What operates your CPU? [central processing unit]

What is your CPU?

What programs run your CPU?

Do you have any viruses in your CPU?

We all have been created with an internal CPU… by God…

What is your CPU?

  1. The center of the human being.
  2. Your center is not your mind…
  3. Your center is not your emotions…
  4. Your center is not your will…
  5. Your center is not your logic and reason…
  6. Your center is not your amount of giftedness, experience, or expertise…
  7. Your Central Processing Unit is your heart – that’s what God says… and He should know. Right?

Matt 15:17-20    NASU

17 “Do you not understand that everything that goes into the mouth passes into the stomach, and is eliminated?  18 “But the things that proceed out of the mouth come from the heart, and those defile the man.  19 “For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, slanders.  20 “These are the things which defile the man; but to eat with unwashed hands does not defile the man.”

Luke 6:45   NASU

45 “The good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth what is good; and the evil man out of the evil treasure[of his heart] brings forth what is evil; for his mouth speaks from that which fills his heart.

Mark 12:30-31   NASU

30 and you shall love the lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.’

It is not a mistake or random thot that is stated here… Jesus listed the heart first because God listed it first in the Law stated in Deuteronomy. God knows what guides and operates your soul – mind – and strength. When our heart is pure and connected to the right values – Godly values – we will love God with all our heart, [which is the source of our total being], holding nothing back for self.

Continuing on with the idea of our CPU let’s consider how our CPU/heart operates…

What operates our CPU/heart?

  1. In the worldly realm –
  • Motivated by self-centered living:
    • self protection
    • self pleasing
    • self promoting
    • getting whatever I want
    • we need to choose to ‘dump the junk’ so we can live in the fullness of the new life God has given us in Christ Jesus.
  • James 3:13-16   NASU

13 Who among you is wise and understanding? Let him show by his good behavior his deeds in the gentleness of wisdom. 14 But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your heart, do not be arrogant and so lie against the truth. 15 This wisdom is not that which comes down from above, but is earthly, natural, demonic. 16 For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there is disorder and every evil thing. (viruses???)

  • James 4:1-5   AMP

1 WHAT LEADS to strife (discord and feuds) and how do conflicts (quarrels and fightings) originate among you? Do they not arise from your sensual desires that are ever warring in your bodily members?

2 You are jealous and covet [what others have] and your desires go unfulfilled; [so] you become murderers. [To hate is to murder as far as your hearts are concerned.] You burn with [unforgiveness], envy and anger and are not able to obtain [the gratification, the contentment, and the happiness that you seek], so you fight and war. You do not have, because you do not ask.  [1 John 3:15.]

3 [Or] you do ask [God for them] and yet fail to receive, because you ask with wrong purpose and evil, selfish motives. Your intention is [when you get what you desire] to spend it in sensual pleasures.

4 You [are like] unfaithful wives [having illicit love affairs with the world and breaking your marriage vow to God]! Do you not know that being the world’s friend is being God’s enemy? So whoever chooses to be a friend of the world takes his stand as an enemy of God. (viruses???)

5 Or do you suppose that the Scripture is speaking to no purpose that says, The Spirit Whom He has caused to dwell in us yearns over us and He yearns for the Spirit [to be welcome] with a jealous love?  [Jer 3:14; Hos 2:19ff.]

  1. In the realm of Gods family – what operates our CPU…
  • We are motivated by love and grace centered living:
    • Loving God with our total being
    • Loving our ‘neighbor’ as we ‘love’ our self
    • Putting the welfare and needs of others before our own – especially family
    • Serving others rather than expecting them to serve us – especially family
  • James 3:17-18   NASU

17 But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, reasonable, full of mercy and good fruits, unwavering, without hypocrisy. 18 And the seed whose fruit is righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.

  • Remove the seeds and deeds of worldliness, ‘dump the junk’, and yield to and cultivate the fruit that God has planted in our new life and soul…
  • James 4:6-12    HCSB

6 But He gives greater grace [greater than any worldly temptation]. Therefore He says:

God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.

