Belief is not belief unless you act like what you say you believe. Until then, its just knowledge. Knowledge of the truth indeed, but still it’s just knowledge. And knowledge of Gods word doesn’t get you results. Belief does.
He said He will never leave you nor forsake you. Do you believe that or do you know that? Knowing it will not set you free from loneliness and depression. Believing it will.
His word says “By His stripes you were healed”. Do you believe that or do you know that? Knowing it will not bring healing to you. Believing it will keep you healthy.
His word says “Whom the Son sets free is free indeed”. Do you believe that or do you know that? Knowing it will not set you free from sinful habits, bondage's and addictions. Believing it will set you free.
His word says “My God shall supply all your needs according to His riches in glory”. Do you believe that or do you know that? Knowing it will not make you abundantly supplied and generous. Believing it will.
His word says “There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus”. Do you believe that or do you know that? Knowing it will not remove guilt and self condemnation. Believing it will set you free.
His word says “He has given us ALL things pertaining to life and godliness”. Do you believe that or do you know that? Knowing it will not make a difference in your life, but believing it will cause you to walk in confidence.
We Christians have plenty of knowledge of the truth, but we don’t really believe because we are accustomed to believing only what we see and experience in the flesh. Isn’t that being carnal? We are called to walk by faith and not by sight.
The disciples couldn’t cast the demon out and when they asked Jesus about it, His answer was “ because of your unbelief”.
Jesus said “He came to give us life and life more abundantly”. Did He or didn't He? If He did (which of course He did), then we ought to be living that life isn't it?
In conclusion, you will only experience a joyful and wonderful life in the areas where you believe the gospel message. If you really believe that By His stripes you were healed, but don’t believe He has set you free from all bondage's, then you will always be able to use your faith and fight off sicknesses but will struggle with sinful habits. If you believe that His blood has cleansed you from all unrighteousness, but you don’t believe He supplies all your needs, then you will never feel condemned or guilty, but you will struggle with being generous and therefore be in lack struggling to make ends meet. If you believe Christ is Lord, but don’t believe Christ has become your wisdom, then you’ll be an awesome worshiper, but will mostly find yourself making wrong choices and wrong decisions. Am sure you get the point..
Believe the gospel message in its entirety brothers and sisters, and enjoy the abundant life He has given you. Because belief is not belief unless you act like what you say you believe. Until then, its just knowledge.
The most common statement I’ve heard over the many years of walking with the Lord is this. “Not all biblical promises are literal and true because we know that in life, there can be situations where no amount of prayer and fasting seem to be working. It’s just God’s will and that He has a greater good planned in everything we go through”. Really? I have never been comfortable with that statement because that raises so many questions with regards to the words of Jesus.
So, when the bible says, “Jesus Himself took ALL our sicknesses and by His stripes we are healed”, are you now saying that isn’t true all the time? Did He leave out some? When Jesus said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you”, are you now saying that He sometimes leaves you? When Jesus said, “Whatsoever things you ask for when you pray, believe that you have received it and it shall be yours”, are you now saying that is not true? I am sure you agree there are lot more promises which could fall under this category. Jesus did say that He is coming back again. Going by this standard, how do we know that He is going to return?
This is because many of us have wrongly learnt to validate Gods word with our “feelings”. We let our “feelings” tell us what is true and what is not. If we “feel” sick, then our feelings override the truth in the word of God. If we asked for something in prayer and we didn’t’ get it when we wanted it, we begin to doubt. Now we let the doubt override the truth in the word of God. Many such instances in life become something called “life experience” and we let life experiences determine what is true and what is not in the word of God.
No, my dear brothers and sisters, one cannot pick and choose what to believe and what not to believe in God’s word. One must never read “into the bible” based on life experiences. All the above might have been your experience in life as a Christian, but that doesn’t make it the truth. Gods word is the truth, and nothing changes it. Not even your life experiences.
But the real truth is this. God’s word has POWER to change your life experience.
One of the key reasons why many of us don’t really experience the promises spoken of in God’s word is because we underestimate the power of “words”. The words we speak are often contrary to the word of God. We pray and ask God for a healing or a miracle or a provision, but our words immediately after the prayer are always contrary to the prayer we just prayed.
The bible says in John 1:1 “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made what was made. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. “
Did you see that? The Word was God and all things that were made was made through Him. Through the word. Creation happened through the word.
This is why in Genesis 1 we see, God spoke words, and it became. He spoke “Let there be….and then there was”. Such is the power of the “spoken” word. Not a “thought” word or a whispered word, but a “spoken” word.
John 1:14 –says “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us….”
Wow! The Word of God became flesh. In other words, the word of God was Jesus Himself. Jesus said “The words I speak to you are spirit and they are life”. – John 6:63
A lot of times, we agree with God’s word when we hear it. We agree with God’s word when we read it. We say “Yes, its true”. We read “By His stripes we were healed”, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me”, etc and we agree. We read the bible and say “Halleluiah Amen!”. We even quote it but agreement with the word is very different from “using” the word in our daily lives. God gave us His word to use it, not just to agree with it and say, “we believe”. Many of us agree with the word of God but do not know how to use it and hence do not see it manifest in our daily lives.
