IN Christ

Christians are justified freely by grace or undeserved mercy. That means our right standing with God is made legitimate by God’s gift which is given not by our own merit but by his mercy.

This occurs because of the redemption (being saved from evil due to sin) that is IN Christ Jesus.

Notice that it is by being IN Christ Jesus that we are saved. IN means being enclose by or surrounded by something else.

IN is the key word to focus on to really understand our position as a child of God.

IN Christ we are new creatures. Our redemption comes not outside but IN Christ.

Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. 2 Corinthians 5:17

The Christian identity is IN CHRIST. Positioned in a place of enclosure.

Romans 6:3 says we were baptized into Jesus Christ and were baptized into his death.

In other words, IN CHRIST the Christian is emerged. IN CHRIST, the Christian is emerged into his death.

It is the death of Jesus Christ on the cross that brings our emersion INTO him.

Colossians 3:3 says that Christians are dead IN Christ and as the Chapter continues it tells us that our life is not our own. We are IN CHRIST. Therefore, we belong to him because he has purchased us with his own blood.

Once we are saved then we are risen with Christ.

Christ’s resurrection raises us up with him IN heavenly places. We are seated positionally with him in his victory.

Ephesians 2:4-7

But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.

In putting this all together; Christians are Justified In Christ because of his redemption. Christians are dead In Christ because of his death so we are not our own anymore. Christians are seated with Christ IN heavenly places or from a kingdom of God position.

From this position Christians operate in this world. In Christ as his ambassadors. In Christ as his children.

We are commissioned now to preach reconciliation to those who do not yet know him.

“Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God.”

2 Corinthians 5:20

No Condemnation!

Romans Chapter 8 says that those who are in Jesus Christ, (that is those born again and, in his salvation,) are not condemned by God if they are not walking after the carnal nature but are walking in the Holy Spirit.

What does it mean to be condemned? In English it means to have disproval. To criticize something or someone strongly.

The Greek word is katakrima which means to come under penalty. To pass judgement against.

Romans Chapter 8 goes on to tell us that if we are minding carnal things rather than spiritual things then we are in enmity with God. In other words, if we are living for the flesh (the body, which is living for the passions and sensual appetites) temporal, worldly, or secular things then we are in a hostile opposing position with God. This makes us under condemnation. God disproves of us and our life styles!

Living in the flesh or carnal nature has grave consequences for the Christian. Romans 8 tells us that it produces death in us.

Jesus died to set us free from sin, but we must cooperate with that spiritual position that he has provided. Living by the carnal nature brings only death. What is death? Failure, sickness, poverty, demonic oppression, depression. Any thing contrary to the abundant life which Jesus died to purchase for us.

Romans Chapter 8 tells us that if we live under the law in order to gain God’s approval then we will fail miserably in our lives. Also, we will still be in enmity with God anyway because the law has no power to conquer sin. All the law does is expose our sin. “You lied. Bad you!”

Jesus came to give a better way. He said to his disciples that when he went away, he would send the Holy Spirit to help us in our weakness. The flesh is weak and cannot keep the law. Only God can keep the law.

Did you know that if you are born again that God lives in you? Yes, he does but many Christians who are ignorant of this reality are living still under the law. They don’t understand that the same power that lived in Jesus Christ, that performed miracles and raised Jesus from the dead, actually lives in them!

Romans 8 tells us to walk in the Spirit and we will not fulfill the desires of the sinful body. Which is going to be thrown into the trash heap one day and we will get a new one that is not subject to sin!

What does it mean to walk in the Spirit? Well to walk is to take a journey. Our life in this world is a journey towards eternity! We are called to walk with God! Not walking in our own ways but walking in God’s way.

He hath showed thee, O man, what is good, and what doth Jehovah require of thee, but to do judgment and the love of mercy, and to humble thyself by walking with thy God? (Micah 6:8)

Holy Spirit who lives in us is our helper and teacher. We need to acknowledge Holy Spirit and depend on him for everything. Did you know that the Holy Spirit wants to help you? Yes, he does but you have got to ask him. He won’t impose on you.

