Really, Repetition or Repentance?

Repentance has always been a cornerstone of Christianity.  Anymore, Repentance is far and few a part of Christian-life.  It is rarely practiced or preached.  Nevertheless, Repentance is still required.

Three major misnomers across Christendom:

Really?: Repentance was only required at Salvation.

In order to understand just how wrong this is, one must first understand the legal predicament man is in as a result of the fall.

Point blank: Sin is and always has been what gives Satan legal right to hold man in bondage.  For the unsaved soul—this amounts to an entire dominion over his life.  For the Saved man—this amounts to particular areas of his life wherein he is still gives place to the Devil (Eph. 4:27)—known as strongholds (II Cor. 10:4).  Just as we got Saved repenting for an entire life of sin (Acts 19:4), so to are we called to examine our heart regularly and agonize over our remaining sinful inclinations before the Lord (I Jn 1:8).

Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over him.

– Romans 6:9

 Neither give place to the devil.

– Ephesians 4:27

(For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;)

– II Cor. 10:4

 Then said Paul, John verily baptized with the baptism of repentance, saying unto the people, that they should believe on him which should come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus.

– Acts 19:4

 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.

– I John 1:8

Repetition? Routinely asking God for blanket forgiveness of sins is enough.

For those who think this amounts to Repentance, know that this leaves us in no better condition than the one who doesn’t even think twice about Repentance.  Only true Repentance breaks the legal rights of the Devil.  Repetitious recitals only serve to reaffirm his standing to hold the sinner in bondage. The Greek word for Repentance is “Metanoia,” which means to “change one’s mind.” Three things:

  1. God is allowing the tribulation to continue—hoping the sinner will ultimately come back to Him. (II Peter 3:9)

The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.

– II Peter 3:9

  1. God only recognizes true heartfelt Repentance.

Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord.

– Acts 3:19

  1. Real fruit always comes from true Repentance.

But shewed first unto them of Damascus, and at Jerusalem, and throughout all the coasts of Judaea, and then to the Gentiles, that they should repent and turn to God, and do works meet for repentance.

– Acts 26:20

Repentance? Real Repentance.

So, we know Repentance isn’t a one-time deal, we know reciting the forgiveness prayer on our bathroom mirror is not enough, now, let’s get really get real…

We also must understand that even Repentance itself is a Gift from God.  Man does not come to a Repentant heart lightly, and doing so is and always will be a Work of the Lord.

Him hath God exalted with his right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour, for to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins.

– Acts 5:31

Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance?

– Romans 2:4

Always remember, if it is not by him, it is not for Him.

Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.

– John 1:3

Functionality of the Holy Spirit: Chronological and Definitive

Author of Scripture, Comforter, Counselor, Advocate, Convicter of Sin, Deposit, Seal, Earnest, Guide, Indweller of Believer, Intercessor, Revealer, Spirit of Truth, Spirit of God, the Lord, Christ, Spirit of Life, Teacher, Witness and many others is the Holy Spirit called—largely due to the many things He can do.  All things, really.

How and when does He operate? This is an area of much controversy across denominations.  A stroll across the Holy Spirit’s timeline—showing if, when and how He interacts with man can easily resolve all our questions:

THE HOLY SPIRIT LIVES ON EARTH ASIDE AND BESIDE MAN:

  • Satan and his subordinates revolt against God and are cast out of Heaven down to Earth (Rev. 12-1-4). They brought with them a great deal of decay to this planet (Gen. 1:2).
  • The Holy Spirit was sent down to Earth to begin the process of “Recreation”—of, both, the planet and, ultimately, sinful man. (Gen. 1:2).
  • The Holy Spirit cannot live inside sinful man until He accepts Jesus Christ as His Lord and Saviour. When a man becomes genuinely curious about God for the first time, the Holy Spirit perceives this and responds to that.  The Holy Spirit does abide with such an individual, starting the process of ‘draw[ing]’ that man to a place where he can hear the Gospel with the hope that he will accept it (II Pet. 3:9).

