Friday, June 10, 2011

Ryan Rufus on Mortifying Sin

From the recent "Glory and Grace Conference" in the Philippines;

"To say that focusing on your past sin helps you to fight temptation is a lie from the pit of hell. What right to we have to focus on sin that God has declared He will not remember? Focusing on your past sin will simply cause an increase in the law in your life, and resulting in further sin and self-righteousness - guilt and pride".

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Ryan Rufus - Glory and Grace Conference - Philippines

Rob and Ryan Rufus shared the keynote preaching at a "Grace and Glory Conference" held in Manila in the Phillipines recently. I am working through the conference messages and the power and manifest Presence of God hung heavy over the time there. Ryan's message particularly is of significance - he spoke with such authority and anointing on three vital revelations. One of the reasons I love Ryan and Rob preaching together is that their preaching styles are different. Ryan tends to be a little more structured than Rob (Rob would admit that I think!) but the similarities - wow! Both men - father and son - share a passion for setting people free into the grace of God.

So here's the transcript of the message and the link to the

"Totally Forgiven! Totally United! Totally Filled!"

Alright I want to preach three truths to you today - just coming with three very simple, Bible, New Covenant truths and I believe they will bless you. You may have heard them numbers of times already because of such amazing grace teachers in this place. I want to speak three grace truths to you today. You may hear other sides of them you have never heard before.

Holy Spirit illuminate the Word of God today - bring revelation, an unlocking, open up eyes and open up hearts. Bring supernatural revelation and supernatural change. Lord where repentance is automatic, it's accidental - where we find ourselves changing the way we think not even on purpose but just because the Word of truth is lighting in our hearts and awakening in us and we cannot go back to the old patterns, the old ways of thinking.

1. The first truth is - you have been TOTALLY forgiven!

You haven't been partially forgiven, you have been totally and completely and utterly and fully and absolutely forgiven of all your sins - past, present and future!

Most Christians do not have trouble believing Jesus has forgiven them of their past sins. But many Christians have trouble that Jesus has already forgiven them of all of their future sins. They struggle with that so they feel if they sin then they have to confess the sin and repent of the sin and be cleansed of the sin and enter into all of these dead works and faithless works because they do not have a revelation of total forgiveness.

God doesn't forgive us our sins - God forgave us our sins!

(Colossians 2:13-14) - our forgiveness is past tense. It is not present continuous or future tense. Our forgiveness is past tense - because it happened 2000 years ago and when we came into Christ, we came into total and complete forgiveness of all the sins we have ever committed and all the sins we will ever commit in the future!

"When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your sinful nature, God made you alive in Christ. He forgave us ALL our sins".

Before I had done one thing - while I was still dead - He forgave me all my sins. Jesus - the Cross - dealt with every single one of your sins. At the Cross God looked ahead at every single sin that will ever be committed and He dealt with it right there. The Cross looked at every single sin you would commit and it dealt with it right there. If the Cross didn't deal with all of your sins, past, present and future - then everybody born after the Cross could never be forgiven of all of their sins. If the Cross only dealt with past sins then only people born before the Cross - that were the righteous dead and had offered sacrifices when they sinned - His blood could only then forgive the past sinners and sins. Everyone born after Jesus couldn't receive forgiveness - they would still be in their sins. So if you sinned then Jesus would have to die again.

If Jesus didn't forgive all your future sins then every time you sin He has to die again and pay for your sins again. No! The Bible says that He forgave us ALL our sins - past, present and future sins!

Hebrews chapter 10:11: "Day after day every priest stands and performs his religious duties".

The Old Covenant is a standing and working covenant. The New Covenant is a sitting and resting covenant.

"Again and again he offers the same sacrifices which can never take away sins. But when this Priest had offered for all time one sacrifice for sins, He sat down at the right hand of God. Since that time He waits for His enemies to be made His footstool because by one sacrifice He has made perfect forever those who are being made holy" - those who are being sanctified, coming into Christ, being set apart.