And I say unto you, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you. Luke 11:9

Romans Chapter 8 tells us that the Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness. Don’t know how to pray effectively? Ask Holy Spirit. He will show you. Need comfort? Need revelation? Need wisdom? Need strength? Need provision? Just ask Holy Spirit and he will help you!

Jesus Christ provided for us a new covenant with a new and better way of living. The law can never conquer the sinful nature. The way to have victory over sin and the devil is life in the Holy Spirit!

If we walk with God on our journey to eternity we will not be under condemnation because we will not be fulfilling the lusts of the flesh. Rather we will be living our life under the control of the Holy Spirit!

Walking with God by the Holy Spirit is the abundant life promised to us by Jesus Christ.   

Hitherto have ye asked nothing in my name: ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full. John 16:24

The Helmet of Salvation


Most of us know that the helmet of salvation is a covering for the head against onslaughts of the enemy but did you know that the head covering of a person symbolically represents who has athourity over them.

Head coverings while ascribed to women as an outward symbol of submission are also ascribed to men.

In Israel head coverings reveal what a person believes in. What truth they ascribe to.

Skull caps worn by many religious men in Israel are symbolic of certain sects or beliefs.

For instance the large black cloth kippa, are worn by ultra-Orthodox while a crocheted kippa represents basic traditional and small black kippot are worn by moderates.

Head coverings in western nations reveal the same thing. Rappers wear caps, sports people wear sports caps, and fedoras are won by the dapper.

The head covering one wears reveal who we are, what we believe in and whose athourity we are under.

The Roman helmet or galea was worn by soldiers as well as gladiators. It was a protection for the head against enemy attacks.

Often times these helmets had inscriptions on them which revealed what military unit they belonged to.

Paul tells Christians to put on the helmet of salvation. In other words be conscious of who you belong to. Salvation means to be delivered and set free. To be saved and rescued. Ephesians 6:17

The helmet of salvation signifies our submission to Jesus Christ, who is our captain and leader in the good fight of faith.

Jesus covers us in his salvation. His authority is over our mind. We now have the mind of Christ, being in him who is the head of all principality and power. The helmet of salvation is the spiritual covering that keeps the Christian safe from all demonically inspired attacks!

Occupy Till I Come

In Matthew Chapter 25 Jesus is talking to his disciples about the kingdom of God which was to come.

The disciples were so exited that they thought this was going to happen right away. Jesus, however, tells them a parable about a man who sets his servants in charge of his estate while he goes away for a while on a journey.

In the story the Lord gives each of his servants some talents to put to use on his behalf while he goes away. Before he leaves, he gives his servants this one instruction. “Occupy till I come”.

Occupy in the Greek is pragmateuomai which means to keep busy.

During Jesus’ time Roman servants or slaves were the property of their owners. Many slaves were educated, and some were even doctors and others were businessmen.

Roman culture had influence even in Israel and that is why some of Jesus’ parables drew from Roman analogies.

Jesus talked about giving servants talents to use to further the estate of their Lord. This was a common practice of the Romans. A Roman slave could hold property and actually use it as his own. However, the property belonged to the Lord or Roman Citizen. All credit from the business of the estate while run by a slave or servant was credited to the Owner. The servant was responsible to gain interest for his Lord.

 A servant could be trained in various business ventures like real estate, husbandry, or farming.  

The servant was expected to get increase or profit from the business. A servant who failed to do this could be beaten or even killed.

Jesus likened his kingdom in the same way. He gives his servants each a certain amount of talents. A talent can be a natural aptitude or a skill. Not just monetary. In fact, the word talent is from the Latin. Jesus used a Latin term to explain a spiritual principal. A talent was a unit of weight. Today we use the word to convey a natural skill or gifting but in effect it is the same thing. With out a skill you will not be able to get monetary increase.