BAPTISM INTO JESUS CHRIST BY THE HOLY SPIRIT AND THE HOLY SPIRIT, THEN, COMING TO LIVE IN THE HEART AND LIFE OF THE BELIEVER.

  • Upon the acceptance of the Gospel, the Believer is immediately Baptized into Jesus Christ by the Holy Spirit. (Rom. 6:3-5)
  • As a result of the acceptance of Christ, the Holy Spirit is now legally able to come indwell inside the heart and life of the Believer. (Rom. 6:5) At this point, such a person would have the Divine Nature for the first time—giving him the capacity to:
    • Desire to live for God.
    • Desire for the things of God.
    • Desire to learn about God.
    • Dispensation of the Grace of God (kicks off).
    • Sanctification begins (kicks off).
  • One important thing to note is that Water Baptism symbolizes this process that has already taken place in the heart and life of the Believer. Water Baptism does not facilitate

BAPTISM IN THE HOLY SPIRIT WITH THE EVIDENCE OF SPEAKING WITH OTHER TONGUES.

  •  Perhaps the most important thing to clarify about the Baptism of the Holy Spirit is that this Baptism is exclusively for service. (Acts 1:5, Acts 2:1-5, Acts 2:4)
  • To do the works for the Lord.
    • Witness and preach the Gospel.
    • To give to God.
    • To do His will.
    • To give to the works of the Lord.
    • Have this help in service.
    • Do His Work.
  • When one is Baptized in the Holy Spirit, always and without exception, they will speak with other tongues as the Spirit of God gives the utterance. There are no exceptions to this. In fact, speaking with other tongues is initial, physical evidence, that one has been Baptized with the Holy Spirit (Acts 10:44-6, 11:15-17, 19:2, Chapter 6, I Cor. 14:39) (Swaggart, Jimmy, Expositor’s Study Bible)
    • Tongues is the Holy Spirit praying on your behalf for the things that you need according to the Will of God and directly to God. 

LEGAL MEANS BY WHICH THE HOLY SPIRIT MAY OPERATE IN THE HEART AND LIFE OF THE BELIEVER ON AN ONGOING BASIS.

  •  The Cross of Christ was and still is the legal means by which the Holy    Spirit:
    • Could come to indwell in the heart of man to begin with.
    • May continue to operate in his heart and life on an ongoing basis when we understand the Finished Work of Jesus Christ and maintain our Faith exclusively therein (I Corinthians 1:17, 1:18, 1:23 and 2:2). This is where:
      • The Sin Nature will remain silenced. (Rom. 6:6)
      • Sanctification will go on continually.
      • The dispensation of the Grace of God is an ongoing experience. (Rom. 8:2)

 

 

 

Message of the Cross: Terminology

The Message of the Cross is the meaning of the New Covenant.

As we go through our study of this great Message, certain terms become household names.  To ensure a comfortable understanding when we hear them, here they are and the definitions for each 😊.

Sin Nature – Man’s default inclination toward sin—as a result of the fall.  This is the part of man that corrupts the heart. This corrupting force is active while man remains in the unsaved state.  It is silenced at Salvation and is only kept that way when our Faith is properly placed in the “Cross” (Below) of Christ.

 Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience:

Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.

– Ephesians 2:2-3

The Source – This refers to knowing and understanding our Lord Jesus Christ beyond His miraculous life, and much broader as one and the same as the Father (Gen 1:1, John 1:1) and our sole provider of all things—baring in mind that He only set aside the expression of His Deity during his earth life, never losing possession of His Absolute Deity.

The Cross – Certainly not the wooden beam on which He died or any representative figurine made since then.  Rather, what exactly He accomplished at the Cross. (ie., His “Finished Work”)

Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross;

And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it.

– Colossians 2:14-15

The Means – Referring to “The Cross” (Above).

Object of Faith – This is the central focus of The Book of I Corinthians—as Paul continually directs our attention toward, both, Jesus Christ and Him Crucified.  Calling on us to be mindful that the True Gospel will emphasize on the Atoning Work of Jesus Christ—the Cross.

