Hey Holy Spirit! Come Back Here for A Minute?

As humans living in a fallen world, it’s more than likely we don’t fully realize the presence of God’s Spirit with us at all times. This has caused us to develop the dubious habit of thinking we need to invite God into our presence. Whether we’re praying solo or in a group setting, various catch phrases are used asking God to show up or to pour out a special anointing. It can practically become law for people. I understand some believe this is necessary in order for the Lord to manifest or fall in special ways, but once again religion has it backwards because we were the invitee—invited into His presence and He is always where you are. I believe as we become more aware of this reality, it may result in a greater outward manifestation of this power that already abides within us.

Although it provides a buffer while you are thinking about what to say, my exhortation is to stop asking God to come. This “invitation rule” can develop a frame of mind that leads one to think if God can come, He can also depart to some degree after the gathering is over. That’s not a good mindset to develop. Instead we should ask for a more significant realization that God has already provided his anointing that is not only upon us, but in us. In Philippians 1:6, Paul said that God has begun a good work in you—not upon you. The work “upon” you is a completed, perfected work. The work God will do “in” and through you isn’t to make you more righteous and holy than He has already made you to be through the blood of Christ, but to teach and guide you to live by faith … that is, trusting in Him instead of your own work.

For whatever reason, Christians often have a hard time digesting “Christ in you.” The King is already in our midst by his Spirit, He lives within us and He never leaves (see John 14:16). But an even more seemingly difficult concept to grasp is us being “in Christ.” In fact, there are far more references to us being in Christ in the New Testament. Why? Because God wants us to gain a greater understanding of how we’re always and fully enveloped by God’s presence, power, peace, and anointing. It’s an anointing that doesn’t land upon us from time to time, but always abides “in” us (1 John 2:27). The manifestation of ministry gifts will work through us “as the Spirit wills” (1 Corinthians 1:11). But don’t think for a minute that the anointing comes and goes.

Rather than looking for ten steps on how to invite the Holy Spirit into a room, first see if you can discover scriptural instruction on this practice from a New Covenant perspective. I think you’ll have a hard time finding it. God isn’t looking for a welcome mat at our doorstep, neither should we anxiously anticipate His RSVP every time we send out an invitation. Instead of telling God he is welcome to join us, we can simply say “thank you.” His response will be “you are welcome.”

As demonstrated through Jesus, God yearns to make the scene where religionists are less likely to be found. He has no boundaries and no limits. The notion that we need to create an acceptable atmosphere that is more conducive towards feeling the presence of the Holy Spirit is more of a mind game to convince ourselves of God’s response to us. Our intentions are good, but God’s presence won’t be found with any greater intensity in a prayer meeting taking place in a church building than it will in a bar down the street. The modern church world has us living in a mixed covenant culture, and empty religion has a way of creeping into our minds in the most unsuspecting ways. It becomes evident that our aim is off target when we are trying to do something to get a response from God, instead of resting in his response to us.

In the previous covenant, the Jews would go to the temple to seek more of God and His presence.  In this New Covenant, we are the temple!

For more on avoiding the trap of religious bondage, get the book: Clash of the Covenants: Escaping Religious Bondage Through The Grace Guarantee Purchase Here on Amazon

The Forgiveness Business: What They Haven’t Told You

You may be among the many who have been taught throughout their lifetime to continually be asking and seeking God for more forgiveness.  Let’s put this in perspective, while seriously considering the murky details the religious business has thrust upon us, thereby leaving us in a foggy uncertainty and a lack of assurance.  Religious entrepreneurs have developed a product we’ll call “frequent forgiveness” that hungry people are craving, and unfortunately, business is booming.

Under the Old Covenant, Israel had many requirements and instructions within the Mosaic law that guided them towards receiving a renewed forgiveness from God on a daily and even a yearly basis. Most of us know a significant part of this included the sacrifice of innocent animals, because as we see in Hebrews 9:22: … “without the shedding of blood, there is no forgiveness of sins.”

In the ninth and tenth chapters of Hebrews, the writer explains a significant contrast between the old way, with the blood of animals, compared to the new way through the sacrifice of Christ.  The cross is often referred to as a finished work, but man-made doctrines have nullified or at least weakened this truth of the gospel to a great extent. Whereas under the law, many sacrifices were required to cover the sins of the people, under the New Covenant, one sacrifice was required to completely take them away forever—not just cover them temporarily.  Our High Priest (Jesus) has an eternal ministry, unlike the priests under the law.

