Archive for February, 2010

The Open Fountain


Remember this good ol’ hymn, “What can wash away my sin? Nothing but the blood of Jesus.”? ZECHARIAH 13:1 says “In that day a fountain shall be opened for the house of David and for the inhabitants of Jerusalem, for sin and uncleanness.”

The fountain was opened when Christ was pierced! 1 JOHN 1:9 says, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive our sins and cleanse us of all unrighteousness.” I have heard it preached that once you have confessed your sins when you have received Christ as Savior, you should never have to confess them again, since He has forgiven all your sins, past, present, and future, and any further confessing of sins is likened to having Christ die all over again for our sins. I know that once we’re saved, we’re always saved, however, I do not believe that once we have confessed our sins, that we’re always “fessed up”. 1 JOHN 1:9 was written to believers. Besides, I haven’t found anywhere in the Bible that tells us that confession saves us, but that believing in our hearts that Jesus is Lord and accepting His grace towards us, that is what saves us. I’ve overheard non believers confess their sins to one another, but that doesn’t cleanse them from their sin. I have even confessed some of my own sins to God before I was a believer, but I did not yet make Him my Lord. My motive was simply in hope of having God save me from the superficial consequences of my sin, but not of the eternal consequences. I am not saying that Jesus’ blood was not powerful enough to cleanse all sin, past present and future, for it has certainly done that! I am saying that since we operate within the confines of time (where God doesn’t) I believe God requires us to confess our sins as we commit them. I believe this keeps us ever mindful of God, and ever mindful of our fallen condition that requires our continual cleansing. Just as a fountain does not pour out just once and stops flowing, for then it wouldn’t be called a fountain. His fountain hasn’t just poured out the day of His piercing, but continues to flow daily throughout eternity.

Yes, all sins were forgiven and paid for at the cross, and yes, we should not ask to be forgiven since all is forgiven except blasphemy of the Holy Spirit.  But there is a distinction between confessing and asking forgiveness.  Confessing is just admitting that we are wrong.  Confession and asking for forgiveness usually go hand in hand and we need to do that when we wrong someone.  All our wrongs against the Lord are forgiven, but He still requires confession.  Therefore I believe this “once for all time confession” doctrine is false doctrine, directly from Satan, to get God’s children out of fellowship with Him, since unconfessed sin causes our fellowship with Him to be broken. This is a heresy that I will no longer tolerate and I will rebuke anyone who tries to spread this heresy if it ever falls on my ears again!”

Confess Your Sins!  Accept the Lord’s Forgiveness!  Live Every Day In Gratitude and Give Him the Glory!

With Peace in Christ,

Jim

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The Whole Gospel


     Are you experiencing the whole gospel?  Do you know the whole gospel?  Dr. Neil T. Anderson, in his book, Victory Over Darkness, explains how many of us who have heard about Jesus, and even those of us who have prayed to receive Christ have only heard or recieved half the gospel.  Below is an excerpt from his book.
     The Whole Gospel
"Many Christians are living under half a gospel.  They have heard that Jesus is the Messiah who came to die for their sins, and if they pray to receive Christ, they will go to heaven when they die and their sins will be forgiven.  Two things are wrong with that statement.  First, it is only half the gospel.  If you came across a dead man and you had the power to save him, what would you do?  Give him life?  If that is all you did, then he would only die again.  To save the dead person, you would have to do two things.  First, you would have to cure the disease that caused him to die.
     The Bible says, ‘The wages of sin is death’ (Rom. 6:23).  So Jesus went to the cross and died for our sins.  Is curing the disease that caused us to die the whole gospel?  No!  Finish the verse:  ‘but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord’ (6:23).  Thank God for Good Friday, but what Christians celebrate every spring is the Resurrection on Easter Sunday.  For some unknown reason, we have left the Resurrection out of the gospel presentation.  Consequently, we end up with forgiven sinners instead of redeemed saints.
     A second problem with the previous gospel presentaion is this:  it gives people the impression that eternal life is something they get when they die.  That is not true.  ‘And the witness is this, that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son.  He who has the Son has the life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have the life’ (1 John 5:11,12).  If we don’t have spiritual (eternal) life before we die physically, we can anticipate only hell."
 
Life begins the day we receive Jesus as our Savior and when we receive the gift of eternal life.  We can only live changed lives when we are born again (born of the Spirit).  We must believe Jesus rose from the dead and has victory over death and His gift to us is allowing us to share in His victory!
 
Please choose to believe in The Whole Gospel today!  God hopes you will receive all his love, goodness, and gifts He has for you.  Tell Him you believe Him, trust in Him, and desire Him to be your Father and God today!
 
With Love in Christ Jesus,
 
Jim

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These Words Say It All


WHAT KIND OF JOY

by Steven Curtis Chapman

Verse 1

Anybody in their right mind

Would’ve given up their preaching and headed for home

They’ve been warned a hundred times

But something inside them keeps giving them hope

And just when you think they’d be crying

Instead of the tears, there’s joy in there eyes

Chorus

What kind of joy is this

That counts it a blessing to suffer?

What kind of joy is this

That gives the prisoner his song?

What kind of joy could stare death in the face

And see it as sweet victory?

This is the joy of a soul that’s forgiven and free

Verse 2

Anybody else with his pain

Would wanna shake their fist at Heaven and give up the fight

‘Cause trouble had been Paul’s middle name

Ever since he’d been captured by God’s blinding light

But just when his hope should be dying

You listen and hear him singing a song

Repeat Chorus

What kind of joy is this?

What kind of joy is this?

What kind of joy is this

The Father has promised His children?

What kind of joy is this

That Jesus has come to reveal?

What kind of joy could give hope in this world

To someone just like you and me?

This is the joy of a soul that’s forgiven

I’ve found this joy for my soul is forgiven and free

What kind of joy is this?

Tell me what kind of joy

What kind of joy, what kind of joy?

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No Holds Barred


"Therefore submit to God.  Resist the devil and he will flee from you.  Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.  Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double minded.  Lament and mourn and weep!  Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom.  Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up."
– James 5:7-9
 
I really like the book of James, probably because it is the "man’s" book.  There are no holds barred and the author is direct and to the point and calls out hypocrisy for what it is.  As I read this passage this morning, I know what it is talking about from life experience.  If you cannot relate to the part that says "Let your laughter be turned to mourning" or to the part that says "Let your "joy" be turned "to gloom", then you probably aren’t done fooling around with the devil.  I have fooled around in self seeking, pleasure seeking and pride long enough to be brought to the place of tears ("mourning" and "gloom").  The tears finally brought me to the place where I turned my back on Satan and turned and ran to Jesus.  And the amazing thing is, Jesus also ran, to me! 
 
Have you had enough of yourself to see the emptiness and the gloom?  Do you despair for something better?  Do you want to know what true fullfillment in life is all about?  Then come to your senses, pick yourself up, turn your back on that old serpent, the devil, and run to Jesus.  Jesus is glad to show the sinner back to The Way to true happiness and fullfillment!  In fact, He will run to you, welcome you, clothe you in His finest, and top it all off with a feast in your honor! 
 
For the greatest story about this very subject, read the story of The Prodigal Son in Luke 15:11-31.  Also listen to the version of the song "When God Ran" by Phillips, Craig & Dean ( just click on the link in my Music List).   
 
 

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