7 Therefore, submit to God. But resist the Devil, and he will flee from you. 8 Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, sinners, and purify your hearts, double-minded people! 9 Be miserable and mourn and weep. Your [worldly] laughter must change to [true Holy Spirit] mourning and your joy to sorrow. 10 Humble yourselves before the Lord, and He will exalt you.

11 Don’t criticize one another, brothers. He who criticizes a brother or judges his brother criticizes the law and judges the law. But if you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law but a judge. 12 There is one lawgiver and judge who is able to save and to destroy. But who are you to judge your neighbor?

  1. Can we get viruses in our CPU/heart?    Yes we can…
  • Any sin will be a virus in your CPU
  • Unforgiveness is a major virus
  • A critical, sarcastic, judgmental attitude is a virus that can destroy you and others
  • Selfishness is a major virus
  • Retribution – getting someone back – is a Trojan horse virus

There are many possible spiritual viruses that can corrupt the output of our CPU/heart, but     they all have their source in some kind of sin and self-centered motivation…

  1. Is there an anti-virus program for these things?   Yes there is…
  • The Word of God – choose to put it to work in your life
  • Submitting our life to serving God and others, not self – a moment by moment      choice
  • Choose to follow Jesus and not the world around us – every time there is a choice             to make
  • The Holy Spirit is the “controller” of our heart/CPU if we will follow His guidance
  • Be in active regular fellowship in a congregation that will encourage and build you up…

Blessings as you grow into the image of Jesus…

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Jesus – Who Is He To Us?

Heb 1:1-4    HCSB

1 Long ago God spoke to the fathers by the prophets at different times and in different ways. 2 In these last days, He has spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things and through whom He made the universe. 3 He is the radianceof His glory, the exact expressionof His nature, and He sustains all things by His powerful word. After making purification for sins,He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high  4 So He became higher in rank than the angels, just as the name He inherited is superior to theirs.

John 14:9-16   HCSB

8 “Lord,” said Philip, “show us the Father, and that’s enough for us.” 9 Jesus said to him, “Have I been among you all this time without your knowing Me, Philip? The one who has seen Me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? 10 Don’t you believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in Me? The words I speak to you I do not speak on My own. The Father who lives in Me does His works. 11 Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father is in Me. Otherwise, believe because of the works themselves. 12 “I assure you: The one who believes in Me will also do the works that I do. And he will do even greater works than these, because I am going to the Father. 13 Whatever you ask in My name, I will do it so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14 If you ask Me anything in My name, I will do it. 15 “If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.

Col 1:13-17  HCSB

13 He has rescued us from the domain of darkness and transferred us into the kingdom of the Son He loves, 14 in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. 15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation; 16 because by Him everything was created, in heaven and on earth, the visible and the invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things have been created through Him and for Him. 17 He is before all things, and by Him all things hold together.

  • Jesus is God in the flesh, the exact revelation of the Father to us…
  • He is also Lord of all…
  • He is Savior to all who will believe and live for Him…
  • Jesus is our friend that is closer than any other could possibly be…
  • He loves us without requirement or condition…
  • He pours His endless grace out on us 24/7…
  • Jesus will never leave us or reject us…
  • He has forgiven ALL our sins…
  • He has given us a new life…
  • He has given us His Holy Spirit: to change us, empower us to live for Him, and to be an example of the way God blesses His people who are Christ-followers…
  • He is always with us ready to fellowship with us… he will protect us… guide us… and fill us as we acknowledge Him as our source, Lord, and guide.
  • He Loves us and will only do good to us…
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Grace Instructs Us…

Grace Instructs Us…

Note:

Chapter and verse divisions in our Bible translations were not in the original writings, they were added many years later for the purpose of making it easier to find specific places in the Bible. In quite a few instances divisions separate a thought or context that naturally follows a specific subject, which is unfortunate. The divisions as a whole are very helpful in finding certain verses or subjects in the Word.

