DIG for Tuesday the 11th of July…..I’ll see it when I believe it…..Hebrews 11 v 1

There is a phrase that I hear quite often, said by people in the church and in the world.

“I will believe it when I see it”.

If you are born again and in the church this is a statement of doubt and unbelief.

What we should be saying is, “I will see it when I believe it”.

Take for instance the miracle of healing.

Many, many people will say, “I’ll believe it when I see it”, and in this case healing will probably not happen.

However if a person believes they are healed (truly believes it in their heart) and speaks out that they are healed, they are far more likely to see a manifestation of their healing.

The Bible is very clear in telling us that what we see in our lives is a product of what we think and believe and what we speak out.

Even science is now catching up with the Word and telling us about the power of our thoughts and words.

Positive imagination is a very powerful force for good in our lives, just as worry and fearful thoughts are a negative force.

As believers we need to see things in our mind in order to see them in the physical world.

Are you in need today? Is there something you want to happen for good?

Why not take some time right now and imagine that positive change happening, and see how it would affect your life in a good way.

Go on; hope for it!

Speak this out today…..”Thank you Lord that death and life are in the power of my tongue, and thank you that as I see myself so I will be”.

Hebrews 11 v 1…..Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen

DIG for Monday the 10th of July…..you now live under grace and not under law…..Romans 6 v 14

When writing my DIG I never shy away from using great lines or teaching from other people.

We all need to be willing to be taught by others; after all, none of us can have it all right!

So, in line with this, here is an amazing truth I heard last night.

“All the Bible was written for you, but not all written to you”.

Now this really spoke to me last night, and is an important truth as we try to understand, or rightly divide, the Bible.

The main example of this for me, is about knowing what covenant we live under.

We now live under grace and not under law (Romans 6 v 14)

So the sections of the Bible written to people under the law are there for you to learn from but not to literally live by.

This include the Sermon on he Mount, it includes what is know as the Lord’s Prayer; in fact it includes the majority of what was written in the Gospels.

Now am I saying these passages are not important? NO!

They are very important but they are not for you, a born-again believer living under grace, to take literally and try to live your life by.

Just as you would not sacrifice goats or bulls for your sins (as under the Old Covenant), you also do not need to confess your sins for forgiveness.

Just as you would not give two thoughts about wearing clothes of mixed fibres (as prescribed under the Old Covent), so you do not need to pray, fast and tithe for God to love you and bless you.

You live under grace and need to understand that you no longer live under law.

Speak this out today…..”Thank you Lord that I now live under grace and not under law”.

Romans 6 v 14…..For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace

DIG for Sunday the 9th of July…..did the prodigal son work for the blessing of his father…..Luke 15 v 22 to 24

As most of you should know the account of the prodigal son is one of my favourite pictures in Scripture.

This shows us how our Heavenly Father feels about us and also tells us what He wants to give us.

It also shows us what we need to do in order to receive His best and receive His blessings.

My friends, in order to be blessed and receive God’s best we have to do NOTHING in terms of works or religious performance.

We simply need to return to Him or come to Him in the first place!

While the son was away the father (in this account) was looking out for him, and he ran to his son when he saw him (Luke 15 v 20).

The Father actually ignored the son’s plea for mercy and ordered the party to start.

He gave his son the best he had, a robe, ring, shoes and the fatted calf.

The son did nothing in order to receive these things; he simply came home.

As I wrote yesterday there is nothing we can do through works or religious performance to be saved or made righteous.

The same is true for all of God’s blessings, there is no work good enough to influence God in this matter.

He simply wants our faith and belief; He wants us to come to Him.

Speak this out today…..”Thank You Lord that you love us and wants to shower us with your blessings, and we receive these blessings as a gift of grace through faith”.

Luke 15 v 22 to 24…..But the father said to his servants, Bring forth the best robe, and put it on him; and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet: And bring hither the fatted calf, and kill it; and let us eat, and be merry: For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found. And they began to be merry

DIG for Saturday the 8th of July…..did the thief on the cross confess and repent to receive forgiveness…..Luke 23 v 42 and 43

Sometimes what is not written in the Bible can be just as revealing as what is in there.

Take for example the exchange between Jesus and the thief on the cross.

The thief does recognise Jesus as Lord (Luke 23 v 42).

This is enough for Jesus to say he will be in heaven with Him; that to me says he will be saved (Luke 23 v 43)

The thief does not have to ask for forgiveness.

The thief does not have to confess and repent of all his sins.

The thief does not have to do any good works; well he could not do any as he was on a cross!

He did not have to be baptised or attend membership classes or do any other ‘works’ that some seem to think is essential for salvation.

He recognised Jesus as Lord and that was enough.

In the gospel of John we see people asking Jesus what works they have to do for God (John 6 v 28).