Did you notice one of the most powerful verses in the whole entire Bible? Did you see it? (v12); "But when this Priest had offered for all time". For all time. Past, present and future. "One sacrifice". Not continual sacrifice but one perfect sacrifice for sins for all sins for all time. Past, present and future.

I want to declare to you today - all of your future sins are already forgiven!

Many Christians when they sin feel unrighteous, dirty, unholy - they feel they have let God down and that God is no longer pleased with them. They feel they need to do "something". So guilt drives them to want to do something to get rid of the sin, or get rid of the guilt of their sin. That guilt wants to lead them to get rid. So they say; "God I have got to confess my sins and I have got to repent of these terrible sins and get cleansed of these sins - I have got to promise I will never do this sin again".

I want to tell you know that there is no Scripture in the New Covenant for New Covenant believers that tells you, you have got to continually confess your sins and repent of your sins and ask forgiveness for all your sins - why? Because ONE sacrifice for ALL time for ALL of your sins has already dealt with EVERY single one of your sins!

We are not called to confess our sins - we are called to confess our righteousness in Jesus Christ!
Get your eyes off your sins and get your eyes onto Christ! The more you do that, the more you will overcome sin in your life.

We are not called to ask for forgiveness even after we have sinned. This is challenging some of you right now! You may say; "No - no - I have been taught in church all of my life that after you sin, you confess your sin and ask forgiveness as a Christian". Yes - you may have been taught that - but did you go and study it in the Word? Did you find in the Word of God where it says you have to go and do that? You shouldn't always believe everything we preachers tell you! You have got to find out for yourself and base your life on the truth and on the Word of God and not just on what someone else says.

You may have sinned and feel a bit guilty and want to say sorry to God and to ask for forgiveness now. The heart is not wrong. That is not bad! The heart is right but the full revelation of the finished work of the Cross is not in the heart. It is okay to say; "God I'm sorry - I did not want to do that. That's not part of my new creation nature - you know what God though? I am not going to get all morbid and introspective and sorrowful and guilty! You don't want that - You want me to lift up my head, get in the Spirit and stay in the Spirit and thank You for the free gift of righteousness and total forgiveness and I fix my eyes on Jesus who has forgiven me of all my sins. I thank You that I am the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus".

God doesn't want guilt-ridden and introspective focusing on our sins - He wants us in Him. So we feel like asking for forgiveness. For many years in my Christian life if I sinned I would always feel like I wanted to ask God forgiveness. In fact I did always asked God. "God please forgive me - please cleanse me". How many of you have ever prayed that prayer as a Christian? Until I came into the revelation of TOTAL forgiveness! When I came into the revelation of total forgiveness - you know what started to happen? If I sinned and did something silly and started to feel guilty and go to God and say; "God I am so sorry would You forgive me" - I would always hear the voice of the Father speaking straight after I said that and He would say;

"Ryan - I already have. I did it 2000 years ago at the Cross. And you know those future sins you are probably going to commit? I have already forgiven those too!".

But then Christians who are not secure in grace will say; "Oh come now Ryan be careful - if you preach this stuff, then Christians are going to hear this and go out and sin and go crazy and sin! Because that's what Christians really want to go and do! Christians just want to sin and sin!". I don't know about you - but I'm born again! I don't want to run out and sin! My new nature that is the God-nature wants to live for God! Wants to serve God! It is not even a sacrifice - the desire and passion of my spirit is to live 100% for God!

If you could live just by your newborn spirit - your new creation nature - then you would live in absolute holiness and righteousness and the perfect will of God, if you walk totally by your spirit. Some corruption has come to our spirit and our flesh and our mind. So the Bible says we offer our bodies as living sacrifices and renew our mind. Basically we learn how to surrender our mind and our body to our spirit. So our spirit can rise up and lead us in life. As we walk by the spirit and live by all the riches that God has put inside of our spirit as we walk by His nature.

Ephesians chapter 4 it says; "Put on the new man that has been created after the nature of God in perfect righteousness holiness". Your new nature has been created after the nature of God in perfect righteousness and perfect holiness. The Bible says that God has put His law on our hearts. He has put His law on our hearts! That's not the 10 Commandments! Goodness gracious - if God did that it would kill us! No - the law God put on our hearts is His nature. It is His perfect nature.

