DIG for Friday the 30th of August…..forgiven already, not an ongoing process…..Ephesians 1 v 7

One of the saddest things that I see in the church today is people constantly asking for forgiveness from God.

Forgiveness has already been bestowed upon us because of the finished work of Jesus Christ.

Ephesians 1 v 7 says that we have already been forgiven through the shedding of His blood; we have been redeemed or purchased because of His performance.

There is nothing in this verse about what you have to do to receive forgiveness.

Every verse under the New Covenant (after the death and resurrection of Jesus) that talks about forgiveness tells us it is a past event and is a truth because of the work of Jesus (Colossians 1 v 14 and 1 John 2 v 2 to name two other verses)

(One verse, 1 John 1 v 9, seems to contradict this, however I will discuss this in a later DIG).

You live in a state of forgiveness because of what He has already done, there is no need for you to ask for forgiveness.

You now live in a state of justification and redemption as a gift of grace through the work of Jesus (Romans 3 v 24).

There is actually nothing left for you to receive forgiveness for as Jesus dealt with your sin once and for all two thousand years ago (Hebrews 9 v 26 and Hebrews 8 v 12 and 13).

Is there anything that you need to do about forgiveness you may ask.

Yes, there is; thank the Lord for your forgiveness every day and then live a life as if you have been forgiven.

Live in the freedom that Jesus has bought for you and never return to the bondage of pleading for forgiveness (Galatians 5 v 1).

Speak this out today….”Thank you Lord that through the finished work of Jesus Christ I now live in a state of justification, redemption and absolute and complete forgiveness”.

Ephesians 1 v 7…..In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace

DIG for Thursday the 29th of August…..knowledge and understanding is the key……Jeremiah 3 v 15

I have tried to live out this verse every day that I have been a pastor; the day after I accepted that this was the role that the Lord wanted for me, my wife had this verse on her daily calendar, and I have had it inside my bible cover ever since.

It is essential that a believer gains knowledge and understanding of the Word……

….knowledge and understanding about Jesus and His finished work

….knowledge and understanding that we live under grace and not the law

….knowledge and understanding that we have been reconciled, forgiven and made righteous as a gift of grace through faith

….knowledge that we have been blessed already with all spiritual blessings because of the performance of Jesus and not our own works

I agree that as believers we need to study the Word for ourselves and ask the Holy Spirit for revelation, however we also need pastors and teachers to bring an understanding of the truth to us, to help us on our journey.

It is an understanding of His Word that brings permanent change to a believer, so it is essential that you find pastors and teachers that live up to Jeremiah 3 v 15.

We are transformed or changed by the renewing of our mind; renewing our mind to the truth of Him and His finished work rather than the so called truth of the world (Romans 12 v 2).

We can only communicate our faith to others proportional to our knowledge of Him (Philemon v 6).

Knowledge and understanding is important for your growth and development; we need pastors and teachers to facilitate this growth.

Speak this out today……”Thank you Lord for you Word, and than you that it is the true home of understanding and knowledge”.

Jeremiah 3 v 15…..And I will give you pastors according to mine heart; which shall feed you with knowledge and understanding

DIG for Wednesday the 28th of August…..grace through faith, not works; could it be any clearer…..Ephesians 2 v 8 and 9

Salvation has nothing to do with our performance; unlike every religion on earth, true Christianity has nothing to do with what we do and what we do not do.

Salvation comes from faith in the finished work of Jesus Christ and nothing else; we can be saved as a gift of grace because of His work and not ours.

These verses are very clear in this matter and most born again believers would agree with this; we are saved by faith through grace and not by our works (Ephesians 2 v 8 and 9).

This verse however is not just talking about saved as being a “ticket into heaven”; it is also talking about our Christian walk here on earth before we make that final journey to be with the Lord.

And this is where debate, discussion, argument and discord starts to come in.

The word for salvation in this verse is “sozo” and means so much more than just being saved from an eternity separated from God.

“Sozo” talks about healing and wholeness, prosperity, joy and peace.

In a sense our salvation continues every day we still walk this earth; we are able to move towards healing and wholeness, prosperity and peace as part of our relationship with the Lord.

We are continually blessed by the Lord and have an abundant life waiting for us to walk into.

We do not receive these blessings through performance as religion teaches; we move into them as a gift of grace through faith in Jesus’ finished work.

You first received Jesus by grace through faith, and you continue to receive His blessings in the same way; by grace through faith in Him and not through your works (Colossians 2 v 6).

Grace and not religious performance is the way to an abundant life of blessing.

As Paul says, stay in grace or liberty and never return to the bondage that is legalism and religion (Galatians 5 v 1).

Speak this out today…..”Thank you Lord that I was saved by grace through faith, and continue to be blessed by grace through faith”.

Ephesians 2 v 8 and 9…..For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.