A key phrase in these two chapters of Hebrews is “once for all.”  This describes the work of Christ at the cross that removed the penalty of sin for all, through His one sacrifice.  It was impossible for the blood of animals to take away sins, and it left Israelites in a state of sin consciousness (guilt).  Unfortunately, many today are needlessly suffering with the same mindset.  Now for us who are “in Him,” we can live within a consciousness of righteousness, because this is how we are identified through the gift of life we’ve received.

Through the work of Jesus Christ, God has done all He is going to do about the need for forgiveness (for the whole world).  The package has been delivered once, on time, safe and sound, for all people.  All we do is receive it, and this is done by a simple act of the heart through believing.  Although it may be done out of ignorance and a lack of understanding, when we keep asking God to forgive us over and over, it’s a symptom of not trusting in what Jesus did on our behalf.  You and I can’t add to what He has already completed.

Must you forgive others in order to be forgiven?  No, Jesus said this to His disciples before the cross, while teaching the law with a message of hopelessness, meant to lead them towards seeking something better … Himself!  Only the blood of Christ could bring eternal forgiveness.  Coming to the understanding that you are already forgiven will now empower you to be able to forgive others, as the Apostle Paul explains after the cross: “Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you” (Ephesians 4:32).  We forgive others, not to receive forgiveness, but because we’re forgiven.

If you believe it’s necessary to keep repeatedly asking God to forgive you for every wrong thought and action, then you’d better ask Him to send Jesus to die again, and then again after that.  If more forgiveness is needed, more blood would need to be spilled (see Hebrews 9:24-26).  But I suggest you go with option number 2: Trust in what Jesus did and that it was more than enough.  He brought to us what those crushing commandments and continuous confessions could not.  There are no more sacrifices on the way … It’s a finished work, you ARE forgiven.  Simply believe it, and walk in it.  Rest easy.

For more on avoiding the trap of religious bondage, get the book: Clash of the Covenants: Escaping Religious Bondage Through The Grace Guarantee By Michael C. Kapler. Purchase Here On Amazon

Escaping Religious Bondage

Those who have been born into captivity or have been held as slaves for most of their lives, may not be aware they are in bondage, because it is all they have ever known or remember.  Likewise, one who knows only physical blindness is unable to fully understand what it means to see.

The Jewish people were spiritually bound, blind, and bankrupt.  Early in His ministry, Jesus spoke to some of them who were abiding in their synagogue, as He referenced this prophecy from Isaiah: “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor” (Luke 4:18-19).

The key to experiencing spiritual freedom is to first understand you’ve been a slave.  Although the Israelites were delivered by God from the slavery of Egypt, they agreed to a covenant of law, where they would be held in spiritual bondage for centuries.  The purpose of the law wasn’t designed to make them “better” or more acceptable to God.  The Mosaic law was meant to show them their inability to abide by the works of that law.  God wasn’t trying to achieve “better” people, He was looking for perfection, and this would be found only in the Person of Jesus Christ.  This is where He placed us … in Him.

In Galatians chapter 4, Paul explained how the Law and (ten) commandments given on Mount Sinai brought spiritual slavery or bondage to Israel under that first covenant.  The New (or second) covenant that is now in effect has brought freedom, not only to Israel, but also to those of us Gentiles not born of the Jewish race.

Many people sitting inside of Christian churches each week have been under teaching that they have assumed is built entirely upon truth and accuracy.  They are often blinded to anything that may vary or differ from all of the religious talking points they’ve heard over the years that frequently contradict themselves.  This is usually built upon a sandy foundation that mixes and blends the Old and New Covenants together.  Although it’s usually taught that many of the Jewish laws and commands no longer apply, it wrongly assumes there is still an element of law still in place.  Misleading doctrinal assumptions are built upon the premise that everything Jesus spoke was meant for all future believers, when in fact, Jesus said He came only to minister to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.

Jesus had to help Israel begin to see they were slaves to a system that would never bring them what was required—perfection and righteousness.  Until they understood their position of hopelessness through works, faith would remain out of their reach, because the law is not of faith (Galatians 3:12).  They needed to be redeemed from the curse of the law—abiding by all of it perfectly.

In Christ, we’re no longer called slaves, but are considered friends with God, children who are a part of the family of God’s household, and there is nothing that can separate us from His unconditional love.  The blood of Jesus Christ has torn down the wall that once brought separation, and what was that wall?  The law of commandments (Ephesians 2: 14-16).  Both Jew and Gentile now abide in a new and better covenant, under the ministry of God’s Spirit.  The former ministry of the written code that came through Moses brought death and condemnation, but the Spirit gives life.