No one has to say to God; "God, You shouldn't lie - You shouldn't steal! You shouldn't commit adultery!". That's crazy! Why? It is His perfect nature! It is just not in His nature and when we live by that nature, we live by His desires. I am teaching you grace here - sometimes it is a bit scary the first time you hear a truth because it may contradict everything we have been taught. "Is this wrong?". Let's just see if this witnesses with our spirit alright? The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of truth.

As a New Covenant born again believer, to now go and ask forgiveness after you have sinned - is a sin. It is the sin of unbelief. You don't believe in the finished work of the Cross. You are trying to do something and don't realise it is already done!

All my sins have been dealt with! All my sins have been forgiven! If you do sin - oh heaven forbid! - sometimes I sin! Sometimes we do sin. We are not running out and wanting to sin and certainly not preaching license to sin. I don't know any grace preachers that are preaching a license to sin - not one! Even after if we sin - don't start asking God forgiveness, don't start trying to confess that sin or repent of that sin. Get your eyes on Jesus and keep your faith in Him! Keep walking in the Spirit covenant! Keep walking in the grace covenant! Keep declaring your absolute forgiveness!

"Father thank You that even that sin has been dealt with and I am still perfectly righteous!".

That is good news! The Holy Spirit lives inside of us. We are temples of the Holy Spirit and when we got born again and baptised in the Holy Spirit, He came to live inside of us with our spirit. Spirit to spirit. We are one with Christ in the Spirit. He said I will never leave you - I will not leave you as orphans and send you My Spirit.

That is proof that even after you sin - if your sin made you unholy and unrighteous then the Holy Spirit would have to leave. If you sinned and all of a sudden you became unrighteous and were not righteous until you confessed that sin and repented and got forgiven and cleansed then the Holy Spirit would have to leave until you got cleansed again! No! He never leaves!

He is ever present! Why? Because you are ever righteous, ever holy, forever and eternally forgiven!

Grace makes you happy! It is good news! It is always good news! If someone comes and turns the good news into bad news - don't listen to them! They are not preaching the good news! It is always good and should always make you happy and produce supernatural joy in you!

2. You have been totally united with Christ.

This is one of the most profound revelations that you will ever have.

In the Spirit - your spirit has been fully united with Christ so that means that you are united with Christ in His death, in His burial, in His resurrection, His ascension and in His seating on the throne.

Everything that happened to Jesus also happened to you! The good thing about it is that when He hung on the Cross, you were united with Him in that - but you didn't have to go through it! He hung there for us - He took all our sins and sickness for us and the full weight of the wrath of God, the full fire of the judgement and punishment and wrath of God was poured out fully upon Jesus and He died for your sins! Thank God we didn't have to face that judgement! Jesus faced that for us so we will never have to face that.

God will never punish the same sin twice. If God has already punished Christ for your sins, He is not then going to punish you for your sins!

That's either true or it's not! Some people preach as though God is going to punish you for your sins! Some will preach that you are sick because God is punishing you for your sins. That is a sin to say such things! That is unbelief! The Bible says that Jesus was punished for all of our sins!

God will never ever punish you with sickness for sin in your life!

Some of you are sick today and feel like it is God punishing you for your sin - you need to get free right now in Jesus Name! You need to challenge that lie from the pit of hell and not accept it! I have been forgiven of my sins! This sickness is not from God and is not because of my sins! Challenge that lie! You died with Christ! You were buried with Christ! You were raised to new life in Christ! You used to be dead to God but then God raised you up in new life - resurrected and new creation life in Christ. The life of Christ is your life. You were born again!

You were first born of water in the natural but now of Spirit by the Holy Spirit who made you alive with Christ and ascended into heaven. Ephesians 2:6; "Seated you in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus!". Do you know where you are seated right now in the spiritual? On the throne with Christ! You are a co-heir with Christ and joined to Him! That is greater than any of us realise in this room! That is so powerful and so profound. You are seated with Christ and reigning together with Christ! That is good news right there!