Notice how Jesus gives each person a different amount of talents. In other words, one is responsible for what they have and not for what they do not have.

 What Jesus said in Matthew 25, is this. (my paraphrase) “I have given you a gift or gifts as my servant. Keep busy while I am away. Give to me when I return increase on the talent (s), I have given you.”

Are you being faithful with your gifts? Remember that the Lord rewards those who gain or add to those gifts that he has given. To the one who fails to use their gift(s) they are not rewarded when Jesus returns according to this parable.

For unto everyone that hath shall be given, and he shall have abundance: but from him that hath not shall be taken away even that which he hath. Matthew 25:29

Let us use all that the Lord had given us for his glory! Occupy or keep busy till he comes back!

The Sword of The Spirit

Roman soldier legionary with sword

THE Latin word for sword is Gladius. This sword was used by Roman foot soldiers when in close proximity to the enemy. It was used to thrust at unprotected parts of the body while the shield was held up moving forward in battle.

Enemy exposed areas such as the throat, armpit, groin and main arteries were able to be thrust at with short stabs.

The Gladius was also used for blocking an opponent. A Roman soldier could block the enemy’s sword thereby leaving another Roman soldier adjacent to him to thrust the final blow.

The Gladius was also two edged. This gave it multi purpose. Not only could the Gladius be used for thrusting and blocking but the Gladius could also be used for slashing, or cutting. A Roman soldier was able to take opportune moments to slash at an exposed knee below the opponent’s shield or slash at an arm or neck which could end the fight in a moment’s time.

The Bible likens God’s word to a Gladius. This is because in the same way that the Gladius was used in direct confrontation with the enemy so is God’s word a weapon to be used against the onslaughts of the devil.

In battle the Christian moves forward by faith to engage in spiritual warfare. The shield is held in place. Not only to protect the soldier but to thwart off any opposition attacks. Then the Gladius or sword of the Spirit is to be thrust at the enemy.

With a trained Roman soldier the sword could enter the abdomen and kill the opposition. The abdomen was a prime area to attack. The Bible relays many incidents where a sword was used through the belly in war. The belly symbolizes life flow. Jesus said out of your belly or spirit will flow rivers of living water.

The sword thrust through the stomach could cause death within minutes or cause a prolonged death. Depending on the precise area of the wound. This is the same in spiritual warfare. Death to the enemy plan may take a short time or a prolonged time. This is why continued prayer and ministry of the word of God is important until the victory is won.

GOD’S word is two edged like the Gladius because it not only thrusts to kill but it divides. In other words it can rightly divide truth from error. When used by a trained soldier in Jesus Christ the sword of the Spirit is a powerful weapon. It destroys strongholds, casts down high things exalting themselves against God’s truth, rightly divides the word of God, cuts up deception, chops corruption into spam and is able to be thrust right into the flow of the enemy. Death will most certainly occur. The enemy will be defeated! It’s just a matter of time.

Hebrews 4:12 , For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.

Take up your Gladius today and go forth into battle in the power of our Lord’s might and strength! Wage war against the powers of darkness and fight the good fight of faith in Jesus name!

2 Timothy 3:16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.

THE GOSPEL BOOTS

Part of our spiritual warfare armor is the gospel boots. Let’s take a look at what the Bible has to say concerning this part of our armor.

Ephesians Chapter 6 vs 15

And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;

The KJV uses the Greek word hetoimasia which means preparation.

To be in a constant state of readiness or make ready for use.

In other words we must always be prepared to minister the gospel at all times.

How do we prepare? Scriptures tell us it is by studying the Bible.

2 Timothy 2 : 15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

We need to know the Bible in order to answer people who ask us questions about our faith. Now we don’t have to go to theological school in order to do this. In fact, many times people just end up being indoctrinated with denominational interpretations that omit or add their own take or lean on scriptures anyway.

It is best according to any lawyer, good journalist, writer or historian to research all angles of interpretation in order to get a balanced view. Bias always resides in the mindsets of men.

