Understanding the love of God for us because of Jesus Christ gives us wonderful peace!
I continue with this important topic which is dedicated to all the precious children of God who are suffering from self-inflicted condemnation, because they cannot forgive themselves and accept the redemptive work of Christ on the cross. This serious problem causes a person to judge themselves without the mercy and grace that Jesus has for each dear saint. Consequently, they cannot seem to accept the love and forgiveness of our God which Jesus granted to each of us through the shedding of His blood for our sins. The Scriptures declare that we are justified in the sight of our heavenly Father because of the finished work of Jesus Christ. Now He sees you and me as a perfect son and daughter, not a sinful person.
The Scriptures reveal our dependency on what Christ has done for you and me, because we could not and cannot accomplish it ourselves. "Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law but by faith in Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, that we might be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the law; for by the works of the law no flesh shall be justified." (Galatians 2:16).
What a declaration from the Bible! We cannot save ourselves by our own efforts to keep laws. The human race is inherently sinful, and the longer we live, the more we see sin in our lives and become more aware of our own short comings. This is part of the life long journey called the sanctification process. We should not judge ourselves harshly, but admit our mistakes and sins to God, forgiving ourselves so we can forgive and love others. We must forgive and love ourselves in order to forgive and love others. A person having a hard time forgiving himself has a hard time in life. Instead of being a testimony to others and filled with the joy and peace of God, they are filled with fear, torment and sadness. As a result, it becomes hard for them to focus attention on other people that could use their help. A dysfunctional lifestyle brought on by condemnation hinders us from being even more effective in ministering to others.
"For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse; for it is written, 'Cursed is everyone who does not continue in all things which are written in the book of the law, to do them.' But that no one is justified by the law in the sight of God is evident, for 'the just shall live by faith.' Yet the law is not of faith, but 'the man who does them shall live by them.' Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us (for it is written, 'Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree'), that the blessing of Abraham might come upon the Gentiles in Christ Jesus, that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith." (Galatians 3:10-14)
False religions demand a work oriented salvation methodology, but Jesus Christ does not. He already accomplished our salvation by taking our place of judgment on the cross. Now we can enjoy the benefits of what Jesus has earned for us. What a beautiful salvation plan. What a wonderful God who provided our freedom by allowing His Son to take the penalty for our sins. Now all God asks us to do is to accept that gift and allow Jesus to direct our lives.
When we stumble and sin, we repent to God who immediately forgives us of our sins because of Jesus' atoning blood. I believe that Christians daily live a life of unintentional sin because we are born from the fallen Adamic nature. Unintentional sins include: an explosive temper, lack of patience, or not paying attention to the needs of our children. I believe God forgives us of these types of sins without our asking Him. We are justified in His sight with all of our imperfections (sins) because of the finished work of Christ. However, I also believe that intentional sins, such as continual lying, cheating, or adultery, will cause God to justly chastise us unto repentance. We confess and repent of those sins to God and change our lifestyle so we can be a blessing, both to God and man. The following Scriptures verify that we are forgiven, accepted, and totally justified by God Himself because of what Jesus did for us on the cross!
"Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage. Indeed I, Paul, say to you that if you become circumcised, Christ will profit you nothing. And I testify again to every man who becomes circumcised that he is a debtor to keep the whole law. You have become estranged from Christ, you who attempt to be justified by law; you have fallen from grace. For we through the Spirit eagerly wait for the hope of righteousness by faith. For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision avails anything, but faith working through love." (Galatians 5:1-6)
"For not even those who are circumcised keep the law, but they desire to have you circumcised that they may boast in your flesh. But God forbid that I should boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world. For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision avails anything, but a new creation. And as many as walk according to this rule, peace and mercy be upon them, and upon the Israel of God. From now on let no one trouble me, for I bear in my body the marks of the Lord Jesus. Brethren, the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit. Amen." (Galatians 6:13-18)
"In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace...In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise." (Ephesians 1:7,13)
"For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast." (Ephesians 2:8-9)
"But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. For He Himself is our peace, who has made both one, and has broken down the middle wall of separation, having abolished in His flesh the enmity, that is, the law of commandments contained in ordinances, so as to create in Himself one new man from the two, thus making peace, and that He might reconcile them both to God in one body through the cross, thereby putting to death the enmity. And He came and preached peace to you who were afar off and to those who were near. For through Him we both have access by one Spirit to the Father." (Ephesians 2:13-17)
"...that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height—to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God." (Ephesians 3:17-19)
As I mentioned in Part 1, I recently read a booklet by Pastor Allan H. Franks concerning depression. I was so impressed by the way he explained God's love toward each of us that I had included some parts of his book in both articles. I believe as you read his comments you will be encouraged, as I was. It brings inspiration that reinforces to each of us what a wonderful, gracious, loving God we indeed have. He is not out there waiting to condemn and destroy us, because we know He sent His Son to take our judgment so we can be forgiven. God is certainly a God of mercy, grace, and most of all, unconditional love.
