Unrighteousness – Yucky / Righteousness – M’mm, M’mm Good!

If we confess our sins, he {God} is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness- I John 1:9. After our salvation, do we still fall prey to temptations and are we swayed by the sin nature? Yes, all Christians will be tempted, and blow it even after salvation, and it is at this point believers feel that they have lost their salvation, that their relationship with God has been severed, and condemnation thus begins reigning supreme in the conscious mind. So what do we do at this point to regain our good standing with God? From the time of our salvation, onward, until Christ returns, we simply confess our mistakes or shortcomings to God in prayer to receive forgiveness, thus cleansing all that yucky unrighteousness, and adding all that good stuff called righteousness (reread I John 1:9, above).” ~LMJ~

A Heart of Testimony (The Shorter Version)

Written by Larry M. Jaynes:

We Christians have the wonderful opportunity to express our personal testimony about God’s personal intervention in our lives that only we can express as we become personally involved with our own tangible proofs of God’s loving care and concern for us. The Heart of Testimony is speaking up with your true story about what God has done for you personally. This is the greatest way to witness! The Heart of Testimony is a story of how God has touched our life in some way, and as we learn to recognize how much God has been enlightening, blessing, and encouraging us individually, we can begin to release our own true stories of deliverance that I like to call the Heart of Testimony. The Heart of Testimony inspires us to become more involved in our communities, Churches, or fellowship groups to help our families, our friends, and our neighbors see the greatness of God’s healing Word on a really personal level.

Spiritually, physically and mentally we can at times receive so much truth and understanding from God’s Word that a release becomes almost necessary, and the Heart of Testimony is a wonderful way to release and begin receiving more from God. Having an inlet and an outlet will prevent the Christian believer’s life from becoming stagnant, for it replenishes our ability to give and to receive.

In the Gospel of Mark, we have the story of Jesus delivering a man who had a “legion” of spiritual problems. This man became so blessed that he wanted to travel with Jesus, but Jesus told him to go home and share his own testimony with his family, neighbors, and friends.

Mark 5:19-20:
-19: Howbeit Jesus suffered him not {did not allow him to go with him}, but saith unto him, Go home to thy friends, and tell them how great things the Lord hath done for thee, and hath had compassion on thee.
-20: And he departed, and began to publish in Decapolis how great things Jesus had done for him: and all men did marvel.

The word Decapolis was not the word for a single city, but for an entire region, Decapolis means ten cities. This man whom Jesus healed in so many ways began spreading his own heartfelt testimony, his own experience that he had with Jesus throughout Decapolis, so much so that when Jesus himself passed through Decapolis it was easier for him to teach and heal (Mark 7:31-37).

When people express their own testimonies, even if it is only to their families, the wonderful healing Word of God becomes living and real to those who hear of them. In the Old Testament we read: And the LORD said unto Moses, Write this for a memorial in a book, and rehearse it in the ears of Joshua: (Exodus 17:14). God wanted Moses to rehearse over and again the testimony of Joshua’s victories about his personal battle that would continue to inspire him. Knowing ourselves that we are more than conquerors with God in Christ (Romans 8:37), and knowing that we can be victorious in our endeavors is something that God desires for His children to know and understand, for the Heart of Testimony can continue to build us up as individuals as well as those with whom we share them.

To see countless examples of the Heart of Testimony, see the book of Psalms and Hebrews 11.  The Book of Acts is also filled with wonderful testimonies that the believers shared with one another. In Acts 14:27 we read that the believers: “rehearsed all that God had done with them.” In Acts 12:17 Peter: “declared unto them how the Lord had brought him out of the prison.” In Acts 11:4 after delivering the Gospel to the Gentiles, Peter and his company: “rehearsed the matter from the beginning, and expounded it by order unto them.” These are all hearts of testimony that always bring glory to God, excitement into our families and acquaintances, and joy into our lives.