For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel: not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect.

– I Corinthians 1:17

For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.

– I Corinthians 1:18

 But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness;

– I Corinthians 1:23

For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.

– I Corinthians 2:2

Operation of the Holy Spirit – It is important to understand that this is not referring to the Baptism in the Holy Spirit—which is for service.  The Operation of the Holy Spirit, as it pertains to Sanctification and ongoing dispensation of the Grace of God, is able to take place as a result of the Believer placing their Faith in the correct “Object of Faith” (Above) which Paul wrote about in I Corinthians.

            For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.

– Romans 8:2

Prescribed Order of Victory – According to the Word of God, there is only one way that man may approach the Father or properly live for and unto Him.  Through properly placed Faith in, both, Jesus Christ and His Finished Work.  He and His Finished Work are to never be separated as they are one and the same.

Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

– John 14:6

The World, The Flesh and The Devil – These are considered active enemies against man, both, during the unsaved state and beyond Salvation. The World is more or less the surrounding physical environment and the persons within it.  The Flesh is referring to our flesh body, mind and any and all tendencies typical to the same.  The Devil is referring to Lucifer and all of subordinate fallen angels, principalities and powers.

The Law of Sin and Death – The Law of Sin and Death is the collective force that revolves around man’s Sin Nature, the World, the Flesh and the Devil who act on it and the perishable impact left between one and the other.

The Law of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus – It would be fair to say the sum of the definitions of the “Operation of the Holy Spirit” and the “Prescribed Order of Victory” (above) make well of this term.

Legal –  Referring to condition(s), according to God’s Word, that govern what side of the Spiritual fault-line between the Law of Sin and Death and the Law of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus that a given individual may be under the influence or be most affected by at a given point in time—according to their Faith.

Finished WorkAll the benefits for which Christ’s Atoning Work was sufficient to provide the Believer. (See related “The Cross” Above)

True Gospel – See “Object of Faith”, “Prescribed Order of Victory,” “Finished Work” and “The Cross” above.  Collectively, these terns represent the core-focus the True Gospel of Jesus Christ should be emphasizing on…

…”lest the Cross of Christ should be made of none effect.”

The Message of the Cross: The True Gospel of Jesus Christ

“The mystery of Christ” as the Apostle Paul called it.

 For this cause I Paul, the prisoner of Jesus Christ for you Gentiles,

If ye have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which is given me to you-ward:

How that by revelation he made known unto me the mystery; (as I wrote afore in few words,

Whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ)

– Ephesians 3:1-4

The very mystery that Paul is referring to happens be what Jesus Christ was referring in his God-mind when He said, “It is finished”—the totality, the scope, the meaning of the New Covenant.

When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost.

– John 19:30

“Jesus Christ is the New Covenant. The meaning of this New Covenant was given to the Apostle Paul, the meaning of which is the Cross of Christ, which Paul gave to us in his 14 Epistles.” (Swaggart, Jimmy, “The Message of the Cross”)

This Message has long since lost its appeal to the Church. In fact, the Cross is little mentioned anymore as the Church has gone on to place their Faith in other things to attempt to Sanctify the Believer.  Fad by fad, failure after failure.

Fortunately, in 1997, the Lord saw fit to reveal to long-time Evangelist Jimmy Swaggart—making it clear to him that the only solution for man’s sin problem is the Cross of Christ.  This is where the Sin Nature is silenced, breaking Satan’s legal right to harass sinful man and the Holy Spirit assumes legal right to dispense the Grace of God freely to undeserving Saints

There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.

For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.