Agreeing with the word and not seeing it manifest in our day to day life is mere religion. We must learn how to use the word of God to see it manifest in our lives.
Jesus always ministered with words. He opened blind eyes with words. He said, “Be opened” and there it was. He made the lame walk with words. He said, “Arise, pick up your mat and walk”. He raised the dead with words. He calmed the sea with words. He fed the hungry with words. He cast out devils with words. The most important part of a Christian’s life is the ability to use Gods word. A born-again Christian’s life is defined by the words he/she speaks. How much of Gods promises manifests in your daily life largely depends on the words you speak. You are no greater than the words you speak. Watch your words. No man ever got better than the words that came out of his mouth.
Proverbs 18:21 says, “Death and life are in the power of the tongue”.
When the multitudes listened to Jesus, they went back and said, “No man ever spoke like this man”. Multitudes thronged around Jesus. They came from near and far just to hear Him speak. In one instance, they even forgot they hadn’t eaten for three days. They were with Jesus listening to Him speak. When they heard Him speak to the wind and calm the sea, they said “Wow! What manner of man of this that even the winds and the waves obey Him”? His words had power. The tree that withered out overnight couldn’t resist the power of His words. The devils couldn’t resist His command to flee. Mark 1:22 says, “The people were astonished at His teaching, because He spoke with authority”.
He has now given us (His children) the same authority. This is why He said, I’ve given you authority to overcome all the power of the enemy. Nothing by any means will harm you. Jesus also said that we would be able to lay our hands on the sick and heal them. We would be able to cast out devils in His name. He also said “Ask what you want in my name and it shall be done for you for the glory of my Father in heaven”.
If we really have been given so much power, then how is it that we ourselves are struggling with sicknesses and oppression and lack often times? Isn’t something wrong with that picture?
No, my dearest brothers and sisters, let us learn to speak the word. Out loud. With boldness and confidence because we are children of God. We are not ordinary people of the world. We are His children with direct access to God our Father. Do not just whisper and definitely do not just close your eyes and “think” a prayer. Jesus said, “When you pray, SAY and not “think” because “words” are powerful.
It is said that a scientist once performed an experiment. He had 2 plants. He spoke nice words to one plant every single day. He spoke out words like you are beautiful, you are awesome. You will bear much fruit. You look so beautiful and healthy and so on. But he spoke harsh words to the second plant. He spoke out words such as “You are ugly. You are fruitless. I don’t think you’ll stay alive. You are miserable, etc. After a few weeks, he noticed that the first plant grew beautiful, flowered very well and looked very healthy, but the second plant withered and died. Such is the power of your words. Imagine then what your words can do to your life.
The truth is that when we were born again, we were born of the Word of God. He gave birth to our new born-again self. His word gave birth to us. So we have His word living in us. We have the life of God Himself in us. We cannot be sick, and we can never be condemned. We can live guilt free and with divine health.
1 Peter 1:23 says, “For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God.
Now since we have the life of God Himself in us and since we have His word in us, let us also ensure that only His words come out of our mouths. His words will always be full of power, will be full of selfless love and will always build people up and not tear them down. His words bring healing and His words set people free.
This is what I do every day, at least once. Often more than once. I speak this out loudly all by myself every single day.
“I am a child of God. I was born of the Word of God. God Himself gave birth to me. I was born of an incorruptible seed. I am the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus. The blood of Jesus Christ has cleansed me from all my unrighteousness. I cannot sin, because I do not have the sin nature in me. When God gave birth to me as I was born again, He didn’t impart the sin nature into me like Adam did. Therefore, I cannot sin. Sin has no dominion over me because I am not under law but under grace. I have the life of God in me because He birthed me. Therefore, I cannot be sick. I have his divine health in me. As He is, so am I in this world. I am not of this world. I am a citizen of the kingdom of God. It is impossible for me to fail because God is my Father. He owns all things. I am His son and I am a success. Because I am His son, I only speak His words and I only do what I see Him do. The Holy Spirit is with me. I am never alone. He will guide me through this day and provide for all I need today. I thank you Lord for my new life. I thank you for my family and for your Lordship over my household.”
After several months/years of doing this, it has become who I am now, and I have learnt to look at myself through God’s eyes. Speak this over yourself every day for 2 weeks and let me know if you notice a difference in your walk with God and in your personal life.
Let me remind you again. Watch your words. Speak God’s word over your lives. Do not speak as any one else of this world. Be different. Speak differently.
For example: When you feel sick, don’t say “I have this problem or that problem….” Instead try speaking out “I am a child of God. It is impossible for me to be sick. I have the life of God in me. I refuse to let this sickness in my body. I command you (name the sickness) to leave my body now in Jesus name. Keep saying it. Don’t stop. Keep saying it.
