Wednesday, June 8, 2016

How does the gospel operate? Misunderstanding the operation of the gospel; why so many evangelicals are in bondage: Part II

This is a second article in a series about the operation of the gospel vs. the operation of religion. The first of the series can be read at this location. I really recommend that you read the first one found at the link above if you have not already done so, as this article builds on the foundation that the first one laid. It examines the operating force in the gospel as compared and contrasted with the operating force of religion. It establishes the fact that the operating force in the gospel is grace and the operating force in religion is the law. The operating force is the same as the catalyst. It is the igniting principle that makes the gospel effective. It is the thing that allows the gospel message to actually affect change. Paul described it in this way in Romans 2:4: "Or do you despise the riches of His kindness, restraint, and patience, not recognizing that God's kindness is intended to lead you to repentance?" The transforming catalyst of the gospel is grace which alone establishes a peaceful, trusting relationship with the Father.

I have heard so many pastors and ministers tell me that the people cannot handle unrestricted grace. The most common thing I hear is this: "I know that God's grace is prime, but if I teach the people this they will just sin more. If I teach the real truth of the gospel the people will not be restrained. They will not give enough. They will quit attending services.... and on and on. That kind of thinking is just submitting to the religious spirit and will kick in the operating force of religion. The catalyst for religion is fear and guilt. The problem is that fear and guilt will always create bondage. That is precisely the thing that makes current evangelical dogma so destructive. It is why so many people are on a treadmill, burned out, and miserable. They are afraid to get off the treadmill because they have been taught that getting off the treadmill is paramount to abandoning God. THIS IS ANOTHER POISONOUS LIE. All of the bondage trappings of religion have absolutely no value in establishing a peaceful, trusting relationship with the Father.

It should be obvious that if one has to keep religion engaged to control people that the dogma is really not beneficial for the people. Most evangelical leadership freely admit that they cannot teach grace because it will cause chaos and they will lose control over the people. Well, here is a novel thought; if what leadership is doing to maintain the health and life of the church and includes fear and guilt as the motivating method, then perhaps the health and life of the church is not important. Listen to me church leader... if you have to employ fear and guilt to motivate people, then you are not presenting good news. Good news does not need fear, guilt and intimidation to keep people interested in it. "Rom 8:15  For you did not receive a spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption, by whom we cry out, "Abba, Father!"

The bondage comes from instilled fear of God the Father. The ones instilling the fear are using the operation of religion to control people. It amazes me that so many sermons, and so many bible studies are concerned with instilling fear for the sake of motivation and control. This comes from an erroneous view of scripture. It comes from focusing on the scripture being a legal constitutional document and not the story of redemption. As the first article of this series explains, the operation of the gospel is to completely do away with fear. The Apostle John explained it this way: 1Jn 4:18 "There is no fear in love; instead, perfect love drives out fear, because fear involves punishment. So the one who fears has not reached perfection in love. How do you reach perfection in love? The answer is so simple. IT IS BY BELIEVING THE GOSPEL! If you are continually being subjected to sfear by those trying to control you, I have just one piece of advice... "come out from among them and be ye separate" Stay away from the uncleanliness of the operation of religion, Focus on the operation of the gospel and learn to enjoy a peaceful, trusting relationship with your Father in Heaven!


Tuesday, June 7, 2016

How does the gospel operate? Misunderstanding the operation of the gospel; why so many evangelicals are in bondage

Evangelical Christianity is at a cross roads. Quite frankly its future existence is at stake. It saddens me to see the amount of believers that are in some form of religious bondage. Religion is so binding and so subtle. It indeed is like the metaphor used by Jesus which is leaven/yeast. As yeast permeates the entire batch of dough, religion permeates our spiritual relationship with our creator. The warning to beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees is a warning to beware of religion. So then, what is the operation of religion? It is the opposite of the operation of the gospel. What I want to make perfectly clear is that there is an operation of the gospel and there is an operation of religion. They operate completely differently, but somehow, evangelical doctrine has made the operation of the gospel the same as the operation of religion. They say they do not, but practically, they do and it cannot be denied, and it has a choke hold on believers. It causes them to be burned out and miserable.

The true operation of the gospel
One of the main principles in the operation of the gospel is stated in Romans 2:4 "Or do you despise the riches of His kindness, restraint, and patience, not recognizing that God's kindness is intended to lead you to repentance?" The gospel works by grace and not law. Always! The grace of God, God's unmerited favor, is the driving force in the operation of the gospel. Unencumbered grace, prepares us for a peaceful trusting relationship with God. Think about this; one cannot have a peaceful, trusting relationship with God without unlimited, ever abounding grace. It is grace that is the catalyst for operation of the gospel. The "operation of the gospel" is the way in which God supernaturally brings about transformation to the heart. Upon realizing that there is truly unlimited grace, that we are not in fact under law but under grace, we then, and only then, begin ever so slowly to develop a peaceful, trusting relationship with the Father that allows the gospel to work supernaturally.

This being the case, why do so many churches and pastors put people under the law. They erroneously tell people that once a person as accepted the grace of God, God by his Holy Spirit then gives us/them the ability to live the law. THAT IS A LIE FROM THE PITS OF HELL!!!! This is the lie that continues the bondage. They tell them that the Holy Spirit enables people to be able to read and do. AGAIN, THAT IS A HORRENDOUS LIE!!! Actually, the operation of the gospel relies completely on grace. It relies completely on one having a peaceful, trusting relationship with the Father that leads to us REALLY LOVING THE FATHER. Then, from this place of love for the Father that only comes from grace, one will begin to want to please the Father with her/his love. Real love of the Father will make one begin to love others. Love grounded in a peaceful, trusting relationship with the Father will bring to fruition John 13:35.

On the other hand, and this is what is so, so, so sad to me is that the operation of religion; the read and do mentality of religion; chapter and verse mentality of religion; begins an operation of fear and hiding, that always keeps the believer in the bondage of not measuring up. My friend.... NO MATTER HOW HARD YOU TRY.... YOU WILL NEVER MEASURE UP AS LONG AS YOU HAVE THE OPERATION OF THE RELIGIOUS SPIRIT IN YOUR LIFE. In that state you cannot really love even though you know that you must by chapter and verse. It therefore is so important that
we stay grounded in the gospel of grace 24/7. There is no other message to preach. I will say without shame that I have determined to preach nothing among anyone, except Jesus Christ crucified, and his unwavering, endless, amazing grace.