For more on avoiding the trap of religious bondage, get the book: Clash of the Covenants: Escaping Religious Bondage Through The Grace Guarantee.  Purchase Here on Amazon

You Are Not A Witness

In the realm of religious tradition, Christians frequently want to identify themselves as “witnesses for Jesus.”  A witness is a noun, but we’ve embraced this witness identity so tightly, we’ve even turned it into a verb—so that sharing the gospel with others would mean we’re “going out witnessing.”  We also find where works-based individuals will worry that mistakes they’ve made will ruin their “witness for Christ.”

Jesus told His disciples they were His witnesses (Acts 1:8).  Being a witness in this instance means an eye-witness, an actual spectator; somebody who saw or heard what took place.  After Jesus departed, these apostles sought to replace Judas with another who had “witnessed” everything they had:

“So one of the men who have accompanied us during all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us, beginning from the baptism of John until the day when he was taken up from us—one of these men must become with us a witness to his resurrection” (Acts 1:21-22).

Later in the book of Acts, God opened the door for Peter to bring the gospel message to non-Jewish people (Gentiles), and he explains to these new converts just exactly what a witness is:

“We are witnesses of everything he did in the country of the Jews and in Jerusalem. They killed him by hanging him on a tree, but God raised him from the dead on the third day and caused him to be seen. He was not seen by all the people, but by witnesses whom God had already chosen–by us who ate and drank with him after he rose from the dead” (Acts 10:39-41).

We can clearly see witnesses were defined as those who were with Jesus and saw proof of life after he had risen.  In the age of the New Covenant, we can share the gospel and “bear witness” to the truth of Jesus Christ, much like the prophets from the Old Covenant looked ahead and did bear witness that everyone who believes in Christ receives forgiveness of sins through His name (see Acts 10:43).  But this doesn’t make us witnesses for Jesus.

A witness in Scripture is defined as someone who is a spectator and actually saw something happen.  You and I were not the spectators.  It’s strange how Christians exposed to legalism will identify themselves in this way, while struggling with the truth of who they are in Christ—a perfected, clean, forgiven, holy, righteous, and sanctified child of God.

You are not identified as His witness, He is your witness.  “The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God” (Romans 8:16). It’s not so much that we are representing Him, rather He represents us because He continues to make intercession for us (see Romans 8:34; Hebrews 7:25).

Take the pressure off of yourself and begin to realize you can learn from your mistakes, and that nothing is going to “ruin” your witness.  That’s because “your” witness is Jesus Christ, through the Spirit of the living God.  Can I get a witness?  I’ve already got one!

For more on avoiding the trap of religious bondage, get the book: Clash of the Covenants: Escaping Religious Bondage Through The Grace Guarantee Purchase Here On Amazon

The Old Covenant, Red-Letter Prayer

Have you ever wondered why we are never instructed in New Testament epistles to pray “The Lord’s Prayer?”  Not one single time.  Think about that … considering all of the emphasis that corporate Christianity has placed on us praying in this way, surely at least one of the apostles would’ve mentioned to “pray the prayer the Lord taught us.”  And yet, it’s nowhere to be found.  The reason we’re never instructed in New Covenant writings to pray in this manner is because the prayer was meant for those to whom Jesus was speaking—to His disciples who were stuck under a law of works that could not bring them the redemption they were seeking.

Prior to the prayer, Jesus had just revealed to His Jewish disciples the hopeless & desperate situation they were in under the law of the Old Covenant.  He had dropped a bombshell during this sermon that the required standard was for them to be perfect, just as their heavenly Father.  Therefore, since they could not acquire right-standing with God through the works of the law, Jesus told them how they should pray at that time.  In order for them to be delivered and redeemed, they needed God’s will to be done (the sacrifice of Christ).

Right before the prayer instruction, Jesus told these people not to repeat prayers over and over as the Gentiles do.  What is it we (non-Jewish) Gentiles have done with this prayer?  We do the same thing Gentiles did back then—the prayer gets repeated constantly, the very thing Jesus said not to do.  It wasn’t meant to be a model for us, but for those who were trapped in the ministry of condemnation under the law.

