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.

We Have the Mind of Christ

Written by Larry M. Jaynes:

I Corinthians 2:16 – For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him {Isaiah 40:13-14}? But we have the mind of Christ.

Who knows the mind of the Lord (i.e., the mind of God Himself), and who has instructed Him? Well the definitive answer is that no one has ever been His teacher or completely understood everything about Him. The word mind is the Greek word nous and means the entire mind, the whole mind of God’s mental perception is known only to God (Romans 11:33-34). Then the Scriptures say, “but {in contrast to the above} we have the mind {nous} of Christ.” This means that we can understand the mind of Christ completely and intimately, for we have the God-given right to have the thoughts of Christ in our minds, and the reason that we have this ability is that we have Christ within, and Christ’s mission has always been to reveal and explain God (John 17:25-26; Hebrews 13:8).

Romans 13:14a – But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ . . .

To put on the Lord Jesus Christ is to put the thoughts of God’s Word into our minds.  The Word of God reveals Christ (John 5:39) and Christ reveals God. Christians by virtue of receiving the gift of holy spirit have Christ within, and as we go to the Scriptures and begin understanding the words within our hearts we begin systematically putting on the mind of Christ, and enjoying the glory of the Lord.

II Corinthians 1:21-22:
-21: Now he which stablisheth us with you in Christ, and hath anointed us, is God;
-22: Who hath also sealed us, and given us the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts.

God sealed us with holy spirit, sealing us for Him for eternity, establishing every believer by a spiritual anointing to have and to know the mind of Christ who is living within our very hearts. “Christ {is} the power of God, and the wisdom of God” (I Corinthians 1:24). So as we put on Christ in our minds via the teachings of the Scriptures we will begin to realize that “Christ who is our {real source of our spiritual} life” (Colossians 3:4), is the way to manifest the power of God. We are encouraged to put on the mind of Christ, not simply the mind that Jesus had when he walked on earth, but even more emphatically the mind that Christ currently has being eternally alive from the dead. We now have the approval of God’s healing will to know the spiritual mind of Christ and as we learn the Scriptures we will begin reflecting “the glory of the Lord.”

II Timothy 2:15 – Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

Many people believe that the more we study, the more we become approved before God, but this is wrongly dividing the Word because God has already approved us. This verse is saying that when we study the Scriptures we will begin realizing just how much approval we have before God in Christ, and this is rightly dividing the Word of truth. God does not shame us in the Scriptures, rather He encourages and builds us up because we have the God-given approval to have the mind of Christ – daily. In the Scriptures (especially in the Epistles) we learn about the mind of Christ who is spiritually dwelling within. With God’s love in our hearts we have a real premise to enjoy the renewed mind wherein God’s divine grace allows us to know His divine approval of us. When enjoying our access to the thoughts of Christ, we will begin knowing the mind of Christ and individually displaying the glory of the Lord, and this is the epitome of understanding God’s appraisal of us.

From God to You

Then shall every man have praise of {from} God– I Corinthians 4:5. This verse reveals one of the most amazing truths that I have ever known. When Christ returns for us then shall every man have praise of God. The word of is the Greek proposition apo meaning from. I once used to be afraid of the end, when judgments and condemnations were supposed to take place because I thought that the pit of hell was my destination. However, when I read this verse some years ago I was totally blown away. For in that great and glorious day when Christ returns, we Christians will have actual praise from God!” ~LMJ~

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

Written by Larry M. Jaynes:

Unfortunately, as well as ironically, many Christians after they become saved want to condemn themselves for either a sin committed 20 years ago, or the one they committed this morning before breakfast. In Romans chapter 7 we have an interesting verse of Scripture:

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 verses sound familiar to you? This is the state of a man or woman on their own merits – 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 in order to feel good enough to walk with God again. Nevertheless, he or she keeps on Romans 7:19-ing, and so a cycle begins, a cycle that appears will never end, and so they continue to condemn themselves, and sometimes entire lifetimes can be consumed in this endless dilemma. All this “junk” comes about by not realizing that God not only forgives but that He also totally forgets; it is only we that choose to remember the forgiven and forgotten past.

So what can be done? Thank God for the Epistle and doctrine of Romans, for Romans covers this in great detail giving believers an out, a refreshing way to break this tedious and endless cycle of life-draining condemnation.

Romans 8:1aTHERE 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 can mean judgment, for there is therefore now NO judgment, and thus no fear of (or for) judgment to anticipate either now or in our future from our loving heavenly Father. Believing this places us “in Christ Jesus” and permits him genuinely to be our Savior from condemnation and judgment. Knowing this and this alone can help set our lives free.

By no means was God wasting His time having Romans 8:1 written to us, because it cost Him everything to free our lives from condemnation.  We are currently heaven‑bound and there is no amount of sin that can prevent our entrance into the eternal graces of our Creator.  This is the truth of the Scriptures, and “thus saith the Lord!” So, Please — No Condemnation – OK!