DIG for Tuesday the 27th of August…..Jesus, the same now and forever; He will not change…..Hebrews 13 v 8

I was drawn to this verse this evening; to a truth that is so encouraging for the born again believer.

The Jesus of the gospels had amazing levels of compassion for people; He is the same today.

The Jesus of the gospels does not condemn; He is the same today.

The Jesus of the gospels healed everyone who asked for healing; He is the same today.

The Jesus of the gospels had time for people, going out of His way to meet them; He is the same today.

If you see Jesus with a trait or characteristic in the gospels you can be sure that He is still the same today.

He still loves us, still has compassion for us, wants to meet with us and still heals us.

Actually let me correct myself on that matter; Jesus has already healed us (1 Peter 2 v 24).

Jesus has not changed and Jesus will never change; He will always love and always have compassion.

What a wonderful truth to hold onto when everything else around us seems to be in a constant state of change.

Truth, or rather the truth of Jesus, will never change; it is eternal.

Be assured that you can hold onto the truths of Jesus, as they will never change and never let you down.

Speak this out today…..”Thank you Lord for Jesus, and thank you for His eternal truths”.

Hebrews 13 v 8…..Jesus Christ the same yesterday, to day, and for ever

DIG for Monday the 26th of August…..He had to go speak to the woman at the well…..John 4 v 4

I wrote recently (Fri 23rd) about the encounter that Jesus had with the woman taken in adultery (John 8 v 1 to 11).

Another encounter with a different woman is one of my favourite accounts of Jesus.

His meeting with the Samaritan woman at the well is a wonderful picture of how Jesus loves everyone, and how He wants relationship with everyone.

The woman in this account was the lowest of the low; she was in the dregs of the society that she lived in.

She was a woman, a Samaritan and a dirty sinner; she was an adulteress.

The amazing thing about this meeting is that I believe jesus orchestrated it; He went through Samaria deliberately to meet her.

Now, I know it does not say that explicitly in the Word, however there was no actually logistical reason for Jesus to go the route He took, and the Word does say that he felt the need to go through that land (John 4 v 4).

My understanding is that His need was to meet that woman and change her life for ever!

A good Jewish boy like Jesus should not have even spoke to this woman however He initiated the conversation. He changed her life and turned her into an evangelist (John 4 v 28 and 29).

This is a picture showing us that Jesus wants to have relationship with all people, in all levels of society, from the lowest to the highest (He spoke to Nicodemus just before this encounter).

He wants to change the lives of every single person on this earth, just as God wants everyone to be saved (2 Peter 3 v 9).

I thank the Lord that He came looking for me and I found him; aren’t you glad He came for you?

Speak this out today…..”Thank you Lord that Jesus wanted a relationship with me”.

John 4 v 4….And he needs must go through Samaria

DIG for Sunday the 25th of August…..come, follow me, believe in me; that’s enough for Jesus…..John 1 v 43

People in our lives expect much from us; parents, spouses, employers and teachers all expect us to do much.

Jesus expects from us as well, but He is not as demanding as the people around us.

Jesus did not put huge demands on His disciples as He was forming this group; He simply asked Philip to follow Him (John 1 v 43).

Other disciples were simply then told come and see Him.

Someone asked Jesus, at a later date, what was the work they were to do and He replied simply to believe on Him (John 6 v 28 and 29).

Following Jesus should not be as hard and tiring us much of religion makes it.

Religion puts demands on people, Jesus does not.

Religion tells people to do this and do that; Jesus tells people simply to come, follow Him and believe.

Jesus came so that you could have life in abundance, not so that you had to strive and work in a religious system.

Jesu came to bring grace not keep you under the law (Romans 6 v 14).

We are blessed because of what He has done and not because of what we do.

The big secret in the Christian life is to to learn how “to rest” in Jesus and receive from God because of what He has done.

The Christian life should not be one of work and striving; if it is you are in religion and not relationship, you are under the law and not grace.

Speak this out today…..”Thank you Lord that I have all I need through the finished work of Jesus Christ and not through my own efforts”.

John 1 v 43…..The day following Jesus would go forth into Galilee, and findeth Philip, and saith unto him, Follow me

DIG for Saturday the 24th of August……are you paralysed by the past, and not able to enjoy the present or hope for the future…..Romans 8 v 38 and 39

Many believers that I know or have met have the same problem; they are allowing things from their past to drastically affect the quality of their life.

They allow the past to come between them and God, having a big negative impact on that most important relationship.

Paul writes about many things that can come between us and God; things that he does not allow to ruin his relationship with the Lord.

The interesting point is that Paul does not even mention the past in this list of 10 things; he does not even deem it necessary to mention, and Paul was a man with a past!

Paul was a man who persecuted followers of Jesus; he was complicit in the murder of Stephen remember.

So why can Paul leave out the past from his list?

It is because the past is in the past (which of course is quite obvious) and that is where it should stay; also Paul knows that he has complete and unconditional forgiveness from the Lord through the shed blood of Jesus.