When there is discord and arguments in your home and there is no peace, don’t be discouraged and sad. Instead, speak out and say “Jesus is Lord of this house. I command the sprit of disunity to leave now. “
Ask God for wisdom. Dear Lord, grant me wisdom. Wisdom to discern spiritual truths. Wisdom to prosper and make money. Wisdom to be generous and to live a godly life. In Jesus name. Amen!
Let me pray over you right now. Dear Lord Jesus, help my brothers and sisters find revelation in this blog post Lord. Let them realize the power of their words and convict those who have been experiencing curses in their lives due to lack of knowledge. May your Holy Spirit teach them to speak YOUR words going forward Lord. Bless them in their households. Fill their homes with your peace. Heal those who are seeking health and provide for those who are seeking provision. But teach them to walk in victory going forward Lord. For this purpose, you came, that they might have abundant life and that we all might be one with you. I thank you Lord for granting me this request. In Jesus name I pray, Amen!!
Ever wondered if it was possible to have such intimacy with God that you could literally commune with Him every day? Eg: What if you could talk to Him everyday like as if He were right next to you and you could ask Him for guidance? What if you could be really intimate with Him and nothing in this world would ever matter anymore? You would say, that you probably are already doing that. But truly, IF we were enjoying such intimacy with God, then we wouldn’t be worried, or feeling depressed or asking God for a miracle or a healing for ourselves, etc. When you know someone so closely, then you don’t need to ask for something again and again right? Eg: My wife and I are really close to each other and we live together every day. It would be weird for me not to know her and keep checking on her or for her to keep checking on me. We instinctively know that certain things will just happen. If we could have a similar relationship with God, then it would change our Christian life completely. Our prayer life would be very different and faith would never be an issue.
Do you think God wants such intimacy with us or do you think He prefers to maintain the distance? Do you think He prefers to be the all-powerful God and you be the lowly sinner crying out to Him for grace and mercy? Surely He desires intimacy with His children. The bible says “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you”. James 4:8. Additionally, the entire story of the gospel, the very reason for Jesus to lay down His life, was because He seeks intimacy with us.
But then, look around you. Majority of Christians do not have such a relationship with God. It’s easy to know if someone is intimate with God or not. Just listen in to their prayers. Prayers that are mostly for themselves seeking provision, seeking healing, seeking breakthrough’s and frequent repetitions of the same prayer is a clear indication of lack of intimacy. If they really knew how much God loved them and if they knew they were one with Him, it would change their prayers.
How do we get to such a level of intimacy with God? Is it even possible? Well, there is nothing for us to DO to get to a level of such intimacy with God. Jesus has done it all. We only need to understand the gospel and walk in it. Someone said “Biblical knowledge is far better than gold when it fuels our trust in God. Otherwise, it only fuels our pride.” My intention is to expound the gospel to you to such an extent that it impacts your walk with God, it impacts your prayer life and makes you realize that you are one with Him. You are not separate to God. You are one with Him.
Before Adam and Eve sinned, they did have such intimacy. God spoke with Adam and Adam responded. There was a dialogue. Do you think Adam needed to cry and pray and plead before God for things he needed or for a breakthrough in something, etc? No, he didn’t, because intimacy with God brought all sufficiency. It is essential to rewind and see what exactly separated God and us from such intimacy.
Back in the beginning, it was SIN that separated us from such intimacy with God. Ever since then, Gods plan was to redeem us and reconcile us. Even today, it is the same SIN that separates us from Him. And its not just the unsaved world. It is also us Christians. We know Jesus died for our sins, but we still carry a consciousness of sin. This is the real reason for a lack of intimacy with God. Hebrews 10:2
This does not mean that all Christians who do not enjoy intimacy with God are living sinful lives. No, No, No…a thousand times No. It’s just that their own “consciousness of sin” and their knowledge of the immense holiness of God keeps them from such intimacy.
Yet, God longs for intimacy. He wants us to be anxiety free, sickness free, worry free and living lives that are joyful and victorious. This is the message all through the New Testament.
Ideally, no Christian, no born again child of God should have any personal prayer requests. Ooh! That’s bold. But yes, every child of God should have such intimacy with Him that all their personal requests are handled individually by themselves between them and God. United prayers by a group of believers should be intercessory in nature. This is only an ideal situation which is never the reality because different Christians are at different levels of faith. Some are mature, some others are children and babes in Christ. So group prayers, praying for each other is definitely recommended. But when you are mature and are enjoying such intimacy with the Lord, then Prayers for lost people, prayers for protection during persecution, prayers for wisdom or guidance and a lot of praise and worship are usually the norm. That’s what a Christians life who is very intimate with God would look like. But this is obviously not the case. We get people wanting prayers for money, for broken relationships, people wanting to get married, people always wanting something or the other…
It’s the same old issue of sin or consciousness of sin that separates people from such intimacy with Him. The truth is that God doesn’t recognize sin in us believers anymore, but we do and we lose confidence to enter into Gods presence. Hebrews 4:16, 10:19
We are all born again believers here. We’ve been Christians for a few years now, some more than others. But am sure you all will agree that though we are Christians, we have been sinful at some point in time or the other. It’s not like we suddenly became holy and pious people. We too struggle with many ungodly thoughts and desires, which we call temptations and trials and the world calls normal and being human. When we sinned, we prayed and sought forgiveness from the Lord and it took a while (sometimes a few days) to get that confidence back to feel that we are accepted by God again. At other times, we remind ourselves, we are righteous, there is now no condemnation, etc…but still when we pray, we are kind of doubtful if God heard us because we are wondering if God is upset with us or not.