Do you know that if you are born again and saved and the miracle of salvation has come into your life - and He has made you alive - and you are sitting on the throne with Christ, do you know that if that has happened to you - then you can never lose that? You can never lose your salvation! You can never lose your salvation! Why? Because Christ is our life. He is our life! In order for you to lose your salvation, you would have to spiritually die again. That is impossible for you to spiritually die - because you are united with Christ and His life is your life! And He will NEVER die again! He is indestructible life - He is our High Priest in the order of Melchizadek and He ever lives to intercede for us! We are in Him - that means we can never die again! If you can never die again then you can never lose your salvation!

But what about all the Scriptures that sound like you can lose your salvation? I have looked at many of those Scriptures and when you look at them in context they are actually proof that you CAN'T lose your salvation! It is amazing! People have taken those Scriptures and used them to try and scare Christians and put fear into Christians; "If you don't stop sinning then you will lose your salvation". Ah - so I had better stop sinning because I am scared I will lose my salvation! That is the wrong motivation to stop sinning! If you do this for God then He will bless you! I don't serve God to get blessed. I serve Him because I love Him! I serve Him because His nature is inside of me! I don't not sin because I am scared of His judgement - I don't sin because I love Him! His nature is inside of me! Sanctification says your nature has been born again and made perfectly righteous in God and His nature is inside of you - your mind and flesh just need to catch up!

Sanctification isn't a process! We do not become more and more holy - no - we become holy once and for all! We are sanctified once and for all and the life we live is the overflow of what has happened! That miracle of overflow goes through our mind and through our body!

Don't ever be manipulated to serve God - you don't need to be manipulated to serve God! If you are a leader you do not need to manipulate Christians to serve God! You don't need to make Christians fearful to do things for God. No! Teach them about what has happened inside of them. Show them their new nature and what God has done in their spirit and watch those Christians come alive! You won't be able to stop them serving God! Many of you have got that revelation because I see the way you are serving God! It is not out of fear or manipulation but the way you have been gripped.

3. You have been totally filled with the fullness of God!

Colossians 2:9.

You can never come into the fullness of grace as long as you believe you are still under the law.

If you believe you are under the law even a little bit you will never come into the fullness of grace.

It is only when you believe the law covenant has completely passed away and you have died to it, God is not putting it on you and does not want you bound by it - it is a ministry of death and He has bought you out of it and resurrected you into the covenant of the Spirit! You are released from the law! You are no longer accountable to the law! God has put His Spirit inside of your hearts and where the Spirit of the Lord is there is liberty! Liberty from that Old Covenant - you have been liberated from the letter and come into the new way of the Spirit! You can have freedom in that covenant! You don't have to run back to the law! Stay in the Spirit and watch Him transform your life!

You have been filled with the fullness of God - "In Christ all the fullness of the Deity live in bodily form". These people that say that Jesus was born of God and deny His deity are wrong! They are deceived. Jesus is God! All the fullness of the Deity of God lives in bodily form and "you have been given fullness in Christ!". It doesn't say we will be given fullness. It says (past tense) we have been given fullness in Christ! All of the riches of heaven - all of the perfection of Christ live inside of us because we have been united with Christ. 1 Corinthians 6:17; "one with Him".

There is no sin nature in there. There is nothing of the old creation that lives inside of your new creation spirit. There is no sin or unrighteousness. Your spirit has received full perfection! Full holiness! God is not trying to give you anything else - He has already given you fullness! The fruit of the Spirit - many say that if you live by the Spirit you will eventually develop the fruit of the Spirit. Actually - that's wrong! The fruit of the Spirit is what is in your new nature - the fruit of your spirit being united with His Spirit. All of the fullness of God lives inside of you!