I believe that we have such a separation here; verses 2:11 & 12 naturally are part of the context with verses 3:1-9… to separate them would be to separate Paul’s revelation about what the grace of God instructs us to be and do.

Titus 2:11-12              Holman Christian Standard Bible

11 For the grace of God has appeared, with salvationfor all people, 12 instructing us to deny godlessness and worldly lusts and to live in a sensible, righteous, and godly way in the present age,

3:1 Remind them [by Gods grace that is given to instruct us] to be submissive to rulers and authorities [spiritual and in the world], to obey, to be ready for every good work, 2 to slander no one, to avoid fighting, and to be kind, always showing gentleness to all people. 3 For we too were once foolish, disobedient, deceived, captives of various passions and pleasures, living in malice [spitefulness] and envy, hateful, detesting one another. [This is a great contrast between godless living and the godly living that we have been called and equipped to live. The indwelling Holy Spirit has been given to us to make us – as Christ-followers – a living breathing example of the reality of the new birth to the unbelievers around us… we must decide in every circumstance of life whether we are going to be Christ-followers or world-followers…]

4 But when the goodness and love for man appeared from God our Savior,

5 He saved us— not by works of righteousness that we had done,

but according to His mercy, through the washing of regeneration

and renewal by the Holy Spirit.

Eph 2:4-10     NASU

4 But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, 5 even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), 6 and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7 so that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. 8 For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; 9 not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. 10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.

6 This Spirit He poured out on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior,

7 so that having been justified by His grace, we may become heirs with the hope of eternal life. [All believers HAVE been justified by His grace and because of this reality we are His heirs and we are the possessors of eternal life now… but we will experience the fullness of this inheritance after we die and go to heaven.]

8 This saying is trustworthy. I want you to insist on these things, so that those who have believed God might be careful to devote themselves to good works. These are good and profitable for everyone. 9 But avoid foolish debates, genealogies, quarrels, and disputes about the law/doctrine, for they are unprofitable and worthless.

Titus 3:1-9      Holman Christian Standard Bible

 

The Apostle Paul was given the revelation, inspiration, and ability by the anointing of the Holy Spirit to reveal practical/livable understanding about God’s grace to us. In his writings we see the two-pronged doctrine of God’s grace and the believer’s privilege and responsibility in God’s grace.

By God’s grace we are saved thru faith; justified from sin, its curse and control; given a new life; declared the righteousness of God in Christ; placed – thru baptism by the Holy Spirit into Christ with every heavenly blessing in Christ and much more.

By Gods grace we are to live holy and righteously – rejecting sin and its temptation – because we are no longer sinners but saints – by Gods grace… also He has given us the Holy

Spirit and the power of His grace to enable us to live in a holy and righteous manner. Remember Paul wrote to the Corinthian church instructing them not to receive Gods grace in vain… we should receive the same instruction not to receive Gods grace in vain but to work with Him…

Let’s consider how the Amplified Bible says this concept:

The practical implications of God’s grace in us

2 Cor 5:14-6:4     AMP

14 For the love of Christ controls and urges and impels us, because we are of the opinion and conviction that [if] One died for all, then all died; [ to our old life; NLT]

15 And He died for all, so that all those who live might live no longer to and for themselves, but to and for Him Who died and was raised again for their sake.

16 Consequently, from now on we estimate and regard no one from a [purely] human point of view [in terms of natural standards of value]. [No] even though we once did estimate Christ from a human viewpoint and as a man, yet now [we have such knowledge of Him that] we know Him no longer [in terms of the flesh].

17 Therefore if any person is [ingrafted] in Christ (the Messiah) he is a new creation (a new creature altogether); the old [previous moral and spiritual condition] has passed away. Behold, the fresh and new has come!

18 But all things are from God, Who through Jesus Christ reconciled us to Himself [received us into favor, brought us into harmony with Himself] and gave to us the ministry of reconciliation [that by word and deed we might aim to bring others into harmony with Him].

