing of our mind“… I would contend that, if after receiving the gift of righteousness from Christ we continue to be conscious of our sins, then we have not allowed our minds to be renewed. If the blood of Christ is powerful to wash away our sin, then we must allow ourselves to fully agree with it’s work and declare ourselves perfect, holy and righteous. To do less is to call the blood of Jesus ineffective and the word of God a lie. There is nothing godly or spiritual about feeling unworthy – the blood of Christ has made every believer completely worthy before God.

Becoming righteous is not a process that depends on the maturity of our Christian walk, it is an instantaneous transformation. God  is not slowly chipping away at us to get us into shape, he re-built us in his image in a split second when we believed.

We wouldn’t be ready to stand before God in a million years if it depended on some divine personal improvement program, No, we were completely improved when we were re-born of God.

ain’t it grand !!

cheers, G

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Filed under Christ in me, No more guilt or condemnation, The complete work of Jesus

Q1. “is God good ?”

Happy New Year, welcome to 2012 – the year of renewing our minds !

“is God good ?” seriously, I thought this was going to be a blog with a bit more depth. Of course God is good, otherwise why do we believe in Him ?

Think about this – many Christians say that they believe God is good, but act as if He has a dark side. How often have you heard the statement ‘everything happens for a reason’ ? which implies that God sends us bad stuff to make us into good people… Most of the Christians I know think that God sends them good stuff and bad stuff so that they will eventually mature into grown up Christians, its as if God is giving them a test to see if they can respond in a way that is pleasing to Him.

This question is 1 of 3 questions which we will look at over the next 3 days – these questions form the framework of our entire Christian response to life and the first one, ‘is God good’ is the real make or break one. If I cant get this one right it will effect every aspect of my Christianity. My confidence in my daily walk with God is completely about this question.

Christianity is not a melding of 2 covenants, Law & Grace – it is an abolishing of the old covenant so that God’s kindness and favor can continually and unrelentingly flow through our lives. Eph. 2:15 says that Christ abolished the law with it’s commandments and regulations, Heb. 10:14 says we have been made perfect forever.

God does not send good and bad so that we can participate in His self improvement program, He has already made us perfect through Christ – no more improvement required. Christ died and removed sin from me and now God is completely and irrevocably happy with me. This is a huge leap for some, it sounds presumptuous and disrespectful, but give it time…

so now I live today and forever in the river of life which is teeming with all God’s goodness.

Graeme

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Filed under Christ in me, Grace - the most lavish gift, It's all about Jesus, Renewing the mind