We make a serious error when assuming everything Jesus spoke was meant for us today.  We don’t have to mumble a memorized script as though we’re reciting the Pledge of Allegiance.  The good news for us in the New Covenant is that we have received what the prayer would’ve been seeking:

  • The presence of the Father is no longer quarantined or limited to a distant planet called heaven. We can interact intimately with the One who now abides in us by His Spirit.
  • The Kingdom has already come through Christ. Later, Jesus said the kingdom would not arrive in a way that is seen or observed, but would be within us. A kingdom does not exist without a king, and we have received a kingdom that cannot be shaken—He abides in us forever.
  • The will of God has been done on earth as it is in heaven (the sacrifice of Christ as described in Hebrews 9 &10).
  • Our daily bread (Christ) has been given—He is the bread from heaven that came to do God’s will (John 6:32-51). There is no need to ask for what God already given (His Son).
  • Under the Old Covenant, Jesus reminded them they could not acquire forgiveness unless they would first forgive (this left them in a place of despair). In a new and better covenant, we forgive others, but not in order to be forgiven, but because we’re already forgiven, through the blood of Jesus (Ephesians 4:32).
  • In Christ, God does not tempt us (James 1:13), and He has delivered us from evil (Colossians 1:13-14).

For those disciples who prayed this way prior to the cross, their prayers were answered … Jesus finished and fulfilled everything the prayer was seeking.

For more on avoiding the trap of religious bondage, get the book: Clash of the Covenants: Escaping Religious Bondage Through The Grace Guarantee Purchase Here On Amazon


The ERS (External Religious Service)

Lifeless legalism.  You’ve probably been exposed to it through a variety of religious teaching found in most churches.  Sadly, many Christians do not have a solid foundation of the gospel of grace, and have been easily persuaded by various forms of legalism being poured into them over a period of many years.  They have little or no idea they have been exposed to it, similar to asbestos poisoning hidden inside their own walls.  They are programmed to think a certain way about God and the Bible, and it’s a big challenge for people to change their thinking, especially when much of what they’ve been told has been held onto as a sacred and personal part of their belief system.

Grace seems too easy. It sounds too good to be true, right? There must be more to it!  Anyone who is caught in the quicksand of doing anything in order to attain right standing with God will persistently be haunted by the following questions: What must I do?  How much is enough?  What am I lacking?

Although the word legalism does not appear in Scripture, the concept is found extensively throughout.  It can be viewed as a works-based religion built upon rules, regulations, or dos and don’ts that are meant to lead to salvation or securing favor with God.  The actual results of legalism will lead to fear, accusation, disapproval of others, hypocrisy, a sense of worthlessness, despair, frustration, and guilt, just to name a few.

When church teaching begins to focus more on you and your dedication to God, based upon a modernized version of the Mosaic law, run the other way as fast as you can.  Legalists may think they are on the right road, but they are heading in the wrong direction.  The spotlight should always be on center stage—the Cross of Christ and His finished work.  This alone is what has already given you righteousness, salvation, unconditional love, acceptance and eternal forgiveness.  The gospel is not about you and what you do, it’s about Jesus Christ and what He has done.

If you think the tax code is complicated, just wait until the religious code is applied and someone from the ERS (External Religious Service) comes around to collect.  They’ll audit your records while searching for wrongdoing and will demand accountability for every mistake they can find (or that you’ll confess).  No matter how much you pay, you’ll never be debt-free, because the ERS will always demand more.  The Apostle Paul provided this example:

“Let no one cheat you of your reward, taking delight in false humility and worship of angels, intruding into those things which he has not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind. Therefore, if you died with Christ from the basic principles of the world, why, as though living in the world, do you subject yourselves to regulations—‘Do not touch, do not taste, do not handle,’ which all concern things which perish with the using—according to the commandments and doctrines of men? These things indeed have an appearance of wisdom in self-imposed religion, false humility, and neglect of the body, but are of no value against the indulgence of the flesh (Colossians 2:18, 20-23 NKJV).

God has rewarded you with the guarantee of grace in the person of Jesus Christ.  Believe it, and don’t let those controlling religious principalities and powers from the ERS defraud you of it.  He is your representative and the record shows your debt is non-existent … You owe nothing, because He paid everything.

For more on avoiding the trap of religious bondage, get the book: Clash of the Covenants: Escaping Religious Bondage Through The Grace Guarantee Purchase Here On Amazon

Will the Real Jesus Christ Please Sit Down

“To Tell the Truth” is an American television game show that has appeared in various formats over the years.  The show features a panel of four celebrities whose object is to correctly identify a described contestant who has an unusual occupation or has undergone an unusual experience.  This person is among two other people who acts as imposters.  The celebrities will ask questions of the group, and at the end of the show will try to surmise which of the three people is telling the truth.  The show climaxes after the celebrity votes are in, with the host saying, “Will the real (person’s name) please stand up.”