My Child, you are My creation. I have My name stamped all over you and it shows. You are designed by Me. You aren’t a self-made person, you are a God-made person. Before you were born, I began to shape you and fashion you with My own hands. I made your body, I created your personality, I picked out a personal plan for your life. There is no one else just like you. You are unique, special, important, valuable and useful to Me. This world would not be the same without you. I have created you so you will have an impact on the world. I am using you to bring Me glory. I am continuing to work in you so that your life will bring Me more and more glory.
You are new, My Child, but I’m not done with you yet. I’m going to keep working on you. I will do so until it’s time for you to come home to be with me.
My Child, you know that I know what I’m doing. You know that no matter what you have to experience it will always be for your growth eventually.
My Child, I am constantly working on you and in you and for you because I love and cherish you more than you can ever know.
I love you!
Your Father (pg.68)
Colossians 3:3, 4
My Loved One, the old you has died. Because you are human, you still struggle with that old you. If you could see into the spiritual realm, you would see what I see. I see a new you. I see a different, changed and alive you. You are no longer dead, hopeless and trapped. I see Myself reflected in you. That old you is hidden behind Me. You have chosen to no longer be the old you. You have chosen to be the new you. You have surrendered the old you to Me, and I have it hidden. Yes it is still around and it pokes it’s ugly head out sometimes, but not as much as you think. Satan tries to lie and tell you it is still there. But My Word is telling you it isn’t. It’s dead, hidden in Me. I can’t see it, and for the most part, neither can people in your life.
My Loved One, you must believe that others see Me when they look at you. They really do! So much of your life is consumed with worrying about what people think about you, when the facts are they see Me in you. This is a fact because I am your life. I fill you with My fullness. Your life comes from My life. You aren’t Me, and you won’t be exactly like Me until I come again or take you home. But I am increasingly, moment by moment, making you more and more like Me. To the human eye the differences aren’t that great. Believe this, My Loved One. It will make a huge difference in your self image and self worth. It will keep you from pride. Just believe it and live it!
Colossians 3:12; I Thessalonians 1:4
My Child, I have chosen you. It’s as if we have made eye contact and by doing so you saw in My eyes My desire to own you and possess you. My eyes reflect My heart feelings toward you. You see that I am welcoming you, that I have picked you out, that I really know you, and in spite of your past sin and current struggles, I want you as My own.
My Child, when I look at you, I don’t see all the negative distorted views that you often have of yourself. In fact, when you have those feelings about yourself, I am saddened. For that is not how I see you. I see the real you. I see Christ in you. I see your holiness. I see your purity and righteousness, if you will look at My whole face, you will see pleasure in My eyes toward you and a smile on My face. You will see outstretched arms waiting for you to come into them!
My Child, I love you! You are dearly loved by Me. I’m able to look beyond your weaknesses. I can grace you. I accept you now, and I know you are going to grow even more like Me. I have a vision of what you are becoming and I like it.
My Child, I want you to feel the way I do about yourself. I want you to look beyond your weaknesses, to grace yourself, to accept yourself, to picture what you will be and to celebrate what you are now. My Child, I truly and dearly love you. Nothing can change that.
Your Father (pg.74)
I Peter 2:5
My Loved One, I am “The Rock”, “The Cornerstone”, “The Capstone”, on which you are to build your life. I am “The Living Stone”. Because you are being built with Me as your foundation, you are alive as well.
My Loved One, I am building you into a spiritual house. You are in the ongoing process of developing into the person that I want you to be. I am growing you and building you so that you can be a holy priest. You already are a holy priest, but I am continuing to build you so that as you carry out your priestly duties you will be more and more like Me and more and more effective in offering spiritual sacrifices to Me that are acceptable.
My Loved One, your life and your sacrifices are acceptable to Me, because you are being built upon My foundation. You are in Me and I in you. Thus everything you bring to Me as a sacrifice of praise or giving or service is acceptable to Me. The only time it isn’t acceptable is when you bring it to Me in your own strength and with self-centered motivation.