19 It was God [personally present] in Christ, reconciling and restoring the world to favor with Himself, not counting up and holding against [men] their trespasses [but cancelling them], and committing to us the message of reconciliation (of the restoration to favor).

20 So we are Christ’s ambassadors, God making His appeal as it were through us. We [as Christ’s personal representatives] beg you for His sake to lay hold of the divine favor [grace] [now offered you] and be reconciled to God.

21 For our sake He made Christ [virtually] to be sin Who knew no sin, so that in and through Him we might become [endued with, viewed as being in, and examples of] the righteousness of God [what we ought to be, approved and acceptable and in right relationship with Him, by His goodness].

6:1 LABORING TOGETHER [as God’s fellow workers] with Him then, we beg of you not to receive the grace of God in vain [that merciful kindness by which God exerts His holy influence on souls and turns them to Christ, keeping and strengthening them — do not receive it to no purpose].

2 For He says, In the time of favor (of an assured welcome) I have listened to and heeded your call, and I have helped you on the day of deliverance (the day of salvation). Behold, now is truly the time for a gracious welcome and acceptance [of you from God]; behold, now is the day of salvation!  [Isa 49:8.]

3 We put no obstruction in anybody’s way [we give no offense in anything], so that no fault may be found and [our] ministry blamed and discredited.

4 But we commend ourselves in every way as [true] servants of God:

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Standard of Spiritual Maturity

The Goal of Every Christian Is To Mature in Spirit and Soul

Titus 1:5-16      Holman Christian Standard Bible

5 The reason I left you in Crete was to set right what was left undone and, as I directed you, to appoint elders in every town: 6 someone who is blameless, the husband of one wife, having faithful children not accused of wildness or rebellion. 7 For an overseer, as God’s manager, must be blameless, not arrogant, not quick tempered, not addicted to wine, not a bully, not greedy for money, 8 but hospitable, loving what is good, sensible, righteous, holy, self-controlled, 9 holding to the faithful message as taught, so that he will be able both to encourage with sound teaching and to refute those who contradict it.10 For there are also many rebellious people, idle talkers and deceivers, especially those from Judaism. …11 … 12…13 This testimony is true. So, rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith 14 and may not pay attention to Jewish myths and the commandments of men who reject the truth.15 To the pure, everything is pure, but to those who are defiled and unbelieving nothing is pure; in fact, both their mind and conscience are defiled. 16 They profess to know God, but they deny Him by their works. They are detestable, disobedient, and disqualified for any good work.

Some would like to see this passage as only for Elders/Pastors… But this passage contains Gods goal for everyone who names the name of Christ as Savior and Lord. The character points listed here are for all Christians to live in:

  • Blameless/trustworthy/honest/ with integrity
  • Husband of one wife or wife of one husband
  • Having believing children not wild or rebellious
  • Not arrogant but humble
  • Not one who uses much wine (no hard liquor)
  • Not easily angered, not a bully
  • Not greedy for money
  • Hospitable – entertaining others in our homes
  • Loving good hating evil
  • sensible, righteous, holy, self-controlled
  • listening to and living by the Word so you can encourage others with it
  • able to use the Word to refute wrong doctrine
  • not rebellious or an idle talker or deceiver
  • sound in the Faith – submitted to living by the teaching of the New Covenant Word of God
  • reject ‘myths’ and religious commands
  • have a pure and undefiled conscience
  • profess to ‘know’ God and show it by the way we live in the world

Let us be encouraged… this is what we have and are in Christ. by His grace and by the Holy Spirit we are changing… we simply, must make  daily decisions to live in the fullness of what Christ has given us by His death – burial – and resurrection.

What do you think???

Jim

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#2 – Let’s Search Our Hearts…

#2  Spiritual Life Challenge

Let’s Search Our Hearts…

1 Thess 1:4-10  AMP

 4 [O] brethren beloved by God, we recognize and know that He has selected (chosen) you; [we know that we are loved by God and are chosen by Him because we have received Christ as our Savior by His grace and faith alone, and we are new in Him]

5 For our [preaching of the] glad tidings (the Gospel) came to you not only in word, but also in [its own inherent] power and in the Holy Spirit and with great conviction and absolute certainty [on our part]. [The Word will come in power that changes us whenever it is given by the anointing of the Holy Spirit.] You know what kind of men we proved [ourselves] to be among you for your good.

