Faith in Truth (1)

  • Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God. We quote this scripture all the time, but do we ever see the importance, emphasis, and power in this word.

    People listen to preachers and teachers and the words they say. However, if they are not speaking words that are God’s words, the results will be faith in the wrong thing. Rather than Truth, their faith will be based in error. That brings fear, bondage and a sense of failure.

    Once again as I listened to a message on the internet, the entire sermon was mixed with great truths about what Christ has done for us and in us, but then it is mixed with legalism, law, have to’s, and condemnation. This is what’s called Galatianism. It’s where you mix the law with grace. When this is done, both are destroyed. It’s the new wine in the old wineskin approach. The new freedom in Christ Jesus just cannot abide in the old strict customs and rules of the law. The old wineskin of religion has no room for the new wine of the ridiculous, radical, inexhaustible grace of God.

    Sure, it is for freedom that Christ has set you free. Sure you are free from the law of sin and death, Sure, it is by grace you have been saved through faith, not of works. However, now you “have to” keep this rule, serve in this capacity, go to church every Sunday, give “the tithe” (see the 2 part blog on “Tithing&rdquo, read your bible everyday. So, we speak freedom in one part of the message and then level fear, guilt, shame and condemnation on them in another part.

    I agree completely with the word that says “faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God”. Just make sure it’s the word of God that’s being presented before you wrap faith around it. Whenever you feel pressured or guilt ridden when hearing the message from man, it’s not the Word of God. His word is soothing, it brings comfort, it edifies, it convicts you that your righteous and never condemns you that your worthless or a failure. That’s legalism and religion, not relationship and freedom.

    Three scriptures were used to set up the speakers attempt at bringing truth to the congregation. However, the statement made after these three scriptures floored me. I believe it was so off truth and beyond the absolute grace and freedom found in Christ Jesus that I almost thought I didn’t hear it correctly.

    I’ll give you the three scripture statements and the concluding comment, and then apply what I see as the Truth to the error. You decide which is truth as you study for yourselves what follows.

    Let me say we all are human. When standing in front of people and speaking, we can all have things come from our mouths that don’t say quite what they mean. I have always told my audience that if what I have said cannot be proven by the truth in God’s word, then spit that out and move on. Having said that, if faith comes by hearing, then it’s important to hear truth even when our intentions were not to bring error.

    The first scripture used is found in Hebrews 10:25. At this point the statement is made that we not forsake the assembly of ourselves together. The second scripture portion was when David said “I was glad when they said let us enter into the house of the Lord”. The final reference was to the fourth commandment where it says “Remember the sabbath day to keep it holy”. It was at this point the speaker said “God was saying, there is one day when I want your undivided attention. So, if you want God to bless the rest of your week, you need to be here in church and give him your undivided attention on Sunday”.

    Do you see what I mean? I almost couldn’t believe my own ears. Wow. Can you feel the extreme condemnation and pressure that puts on the people? You mean God will not bless me if I don’t go to church on Sunday? That means I’m so bad that I’m forsaking the assembly of the people together? I must not be glad to enter into the house of the Lord.

    Okay, lets study and find out what the truth really is concerning God and His blessings toward us. What conditions does God lay out for us?

    Start with Hebrews 10:25. First of all it does not say “do not forsake the assembly of yourselves together”. Let’s see what it really says, but first I’m going to put it in context by including before and after scriptures. Starting with verse 14 in the KJV.

    14 For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified. 15 Whereof the Holy Ghost also is a witness to us: for after that he had said before, 16 This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them; 17 And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more. 18 Now where remission of these is, there is no more offering for sin. 19 Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, 20 By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh; 21 And having an high priest over the house of God; 22 Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water. 23 Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised 24 And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: 25 Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.

    Now in the Easy To Read Version.

    14 With one sacrifice Christ made his people perfect forever. They are the ones who are being made holy.

    What? Wait a minute. Did that just say “with one sacrifice”? That’s it? Not going to church every Sunday? We are made perfect, but also look. It says we are being made holy. We don’t have to work at getting holy, we are being made holy. Wow.

    15 The Holy Spirit also tells us about this. First he says, 16 “This is the agreement I will make with my people in the future, says the Lord. I will put my laws in their hearts. I will write my laws in their minds.”

    Now the Holy Spirit is telling us about this agreement the Lord made with us. He said He would put his laws in our hearts and write them in our minds. Then he gives us the law keeper, the Holy Spirit to continually live by those laws. The laws of freedom.

    What do I mean by that. Well now it’s not “Thou shalt not kill”, but instead “love your neighbor as yourself”. It’s not “Thou shalt not steal”, but now it’s “Give according to the purposes of your Heart”. It’s not “Remember the sabbath day to keep it holy”, it’s “This is the day that the Lord has made. We will rejoice and be glad in it”.

