DIG for Thursday the 1st of February…..feeling condemned, well you have gone under law…..Romans 6 v 14

I was listening to some amazing teaching last night and heard a really interesting statement.

The teacher said that God cannot condemn us, the devil cannot condemn us and we even cannot condemn ourselves.

There is only one-way to receive condemnation, and that is to put ourselves under law!

If we are not under law there is nothing anyone can say or do so that can make us feel condemned.

If we feel condemnation we have, in one way or another, put ourselves back under law.

As born again believers living under the New Covenant we are now under grace, and not under law (Romans 6 v 14).

This can be a truth that can set us free if we truly realise its implications.

If we feel condemned we should attempt to find out what part of our lives is under law; what are we striving for and trying to achieve through our own strength.

We can then change this situation, remind ourselves that we are under grace and free ourselves from condemnation and guilt.

We can rest in the finished work of Jesus Christ, putting ourselves back under grace.

Under grace there is no condemnation, EVER!

When we trust in Jesus and His finished work (that is live under grace) we are not relying upon our own efforts and strengths so there can never be any condemnation.

Speak this out today…..”Thank you Lord for the finished work of Jesus and thank you that I live under grace”.

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

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DIG for Tuesday the 5th of December…..what they tried to get under the Old we now have under the New…..Philippians 4 v 13

I noticed today a few Scripture references inside the cover of my Bible this morning; I’d not seen them for a while!

They were Psalm 22 v 3, then Psalm 16 v 11 and Nehemiah 8 v 10.

I remembered that this was a model for me to use to receive strength.

If I worshiped the Lord I would receive His presence (Psalm 22 v 3), I would then receive joy through His presence (Psalm 16 v 11) and through this joy would receive strength (Nehemiah 8 v 10).

Now this may sound good, and I thought it was at the time when I wrote these verse on the inside cover of my Bible.

However today I realised that I don’t need this model anymore, as these verses are Old Covenant verses and I live under grace, under the New Covenant.

As a born again, spirit filled believer I already have joy, as part of the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5 v 22).

As a born again, spirit filled believer I always have His presence as He says He will never leave me nor forsake me (Hebrews 13 v 5).

Because of His presence I now have the strength to achieve all things (Philippians 4 v 13).

Now I am not saying we should not worship, of course we should, however we now worship because we have strength, joy and His presence, not to receive these things.

What I used to try and achieve through worship (His presence, joy and strength) I now have all the time as a gift of grace through faith in Jesus and His finished work.

Speak this out today…..”Thank you Lord for Your continual presence, for Your strength and for the fruit of the Spirit”.

Philippians 4 v 13…..I can do all things through Christ which strengthen me

DIG for Thursday the 19th of October…..have you plucked out your eye or cut off your hand yet…..Matthew 5 v 29

There are a few difficult passages in the Sermon on the Mount, especially if you are of the persuasion that we have to take everything that Jesus said literally.

Take some time to read Matthew 5 v 27 to 30 just now.

Now answer me this question, “Have you seen many one eyed and one handed people in church recently?”

No, then we are not taking this passage literally!

But of course we are not meant to take it literally I can hear you say, that would be silly.

Of course it would be silly, Jesus is not telling us to mutilate ourselves, He is “raising the bar” of the Law thus showing us that we can never save ourselves.

We could never fulfil the works of the law in our own strength and just in case we did think it possible, Jesus made it even more difficult.

So instead of actually doing things to break the law Jesus was now saying we just need to think them.

He then says that instead of failing we should pluck out our eye and cut off our hand.

This is of course a picture of the requirement for a Saviour due to the fact that we cannot achieve righteousness in our own strength and works.

We do not take these verses literally, we use them as a picture to highlight the awesome truth that we are saved and made righteous through faith in the works of a Saviour, through Jesus.

The good news is that we live under grace and not law and are no longer tied to performance as a means to righteousness, we are in bondage to righteousness by faith.

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

Matthew 5 v 29…..And if thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell

DIG for Friday the 13th of October…..grace or law…..Romans 6 v 14

There are some key words you need to listen for when deciding if something is law (and legalism) or grace (and truth).

They are not words of deep doctrine or theology but they are vital.

If you hear a sentence starting with, “You have to” or you hear yourself thinking or saying “I have to”, then this is law.

Now there could be very good actions at the end of these sentences like praying or giving, but if the actions come after “have to” then you are putting yourself under law.

If you hear the words “you can” or you think or say “I want to” then we are talking about grace.

Under law (or the Old Covenant) you were told or forced to do things in order for God to bless you.

Under grace (or the New Covenant) we live out of the finished work of Jesus Christ and who we are in and through Christ.

Under grace we do things as we can or we want to out of the love and blessings we have already received from God.

There is nothing you can do to make God love or bless you more, there is nothing you can do to make God love or bless you less.

If anyone is telling you this then they are trying to put you under law, and we do not live under law but under grace (Romans 6 v 14).

Our blessings in this life is dependent upon the finished work of Jesus Christ and whether we believe this truth or not.

The only way to stop the flow of blessings is unbelief on our part, not on our performance or on God’s mood.

Grace says we have all spiritual blessings already (Ephesians 1 v 3).

Speak this out today…..”Thank you Lord for the finished work of Jesus and thank you that we already have all spiritual blessings through Christ”.

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

DIG for Friday the 22nd of September…..Son, Son, Son not sin, sin, sin…..Galatians 5 v 1

I heard what many would think to be a controversial statement as I listened to some teaching on Galatians this morning.