6 And you [set yourselves to] become imitators of us and [through us] of the Lord Himself, [are we imitators of our Godly leaders and of Jesus, or are we still imitating the world???] for you welcomed our message [do we welcome the message that our spiritual leaders bring us, or do we find fault and criticize them???] in [spite of] much persecution, with joy [inspired] by the Holy Spirit;

7 So that you [thus] became a pattern to all the believers (those who adhere to, trust in, and rely on Christ Jesus) [what kind of report about us do other believers get because of the way we live and relate to others? Do we truly ‘rely on’ –‘ trust in’ – and ‘adhere to’ Jesus?] in Macedonia and Achaia (most of Greece).

8 For not only has the Word concerning and from the Lord resounded forth from you unmistakably in Macedonia and Achaia [when we do receive the Word of The Lord do we share it with others?], but everywhere the report has gone forth of your faith in God [of your leaning of your whole personality on Him in complete trust and confidence in His power, wisdom, and goodness] [is this the kind of ‘faith’ we have – ‘leaning of your whole personality on Him in complete trust and confidence in His power, wisdom, and goodness’]. So we [find that we] never need to tell people anything [further about it].

9 For they themselves volunteer testimony concerning us, telling what an entrance we had among you, and how you turned to God from [your] idols to serve a God Who is alive and true and genuine [when God saved us we turned from the ways and idols of the world to God],

10 And [how you] look forward to and await the coming of His Son from heaven [many believers look forward to Jesus coming back for us so we can escape the trials of life – not because we love Him and want to be with Him], Whom He raised from the dead — Jesus, Who personally rescues and delivers us out of and from the wrath [bringing punishment] which is coming [upon the impenitent] and draws us to Himself [investing us with all the privileges and rewards of the new life in Christ, the Messiah].

As I read and study the Word, I can’t help but ask these kinds of questions about myself. I regularly asking the Holy Spirit to search me and reveal any areas of change I need – and then I ask Him to help me to change … so I can be more like Jesus … so I can do the kinds of works He did and wants us to do until He comes back for us…

Prayer Thot:       Lord help me to see myself and the areas I need to change so I can be more and more Like You. Then help me to be about my Father’s business and do the works You did and even the greater works You said we could do… for Your Glory…

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#1 – Spiritual Challenge – Transferred out of darkness into His light

#1    Fully Redeemed And Transferred Out Of Darkness Into Christ’s Kingdom of light – By God’s Grace Alone

 [You will find my comments in this format throughout the passages quoted]

Col 1:1-14   HCSB (if you check this translation out you will find it to be very reliable and accurate)

1 Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by God’s will, and Timothy our brother:

2 To the saints and faithful brothers in Christ in Colossae. [This letter was/is written to faithful followers of Christ and His Kingdom – as opposed to following the ways of the world around us]

Grace to you and peace from God our Father. [we must understand this kind of grace and peace only originate in our relationship with our Heavenly Father – not from anything in the world system, indeed the world has fear-stress-competition-turmoil-worry and unrest to offer – the devil makes sure of that… what are our personal lives demonstrating to those around us?]

 3 We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you, 4 for we have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love you have for all the saints [what do people hear about us and the way we are committed to living our life? Do they see Jesus/a work in progress or just another person claiming to be a believer?  Are we recognized for loving all of the saints and our “neighbor”?] 5 because of the hope reserved for you in heaven. You have already heard about this hope in the message of truth, the gospel 6 that has come to you. [The ‘gospel’ is all inclusive of the message of salvation by grace alone, deliverance from the kingdom of darkness and satan’s power, and being transferred into God’s Kingdom of light. The ‘hope’ is our assurance that one day we will be in a glorious home in Heaven, with our glorious Savior for all of eternity – no more trials and life turmoil then] It is bearing fruit and growing all over the world, just as it has among you since the day you heard it and recognized God’s grace in the truth. [Wherever and whenever the gospel is received and truly believed in practice not just words,  we are truly changed from the inside out and other people will see our change and be drawn to Christ too] 7 You learned this from Epaphras, our much loved fellow slave. He is a faithful minister of the Messiah on your behalf, 8 and he has told us about your love in the Spirit. [Are people seeing and receiving the gospel message from us? Are we being faithful representatives of Christ, examples of His way of life, and His gospel message???]