Your past, your mistakes, errors and sins have been dealt with through Jesus’ finished work and have no impact on God anymore.

The only person they can impact upon is you.

The enemy can, and will, bring up your mistakes, errors and sins and remind you about them; how you react though is down to you.

You can say yes, I remember them, but they have been dealt with by Jesus and now I should have no more conscience of them (Hebrews 10 v 2).

Or you can focus on them and bring condemnation; remember condemnation is from the enemy or yourself and not from God (Romans 8 v 1).

Tell the enemy where to go today; do not let the things of the past ruin your present or future relationship with the Lord.

Speak this out today…..”Thank you Lord that through the finished work of Jesus Christ I have complete, absolute and unconditional forgiveness”.

Romans 8 v 38 and 39……For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus

DIG for Friday the 23rd of August…..freedom from condemnation has nothing to do with your level of sin…..John 8 v 11

The start of John 8 is a wonderful picture of the compassion of Jesus, and about the true nature of God with regards to our sin.

A woman is taken in adultery (it is interesting that no man was taken in adultery at the same time; it takes two to tango as they say) and brought before Jesus.

There are many lessons in this account however the most important one for me is the words spoken by Jesus at the end of the account.

He tells the woman that He does not condemn her, He tells her to go, and He tells her to sin no more.

The order of these statements are very, very important.

Do you see that He says He does not condemn her before He tells her not to sin; this is opposite to the order taught in the majority of the church today.

We are told do not sin, stop this and stop that and then, and only then, you can have a relationship with God and receive benefits such as freedom from condemnation.

I agree that sin is not good for us and Jesus does say do not sin.

Sin allows a door for the enemy to get into our life (Romans 6 v 16), however condemnation from the Lord does not come in that same door.

Condemnation left a long time ago; condemnation left through the finished work of Jesus Christ on the cross.

There is no condemnation for anyone who trusts in Jesus and His finished work (Romans 8 v 1).

Freedom from condemnation does not come because we do not sin; we will sin less as we receive a revelation that we are not condemned; thank you Lord for that awesome truth.

Jesus did not free the woman from condemnation because of her performance; He freed her because He chose to, just as He chose to go to the cross to free us from condemnation.

Speak this out today…..”Thank you Lord that because of my trust in the finished work of Jesus Christ you will never condemn me”.

John 8 v 11…..She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee; go, and sin no more

DIG for Thursday the 22nd of August…..We are the children of promise……Galatians 4 v 28

Here is the best known example of Grace being revealed through children.

Ishmael was the first born, but Isaac, the second born, is revealed to be the picture of the New Covenant.

Paul uses these boys to show this very thing. In Galatians chapter 4:24 he says plainly that these two are a picture of law and grace. He says that to be under the law is to be in bondage, and cast out from any inheritance (Galatians 4:30).

But we are not under the law but under grace (Romans 6:14), we are not children of the flesh but we are the children of promise (Galatians 4:28).

We have an undefiled inheritance that will never fade away, not because of any good works of the flesh that we have done, but only because of His abundant grace and mercy (1 Peter 1:4).

Paul was spot on when he made his observation about the child of the flesh persecuting the child of the spirit, and it being so now.

For Jesus it was the Pharisees, the legalists, those under the law, who were His greatest opposition. For those of us today desiring to live under grace and to proclaim Jesus’ finished work our main opposition will come from those who live under and teach the law (Galatians 4:29).

But even as we face persecution we can rejoice that in the New Covenant we don’t have to perform works of the flesh or works of the law…we have been born-again free!

Speak this out today…Thank you Lord that I have been born again and so I am a child of promise.

Galatians 4 v 28 Now we, brethren, as Isaac was, are the children of promise.

DIG for Wednesday the 21st of August…..keep your eyes on Jesus and you will not sink…..Matthew 14 v 29

Peter was a very interesting character.

He was one of the disciples who first spread the good news about Jesus yet he also denied the Lord.

He was willing to fight for the Lord yet he fell asleep when Jesus really needed him.

He walked on water and yet he started to sink.

My favourite account of Peter is the water walking incident!

He came out of the boat (he was the only one to do that) and did indeed walk on the water towards Jesus.

He made a bad mistake however when he took his focus from Jesus and looked at the wind, rain and storm; at this point he started to sink.

He sank as he took his focus away from Jesus and looked at the external circumstances surrounding him.

This is a great lesson that we can learn from.

Do not focus on the storms of life; do not focus on what is going on around us in terms of difficulties and problems; doing this will see you “sinking” in life.

By looking to Jesus and focussing on Him you will be able to walk on water; or in other words, you will be a success in this life.

Looking to Him is the way to succeed.

Speak this out……”Thank you Lord for Jesus; thank you that He wants to lead me into a successful and abundant life”.

Matthew 14 v 29…..And he said come. And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water to go to Jesus