Tag Archives: sin

Of What Spirit Are We?

LeeAnnRubsam.com

…When the time was come that [Jesus] should be received up, he steadfastly set his face to go to Jerusalem, and sent messengers before him. The messengers went, and entered a village of the Samaritans, to make ready for him.  But the Samaritans did not receive him, because his face was as though he would go to Jerusalem. And when his disciples James and John saw this, they said, “Lord, do you want us to command fire to come down from heaven, and consume them, even as Elijah did?”  But Jesus turned, and rebuked them, and said, “You do not know what manner of spirit you are of.  For the Son of man has not come to destroy men’s lives, but to save them.”   — Luke 9:51-56

For some time, I’ve been troubled at the number of websites and blogs devoted solely to criticizing various brothers and sisters in the Christian apostolic/prophetic community.  Google the name of any well-known prophet, apostle, or revivalist, and you’ll find that the top ten sites are primarily run by people who feel their God-given mission in life is to expose the “heresy” of others.  Some are so obsessed with harassing and discrediting a particular person that it almost smacks of stalking.  Talk about having a “ministry” specialty! 

As I’ve said before, apostolic/prophetic Christianity is my particular circle.  I see the problems too, and there are times I get pretty perturbed.  Yes, some are teaching things that are not biblically supportable.  Yes, some are hiding sin.  A lot of housecleaning is needed, and I believe God is in the process of doing that.  He wants a pure and spotless Bride. 

But there is something more disturbing to me than doctrinal aberrations and high-profile sin.  It is the hardness of heart that causes Christians to think they can mock and curse other believers and not have a twinge of conscience in doing so.  It doesn’t matter if we agree with someone’s doctrine and mode of ministry or not.  The Lord Jesus has not given us permission to tear members of the Body of Christ apart.  Pointing the finger and screaming, “Heretic!” or licking our chops over the latest one to fall aligns us with an entirely different spirit than the Holy Spirit.  Revelation 12:10 describes Satan as “the accuser of our brethren … which accused them before our God day and night.” 

I’m not saying we should whitewash sin and doctrinal error.  They are a shame and a blot on the Body of Christ.  I am asking what spirit we are of — the spirit of hatred, anger, and criticalness? Or the spirit of mercy, humility, and godly sorrow when a brother sins?  Jesus was grieved with the Pharisees of His day for their lack of mercy and their prideful delusion that they were several notches above other people.  The Pharisaical spirit is alive and well in the Church today.  It is a spirit totally aligned with hell, not the righteous purity of the Holy Spirit. 

There is a better way to address the problems in Christianity today.  For those of us who teach, we can continue to patiently lay down biblical foundations and warn against pitfalls, so that those who truly want to do right can learn to move in life-giving, Spirit-filled patterns.  We don’t need to point fingers and name names in the process of bringing God’s people into maturity.  Let’s teach the principles, so that people can learn to discern between the good and the bad, while keeping our fingers to ourselves. 

And all of us can learn to mind our own business — spending our time in sober prayer and fasting, rather than wasting precious hours at Internet forums, blogs, and chat rooms, talking, talking, always talking, about the latest ministry flap or failure. 

Let’s encourage and build up one another, lifting each other out of the muck if any of us should fall.  The devil doesn’t need our help in beating up on the Body– but he’s more than happy to let us join hands with him if we want to.

LeeAnnRubsam.com

 

All-Surpassing Peace in a Shaking World, by Lee Ann Rubsam

Forever Forgiven (Part 1): Covered or Washed?

leeannrubsam.com

Forgiveness.  It is a powerful word, whether we are on the giving or receiving end of it.  We Christians have been taught all our lives that Jesus forgives every sin, and that we must forgive our fellow man as well.  Still, there seems to be a lot of confusion in many minds about how it all works.  In this post, I would like to address Father’s forgiveness for us, and in coming posts, our forgiveness for others.

When Jesus cried his last words from the cross, “It is finished!” sin and its curse were from that moment forever cancelled.  The problem for some of us, however, is that in our minds we do not yet understand that our forgiven sin truly is finished.  Perhaps it is because we have not been successful in forgiving ourselves.  Or, it could be that we have not received right teaching about how forgiveness really works.

Under the Covenant of the Law, sin was kept covered, or hidden, by the continual offering of animal sacrifices.

You have forgiven the iniquity of your people; you have covered all their sin. — Psalm 85:2

Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. Psalm 32:1

But merely covering sin was never God’s true plan for dealing with it.  It was only a shadow-symbol of better things to come (Hebrews 10:1).  Hebrews 10:11 tells us, “And every priest stands daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can never take away sin.”

When Jesus died for us, a new remedy for guilt took place.  Sin was no longer covered, but was once and for all washed away.

But this man [Jesus], after he had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down on the right hand of God ….  For by one offering he has perfected forever those who are sanctified.Hebrews 10:12, 14

And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood.  Revelation 1:5

How does the distinction between covered sin and washed sin make any difference to Christians today?  There is a vast difference, and whether we latch onto this truth or not will affect how we view ourselves and others.

If we have the mentality of our sins being merely covered, we may still feel condemned over what we have done, even though we have sincerely asked God to forgive us.  We think of our sins as still being there, but just hidden.  And we like to keep taking a peek under the covering.

If, however, we get hold of the “washed” mentality, we realize our sin is erased, gone, nonexistent.  There is no covering to peek under, and there is nothing to look at anymore.  What a freedom this brings to how we view ourselves and our relationship with God!

God had the “washed plan” in mind for us all along, and He even talked about it in the Old Testament:

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

None of their past sins will be brought up again ….  Ezekiel 33:16

For I will forgive their wickedness, and I will remember their sin no more. Jeremiah 31:34

God wants His children to know in the deepest places of our hearts that once we repent of sin it is completely washed away by Jesus’ blood. It isn’t hiding under a cover anymore, waiting to be dredged up and used as a hammer over our heads.  From the point of repentance onward, we can rest assured that it is finished as far as He is concerned.  Any guilt we feel from that point on is not coming from Him and need not be entertained.

To better understand the difference between Old Covenant covered sin and New Covenant washing away of sin, study Hebrews 9:11 – 10:18.

Next — Forever Forgiven (Part 2): Holding Offense

 

All-Surpassing Peace in a Shaking World, by Lee Ann Rubsam

 

 

 

Before Whom We Stand, by Lee Ann Rubsam