9 For this reason also, since the day we heard this, we haven’t stopped praying for you. [The Colossians lives and message were showing the benefit of living for Christ and by the new way of His Kingdom] We are asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding, [this kind of knowledge, wisdom, and spiritual understanding can only be attained by grace and from our experiential relationship with Christ by the enablement of the Holy Spirit. We must become students/disciples of the Word and be in regular fellowship and accountable in a congregation; we must constantly allow the Holy Spirit to guide and change us – or it will not happen…] 10 so that you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to Him, bearing fruit in every good work and growing in the knowledge of God. [to show that we are walking worthy of the Lord we will be practicing these two things:1- bearing fruit in every good work 2- growing in the experiential knowledge of God – this is pleasing to the Lord]11 May you be strengthened with all power, according to His glorious might, for all endurance and patience, with joy [realizing we cannot do these kinds of things on our own, Paul prays that we will draw on the power, might, endurance, and patience supplied by the indwelling Holy Spirit– and that we will have the attitude and fruit of the Spirit of joy – in this way we will be pleasing to Him because we are showing our total reliance on Him so we can live out our new life here on this world]12 giving thanks to the Father, who has enabled you to share in the saints’ inheritance in the light. [The saints inheritance includes all sins forgiven, new life in Christ, all blessings in the heavenlies in Christ, the indwelling Holy Spirit, all authority over all the power of the devil, God’s grace – unmerited favor but also the power to change and live like Jesus did while on earth and much more. It is not just going to heaven when we die.]  13 He has rescued us from the domain of darkness and transferred us into the kingdom of the Son He loves, 14 in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. [WOW are we blessed or what?!?!]

(Scriptures from Holman Christian Standard Bible® by Holman Bible Publishers.)

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#3 “What about God?”

Now God will relate with man only through His grace based on the sacrifice of Jesus in our place –

There is nothing left for us to do except to live by faith/trusting in the power of the grace provided by God and to rest in Christ’s finished work

Rom 5:18-21     NASU

18 So then as through one transgression there resulted condemnation to all men, even so through one act of righteousness there resulted justification of life to all men. 19 For as through the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, even so through the obedience of the One the many will be made righteous. 20 The Law came in so that the transgression would increase; but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more, 21 so that, as sin reigned in death, even so grace would reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Romans 5:20    (From the UBS New Testament Handbook Series.)

“The Law increases wrongdoing both by indicating [defining] what wrongdoing is and by stirring up within persons the desire to rebel against the commands given in the Law. The Law did fulfill its function-it did increase wrongdoing-but God’s grace increased much more.”

 Rom 5:1-2    ESV    5  Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. 2 Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God.

 

Rom 11:6   ESV   6 But if it is by grace, it is no longer on the basis of works; otherwise grace would no longer be grace.

   

Gal 2:19-21   ESV  19 For through the law I died to the law, so that I might live to God. 20 I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. 21 I do not nullify the grace of God, for if justification were through the law, then Christ died for no purpose.

Gal 5:1-6    ESV   1 For freedom Christ hasset us free;stand firm therefore, and do not submit again toa yoke ofslavery. 2 Look: I, Paul, say to you thatif you accept circumcision,Christ will be of no advantage to you. 3 I testify again to every man who accepts circumcision that the is obligated to keep the whole law. 4 You are severed from Christ,you who would be justified by the law;you have fallen away from grace. 5 For through the Spirit, by faith, we ourselves eagerly wait for the hope of righteousness. 6 For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision counts for anything, but only faith working through love.