You have the fullness of God's love, joy, patience, goodness, and all that! There is way more than nine - it's infinite! So when we walk in the Spirit by our reborn spirit then we manifest the fullness of God through our lives! Let me tell you what it means to 'walk in the Spirit'! There is three dimensions to walking in the Spirit:

1. The Spirit covenant - the grace covenant
2. by your spirit
3. in fellowship with the Holy Spirit.

Focus on it! Focus on grace! Don't focus on the law or sin! Focus on the gift of righteousness - the grace of God and the finished work of the Cross! Speak it and confess it! When you sin don't run back to the law and get under condemnation. Stay in the grace covenant! Focus on your reborn spirit.

Too much of the church is focusing on the weakness of people's bodies and the corruption of their minds and are condemning them! Their spirit doesn't want to do that stuff! Activate their spirit and as you do that, the spirit will take control over their bodies and minds and they won't do it! Teach them how to activate their spirits!

Don't teach how terrible the body and the mind is! Teach how incredible our reborn spirit is!

The world is full of so many lies! But the Holy Spirit is the Spirit of truth and is our closest friend leading us in truth. Become more and more aware of His Presence in our lives. I can feel Him - I know that He is here. He doesn't leave us and walk around condemning us or convicting us of sin. He walks around and is our Comforter - our Counselor - our legal defense in the courts of heaven - He stands up and says; "They are totally forgiven and made righteous through the Cross! They are not guilty!". Follow and focus on the Holy Spirit - not the things of this world.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

No Condemnation Now I Dread! (A New Book by Ryan Rufus)

I can't think of a better way to begin a review of a new and wonderful book by Ryan Rufus (pastor in City Church International in Hong Kong) - "Extra Virgin Grace" - than with the favourite lines of a well known hymn;

"No condemnation now I dread - Jesus and all in Him is mine!
Alive in Him - my living Head and clothed in righteousness divine!
Bold I approach the eternal throne and claim the crown through Christ my own!
Bold I approach the eternal throne and claim the crown through Christ my own!".

The hymn has to be heard to be appreciated so I've put the link to the video here of it being sung on the BBC programme; "Songs of Praise". I didn't post it - because I wish the gathered singers looked more happy! I can't sing this hymn without crying! The point is this;

"No condemnation now I dread! Jesus and ALL in HIM is mine! ... clothed in righteousness divine!".

These truths form the very essence of Ryan's new book; "Extra Virgin Grace". He writes in the foreword;

"My conviction is that free people will free people. Therefore the greater the freedom we come into the greater the freedom we'll be able to bring others into. The essence of freedom is to know that you are 100% set free from the law and are 100% righteous in Christ - 100% of the time. Bondage is to believe that you are still under the law and not always righteous".

It's so simply obvious. Why haven't we seen more conversions? Because we're not truly free and the answers are here! Ryan writes;

"Get ready to be armed with a key that will unlock many difficult Scriptures and distorted doctrines. What is this key? It is the key of discernment between the gift of righteousness and self-righteousness".

There are many different topics addressed in the book but the "golden thread" (as C H Spurgeon called grace) runs through it all giving the book such amazing unity. A couple of thoughts about this great book.

1. Ryan writes strongly.

I have no shadow of doubt that this book will offend some. But this strength is required! Ryan's father - Rob Rufus - wrote in the foreword;

"Intellectual preaching from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil has flooded this world and drowned entire nations in religious lies. These wholesale deceptions that have grossly misrepresented the true loving nature of God require and demand to be confronted with concentrated pure grace clarity. This book does that. Any sincere seeker will find the truth in these pages extremely emancipating. The grace revolution is accelerating. The earth is groaning for this message".

It is my suspicion that your reaction to this book will actually mark out where you are at in your spiritual walk. If you are offended because all your spiritual disciplines and righteous deeds are called "nothing" - then there it is. But if you are filled with hope and wonder because you see hope - then you are indeed a "sincere seeker" as Rob writes!

2. Ryan writes compassionately (as a true pastor).

His chapters 12 and 13 on "Rest" are the most loving compassionate chapters I have ever read on this. So much of Christianity these days is focused on "work" and "mission" and driving to see the lost saved. Of course this is true and must be done - but Ryan writes so rightly that you will accomplish far more if you are rested and sane - than exhausted and weary!

