August 2013 - Teaching Letter
A New Testament Mindset
Galatians 2:16”Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified." The theme of the letter to the Galatians is the practical application of justification by faith. It is a major issue amongst many Christians today, yet it is the heart of our salvation, the fundamental truth and basis of our redemption in Christ Jesus. The letter to the Galatians gets to the core of true spiritual warfare which is law versus grace. 2 Corinthians 10:3-5 is the warfare, the only true warfare that Christians need to consider which is in the mind. "For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: for the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds. Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ."
The weapons of our warfare are the gospel, faith, grace, love and truth. When we renew our minds to the truth of God's grace, or Romans 12:1-2, then we realize that the war is over, and we can stand and rest in the finished work of the Lord Jesus Christ. Ephesians 6:11, 13-14 "Put on the whole armor of God that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil." The Amplified Bible reads "that you may be able to stand up against all the strategies and deceits of the devil." The word "wiles" in the Greek is the word "methodeia” which is where we get our word methods. It means the tricks, the mind games, the one way or one road. Verse 13 "Wherefore take unto you the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all to stand, stand therefore." Notice the frequency of the word "stand".
I have a question. What or who is the armor and where did you get it? Romans 13:14 "But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill the lusts thereof. The armor is Jesus Christ. How do you put Him on? You get born-again and renew your mind to the truth of who you are, what you have and what you can do in Christ Jesus and act like it is so because it is so! Remember Ephesians chapter one and two are before Ephesians chapter 6. They tell us that we are seated together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus far above all principalities and powers and might and dominion. They tell us that we are the body of Christ and Jesus is our Head and He has put all things underneath His feet. That means all things, the devil included is under our feet. Hebrews 4:1-3 "Let us therefore fear, lest, a promise being left us of entering into his rest, any of you should seem to come short of it. For unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them: but the word preached did not profit them not being mixed with faith in them that heard it. For we which have believed do enter into rest, as he said, as I have sworn in my wrath, if they shall enter into my rest: although the works were finished from the foundation of the world."
What did Jesus mean in John 19:30 when He said "it is finished?" He meant that: 1) Satan is defeated. He can no longer accuse you before God anymore.(Not that God would listen to him anyway.) John 12:31 "Now is the judgment of this world: now shall the
prince of this world be cast out."1 John 3:8 "He that commits sin is of the devil; for the devil sins from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil." 2) The law is fulfilled. It is done. It is over. Nobody is under the law today. Hebrews 8:6 "But now he has obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also he is the mediator of a better covenant which is established upon better promises. What is the president ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ? He is our great high priest, our mediator, our intercessor and our surety of a better covenant. As new creation people we need a New Testament to live by. 2 Corinthians 3:6 "who also made us able ministers of the New Testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit; for the letter kills, but the spirit gives life." Colossians 2:14 "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. Verse 15 of Colossians 2 says "And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a show of them openly, triumphing over them in it." 3) Sin no longer has power over us. Romans 6:14 "Sin shall no longer have dominion over you because you are no longer under law but under grace. 1 Corinthians 15:56-57 "The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God which gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ."
So if there is no old covenant law anymore then sin has no more power over us. The old man is now dead, Romans 6:6, and doesn't exist anymore. That person that now lives, the new creation, loves God, and loves His word. That new person loves the things of the Spirit, people and everything that pertains to the kingdom of God. So now I say with Paul "who has bewitched you?" Galatians 5:1. Do you see it? You can never experience the fullness of God, His love, His truth, His power or His miracles by works of the law! Philippians 3:9-10 "And be found in him, not having my own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith: that I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death." Why are people condemned all the time and powerless today? Because they are still under the law (actually they are not). They are trying to obtain righteousness instead of living by faith in the grace. When we are living by faith in the grace, the finished work of the Lord Jesus Christ, based on what He did for us at the cross, then sin, sickness, the law, Satan and even death has no more power over us. We can work miracles, heal the sick, cast out devils, raise the dead, and operate in all the fullness as sons of God because "God the Father, who did not spare his own son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?" A Romans 8:32.