– Romans 8:1-2

MESSAGE OF THE CROSS

  1. Jesus Christ is the Source of all things that we receive from God. (John 1:1, John 1:14, John 1:29, John 14:6, John 14:20, Colossians 2:10-15)
  2. The Cross of Christ is the means and the only means by which all of these wonderful things are given to us. (Romans 6:1-14, Galatians 6:14, Colossians 2:14-15)
  3. Without the Lord as the Source and the Cross as the means, the Cross of Christ, without fail, must be the Object of Our Faith. (I Corinthians 1:17, 18, 23, 2:2)
  4. Without our Lord as the Source, the Cross as the Means, and the Cross the Object of Our Faith, then the Holy Spirit, Who works exclusively within the parameters, so to speak, of the Finished Work of Christ, will grandly work on our behalf. If our Faith is placed anywhere other than the Cross of Christ, the Holy Spirit will not and, in fact, cannot function and work on our behalf.  He is the one who works on our behalf, who alone can make us what we ought to be, and who works exclusively within the boundaries of the Cross of Christ. (Romans 8:1-14, Ephesians 2:13-18)

(Swaggart, Jimmy, “The Message of the Cross”)

The Problem is Sin. The Solution is the Cross of Christ.

Man’s core dilemma is and always has been sin.

Often times when we hear the word sin, we immediately think of ‘vice’–which can result in one being taken back by this notion.

Sin is a very broad state of affairs within the Human Race. ‘Vice’ is absolutely a bold part of that. So too are other observable actions (which, again, is what tends to come to mind with the term).

But sin, as it is addressed throughout Romans, Chapter 6 is less about man’s actions and more about man’s heart which is bent toward sin.

 Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience:

Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.

– Ephesians 2:2-3

In this Chapter, the word sin is used approximately 17 times. 2 of which the Apostle Paul is, indeed, referring to acts of sin. 15 of which, when you consult with the Greek Text, has the definite article “the” attached to the word sin–referring to ‘The Sin Nature‘.

Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.

– Romans 6:6

This is a very important distinction to make when we are trying to get our arms around what exactly the Finished Work of Jesus Christ provides the Believer whom adequately places their Faith in both:

Jesus Christ and Him Crucified

For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel: not with wisdom of words, let the cross of Christ should be made of none effect.

– I Corinthians 1:17

 For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.

– I Corinthians 1:18

But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness;

– I Corinthians 1:23

For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.

– I Corinthians 2:2

Before, when we were taught at Salvation that “Jesus died for our sins (actions),” we took lightly the forgiveness of sins that was no doubt afforded to us. Now knowing that Jesus Christ’s Atoning work sufficiently dealt with not only actions, but so too man’s Sin Nature which is not to have dominion over Him when one adequately understands the Cross of Christ.

 For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace

– Romans 6:14

Sinless perfection? Of course not. We still have the World, the Flesh and the Devil acting on us. Some measure of sin is in-avoidable (not excusable).

Sin not to have dominion over us? Precisely. While the World, the Flesh and the Devil will continue acting on us so long as we breathe air, the Finished Work of Christ was and is sufficient to silence the Sin Nature within man only as long as He understands and maintains His Faith exclusively in the Cross of Christ.

Hence, that unforgettable bliss at Salvation–that goes up and down or wanes all together. Hence, why placing your Faith in the Finished Work of Christ is what affords the Holy Spirit the latitude to continually dispense the Grace of God on an ongoing basis.

Remember:  Sin was Satan’s legal right to have dominion over mankind in the first place.  The Cross of Christ broke those legal rights, giving the Holy Spirit legal right to Operate in the heart and life of the Believer.

 

 

The Same Cross that Saved you is the Same Cross that Sanctifies You

The same Cross that saved you is the same Cross that Sanctifies you.

At Salvation, we were called to Believe three things:

  1. That Adam’s sin in the Garden brought man to a totally depraved state, separated from God, unable to save himself. (Genesis 3:6)
  2. That God so loved the World that He sent His Only Begotten Son to die for our sins. (John 19:28-30)
  3. That Jesus Christ rose from the dead three days later, now seated at the Right Hand of the Father. (John 20:7-18)

After a round of Romans 10:9—we were Saved!

That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.

– Romans 10:9

Since then, the Church has been teaching everything but the Cross of Christ.  With exception to that initial zeal for God at Salvation, life more or less now resembles life prior to Salvation.

‘How does that work?’

‘Is this the Grace of God of Scripture?’

‘Am I even receiving the True Gospel?’