Let’s talk about a truth involving Jesus Christ that causes him to stand out among not just a small group, but among many who would appear to provide a similar form of ministry.  The book of Hebrews explains that, under the previous covenant God made with Israel, every high priest ministered with gifts and sacrifices according to the law given through Moses.  They stood and ministered daily, offering the same sacrifices that could never take away sins.  There wasn’t a labor union representing priests on this “assembly” line, therefore no lounge or coffee breaks were permitted in the temple, because the priests would not be allowed to sit, but had to keep standing.  Why?  It’s simple—the job was never finished:

“Every priest stands daily ministering and offering time after time the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins; but He, having offered one sacrifice for sins for all time, sat down at the right hand of God, waiting from that time onward until His enemies be made a footstool for his feet” (Hebrews 10:11-13 NASB).

Before the cross, as long as people kept sinning, priests would have to keep sacrificing for the atonement of those sins.  The atonement was a covering, but it did not remove the sin.  By the way, the priests also offered up sacrifices for their own sins as well as those of the people.  All of this brought a constant reminder of sins and burdened the people with a sin consciousness of guilt from which they couldn’t escape.

In order to be delivered from this dilemma, a change of priesthood would need to occur, and all of the old law had to be entirely replaced with something new, as confirmed in Hebrews 7:12: “For when there is a change in the priesthood, there is necessarily a change in the law as well.”  This is huge!  The word change in this instance means “change, transformation, removal, desert, transfer.”  In other words, the change of law that occurred wasn’t a revision of the existing law; it was withdrawn, removed and abandoned.  There would be an immediate transfer from one covenant to another, as something brand new was established.  If this is not the case, then Jesus could not claim the title of high priest.  Why?  Because Jesus descended from the tribe of Judah, which is not the required tribe the priests came from under the law (the Levites).

The former priests, many in number, kept standing.  They were prevented from continuing because they would die and be replaced by others.  Jesus holds the priesthood permanently because he continues to live forever, eternally making intercession for us.  Our High Priest didn’t just take a bow, He sat down. There will be no encore and no second act, so don’t expect a curtain call, because the temple’s curtain was torn in two after the final sacrifice for sin.  The Old Covenant with the law and commandments, were weak and useless, and were replaced with the guarantee of a better covenant…our one High Priest, Jesus Christ.

For more on avoiding the trap of religious bondage, get the book: Clash of the Covenants: Escaping Religious Bondage Through The Grace Guarantee Purchase Here On Amazon

If My People: Reconsidering 2 Chronicles 7:14

The following verse from the Bible is often quoted as a directive for people from the current generation of today.  But let’s consider the context of the passage, along with the context of the gospel.

“If my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land” (2 Chronicles 7:14).

Religion has taught that the target audience here is pointing to believers belonging to any nation, but look through the entire chapter (and the previous chapter) and begin to see where this was clearly addressing “my people” who were in a covenant with God at that time—referring to the nation of Israel.

We’re told to pray, seek God, and turn from sinning so that we will be forgiven, and our land will be healed.  In other words, according to covenant clashers, forgiveness and blessings for us would be based upon certain conditions.  Some might say, “If it was meant for Israel, it’s good enough for us.”  That would be fine and dandy—if there had only been one covenant.  The passage continues:

“Now my eyes will be open and my ears attentive to the prayer that is made in this place. For now I have chosen and consecrated this house that my name may be there forever. My eyes and my heart will be there for all time” (2 Chronicles 7:15-16).

The context in this chapter centers around prayer being heard from the temple that was just constructed.  God said his ears would hear the prayer being made in that place and he declared it would be a house of sacrifice.  Solomon dedicated the temple with a sacrificial offering of 22,000 oxen and 120,000 sheep (gulp!).  This has nothing to do with those today who are under a New Covenant established upon better promises.  God proceeded to tell Solomon to do according to all that he commanded, including the keeping of his statutes and rules from the law that came through Moses.  Turning aside from any of the commandments would result in the need to be seeking the face of God and His forgiveness all over again.  That’s just how it was in the Old Covenant.