The Greatest Hope

“How many Christians are there who feel almost reticent or guilty just for being a believer, or embarrassed because they go to church, or ashamed for being associated with others who are of their same belief who have wrongfully abused their religion? But on the other hand, the Apostle Paul taught, For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth- Romans 1:16. Hope is what invigorates the believer to stand with God and fellow believers through adversity, and to help us endure the difficult times in life, because we have been given the hope of a blissful future. The greatest hope that the Christian has is the return of Christ to gather us up together with him in the clouds, and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words- I Thessalonians 4:17-18.” ~LMJ~

Being Likeminded

Written by Larry M. Jaynes:

Romans 15:5:
Now the God of patience and consolation grant you to be likeminded one toward another according to Christ Jesus:

God’s Word in Romans 15:5 encourages Christians to be likeminded one toward another, yet at times this may appear to be one of the most difficult requests given by God. The reason this seems so difficult for people is because of misunderstanding God’s true intent in this verse of Scripture. It is so very true that Christians disagree on many secular things and they probably will continue to disagree. The word “according” means a standard, and that standard is “according to Christ Jesus.” What is “according to Christ Jesus” or what is the standard upon which Christ Jesus has stamped his approval? All the things that Christ has done for humanity, and these are revealed to us throughout the Church Epistles.

For example, let us recall some of the blessings we found in previous bytes regarding teaching from the Epistle of Romans: The love of God that is totally inseparable from us, the apostolic grace given to us along with the goodness of God, our minds freed from life-draining condemnation, our God-given righteousness, and the mercies (plural) of God upon our lives. These are some of the things that are according to Christ Jesus, and these are some of the things on which we are encouraged to be likeminded. Being likeminded on God’s Word about what Christ Jesus accomplished for us by his life, death, and resurrection will bring blessings not only to our lives, but will also encourage others into the ways of God’s divine will.

Romans 15:6:
That {purpose} ye may with one mind and one mouth glorify God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.

The purpose for being likeminded on God’s Word is so that we may, as a body of believers, with one mind and mouth glorify God, for this is His due. This is the spiritual standard that Christ set for the Christian Church and is a major building block on the true foundation upon which all true Christianity rests.

Please – No Condemnation – OK? (The Longer Version)

Written by Larry M. Jaynes:

It is unfortunate and ironic that after some Christians become saved they begin to condemn themselves for either a sin committed 20 years ago or the one they committed this morning before breakfast. This propensity towards self-condemnation is within our nature, hence the difficult time accepting continual forgiveness in Christ. In I John 1:9 we read, “If we confess our sins, he {our loving Heavenly Father} is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

Forgiveness is as close to us as simply asking our Heavenly Father for it and then accepting that we are cleansed from all unrighteousness.

In Romans chapter 7, we have an interesting verse of Scripture that sheds light on this subject:

Romans 7:19:
For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do.

Wow, does this verse sound familiar to you at all? Often the state of affairs of many Christian men and women who desire to do good for the Lord is unsuccessful ― they try, they fail, and they try and fail to be good again and again. The average Christian panics and tries to find and then practice works of repentance to cover up for their sins and shortcomings in order to feel good enough to walk again with God. Nevertheless, he or she keeps on Romans 7:19-ing, and so a cycle begins that appears will never end with continual condemnation. Sometimes entire lifetimes can be consumed in this endless dilemma that all too often then becomes a way of life.

All this confusion and mental anguish over condemnation and sin comes about by not realizing that God not only forgives but that He also totally forgets; it is only we that choose to remember what God has forgiven, forgotten, and cleansed.

John 3:18a:
He that believeth on him {on Jesus Christ} is not condemned. . .

And, if we are not condemned, then, the truth is ― we are not condemned. By the way, this is why we have a Savior!

Jesus took our sins, our condemnations, our shortcomings, and our faults to his cross and buried them there at Calvary (John 1:20 and I Peter 2:24), yet man feels so inadequate at times, that he tries to dig them up and cloak himself with his old nature (see Romans 6:4 and Colossians 1:20–22). But by doing so, he denies to himself his new life and nature in Christ, which is given to shine forth from his inner heart (see Romans 8:1–18, II Corinthians 5:17, and Colossians 1:27; 3:1–2).