Eph 2:4-10   ESV   4 But God, beingrich in mercy,because of the great love with which he loved us, 5 evenwhen we were dead in our trespasses,made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— 6 and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7 so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace inkindness toward us in Christ Jesus. 8 For by grace you have been savedthrough faith. And this is not your own doing;it is the gift of God, 9 not a result of works,so that no one may boast. 10 For we are his workmanship,created in Christ Jesus for good works,which God prepared beforehand,that we should walk in them.

Titus 3:4-8    ESV  4 But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, 5 he saved us,not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, bythe washing of regeneration andrenewal of the Holy Spirit, 6 whom he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, 7 so that being justified by his grace we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life. 8 The saying is trustworthy, and I want you to insist on these things, so that those who have believed in God may be careful to devote themselves to good works.

2 Cor 5:14-21   NASU

14 For the love of Christ controls [compels out of love and gratitude for what He has done for us] us, having concluded this, that one died for all, therefore all died; 15 and He died for all, so that they who live might no longer alive for themselves [self is dead – we no longer live for self centered purposes; we are now new Kingdom of God children of God – we live to and for His pleasure and purposes], but for Him who died and rose again on their behalf. 16 Therefore from now on we recognize no one according to the flesh [we are now a new person – we endeavor to see people as Christ sees them; with love, compassion, grace, understanding and mercy] ; even though we have known Christ according to the flesh, yet now we know Him in this way no longer. 17 Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things [old moral life and spiritual condition] passed away; behold, new things have come [we are now new morally and spiritually] . 18 Now all these things are from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation, 19 namely, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and He has committed to us the word [message/gospel of grace]  of reconciliation. 20 Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were making an appeal through us [this is His desire and plan – if we will cooperate] ; we beg you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. 21 He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.

To summarize then;

  1. God created people to love and to reproduce Himself in them.
  2. He planned that we would love and worship/honor Him by our way of life in this dark world, in return.
  3. He planned to have a family that would be like Him – created in His image.
  4. Because sin entered the heart of man, God had to prepare a way for us to be reconnected to Him as His Children
  5. Because of His love and Grace He redeemed man by the sacrifice of blood from a spotless innocent lamb/ Jesus Christ/ God’s way of salvation.
  6. Because sin increased more and more and man denied his sinfulness, God gave the 10 commandments as a revelation of His standard of moral righteousness… in this way people could see their unrighteousness and seek God for help.
  7. Through the sacrificial law people could show their repentance from sin and by the blood of the animal sacrifice be restored to right relationship to God… until the next sin…
  8. Because God is love and by His grace He provided total salvation through Jesus Christ the perfect Lamb of God to take away peoples sins fully.
  9. In Christ we ARE the righteousness of God – He has declared us so…

Purpose of the LAW – (From Dictionary of Biblical Imagery)

Gal 3:19  NLT  Why, then, was the law given? It was given alongside the promise to show people their sins.”

The law expresses God’s expectations for the moral and spiritual conduct of Israel, the guidelines God has given to Israel to enable them to live life as he created it to be lived. God gives the law in such a form that people can order their lives by it. The Law presents an explanation of God’s Covenant with Israel. It is not an abstract moral code or a mere collection of general ethical or social principles. Instead Moses presents the law as an aspect of the covenantal relationship between God and Israel as his special FAVORED servant nation.

The emphasis of the Law is illustrated through four pictures:

(1) it comes from God

(2) it is intended for human benefit

(3) it is a reliable guide to living

(4) it illuminates one’s mind or understanding of the Covenant

The imagery of God’s law in Scripture is thus part of a larger conceptual framework that explains the full features of it.

First, just as ancient treaties formalized a preexisting relationship, the giving of law presumes that mutual love and loyalty have been established between Israel and her God. [Remember He is the One who offers this covenant so the people could experience His goodness and love]

Second, the law is designed to bring good benefits to God’s servants. Just as ancient emperors promised to care for their people, God demonstrates His benevolence by giving His law. Rather than a burden or curse, God gives the law for Israel’s well-being.

