Spirit of Grace (Part 1)

  • Let me start this teaching with a statement from Graham Cooke.

    “Performance based Christianity is one of the biggest problems that we have in the church today. People feeling they need to perform in order to receive something from God, or in order to be taken seriously. We put on this kind of image we are trying to perform. We are trying to be seen as being powerful. You know what? It is just so tiring and irritating. Everyone sees through it anyway, so what’s the point of that?”

    Unfortunately, in the church body today, the temptation is very strong to make our relation to God judicial (judicial meaning “interprets and applies the law&rdquo and thereby performance and works oriented, instead of personal and relational.

    It is well past the time for people to get beyond the mistaken notion that Christianity is about ethics. That it is about living up to some set of standards. It is not about that. All that happens with someone who has that mindset is they get so caught up in a system of reward & punishment that they miss the simple relationship he wants with them.

    Jeremiah 31:31-34. In the Voice version. Now I know this is old covenant, but I will tie this to us by overlaying new covenant truth upon an old covenant declaration. Remember – what’s contained in the old testament is explained in the new testament. What’s concealed in the old testament is revealed in the new testament.

    31 Look, the days are coming when I will bring about a new covenant with the people of Israel and Judah.

    Right there in that verse, we see that it is God who will do the work. God will bring about a new covenant. God will because it’s His will.

    32 It will not be like the covenant I made with their ancestors long ago when I took them by the hand and led them out of slavery in Egypt. They did not remain faithful to that covenant—even though I loved and cared for them as a husband.

    33 This is the kind of new covenant I will make with the people of Israel when those days are over. I will put My law within them. I will write it on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be My people.

    34 No longer will people have to teach each other or encourage their family members and say, “You must know the Eternal.” For all of them will know Me intimately themselves—from the least to the greatest of society. I will be merciful when they fail and forgive their wrongs. I will never call to mind or mention their sins again.

    Don’t miss what He just said. He said He would never remind us of our sins again. So when you’re trying to remember every sin so that you can ask for forgiveness, because someone taught you incorrectly in that regard, just remember that He forgot.

    Hebrews 8:10-13. Now I won’t put it here, but take a look at these verses and you’ll see they are a repeat of the old testament reference above. Don't miss what scripture says in verses 7 and 8 of Hebrews 8. It says "7 If there was nothing wrong with the first agreement, then there would be no need for a second agreement. But God found something wrong with the people. Then it goes on to repeat what He said in Jeremiah 31:31-34.

    Hebrews 9:6 – “When all is prepared as it is supposed to be, the priests go back and forth daily into the first tent to carry out the duties described in the law”.

    We see the priests went in daily ”performing religious duties. Like people today. They’ll make sure they go to church every Sunday performing their religious duties never getting set free from religion. I didn’t say they should not go to church every Sunday. I said they go to perform some religious duty thinking that will make them appear holy and secondly it will pay up their spiritual insurance for another week. Go every Sunday based on “want to” not “have to”.

    Hebrews 9:7 – “But once a year, the high priest goes alone into that second tent, the most holy place, with blood to offer for himself and the unwitting errors of the people”.

    You notice that under the old covenant, the priest went in once a year. First he had to offer the blood for himself and his sins. Then and only then could he offer the sacrifice for the errors of the people.

    Hebrews 9:8 – “As long as that first tent is standing, the Holy Spirit shows us, the way into the most holy place has not yet been revealed to us”.

    The Holy Spirit is revealing to us or showing us that the veil is still there because of rules and regulations. As long as the outer tabernacle is still standing. As long as the tent of the law is still standing. The entrance into the most holy place has not yet been revealed to us. The old has to go so the new can come. Let’s keep studying to see what happens.

    The high priest was the only one that could go into the holy place. So the Holy Spirit was indicating in these verse that there was no way of access for us under those conditions. Sadly, many Christians still live outside the veil today. Still praying like strangers and beggars rather than sons and heirs.

    Hebrews 9:9 – “That first tent symbolizes the present time, when gifts and sacrifices can be offered; but it can’t change the heart and conscience of the worshiper”.

    So the ritual is still going on when all the time fulfillment had already come. The Jews couldn’t see it, so they continued with the same religious stuff. It’s the same with people today. Their conscience has not been cleansed.