“Religious” repentance is often linked to 2 Chronicles 7:14, and I agree that we should repent. The way to do this is by changing our thinking and seeing the Scriptures through a new set of lenses, because under a better covenant established upon better promises, forgiveness and blessings for us did not arrive by seeking God’s face through prayer or improving our behavior to a higher standard through works of the law; nor did it come by sacrificing animals, but rather through Jesus Christ and his shed blood.  Under the first covenant, the Jews would continuously seek forgiveness that was temporary, but now we no longer need to seek the face of God at the temple in the hopes that He will hear us from heaven.

Today, we do not seek an “elusive” God, nor do we have to petition Him for his love, acceptance and forgiveness.  Why?  With the final sacrifice of Christ, the temple veil was torn in two from top to bottom and he abides in us by the life of his Spirit.  Thanks to the blood of Christ which brought forgiveness once, for all, we’re not under the first covenant as Israel once was.   Therefore, God is no longer repeatedly forgiving the sins of people in a new covenant where He remembers sins no more (see Hebrews 8 & 10).  We simply believe He did enough to deal with it.  He has now located us in a place of permanent refuge—in Him.

For more on avoiding the trap of religious bondage, get the book: Clash of the Covenants: Escaping Religious Bondage Through The Grace Guarantee Purchase Here On Amazon

You Will Know Them By Their Fruits

Jesus made the statement: “You will know them by their fruits.”  It’s often used by people today as being able to recognize Christians who are producing good fruit in their daily lives.  However, in the context from which Jesus was speaking, we’ll see he was referring to false prophets, and warning of their deceptions.  They would appear outwardly as one of us, dressed in the clothing that look like all the other sheep, but they were really identified as wolves at heart.

He said they would be known by their fruits.  This isn’t in reference to being able to spot the good guys, but rather to weed out the bad apples who strive to be justified by their own works.  There is good fruit and bad fruit, depending on which tree it is coming from.  Jesus continues with this:

“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness’ ” (Matthew 7:21-23).

Jesus has been addressing the subject of false prophets, people found guilty of bragging about all of the good things they did in his name, but would refuse to enter through the narrow gate of Christ alone.  Notice they were boasting about some really impressive activities, yet Jesus said that “on that day” he would declare that he never knew them.  The reason he never knew them is because they never stopped trusting in themselves.  You will know them by their fruits; this is in contrast to the fruit of the Spirit which is not triggered by our good works but by God who produces his fruit through us.

This can be connected to the hypocrites Jesus spoke of in the middle of the sermon at the beginning of the sixth chapter of Matthew.  While working to establish their own righteousness, their main focus was on the externals, to be seen by others.  It’s the fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, not the tree of life.  For us who are in Christ, we should recognize we can’t perform in a way that will add one jot or tittle to what Jesus did.  You’ve already been perfected!  Regardless of how hard we strive, you and I are not the producer of good fruit.  We simply rely upon him and his life in us, and by grace we bear the fruit that the Spirit produces through us.  Thank God, we have nothing left to boast.

For more on avoiding the trap of religious bondage, get the book: Clash of the Covenants: Escaping Religious Bondage Through The Grace Guarantee Purchase Here On Amazon

A License to Sin?

Those who are bound with religious bondage can’t get past their concern that “too much grace talk” will give people license to sin.  As often as that phrase is heard in church circles, it may surprise you that there is no reference in Scripture when it comes to such a license.  That’s because it doesn’t exist.  It has been imagined and made-up by those who are living from a mindset of legalism, where they emphasize our works and lifestyle is what maintains right standing with God.

“For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age” (Titus 2:11-12 ).

It’s hard to fathom why people who call themselves Christians would ever get the idea that an excess of grace is a problem.  A license gives you the right or permission to do something.  Grace will never advocate or promote doing what is wrong.  When grace appeared, it was really Christ who was manifested; He is grace!  Grace cannot be defined apart from the person of Jesus Christ.  To suggest you can have too much emphasis on grace is to suggest you can have too much of Jesus.  It’s not the law of works and good morals, but it is grace that leads us to salvation and inspires the desire for godly living.

Grace inspires something more significant than duty or obligation. It inspires love which motivates a sincere desire to contribute for the good, and the giving of ourselves. The fear that grace gives too much freedom to make wrong choices is a false accusation and a myth. We are free to make right and wrong choices, but don’t blame grace (Jesus) just because someone got carried away by their own lust and fleshly thinking.

For more on avoiding the trap of religious bondage, get the book: Clash of the Covenants: Escaping Religious Bondage Through The Grace Guarantee Purchase Here On Amazon