So as Christians we have been taught to resist temptations and wilfully make a choice to obey God. To help us with this, we learn that there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. We are righteous now because of what Christ our Lord did for us. We are not under law but under grace. The blood of Jesus Christ continually washes us from every sin. We are taught to just seek forgiveness and continue our walk with the Lord, etc. All of this is true, but by nature it doesn’t make us very different to the lost world. We are just behaving differently and seem to have better control. They also have similar issues, but they don’t care to resist. They have accepted it as part of being human and carry on with their lives, but we as Christians feel convicted and find the need to be forgiven. And that’s the right feeling to have. That is evidence that we are not of this world. In fact, the bible teaches that we are indeed NOT of this world.
All of this battle, though very real, is a ploy of the enemy to keep us from intimacy with God. The devil has successfully managed to keep Christians very busy in this personal battle of watching over their lives, that they never have freedom from consciousness of sin. Our internal struggles keep us focused on watching over ourselves and our thoughts and actions, ensuring we are doing the “Christian” things and living the “Christian” life. But our minds/souls are a different story. Does that make us a less of a Christian? No. It doesn’t affect our salvation either. But it does keep us from intimacy with God and therefore keeps us from hearing His voice for ourselves. That explains why our prayers always sound like God is separate to us and He holds all the power to do something about our situation and we are helpless unless He does something. But the truth is He and us are one.
This constant strenous effort to walk the Christian walk either draw weak people away from God because they wear out or causes them to always be crying out to God for help and always depending on other people with prayer requests. When such people come to you and ask you for prayer, now you are obligated to pray for them because you feel they are looking up to you. You can’t let them down now by telling them you also have similar issues. That will affect their faith. So you pray with them, but quietly thinking to yourself, you need help too. Ultimate outcome is that the prayer didn’t get answered and it went nowhere. Both of you were in doubt with zero faith involved.
In your heart, you are keenly desiring for intimacy with God, and the ability to hear His voice everyday and simply walking with Him every day, but you just can’t seem to know how to get there.
The Solution: As always the answers to all things pertaining to life is in His Word.
The whole issue is lack of understanding of the gospel.
So what exactly did Jesus’s death and resurrection do?
Jesus’s lashings and wounds – Isaiah 53:5, 1 Peter 2:21-25 – By His wounds, we were healed. So he took away all our sickness. If this is the “truth”, then it impossible for us to be sick. Don’t go by experience, but simply by what the “truth” is. It is impossible for us to be sick if He took it all away. Right?
Jesus Death – The sin that separated us from God was imputed to Jesus. Even God turned His back on Him when He was on the cross. He died our death. This means we died with Him. Matthew 27:46, 2 Cor 5:21, Romans 5:19 – So then, the sin that separated us from God is no longer an issue, correct?
Born again – John 3:3. To be born again, you must first die. Else “again” is not possible. So if you died already and now are a born again person, who gave birth to you? You are no longer a descendant of Adam, but a descendant of God. The bible says you were born of the Word. This means, God gave birth to you when you were born again.
Born of the word – 1 Peter 1:23, 1 John 4:4
Our old self, was born sinful because sin was transmitted to us from Adam through generations after generations. We couldn’t help but sin. We were all born separated from God. But what happened when we were born again?
In the beginning was the Word, the Word was God and the Word was with God. If we were born of the word, then God gave birth this new born again person. Therefore, He couldn’t have transmitted sin to us. Ooh! Therefore, it is “impossible” for us to sin. We “cannot” sin.
We cannot be sick, we cannot be in bondage, we cannot be in sin, we cannot be a failure, etc. Christ won the victory for us in such a way that He made it impossible for us to fail, if we believe.
We Cannot sin. Is that shocking to hear? Read 1 John 3:9
When we understand this truth, we begin to realize that we “really” are not of this world because we are no longer a descendant of Adam or sinful man. We don’t have a past though we remember our previous life. This is why we are a NEW creation. Now when you call God “Father” in prayer, you will realize He really IS your Father because He literally gave birth to you. This is why the bible says “As He is, so are we in this world”. Just like Jesus is, so are we. We are family. He is our Father. When we walk in this consciousness, we begin to experience a new level of intimacy with Him. Your prayer life will change. You begin to speak to Him and you begin to hear Him speak back to you. Your prayers are more for others than for yourselves. Your day is full of communications with Him. About everything, the good, the bad and the uglies.