Even God says that out of two or three witnesses is truth established. (1 Corinthians 13:1)

Our doctrinal lean should always line up with the Bible and not any man made versions of a scriptural doctrine.

We must know the truth in order to share the truth. How can we minister to an unsaved person Bible truth if we don’t know Bible truth?

The Bible tells us to be prepared at all times in order to present the gospel of peace to others. What is this peace? Peace with God through Jesus Christ the Savior.

The Gospel boots not only prepare us to present the gospel message but they are also used to wage war against the devil.

During Roman times the soldier wore a sandal called a Caligae. This sandal actually had nail like studs embedded in the sole. These boots or sandals were deigned to march for long periods of time but they were also used as deadly weapons. A solder could take off his shoe and club the enemy to death with it.

That is what the gospel boots do too. They take us into all the world to preach the gospel of peace and they are also used to clobber the devil with. Every time we minister the word of God to someone we are beating the day lights out of that old devil.

Put on those gospel boots today! Be prepared and ready to preach the good news! At all times, in all places and every where you go!

ROMANS 15: 29

And I am sure that, when I come unto you, I shall come in the fullness of the blessing of the gospel of Christ.


Fight The Good Fight!

The Bible tells us to “fight the good fight of faith.” (1 Timothy 6:12)

According to the Greek translation this scripture actually means ; to contend for with your adversary and labor fervently in your battle for good, virtuous, honest and moral convictions of the truth concerning Jesus Christ for salvation.

The Lord is telling us to lay hold of or seize eternal values. To strive to attain God’s abundant life.

In another scripture we are told that we wrestle with the evil darkness of this world who we are called to resist steadfast in the faith. (Ephesians 6:12, 1 Peter 5:9)

In other words the Lord wants his people to oppose the darkness and wage war against the gates of hell. We have been given according to scriptures everything that pertains to life and godliness. All we need to accomplish this command is laid out for us in the word of God. (2 Peter 1:3)

The weapons of our warfare according to scriptures are not natural human weapons. They are mighty powerful Holy Spirit empowered weapons! These weapons are used to pull down demonic strongholds which Satan tries to build up in the mind.

For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ. (2 Corinthians 10:3-5)

The mind is where the real battle is. When Satan can create a false narrative by using circumstance then he is able to bring disillusionment, fear and unbelief.

In order to counter act Satan’s deception we are told in the scriptures to take up our mighty Holy Spirit empowered weapons and fight.

What are these weapons? In Ephesians Chapter 6 the Lord tells us to gird ourselves with truth. God’s word, the Bible is the truth. All his promises are yes and amen! (2 Corinthians 1:20)

We are told to put on righteousness like a breast plate. We are made right or justified by the blood of Jesus if we have been born of God. We are called to wear that victory acquired for us as a sign of godly status! Let the devil know who we are in Jesus Christ! Redeemed! Bought and paid for by the blood of the lamb!

When we do fail we can ask God to forgive us. The blood of Jesus will continually forgive us as long as we acknowledge our sin and turn from it. (1 John 1:9)

When our feet are shod with the preparation of the Gospel of peace what that means is that we are always prepared, always ready to give an answer for our faith in Jesus Christ. Always ready to bring the good news of reconciliation between God and man where ever we go. (1 Peter 3:15)

Preaching the gospel is a powerful weapon against the evil one. Declaring the word of God into the darkness of this world brings God’s light and faith to all who have been given ears to hear.

The shield of faith is important to withstand Satan’s attacks. When those fiery arrows are sent to try to destroy us we can stand on God’s word. What the Lord has promised he is able also to perform. (Romans 4:21)

Then with the sword of the Spirit we can make an offensive attack against the evil one.

Has God really said? IT IS WRITTEN !

The sum of Your word is truth,And every one of Your righteous ordinances is everlasting. (Psalm 119:160)

You can’t do that! IT IS WRITTEN !

I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me. (Philippians 4:13.)

You are not important! IT IS WRITTEN !