If you’re asking yourselves any one of these intimately related questions—here’s the answer:

Scripture tells us point blank what the characteristics of the True Gospel are. No more relying on charisma, sights and sounds, church activities, etc.  As it turns out, the Lord resolved this with one Scripture.

For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel: not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect.

– I Corinthians 1:17

Meaning:

“For Christ sent me not to baptize” – The focus should never be how many water baptisms we can squeeze into a Sunday—nor any ceremony or distraction that has become the hocus pocus of congregations today.

“but to preach the Gospel” – The Great Commission is still in effect.  That means we’re still called to preach the True Gospel

“not with wisdom of words” – Charisma, encouragement, motivational oratory minus Scripture does not add up to the Gospel—much less the True Gospel.

“lest the cross of Christ be made of none effect” – The Cross of Christ still belongs to the Gospel. Without it…this is called False Doctrine.  With it, we have the True Gospel—for Salvation and Sanctification.

Let’s talk about Sanctification.

After we got Saved, the Apostle Paul had 14 Epistles ready for Believers to study the Finished Work of Jesus Christ.  It is here that Christians are called to broaden their understanding of what Jesus Christ meant when He said “It is Finished”.

When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up his spirit.

– John 19:30

He Meant that:

  • He atoned for all sin—past, present and future.
  • Took the sin penalty on our behalf.
  • Overcame the impact of all sin.
  • Fulfilled the Mosaic Law.
  • Silenced the Sin Nature of man.
  • Defeated Satan.
  • Overcame the Flesh.
  • Overcame the World.
  • Triumphed over the Law of Sin and Death.
  • Conquered death.
  • Delivered us from condemnation and guilt.

This is known as The Finished Work of Jesus Christ.  It is the meaning of the Cross and, thus, the meaning of the New Covenant.

To be Saved, we needed only Believe that He “died for our sins”. Praise God for that, for Salvation is the greatest Gift of them all!

To go on with the process of Sanctification, the Believer must understand the Cross of Christ to be better able to place their Faith in, both, Jesus Christ and His Atoning Work.  This is where the Holy Spirit may then truly operate in their heart and life, both, to conform the Believer to the image of Christ and continually dispense the Grace of God on an ongoing basis.

For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.

– Romans 8:29

There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.

For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.

For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh:

That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.

For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit.

– Romans 8:1-5

In the beginning: An Introduction

This site is committed to the expression of the True Gospel of Jesus Christ.

For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel: not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect.

– I Corinthians 1:17

In short, the Cross of Christ is the New Covenant.  The meaning of the New Covenant is the Cross of Christ.  A Gospel that does not emphasize on the Cross of Christ is a False Doctorine. The Gospel that does emphasize on the Cross of Christ is the True Gospel of Jesus Christ.

For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.

– 1 Corinthians 1:18

But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness;

– 1 Corinthians 1:23

The meaning of the New Covenant–the Cross of Christ–was given to the Apostle Paul. Paul provided this to us throughout his 14 Epistles.

But I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man.

For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ.

– Galatians 1:11-12

What Paul called a “mystery” then is still very much a mystery now throughout the modern church as the cross is paid little if any mind.

For this reason I, Paul, a prisoner of Christ Jesus on behalf of you Gentiles—

assuming that you have heard of the stewardship of God’s grace that was given to me for you,

how the mystery was made known to me by revelation, as I have written briefly.

When you read this, you can perceive my insight into the mystery of Christ,

which was not made known to the sons of men in other generations as it has now been revealed to his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit.

This mystery is that the Gentiles are fellow heirs, members of the same body, and partakers of the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel.

– Ephesians 3:1-6

From the Lord to Paul; From the Paul to us; From the Lord to Jimmy Swaggart of Jimmy Swaggart Ministries; From Jimmy Swaggart to my teachers Richard Perez and Ruby Colbos to myself; it is my hope that this site will do its part in continuing to make meaning of the mystery to “whosoever will” (Rev. 22:17).

For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.

– I Corinthians 2:2

– Aaron