My Loved One, I know your heart. I know your desire is to be a reflection of Me. Because of this there is rarely anything that you do that isn’t acceptable to Me. You are acceptable to Me because you are in Me. Thus your actions are acceptable to Me also. Even when your actions are faulty, I still accept you because your foundation is solid. I am so pleased with you!
I Peter 2:10
My Child, in the past you were only a person because you were still breathing, and you were barely doing that. You may have had some semblance of life, but you were not the real you. You were as low as a person can get and still be called a person. You needed life and I have given you a new life. I am making you into a new person. A real person that is very much alive and well spiritually, emotionally, mentally and physically.
My Child, you were one of Mine back then, but you didn’t know what all that meant. You had Me but I didn’t have all of you. Now you are fully Mine. You are a person of God. There is no mistaking your identity. You look like Me, act like Me and talk like Me. You are in Me and My fullness is in you.
My Child, you had My mercy, that is what carried you through. But you didn’t know you had it, because you hadn’t accepted it. Now you’ve let Me give it to you. You’ve allowed yourself to receive My mercy. You are basking in My mercy.
Oh, My Child, you are one of Mine. I am so glad you have discovered the real person that you are, and I’m so glad you like yourself. I’ve always liked you, and I wanted so badly for you to feel the way I feel about you. You still are growing in this, but you are so different. I love you! I enjoy watching you and helping you. What a pleasure you are to Me.
Your Father and Friend (pg.84)
I Peter 5:5-11
My Child, much of your problem with worry and anxiety does relate to pride. When you worry it’s like saying you have the ability to handle it of figure out the problem. Worry is pride. You need to humble yourself and admit you can’t solve the problem. By praying and casting your anxiety on Me, you are humbling yourself. Remember, I give grace to the humble and you constantly need My grace.
My Child, humbling yourself may not be natural to you, but you can develop the habit. When you humble yourself, I will take care of the problem. It may not be as quick as you like it, but My timing is always what is best for you.
Oh, My Child, I care about you more than you can ever imagine. I want what is best for you. I believe in you. And I don’t want you to worry like you do. I’m going to take care of you even if the economy collapses, even if the worst scenario you can think up happens, I will take care of you and your family and My church. Oh, My Child, I love you, you don’t have to perform for Me to take your anxiety away. Nothing that happens to you will cause Me to let you down. You are My pride and joy. You are My son/daughter. Oh, My Child, just cast all your anxiety on Me. I can handle it, but you can’t and it really eats you up, so trust Me with every detail of your life.
My Child, keep putting on that armor everyday. One of the main ways Satan is attacking you is with anxiety. He throws out those worrisome thoughts at you all the time. He wants to devour you by getting you all caught up in worry. He knows you are vulnerable in this area. My Child, I will help you resist him. But you must be careful, self-controlled, aware and alert. You must resist him with My armor and with the truth of My Word. Resisting him will give you the power to cast the anxiety on Me. Also, My Child, take note that you aren’t the only one he is attacking and using worry as a weapon on. Draw strength from others, share your worries with them and pray together.
My Child, you may have to suffer a little while, but My grace will cover you. I will restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. And I will establish, perfect and confirm you.
Again, My Child, don’t worry, humble yourself and don’t try to take the situation into your own hands; Cast it on Me, because I care so deeply for you. Believe that!
Your Father (pg.86)
I hope you have enjoyed and been blessed by Pastor Allan Franks explanations. The gospel of Jesus Christ is so wonderfully liberating. It truly can set the captives free from all their doubts, fears, worries and torments. The love of God, through the work of Jesus Christ, justifies us in our mortal bodies. God's love for you and me doesn't depend on what we do for Him, but what Jesus has already done for us. We now can live in freedom and experience peace. We can find rest in His mercy and grace. Unlike some unbelievers or carnal Christians that demand punishment, He offers unconditional love.
Most Christians live with a measure of pride that prevents them from offering the grace, forgiveness and love they should have toward a sinner or their fellow believer. Sometimes we judge others wrongly, looking only at their transgressions. We cannot see that we also have other sins in our own lives. We might condemn the shoplifter, but we fail to see the sin of cheating on tax statement or some other document. Maybe we fail to inform the grocery clerk that the price is wrong. Yes, we are all sinners and can be grateful for the grace of God through Jesus that justifies us.
Founder and President
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