To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved. (Ephesians 1:6)

Then finally we turn always to prayer. Presenting our needs to the Father in the name of Jesus Christ the Son.

Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need. (Hebrews 4:16)

Fight the good fight of faith! Lay hold and seize on to eternal life, for in Jesus the Savoir abundant life is manifest to all who believe and to all who receive.

But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. (John 1:12-17)

The Acceptable Offering

In Genesis Chapter 4 we read that Cain brought his offering to the Lord. He brought the work of his hands, the toil of his labor.

God was not impressed with Cain’s offering. The Lord did not consider Cain’s offering to be acceptable.

Able was a tender of sheep. He also gave an offering to God. He took the first born of his sheep and gave that offering to God.

God accepted Abel’s offering but not his brother Cain’s offering.

It is interesting to note that both brothers gave an offering to the Lord. That is they felt the need to have God’s approval in their lives.

They also gave an offering in accordance to their respective vocations.

Cain who labored as a husbandman or a worker of soil produced the fruit of his labor. He was blessed in his vocation or ministry but when Cain tried to earn the Lord’s favor based on that vocation he was rejected.

Cain’s problem was that he thought his fruit came from his own effort. All that hard work he put in. All those hours of toil.

Cain was totally insulted because the Lord rejected his offering.

Cain obviously had good intentions. He wanted to please the Lord but according to the Lord, Cain’s offering was not acceptable. That is it was not considered to be valid, it was unsuitable.

This rejection of his offering caused Cain to go into a depression. That’s what it means to be downcast of soul. Really depressed. That depression ended up turning into jealousy towards his brother.

Why would Cain turn on his brother? Simply because he did not heed the advice God gave him when his offering was rejected.

God told Cain, that if he wanted to do well or what is right and acceptable, then he would be accepted. In other words Cain needed to do things God’s way not his way.

Cain ignored God’s advise we know because he saw that Abel was accepted by the Lord and he was jealous. What happens when a person is accepted by God? They are blessed.

To be accepted is to have favor. Be lifted up in a position of opportunity. To have a good reputation among others. Having worth or value.

Cain refused to do what was right. He refused to humble himself and get a sheep from his brother to present as an offering to the Lord.

That would require admitting failure. Admitting that he wasn’t such a hot shot. It would be like coming to terms with the fact that maybe his younger brother had more revelation in spiritual matters than he did.

God warned Cain. He said that “if you refuse to do well (yâţab) or what is right, what is acceptable then sin or offense lies or crouches like an animal
at your door.

Sin is looking to gain entrance, or place in your life.

If you don’t make it right Cain and do what is acceptable then the devil is going to come a knocking!

Many times we think that God is going to respect us because we are hard workers in his vineyard. So we offer up all our labor hoping for his approval. Just like Cain did.

Then the brother who is a wet behind the ears Christian comes along and lays down his love offering. He just simply relies on grace. Doesn’t do a thing but sit at the cross! Blessings coming out of his ears!

If we try to gain favour with God by our works then sin is crouching at our door! Waiting to spring on us at a weak moment.

We need to do what is right. That is go to the cross and rely on the lamb of God whose offering makes us acceptable. The Lord’s favor is bestowed on those who trust in his way of doing things not our own way.

God tells us to rule over the sin that is crouching at our door.
Don’t let it have any place!

Stick the pride back in our pocket where it belongs and count it all loss for Christ!

Who cares how many hours we have labored in the vineyard. The guy who just gets saved and works for one hour in the vineyard is going to get the same reward anyway! (Matthew 20)

Might as well just join him and sit at the cross because that is what makes us perfectly acceptable in the beloved anyway!

Our labor in the Lord is not in vain. It always produces fruit if we belong to God but our works should never supersede the sacrifice of God’s Son Jesus Christ.

That was the problem with Cain’s offering. Works in the vineyard no matter how noble will not make us acceptable to God.

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God, not by works, so that no one can boast. Ephesians 2:8,9