Third, the stipulations and sanctions of the law also test the loyalties of Israel to her divine Master or King. Blessings are promised to those who prove their love for God by obedience to the law (Deut 11:13). Flagrant violations of the law reveal hearts of rebellion and eventually bring severe covenant curses on the nation (Deut 27:14-26). [Remember Israel agreed to keep the covenant with God or pay the consequences]

 Throughout the Scriptures this basic covenantal framework shapes the imagery of law. The law never stands on its own; it always functions as an aspect of God’s covenant with his people.

The law is a major motif/theme of the Bible, where it is both positive and negative. Bearing the imprint of God’s moral character, the law is God’s blueprint for how God intends human life to be lived. At this level the law is “holy and just and good” (Rom 7:12 RSV). But because the human race cannot meet the covenant obligations of the law, it ultimately brings bondage, from which Christ’s atonement alone can free a person.

In the covenantal framework the law is never intended to be a way of earning good standing before God. It is a response to God’s grace, not a prerequisite to it. The proper motivation for obedience to the law is to show loyal love for God (Deut 6; Matt 22:37-40), not to earn the love of God.

Although the covenant itself has a positive meaning, the sinfulness of the human heart leads to a dominant theme of the inability of the human race to keep the covenant, giving the law a negative cast. Moses himself, after rehearsing the law before his death, gives a decidedly negative verdict on how the law will fare with God’s covenant people: “I know how rebellious and stubborn you are; behold, while I am yet alive with you, today you have been rebellious against the  Lord ; how much more after my death! … For I know that after my death you will surely act corruptly, and turn aside from the way which I have commanded you” (Deut 31:27,29 RSV).

Gal 2:16-21   NLT

16 Yet we know that a person is made right with God by faith in Jesus Christ, not by obeying the law. And we have believed in Christ Jesus, so that we might be made right with God because of our faith in Christ, not because we have obeyed the law. For no one will ever be made right with God by obeying the law.” 17 But suppose we seek to be made right with God through faith in Christ and then we are found guilty because we have abandoned the law. Would that mean Christ has led us into sin? Absolutely not! 18 Rather, I am a sinner if I rebuild the old system of law I already tore down. 19 For when I tried to keep the law, it condemned me. So I died to the law—I stopped trying to meet all its requirements—so that I might live for God. 20 My old self has been crucified with Christ.It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. So I live in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. 21 I do not treat the grace of God as meaningless. For if keeping the law could make us right with God, then there was no need for Christ to die.

Gal 3:1-4    NLT

3 Oh, foolish Galatians! Who has cast an evil spell on you? For the meaning of Jesus Christ’s death was made as clear to you as if you had seen a picture of his death on the cross. 2 Let me ask you this one question: Did you receive the Holy Spirit by obeying the Law of Moses? Of course not! You received the Spirit because you believed the message you heard about Christ. 3 How foolish can you be? After starting your Christian lives in the Spirit, why are you now trying to become perfect by your own human effort? 4 Have you experienced so much for nothing? Surely it was not in vain, was it?

Gal 3:10-14   NLT

10 But those who depend on the law to make them right with God are under his curse, for the Scriptures say, “Cursed is everyone who does not observe and obey all the commands that are written in God’s Book of the Law.” 11 So it is clear that no one can be made right with God by trying to keep the law. For the Scriptures say, “It is through faith that a righteous person has life.” 12 This way of faith is very different from the way of law, which says, “It is through obeying the law that a person has life.”

13 But Christ has rescued us from the curse pronounced by the law. When he was hung on the cross, he took upon himself the curse [literally ‘became a curse for us’] for our wrongdoing. For it is written in the Scriptures, “Cursed is everyone who is hung on a tree.” 14 Through Christ Jesus, God has blessed the Gentiles with the same blessing he promised to Abraham, so that we who are believers might receive the promised Holy Spirit through faith.

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