Now having understood this, read the following verses and see if it reveals something new to you.
From God’s view point, when we keep crying out to Him for things we need, then fast and pray for answers to our personal prayers, (almost as if like trying to coerce Him into taking action), these are signs of immaturity. Like stubborn children in a shopping mall trying to manipulate parents into buying something they want. A mature child who is walking with God intimately, asks once. Thereafter there may be communications regarding that thing, but not a repetitive prayer.
The devil has kept us busy being “sin conscious” so we can be ineffective in our Christian walk, but the truth is “We CANNOT Sin” because God gave birth to us and we have no sin in us. Therefore, there is nothing separating us from God our Father. Once we know this, then the devil is not even a factor. He is a defeated powerless useless nothing. He can only access your life if you let him. “He roams around seeking whom he may devour”, “Do not give the devil a foothold”, “submit to God and resist the devil and he will flee” . He is not a factor. Ignore him.
Focus on intimacy with God through Christ. Walk in maturity. Have God communications everyday. Let God find you as a mature child with whom He can talk man to man/man to woman and give guidance and direction in your everyday life. Once you experience this, you will learn to be gracious to others. Nobody’s words will hurt you. You will not feel less about yourself. You will enjoy that feeling of contentment and also be godly in your daily walk. The bible says “Godliness with contentment is great gain.” Additionally, since God Himself gave birth to you, you have His life in you. His DNA is in you, not Adam’s. God is a God of love. So you have His love in you too. You will find it a lot easier to walk in love, loving everybody and being patient with everybody, once you know that you are His child. Walk in love because love is the most powerful spiritual weapon you can have.
Jesus said, “By this the world will know that you are my disciples, if you have LOVE for one another”.
Blessings in abundance to you all.
Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled. Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God. Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God. Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
To most of us, we have come to understand these verses as the “beatitudes”.
The term beatitude comes from the Latin noun beātitūdō which means "happiness" or supreme blessedness. The beatitudes here start off with the word “Blessed”.
What does it mean to be blessed? The old testament not only used this terminology a lot, they also gave a huge amount of importance to being blessed. Esau was really upset with his brother Jacob for have stolen his father's blessing through deception. Abraham was a blessed man. Joseph was a blessed man. Some others were not blessed. The Greek word for "blessed" used in the Beatitudes is makarios
In ancient Greek times, makarios referred to the gods. The blessed ones were the gods. They had achieved a state of happiness and contentment in life that was beyond all cares, labors, worries, sicknesses and even death. The blessed ones were beings who lived in some other world away from the cares and problems and worries of ordinary people. To be blessed, you had to be a god. People knew and believed in god back then and also believed that god lived in another "blessed" realm far away from worldly pains and sorrows. Therefore, if anyone was “blessed”, they had to be a god.
When this word, makarios was first used in the Greek translation of the Old Testament, it took on another meaning. It referred to the end results of right living or righteousness. If you lived right according to the word of God, you were blessed. If you didn’t live according to the word of God, you were not blessed, but cursed. (Deuteronomy 28). Being blessed meant you were happy and satisfied with life and received earthly and material things: a good wife, many children, abundant crops, riches, honor, wisdom, beauty, good health, etc. A blessed person had more things and better things than an ordinary person. That’s how a “blessed” person was identified. Abraham had an abundance of wealth, plenty of servants, flocks of animals, etc. People who saw him said "Abraham was a blessed man". To be blessed, you had to have big and beautiful material possessions along with good health and a happy family. This was how the term “blessed” was perceived back then.
In all of these meanings, the "blessed" ones seemed to live on a higher plane in life than the rest of us. They were like gods according to the ordinary people living at that time. They were the wealthy, upper crust. They were those with many possessions. The blessed were those people who lived above the normal cares, problems, and worries of normal and ordinary people.
But then Jesus came and rocked this whole mind set. Matthew (reflecting Jesus' thoughts) uses this word in a totally different way. It is not the elite who are blessed. It is not the rich and powerful who are blessed. It is not the high and mighty who are blessed. It is not the people living in huge mansions or expensive penthouses who are blessed. Rather, Jesus pronounces God's blessings on the lowly: the poor, the hungry, the thirsty, the meek, the mourning. This came as a shock to the people listening because it was totally contrary to their beliefs. Throughout history, it had always been the rich, prosperous and well to do people who were considered blessed. Jesus turns it all upside-down. The elite in God's kingdom or the blessed ones in God's kingdom, are those who are of a different kind.
Yes, of course there are rich, prosperous and influential people today who are indeed blessed of God. But what Jesus is teaching here is that “blessed” doesn’t refer to an abundance of material possessions alone. It has got to do more with the identifying marks of a child of God.