Jesus replies that all they have to do is believe on Him (John 6 v 29).

There is no works you can do to be saved, there is no works you can do to be forgiven, and there is no works you can do to make yourself righteous.

It is your belief (and nothing else) in Jesus and His finished work that is important.

Speak this out today…..”Thank you Lord that I have been saved and made righteous as a gift of grace through faith in Jesus and His finished work”,

Luke 23 v 42 and 43…..And he said unto Jesus, Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom. And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, today shalt thou be with me in paradise


 

DIG for Friday the 7th of July…..so what about 1 John 1 v 9 then…..Ephesians 4 v 32

When talking about forgiveness the other verse I hear about time and time again is 1 John 1 v 9.

Now to be fair, this does seem like one (and only one) verse post-cross that seems to talk about forgiveness being conditional for the believer.

It seems to be saying that we need to confess our sins in order to be forgiven.

How can this be if I teach that forgiveness flowed at the cross with the blood of Jesus?

Well, if you take a closer look at the context of this verse you should be able to see that this is not a verse for the born again believer.

This part of the epistle talks about people not in fellowship with the Lord (verse 6 and not in the light (verse 7).

This part of the epistle is talking to people not in relationship with God, i.e. not believers.

In this context I feel that 1 John 1 v 9 could be talking about the conversion (or salvation) experience; if a person confesses their sin (that is agree with God about their sin) they will benefit from the process of forgiveness.

This is not about confessing (or speaking out and being sorry) about your sin; how could it be, what if you forgot about one or missed one?

Forgiveness is unconditional; it flowed at the cross.

We do not need to do anything to be forgiven.

Please do not build a doctrine out of this verse, confession (in the wrong way people think about it) and repentance (old covenant style) for sin is not for you!

Speak this out today…..”Thank you Lord that I have been forgiven for all my sin through the shedding of the blood of Jesus”.

Ephesians 4 v 32…..And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you

DIG for Thursday the 6th of July…. so what about the Sermon on the Mount #02…..Ephesians 4 v 32

If you read the DIG yesterday you would have seen how I answered the question about the order of forgiveness with regards to what Jesus said in the Sermon on the Mount.

I said He was speaking to Jews pre-cross, therefore not speaking literally to you as a believer living under grace.

This is not good enough for some people, who have the attitude that if Jesus said it we do it.

They however seem to change their stance when I point them to another section of the Sermon on the Mount.

Jesus said we should pluck out our eye and cut of our right hand if they “offend thee” (Matthew 5 v 29 and 30).

Now I don’t know anyone who has never taken something that did not belong to them or never looked lustfully at another person.

Yet I do not see many one eyed and one-handed Christians in church!

Jesus is speaking in pictures during this discourse, with the main picture being that man can never uphold the law in their own strength.

He is saying we can never do these things on our own; we cannot forgive all others, we cannot live a sinless life.

He is “raising the bar” even higher with regards to the standards of behaviour expected under the law.

For example even thinking about adultery is now an offence (Matthew 5 v 27 and 28).

Jesus is showing we can never live up to the law, hence the need for a Saviour, He is not meaning for us to take these things literally.

We cannot pick and choose; if you think you have to forgive others before God will forgive you, you really should pluck out your eye and cut of your hand.

Speak this out today…..”Thank you Lord that I have been forgiven for all my sin through the shedding of the blood of Jesus”.

Ephesians 4 v 32…..And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you

DIG for Wednesday the 5th of July…..so what about the Sermon on the Mount…..Ephesians 4 v 32

Whenever I preach about unconditional forgiveness I always have someone asking me, “but what about the Sermon on the Mount?”

In this discourse Jesus says that in order for us to be forgiven by God we have to forgive others first (Matthew 6 v 14 and 15).

My reply is normally, “but what about Ephesians 4 v 32?”

In this verse we are told that we can forgive others because God has forgiven us first.

Now surely both cannot hold true? Surely there is a contradiction here?

Well no there is not, as something happened between the Sermon on the Mount and Paul writing his epistle to the Ephesians.

This event was Jesus’ finished work on the cross.

The Sermon on the Mount was pre-cross while Paul is writing to the Ephesians (and you) post-cross.

Pre-cross the Jews were living under law and Jesus said what He said in Matthew 6 v 14 and 15 to people living under law.

Paul is writing to people (including you and the Ephesians) who live under grace.

We live under grace and not law (Romans 6 v 14 and 15).

We no longer live having to perform to approach God, as if we were under law.

We now live in a time when sin is not held against man, as forgiveness is a done deal.

So the Sermon on the Mount and what Jesus says about forgiveness would only hold true for you if you were living pre-cross and living under law; and neither hold for you.

Speak this out today…..”Thank you Lord that I have been forgiven for all my sin through the shedding of the blood of Jesus”.

Ephesians 4 v 32…..And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you