    17 Then he says, “I will forget their sins and never again remember the evil they have done.”

    Oh Oh. That just destroyed someone’s pet snake. I like how verse 17 starts out. After setting us completely free in what He says in verse 16, it goes on to say “Then He says”. It’s as if the Holy Spirit is saying, “wait, wait, that’s not all. Look, look at this next statement. He says He’ll forget and never remember. So just know that why you’re remembering all your failure and shortcomings, or why others are so quick to remind you of them, just remember that He forgot.

    18 And after everything is forgiven, there is no more need for a sacrifice to pay for sins.

    Oh Glory!!! Don’t miss the completeness and fullness of verse 18. Right here goes another religious cow or pet snake. It is useless for you to beg God to forgive your sins anymore. If there is no more need for a sacrifice to pay for sins, that means that all sins have been paid for already. If you haven’t read and studied the posts on “Sin – What a Subject?”, or “Sin Consciousness”, I suggest you do so. Let me warn you that these teachings are rated G for Great Grace and R for Radical Grace and Truth. They will ruin your religious beliefs and replace them with Truth.

    19 And so, brothers and sisters, we are completely free to enter the Most Holy Place. We can do this without fear because of the blood sacrifice of Jesus.

    Hahahahahaha. No outer courts for us. We can go “freely” into the innermost Holy Place, and we can do this without fear. Total access. Uninhibited by any performance requirements.

    20 We enter through a new way that Jesus opened for us. It is a living way that leads through the curtain—Christ’s body.

    It’s a new way of entering, because the old way would never permit our entrance. There’s no way we could adhere to the strict requirements of the law in order to gain access to Him. So Jesus provided a new way right through the curtain in Him. We couldn’t get to Him so He came to us. Now we are in Him and have total access without fear or limits. Yay God.

    21 And we have a great priest who rules the house of God. 22 Sprinkled with the blood of Christ, our hearts have been made free from a guilty conscience, and our bodies have been washed with pure water. So come near to God with a sincere heart, full of confidence because of our faith in Christ.

    Do I even need to comment? Just study what verses 21 and 22 say. We have a great priest who rules the house of God. We have that. He’s ours. Our hearts have been made free from a guilty conscience. Remember in verse 16 He said “I will put my laws in their hearts. I will write my laws in their minds.” Now with those laws in our hearts He says we’ve been made free from a guilty conscience. We can have full confidence that we can come near to God without performance, or legalism, or religious acts, but freely come.

    23 We must hold on to the hope we have, never hesitating to tell people about it. We can trust God to do what he promised.

    We can trust God and all His promises to us. He is a promise keeper not just a promise maker. Why is God so good at keeping promises? The answer is easy. It’s because He’s already completed, settled and finished everyone of those promises. It is finished means the provision in each of His promises are already available.

    When we as human beings make a promise, most times we have to make sure we keep it on our radar screens to make sure we fulfill that promise. For instance, “I’ll pick you up at 7:30am”, or “I’ll help you with that tomorrow”. With God, His promises are already fulfilled just waiting for us to access the provision. Now scripture goes on to give us guidance on how to help others stay strong.

    24We should think about each other to see how we can encourage each other to show love and do good works. 25 We must not quit meeting together, as some are doing. No, we need to keep on encouraging each other. This becomes more and more important as you see the Day getting closer.

    Okay. So here’s the verse that was used. I submit to you that based on all we’ve studied from verse 14 until now, there is no leap you can make to confidently or even truthfully say that verse 25 is talking about the church building.

    I submit that as you’re reading this teaching, we are meeting together in a different forum. Jeanie and I are meeting together all the time with people here in Costa Rica. We met with sisters, brothers, in-laws, daughters, and friends during the four weeks we spent in the US in June and July 2014. We meet constantly with our neighbors here in Costa Rica and with others at lunch and in the streets. We discuss the hope we have and release to them the confidence that is in Christ Jesus. So applying one of those promises from God, Jesus was in the midst of each of those meetings since we were gathered in His name.

    That is fulfilling this scripture. Keep on encouraging each other. How does that happen in a church when the congregation comes together and sits staring forward to hear one person speak? There’s no encouragement going on between the people. Oh sure, there may be a few that are ministering to one another out in the lobby or in a vacant class room, but you get my point.

    I’m not saying I’m against church. I’m just saying I don’t want to see it used as a weapon of legalism and performance for those who are set free by the blood of Jesus. Also, I am not a fan of those who would try to make scripture say what it does not say.

    We'll move onto the next scripture - I was glad when they said, “Let us go into the house of the Lord” in part 2. Grace and Peace.