When you look at a dog, you say that’s a dog. Why? Because of its distinguishing features and mannerisms as that of a dog. Likewise….a duck or an elephant. They have distinguishing marks that helps you easily identify them. What then is the distinguishing marks of a Christian? How would you know if someone was a Christian if you spotted one?
Jesus is teaching about what a life blessed by God looks like.
The Beatitudes are not telling us how to become a Christian but rather it is telling us what a Christian looks like. The beatitudes are not a recommended change in behavior to become a better person. In fact, it is quite impossible for you to “obey” the beatitudes in your own strength.
For eg: Jesus said “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” Can you now decide that from tomorrow, you are going to be poor in spirit? Of course not. Likewise, can you decide on your own that from tomorrow, you are going to be meek? These changes are inward only possible by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Jesus didn’t teach the beatitudes to show us how to live an improved and better life in this world.
But rather, he was saying “Let me tell you what a person who lives under the blessing of God looks like….Here they are…and then He taught the beatitudes.”
In Matt 5:13 Jesus said “You are the salt of the earth, but if the salt has lost its taste (purpose), how can it be made salty?” – This particular verse talks about “people that belong to God”. He said “YOU ARE”. He did not say “You are going to be” or “You will be”. You ARE the salt of the earth. In other words, you that belong to God ARE the salt of the earth. Then He goes on to say, “If salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned?”
You that belong to God are already in the kingdom of God and you ARE the salt of the earth. Now considering that the Kingdom of God is the ultimate realm, then if you lose your saltiness, where else can it come from? The representation of God is in you (salt). If you lose your peace (another of God’s kingdom component), then where else can it come from? If you lose your faith, belief, your health or whatever else you are crying out to God for…where else can it come from? They all have to come from God, who is already IN YOU.
Have you noticed…that everything that Jesus taught before His death and resurrection…though sounded really good…was almost impossible to do? So also the beatitudes are impossible to achieve unless you “understand” the gospel message.
Once we do understand the gospel message and how wonderfully we have been saved, then we can begin to understand how far we had fallen from the original purpose of God. At the same time, we get closer and closer to God. The more you realize how far you had fallen, the more closer and intimate you get to Jesus.
Eg: Take an object close to a light bulb. The further the object is from the light bulb, the more perfect and clean it looks, but as you get the object closer and closer to the light bulb, you begin to see flaws, dirt, dust and other marks on the object. Likewise, we also when we get closer to God, we begin to see our own flaws more and more clearly. The more closer we get to Jesus through His word, the more insignificant and unworthy we feel, but at the same time we also feel very pleased that we are saved and that we belong to God. Our hearts well up with immense gratitude, isn't it? If you can relate to this example, you have just achieved the first beatitude. “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven”.
Likewise, you can directly relate all the rest of the beatitudes to the level of your understanding of the gospel message.
If you are feeling miserable about how imperfect you are and how full of flaws you are, but you still feel very grateful and comforted with His amazing love, then you have just achieved the second beatitude. “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted”.
If you have concluded that nothing in this world is worth chasing after and you really don’t care about people around you placing importance on insignificant matters, then you have just achieved the third beatitude.”Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.”
If all you are longing for is more of an intimacy with Jesus and He is subconsciously at the back of your mind throughout the day, then you have just achieved the fourth beatitude. “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled.”
I think you get the point. If you belong to Christ, you are a new creation. The Holy Spirit lives in you. You are not of this world. Sin has no dominion over you because you are not under law, but under grace. There is now no condemnation for you because you are in Christ Jesus. You are the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus. Your mind is subconsciously aware that all things will work together for good for you because you love God. As you go about your day to day work, when something steals your peace, your immediate first thought is Jesus and your faith in Him keeps you stay calm. If this is you, then you are “blessed of God”.
You can even get prosperous with an abundance of all needs when you are blessed of God. That is an end result or a fruit of being blessed of God. Read the message on “How to prosper God’s way” here.
I know you are all blessed ones of God. Stay blessed my dear brothers and sisters. Next time when you say God bless you to someone, say it in renewed faith. Try to confess "I am blessed" as often as you can because if truly God has blessed you, then its impossible for you to fail, be depressed, discouraged or sorrowful. When you pray from a stand point of being blessed, your prayers are full of faith. "Without faith it is impossible to please God - Hebrews 11:6". So when you know you are blessed, you are always full of faith. GOD BLESS YOU.
We as Christians claim to be believers in Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour. However, most Christians only believe that Jesus died for our sins and therefore we are saved and that He rose again on the third day and is coming back again. This is true indeed, but God’s children either don’t know or don’t believe any more than this. Hence the constant struggles in life. Struggles with addictions, weakness to face troublesome situations in life, financial lack, poverty, anger, and lack of peace, sicknesses, untimely deaths, anxieties, depression and many other unnecessary afflictions.