John 3:18a (The Amplified Bible):*
He who believes in Him {Jesus Christ} [who clings to, trusts in, relies on Him] is not judged [he who trusts in Him never comes up for judgment; for him {the believer} there is no rejection, no condemnation ― he incurs no damnation].” Well, praise the Lord!

Too many Christians do not believe what Jesus came to do for them (or have never seen this section of Scripture above) and imagine that God is angry or, at the very least, upset with them, and fear John 3:18b is written to them, though it is specifically addressed to unbelievers:

John 3:18b (The Amplified Bible):*
. . . But he who does not believe (cleave to, rely on, trust in Him {Christ}) is judged already [he has already been convicted and has already received his sentence] because he has not believed in and trusted in the name of the only begotten Son of God. [He is condemned for refusing to let his trust rest in Christ’s name.]

Many Christians become indoctrinated with relentless teachings of hellfire, brimstone, and condemnation and begin accepting the second half of John 3:18 as their lot in life, all the while refuting the freedom from condemnation received through Christ’s redeeming work. This relief from condemnation should reign supreme in the foundation of our soul, as we believe on the completed work of Jesus Christ.

Psalms 32:1:
BLESSED is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered.

Psalms 103:12:
As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us.

Well since God has forgiven us and cast our sins far away, then this should be our outlook as well. So what can be done that will help us remember that we are in the graces of our loving Heavenly Father? Thank God, for the Epistle and doctrine of Romans, for Romans covers this inner conflict of utter, self-inflicted condemnation in detail, giving believers an out, a refreshing way to break this tedious and often endless cycle of life-draining condemnation.

Romans 8:1a:
THERE is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus. . .

This verse does not say, “There is therefore now condemnation,” but, “NO CONDEMNATION” and this is the will of God. Condemnation also means judgment, for there is therefore now NO judgment, and thus no fear of judgment to anticipate either now or in our future from our loving heavenly Father (see Romans 5:9, and I Thessalonians 1:9–10, 5:9). Believing this places us with them which are in Christ Jesus and permits Christ Jesus to genuinely be our Savior from condemnation and judgment. Knowing this and this alone can help make our lives free. By no means was God wasting His time having Romans 8:1 written to us because it cost Him everything, including enduring the death of His Son, Jesus Christ, to free our lives from condemnation and to redeem our lives back into the loving and forgiving arms of our Heavenly Father. Rather than thinking on condemnation, on the sin nature, and on our inadequacies, let us ponder on a wonderful section of Scripture that is spiritually awe-inspiring from the Amplified Bible:

Philippians 4:6–9 (The Amplified Bible):*
-6: Do not fret or have any anxiety about anything, but in every circumstance and in everything, by prayer and petition (definite requests), with thanksgiving, continue to make your wants known to God.
-7: And God’s peace [shall be yours, that tranquil state of a soul assured of its salvation through Christ, and so fearing nothing from God and being content with its earthly lot of whatever sort that is, that peace] which transcends all understanding shall garrison and mount guard over your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.
-8: For the rest, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is worthy of reverence and is honorable and seemly, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely and lovable, whatever is kind and winsome and gracious, if there is any virtue and excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think and weigh and take account of these things [fix your mind on them].
-9: Practice what you have learned {from the above} and received and heard and seen in me {for the above is what the Apostle Paul thought on in his mind}, and model your way of living on it, and the God of peace (of untroubled, undisturbed well-being) will be with you.

In verse 6 above we read, continue to make your wants known to God and only someone who does not harbor condemnation in his heart will have the boldness and confidence to ask God with a believing mind in expectation of truly receiving.

I John 3:21:
Beloved, if our heart condemn us not, then have we confidence toward God.

I John 5:14–15:
-14: And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us.
-15: And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him.

Once our petitions are offered to God freely without condemnation then we will begin receiving whatsoever we ask! We are currently heaven-bound and have been freed from condemnation to enjoy the eternal graces of our Creator. These things we can relish in the heart of our hearts and don in our minds because this is the truth of the Scriptures and “thus saith the Lord!”

So, Please – No Condemnation – OK!

* Scripture taken from THE AMPLIFIED BIBLE.
The Amplified New Testament copyright (c) 1958, 1987 by The Lockman Foundation.
Used by permission.