    Hebrews 10:29 reads – “Just think how much more severe the punishment will be for those who have turned their backs on the Son of God, trampled on the blood of the covenant by which He made them holy, and outraged the Spirit of grace with their contempt”.

    That is pretty direct. “Turned their backs on the Son of God, trampled on the blood of the covenant by which HE made them holy”. HE made them holy. “Outraged the spirit of grace with their contempt.” The Spirit of grace. That’s the Holy Spirit. The Spirit of God.

    Always remember, the Spirit of God or Grace, the Holy Spirit, will never minister anything to you that contradicts the finished work of Jesus on the cross. So the idea that’s promoted by the church that the Spirit of God convicts the individual of sin is totally false and erroneous. How can He convict you of sin when He had part in the sacrifice of Jesus and the full atonement of that sin?

    Hebrews 9:10 reads “These gifts and sacrifices deal only with regulations for the body—food and drink and various kinds of ritual cleansings necessary until the time comes to make things truly right”.

    If you have a conscience that is not cleansed, you will have a dead works mentality. That drives you to outward performance believing you have to do stuff to be acceptable to God, and make you feel better of your position towards God.

    There is no barrier that we need to get beyond that the blood of Jesus hasn’t already broken down. Religion is all about appearance, all about externals, and all about how people view you.

    If it’s important to you that people have a good opinion of you, you’ll be owned by anyone willing to lie to you or lie about you.

    Hebrews 9:11,12.

    11 When the Anointed One arrived as High Priest of the good things that are to come, He entered through a greater and more perfect sanctuary that was not part of the earthly creation or made by human hands.

    12 He entered once for all time into the most holy place—entering, not with the blood of goats or calves or some other prescribed animal, but offering His own blood and thus obtaining redemption for us for all time.

    Once for all time and for all people. It cannot be repeated and doesn’t need to be repeated. If you get this “once for all” you’ll be set free from dead works. What can you do to help or compensate since there’s nothing left to do or compensate for?

    When you constantly try to please God or have a fear that you are not pleasing Him, it’s because your conscience is not cleansed. It’s not because Jesus didn’t finish the job. It’s because there’s still a sin consciousness that comes through faulty preaching and faulty interpretation of scripture.

    If somebody’s preaching leaves you with a guilty conscience it’s old covenant. It’s preaching to the old man to try and rehabilitate the old man. You can’t rehabilitate the old man. He’s only good for crucifixion. The bible says put off the old man and put on Christ.

    Hebrews 9:13 reads “Think about it: if the blood of bulls or of goats, or the sprinkling of ashes from a heifer, restores the defiled to bodily cleanliness and wholeness;”

    The old system could not cleanse the conscience. Everything was external. The old system had no power to cleanse the inner man. Also, the old way was an annual process which only served to remind you of sin. To keep sin in the focus.

    Just like today when people continually believe they must ask for forgiveness of their sin it only serves to remind them of sin. It keeps them in bondage to it rather than the freedom in the Spirit that is through the blood of Jesus.

    Now, just look at Hebrews 9:14 – “then how much more powerful is the blood of the Anointed One, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself as a spotless sacrifice to God, purifying your conscience from the dead things of the world to the service of the living God”?

    It’s the much more. It’s also the clearest trinitarian verse in bible. All three persons of God are active in the atonement. If God has ever shown grace or mercy to you then he can never stop showing it to you. How can I make that statement? Because His mercy endures forever.

    Hebrews 9:14 declares the Spirit to be eternal. So the Spirit of grace is eternal and all that Jesus did He did for eternity. He did it through the Holy Spirit.

    Cleanse your conscience. How? By believing and receiving all that Jesus did. God says sin is gone. We keep trying to bring it up to Him and he doesn’t know what we’re talking about because He doesn’t remember. He forgot and took it out of the way.

    Trying to bring your sin to God and trying to act humble about it is nothing more than dead works. It's nothing more than chocolate and roses. So, trying to keep a set of rules, or adhere to a religious program man has created in order to avoid sin, in effect you have just entered into sin through untrust and unbelief.

    Don't miss part 2 of this teaching. We will continue to destroy the myth and false teachings about the law, sin, and performance based christianity with Truth. Grace and Peace.