But the real outcome of the gospel message is that Christ now is IN YOU AND ME. He literally resides IN YOU. This is what the word of God teaches us. Can you imagine!! If Christ Himself is IN YOU, how can you be depressed, discouraged or afraid? I mean, Christ (God Himself), the Holy Spirit is IN YOU. Shouldn’t you be walking in amazing victory? Shouldn’t your face be full of confidence and joy? This truth is what the devil keeps from God’s children, so that he can oppress them and keep them ineffective in their walk of faith.
On the contrary, if you KNOW this truth, then it is impossible for the devil to keep you down. Yes, he might succeed in battling you occasionally on some days with “many distractions” but you will never be defeated. This is the truth my dear brothers and sisters. Christ is IN YOU. You only need to KNOW this truth and walk like a victor.
Let us see some evidence of this from the word of God.
John 20: 20 – 22:- When He had said this, He showed them His hands and His side. Then the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord. So Jesus said to them again, “Peace to you! As the Father has sent me, I also send you.” And when He had said this, He breathed on them, and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit.
Here we see Jesus saying, “As the Father (God in heaven) had sent Him, He also was sending us.” That would mean that Jesus was expecting us to function like He Himself did while He was on earth. Then He goes on to say “Receive the Holy Spirit”. Wow! This is interesting. Jesus first expected us to function the same way as He did. But He also knew that it was impossible for us to function like Him without the Holy Spirit. He then breathed on the disciples and said “Receive the Holy Spirit”. So He equipped the disciples to live and function the same way He did.
Later on, we know the story. Jesus asked the disciples to wait in Jerusalem till they received power from on high. They did wait and they did receive power on the day of Pentecost. Thereafter, we see Peter, the same Peter who denied Jesus thrice and the same Peter along with other disciples who were hiding locked up in the upper room for fear of the Jews, now suddenly is full of boldness and preached the gospel to the people in public. 3000 of them got saved that day. How did that happen?
John 17:21 – “that they all may be one, as You, Father are in me, and I in You; that they also maybe one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me.
Here we clearly see that it is indeed God’s will that we all be one in Him. In other words, we not only be reconciled to God, but be ONE with Him in the same way as God the Father and Jesus the Son were one with each other. Jesus said, “If you have seen Me, you have seen the Father”. In effect, Jesus is now saying that we all ought to be saying the same thing. Do you have the confidence to say “If you have seen me, you have seen the Father”? Incredible, isn’t it?
John 14:17 – 21 – the Spirit of Truth, whom the world cannot receive [and take to its heart] because it does not see Him or know Him, but you know Him because He (the Holy Spirit) remains with you continually and will be IN YOU.
18 “I will not leave you as orphans [comfortless, bereaved, and helpless]; I will come [back] to you. 19 After a little while the world will no longer see Me, but you will see Me; because I live, you will live also. 20 On that day [when that time comes] you will know for yourselves that I am in My Father, and you are in Me, and I am IN YOU. 21 The person who has My commandments and keeps them is the one who [really] loves Me; and whoever [really] loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and reveal Myself to him [I will make Myself real to him].”
This is Jesus Himself saying that the Holy Spirit will be continually IN YOU (ver 17). In (ver 20) He confirms again that He Himself is IN YOU.
Romans 8: 9-11 - However, you are not [living] in the flesh [controlled by the sinful nature] but in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God lives IN YOU [directing and guiding you]. But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him [and is not a child of God]. 10 If Christ lives IN YOU, though your [natural] body is dead because of sin, your spirit is alive because of righteousness [which He provides]. 11 And if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead lives IN YOU, He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit, who lives IN YOU.
Wow! Did you see that? If Christ lives IN YOU, though your body is dead because of sin, your spirit is alive. If the Spirit who raised Jesus from the dead lives IN YOU, then how can you succumb to sickness and depression and other afflictions?
1 Cor 3:16 – Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells IN YOU?
We are not going to become a temple of God in future when we get to heaven friends. God’s word says that we ARE the temple of God right now and that the Spirit of God (Holy Spirit) dwells IN US.
2 Cor 13:5 - Or do you not recognize this about yourselves [by an ongoing experience] that Jesus Christ is IN YOU
Col 1:27 – To them God willed to make known what are the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles: which is Christ IN YOU, the hope of glory.
Friends, when Christ our Lord died for our sins, at that very instant, our sin problem was taken care of. Sin has no hold over us anymore. Sin has no power to condemn us anymore. The price for our sins has already been paid in full. Sin has no power over us anymore. If you feel overwhelmed by sin, then it’s a lie from the devil. Sin is not our problem. Our real problem is unbelief and lack of understanding of the gospel. People say, most sicknesses are caused because of sin in people’s lives. That is probably true, but only because they have believed a lie. The truth is that sin is no longer a problem because Jesus’ death on our behalf took care of that issue once and for all.
Christianity or the Christian way of life doesn’t start at the cross. It starts at the resurrection of Christ. Because when Christ died for us in our place, it was as if we died ourselves for our sins. Our real “born again” life began when Christ arose from the dead. The bible calls Him the first born among many brethren. If we were born “again”, then we must have died earlier isn’t it? Else how can you be born again? This new born again self of yours has a new life. Your old self that died didn’t have the Holy Spirit and didn’t have Christ. But your new born again self HAS the Holy Spirit IN YOU. You have Christ IN YOU.