The reader knows that those under Ryan's pastoring (and I know this is true of CCI) will not be constantly made guilty by "applications" after sermons that demand more of them. "Come to the prayer meeting .... give more ..... do this .... do that". I know for a fact that there is no such guilt-driven exhorting in the church and we too are allowed to enjoy this!

3. Ryan writes as a teacher who writes what he lives not just what he believes.

So many books I've read are by men and women who don't really write with conviction. Especially those who are striving to "live more holy lives" under God! They come up with ideas and lists of "daily disciplines" to live more Cross-centred lives and so on. But there isn't a real heart of conviction there - because deep down, they too must admit; "I've blown it". Ryan's book is amazing because you read it and know he has begun to experience the thrilling joy of the freedom that grace brings. And it makes you want to experience that too! This book rings true!

4. Ryan isn't afraid to dispel wrong historical teaching!

My favourite chapter in this book is chapter 6 - his treatment of the Sermon on the Mount. I must admit as I have taken my baby steps into the gospel of grace since I encountered Rob Rufus properly in 2007, I have been worried by the Beatitudes and their implications for the Christian life. Many of the books in my library on the "Sermon on the Mount" take this historical approach that Ryan dispels.

For example, the great Dr Martyn Ll0yd-Jones wrote his collection of sermons on the Sermon and the book opens; "The Sermon on the Mount is not a code of ethics or of morals; it is a description of what Christians are meant to be". And that's how I've always read it!

Ryan writes masterfully however - going through each of the Beatitudes and explaining in context what each actually means. Here's a segment about the Sermon on the Mount;

"Matthew 5:1–7:29 is the "Sermon on the Mount". Is this sermon in-tended for the church? Absolutely not! It's intended for the self-righteous. It‟s a pre-salvation preach that exposes self-righteous pride and performance and reveals the need for God's righteousness as a gift through faith in order to see the Kingdom and become children of God ... He wasn't preaching to a church. He wasn't preaching to born again believers. He was preaching to Jews where the climate of the day was a striving for righteousness through works.".

So what do the various points Jesus makes in the Sermon actually refer to? For example Jesus said, "Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God". Ryan said;

"Jesus wasn't saying that keeping most of the law is good enough. He was saying that if you want to live by the law then you can never break it. Not even once. The smallest transgression of the law brings about impurity in your heart and means you‟ll never see God. So if your “seeing God” is based on the purity level of your law keeping, then you better make sure you‟ve kept the law 100% of your entire life. Anything less and you‟re doomed! If that sounds rather extreme it‟s because it is. It‟s because it‟s meant to break down self-righteousness".

Here is a brief synopsis of each chapter and what it brings in Ryan's words;

Chapter 1: The Olive Tree vs. the Fig Tree.

The Olive Tree represents Christ, His gift of righteousness, faith, grace, The Spirit and the New Covenant. The Fig Tree represents flesh, self righteousness, works, legalism, human effort, unbelief and the Old Covenant. This chapter is a call to the Church to not repeat Adam and Eve‟s sin of trying to be more like God in eating from the Fig Tree but to rest in the Olive Tree and see the fruit of grace manifesting in your life.

Chapter 2: Re-defining What Renewing The Mind Is.

Renewing your mind is essentially about learning how to surrender your mind to your reborn spirit so that you become “spirit-led”. Transformation is becoming “spirit-led”. When you are led by your reborn spirit in fellowship with the Holy Spirit then you will walk in the perfect will of God manifesting all the riches of your salvation here on earth.

Chapter 3: A Moment Within God’s Eternal Grace Covenant.

If you‟ve ever struggled with understanding why God put the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil in the Garden of Eden or why Israel suffered for so long under the Law covenant then this chapter is for you, and makes it very clear. You‟ll discover how grace has always been Gods intent for relationship with Him and how the Law is but a brief moment in time and for a very clear and specific purpose.

Chapter 4: The New Way Of The Spirit vs. The Old Way Of The Letter.

