Crippled by Offenses (1)

  • Understanding fully the wonderful gift of the grace of God will set you free from the tyranny of others and from the tyranny of yourself. Those who have received the abundance of grace and the gift of righteousness, spoken of in Romans 5:17, have been set free in grace. They no longer fall into the trap of being controlled by fear and intimidation through manipulation.

    Look at what Paul wrote under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit in Romans 12:1,2. I like it in the Easy to Read Version shown below, but look at it in the NLT, ESV, and The Voice version, as well as others. It’s amazing what is being said in these two scriptures.

    So I beg you, brothers and sisters, because of the great mercy God has shown us, offer your lives as a living sacrifice to him—an offering that is only for God and pleasing to him. Considering what he has done, it is only right that you should worship him in this way.

    Paul is to the point of begging for an action to take place in our lives. Look at this. “Because of the great mercy God has shown us…” Come on. How clear is that? Offer your life to God. He doesn’t want or demand your 10% tithe. He wants all of you. When you give Him your all, you get all the promises of God freely. What a bargain. “Considering what He has done.” Have you considered what He has done for you lately?

    Don’t change yourselves to be like the people of this world, but let God change you inside with a new way of thinking. Then you will be able to understand and accept what God wants for you. You will be able to know what is good and pleasing to him and what is perfect.

    Do not change to please the people of this world. They didn’t die for you. They didn’t save you. They didn’t give you all things that pertain to life and Godliness. Jesus did that. It’s our reasonable service to give our all to Him.

    In verse 1 Paul pleads with us to offer all of ourselves to God. He doesn’t say after you get yourself straightened up and cleaned up. After you quit all your poor behavior. After you start acting holy. NO. He says “let God change you inside with a NEW WAY OF THINKING”. I’ve said it before. God is more interested in your wrong believing and thinking than He is your poor behavior.

    Just look at what comes with this action. We will be able to KNOW what is good and pleasing to Him and what is perfect. In other words we will know what is the good and acceptable will of God. Are you getting this? Quit beating yourself up. Quit calling yourself what you are not and start walking in who you are. That’s renewing your mind to kingdom thinking and declaring who God says you are. Holy, righteous, perfect, and freed from the law of sin and death.

    There are two subject areas I will address concerning this issue. One is every day situations with people. I won’t spend much time on this one, but the other is the spiritual aspect of this thing called offenses. On this area, the law, religion and legalism will be addressed.

    I developed a personal abbreviation called MID to help me remember a statement of truth. What MID stands for is “Manipulation and Intimidation for the purposes of Domination”. Said another way, there are numerous people out there who are unable to control their emotions, but they are perfectly willing to try and control yours.

    In addition to controlling emotions, there are those who will try to control what you ought to believe. They have a certain religious mindset. If you challenge that mindset with the truth of scripture, they will become angry and offended at your lack of acceptance regarding their “wrong believing”. They will ignore the truth you presented and cling to their own opinion about what is right or wrong. They will attempt to control your freedom.

    The problem with that approach is that right and wrong will always change, but good and evil never will. What do you mean? Well, let's take asparagus. I don't like Asparagus, but my wife does. So it is not wrong that I don't like asparagus, but it's right that she does. So asparagus is neither right nor wrong, but it can become right for her and wrong for me. Besides, we were never given the capacity to be able to discern right from wrong. We were given the ability to discern good and evil (Hebrews 5:14).

    It goes something like this and it’s basically the worst form of pride. It’s called false humility. “I’m just a sinner.” “I’m not even close to perfect.” “I’m not holy but I’m working on it.” So then you challenge those statements with the truth found in scripture, and they get mad and call you arrogant.

    When you know who you are in Christ, you will appear arrogant to those who are weak in faith. It is not arrogance to receive from Jesus all that He did for me. It’s arrogant to reject it and think you can earn it from a works oriented, performance based Christianity.

    The ones who see themselves as sinners, imperfect, unholy people, will embrace stupidity and call it humility. They will categorize themselves as described and say things like “I’m just not worthy”. Really? That’s arrogant! Numerous scriptures tell us we are holy. We are accepted. We are no longer sinners. Just review some of the previous blogs.

    What happens to people who have this wrong believing? Not only do they get into the attack mode, be it everyday events or spiritual beliefs, but they live in fear.

    The fear of the law controls you by manipulation and intimidation which can only change your behavior for awhile, but can never change your heart. Eventually the very thing you feared will come to pass. You will fail at keeping all the strenuous rules and requirements of the law, be it from scripture (Old Testament) or from people in the church.

    Have you ever wondered why we see ministers and ministries crashing into situations of lust, greed, and immorality. It’s because they are in bondage to religion, the law, and legalism. We scratch our heads and say what happened? Well, there were things there that had never been healed by the grace of God. These things have only been controlled by the fear of the law.

    Many times people cannot receive this dynamic message of grace, because of past wounds. Their mind needs renewing in this area to know and understand 2 Corinthians 5:17. “Therefore, if anyone is united with the Anointed One, that person is a new creation. The old life is gone—and see—a new life has begun!”

    “United with the Anointed one”. That’s key. I just wonder how much of a relationship there is between them and Jesus when they constantly walk in fear of the law and performance. God is not looking for a good religious person, He’s looking for relationship. It’s no longer about sin, it’s about sonship. Get on with the NEW life in Christ Jesus and leave that old dead man behind.

    We will pick this back up in part 2 with the scriptures leading up to this verse 17. Grace and Peace.