Therefore, what you perceive to be your limitations and weaknesses are not real. They are lies, which you have accepted as the truth. The word of God is the real truth. Not our experiences or perceptions. If we walk in this revelation of knowing that Christ is IN US, then nothing in this world can steal your joy or steal your confidence. You will then consciously put up a massive fight against sicknesses and anything else that does not conform to the kingdom of God. And that includes your addictions, your bad habits, your anger and anything else that are ungodly. And you will always win every battle, not because you are strong willed or very spiritual, but simply because Christ is IN YOU and the Holy Spirit is IN YOU. Christ can’t lose, can He?
Have you noticed that temptation only comes in areas where there is a command from God? And and Eve had just one command, which was not to eat from the tree of knowledge of good and evil. Eve was tempted only in the area of that one commandment. She wasn’t tempted to murder Adam. She wasn’t tempted to leave him and run away? She wasn’t tempted to poison him or stop talking to him. Why not? Even so today…temptation only comes in areas where you are aware of God’s will for you. So, now that you know this truth of Christ IN YOU, be assured temptations will come and try to steal your faith in this area. But Christ is IN YOU and you will always win as long as you remain conscious of this truth.
Have you noticed how you act in faith naturally in day to day affairs? Eg: You go to a shopping mall and are looking for the toilet. You can’t find the toilet and you ask a total stranger for the way. He points you in a certain direction. You simply say “Thank you” and follow his instructions. You had no trouble exercising faith in what that stranger said even though you don’t know that person. Or you are sick and you go to a doctor. You don’t know the doctor personally at all. Yet, you are quite willing to eat whatever he prescribes and you have faith that you will get well if you eat those tablets the doctor gave you. You don’t even know what exactly you are popping into your mouth. Yet you have faith. There are numerous examples of this in your day to day life. But when it comes to God and God’s word…suddenly we want signs, confirmations, etc…before we can believe. Why is that? It’s that sinful nature in us…
This is why we need to KNOW the truth of “CHRIST IN US” and the “Holy Spirit IN US” so we can begin to condition our mind to act naturally to the word of God. We must be so transformed by renewing our mind (our way of thinking) that we act naturally like God’s children. We must change our way of thinking from what the world considers normal to what God’s word says about us, as born again new creatures in God.
Friends, the truth is that Christ is IN US and the Holy Spirit is IN US. We are not acting alone. We are powerful children of God. This is why Jesus said that we would also do what He did. In fact even more. This is why Jesus said “If you had faith as little as a mustard seed, you could say to a mountain to cast itself into the sea and it would obey you”. This is why Jesus said “We shall lay our hands on the sick and they will recover”. Why? Because the Holy Spirit is IN US. IN YOU. So don’t tolerate sickness in your body’s friends. Take authority over it and cast it out. Be healed and walk in divine health. Don’t tolerate bad habits and addictions friends. You have the power in you to cast it out and walk free. You have the Holy Spirit IN YOU.
1 John 4:4 says 4 Little children (believers, dear ones), you are of God and you belong to Him and have [already] overcome them [the agents of the antichrist]; because He who is IN YOU is greater than he (Satan) who is in the world [of sinful mankind].
My dear brothers and sisters, stop constantly seeking for a church leader, pastor or someone else to pray for you. Yes, it is good to receive prayer sometimes, but it is far more wonderful for you to be praying for others. Especially for the salvation of lost people. Do not think that God is somehow closer to the preachers and pastors than yourselves. If you are a believer, then Christ is IN YOU. The bible says “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you” (James 4:8). So it is up to you. You can get as close to God as you choose to. The primary issue with people who are constantly looking for instant miracles and prayers is that they don’t invest time in studying the word of God for themselves.
They live worldly lives, but attend church once a week even though God’s word states that we are not of this world. Since we are not of this world, we will of course be subject to worldly troubles if we become one with the world. The bible states “What fellowship does light have with darkness”? 2 Cor 6:14
The answer to worldly troubles in your life is not prayer and miracles my dear friends. The solution is being separate from the world.
Invest time every day and read the word friends. You will find out that you are a power packed individual for whom all things are possible because Christ lives IN YOU. Walk in freedom. Freedom from oppression. Freedom from sickness. Freedom from lack. Freedom for depression. Freedom from anxiety and fear. Christ lives IN YOU. How can you fail at anything? The bible says “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me”. Phil 4:13
God Bless You
I was radically transformed by the love and forgiveness of Jesus Christ back in 1997 in a most unusual way and unusual place. Read my testimony here. Over the years I have come to realize a few basic truths that have altered my life.
True freedom is freedom from self-centeredness. Dying to yourself, your wants, your desires and to what gives you pleasure for the sake of others is more liberating than you think.