The letter is a religious system of external pressure and motivation to get you to serve God whereas the spirit is an internal transformation and empowered ability to serve God. Under the letter you are forced to serve God. Under the spirit it becomes your desire to serve God. For born again believers it is no longer,“Do this in order to be blessed, or don‟t do that in order to avoid punishment.” Now it is, “This is who you truly are, perfect and complete in Christ” and “This is what is available for you now, a miraculous and victorious life!”

Chapter 5: Galatians 5 Explained In Context.

Because of the confusion around this chapter, many Christians have been taken into fear and legalism, but this is a glorious chapter that God is once again shining His brilliant gospel light on to reveal what it truly means to walk in the Spirit.

Chapter 6: The Beatitudes Are For The Self Righteous!

Matthew 5:1–7:29 is the „Sermon on the Mount‟. Is this sermon intended for the church? Absolutely not! It‟s intended for the self righteous. It‟s a pre-salvation preach that exposes self righteous pride and performance and reveals the need for God‟s righteousness as a gift through faith in order to see the Kingdom and become children of God. Unless you really understand grace, don‟t go near the Beatitudes. They will mess you up! Teaching the Beatitudes to Christians produces legalism and religious pride or condemnation in them.

Chapter 7: Re-defining What Holiness Is.

Holiness has got nothing to do with sinning or not sinning. If that is what we think, then we think that we are the cause of our holiness. There is only one person who is the cause of our holiness and his name is Jesus Christ! And if you are in him, then you are holy. You don't have to try and be holy or get holy, you are holy!

Chapter 8: Hebrews 12: Understanding God’s Disciplines Through Grace.

Many people read Hebrews 12 in a very negative way that causes fear in their hearts and in the hearts of others. But actually these verses were written to encourage believers and fill them with confidence. What is fundamentally important to see when reading Hebrews 12:5-11 is that firstly, it‟s not God doing the chastising and secondly, that the chastising was not coming because of moral sins but because these Hebrews were standing for the Gospel!

Chapter 9: Romans 5, 6, 7 & 8 Unlocked.

I believe these four chapters are the bedrock chapters of understanding grace. They form a solid foundation of what the Gospel is, and will give you confidence to stand in the grace of God. The more you study them and understand them, the more you will be able to look at other verses that seem to pose a “problem” for grace, that contradict grace, and unlock their true meaning.

Chapter 10: Hebrews 5 & 6: The Impossibility Of Losing Your Salvation.

To fall away means to spiritually die again. If Christ can‟t die again and we are united with Christ, it means that we can‟t die again. If we can‟t die again then it means that we can never fall away! I believe this Scripture is written to show the Hebrews, and us, how perfect our salvation is and how impossible it is to lose it, based on the fact that Christ can never die again! And it‟s written to help us come into an amazing confidence that God is for us, always relates to us through grace, and therefore we can walk intimately with him with boldness and confidence in this life.

Chapter 11: The Theology And Experience Of Rest.

Rest is about knowing where you are seated and why you are seated there. You are seated with Christ on his throne because you have become his perfect and complete righteousness. You are not standing and working but are seated and resting. And the Holy Spirit doesn‟t just want you to know where you are, he wants you to experience where you are.

Chapter 12: More Gets Done When You Rest!

When we‟re not living in the sweet spot of resting in the finished work of Christ, life seems harder, ineffective and frustrating. But when we live from a place of rest we find life becomes increasingly more enjoyable and effective. God wants us to live from the sweet spot. He wants us to enter his rest and live from that place.

Appendix: Keywords and Scriptures in Context.

This chapter is more of a study tool to help you unlock certain Scriptures rather than a read-through chapter. It focuses on a number of words like: sin, faith, lust of the flesh, fear of God etc that usually get interpreted incorrectly and explains their proper meaning. This chapter isn‟t thorough or in depth but will certainly assist you in your own studies by triggering helpful patterns of thought.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

"Rest" by Ryan Rufus

I always think that the visual is somewhat more powerful than the written word - it takes you into the message. However I do also highly promote the written word as both mediums help get the message across powerfully!

I wanted to post this awesome message by Ryan Rufus that has been made available on You-Tube and it's well worth the time to hear it.