The teacher said, “Legalistic, religious people hate our liberty in Christ, and they will do anything to bring you under whatever their particular brand of bondage might be”.

Unfortunately my experience is that this is a true statement and is one you need to be aware of if you are trying to understand the truth about grace.

This is also what we see in Paul’s letter to the church in Galatia.

Grace takes the focus away from our sin and onto Jesus; grace tells us it is Jesus’ performance that is important and not ours.

Legalistic, religious people have this concept the wrong way round; they want us to focus on our sin and on our performance.

Sin is no longer the focus as Jesus has dealt with all our sin (past, present and future), so our focus needs to be on the answer to sin i.e. Jesus.

It was His performance that meant we have forgiveness, so it is His performance we focus on.

If we focus on sin and our performance this will force us into more sin, that is what the Word of God says (1 Corinthians 15 v 56).

Contrary to what many will tell you it is grace that provides a licence to be free from sin, it is law that gives you a licence to sin.

Be careful that you do not allow legalists to pull you back under law and into bondage (Galatians 5 v 1).

Stay well away from legalism, be aware that it exists and be aware that it is attempting to snare you and remove you from your freedom in Christ.

This is a real problem and a real danger!

Speak this out today…..”Thank you Lord that I have been forgiven through the shed blood of Christ, and made righteous as a gift of grace through faith in Christ”.

Galatians 5 v 1…..Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage

DIG for Tuesday the 12th of September…..here we go again, another date for the end of the world…..Acts 1 v 7

Here we go again; the “doom and gloom” merchants are peddling their theories about the end of the world and masking them as being Biblical.

What first gets me about this is that there is always a book on sale to go along with these theories!

But more importantly we should not be spending time and effort looking into this kind of thing.

Jesus was quite clear when asked about the end of the world; He said that is not for you to know (Acts 1 v 6 and 7).

We cannot work out something that God does not want us to know, so predicting the end of the world, the Second Coming, the apocalypse (or whatever you want to call it) is a waste of time and effort.

There are verses that talk about this thing though.

Colossians 2 v 8 for example talks about this kind of thing; go on, look it up yourself!

A Christian should spend less time thinking about the end of the world and thinking about the world today; the world and people in it are in need right now.

We should be living for today, enjoying this world that we are blessed to live in, instead of worrying and being concerned about its end.

Anyway, if we are a believer “that day” should just be like any other day on our route through eternity; I have absolute assurance of where I am going to end up.

Here’s hoping that those Christians talking about this and posting on Facebook are spending as much time and effort trying to save their families, friends and neighbours before it is too late!

Speak this out today…..”Thank you Lord for today and for tomorrow and for however many tomorrows I may have on this earth”.

Acts 1 v 7…..And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power

DIG for Sunday the 10th of September…..so is this Christian life impossible…..John 6 v 28 and 29

I’ve heard it said that Christianity is not an easy lifestyle to live by; well, that is true in one way, but it is also wrong in another.

If you are living under law (unfortunately what I call ‘usual’ or ‘mainstream’ Christianity) it is impossible to live the Christian life.

Under law you are reminded about your sin all the time, and this actually pushes you towards more sin (1 Corinthians 15 v 56).

Under law what is important is how you perform and you are not able to live by the law; for example if you fail in one part you fail in all (James 2 v 9 and 10).

Under law you will fail, as it is impossible to keep.

There is only one man who was ever capable of keeping the law and that was Jesus; you will never be the second.

But you do not need to live under law, so in this sense the Christian life is not impossible.

You now live under grace, and that my friend is easier to live by.

Under grace it is the performance of Jesus that is important, not yours.

Under grace you have one work to perform and that is to believe in Jesus (John 6 v 28 and 29).

Now I am not saying you should not be expected to do good and righteous works, but that comes from your trust and faith in Jesus and not from your own strength and efforts.

That is the difference between grace and law; grace is about Jesus while law is about you.

If it is about you this life is impossible, but with Jesus and through Jesus it can become a whole lot easier..

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

John 6 v 28 and 29…..Then said they unto him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God? Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent

DIG for Thursday the 24th of August…..a secular song about Jesus?…..John 1 v 17

I use many sources as inspiration for my DIG blog; most ideas obviously come from the Word and Biblical teachers, however I’ve also written recently on football and secular songs.

It was a secular song that has given me the idea for the DIG tonight.

Here are a couple of lines from the song in question.

“Pretty amazing grace is what you showed me, pretty amazing grace is who you are. You led me to that higher place and showed me that love and truth and hope and grace were all I needed”.

You would actually think that this was a song about Jesus!

Jesus showed many people grace (including the Samaritan woman at the well and the woman taken in adultery), but according to the Word He actually was grace.

We read that Moses gave the law, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ (John 1 v 17).

In other words Jesus was truth and Jesus was grace.

And Jesus is indeed all we need.

He provides grace and truth, but also love and hope.

There is no hope in this life or in eternity without faith in Jesus, without hoping and trusting in His love, grace, and truth.

Jesus is the only way to the Father; He is the way, the truth and the life (John 14 v 6).

Speak this out today…..”Thank you Lord that Jesus has provided all that I need for life, thank you that Jesus is grace and truth”.

John 1 v 17…..For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ

DIG for Monday the 21st of August…..cross for forgiveness for salvation…..Colossians 2 v 13

I’m back on one of my favourite topics this morning, forgiveness!

Reading Colossians 2 this morning I noticed this really important verse that confirms (yet again) that we have already received complete and unconditional forgiveness from God.

Colossians 2 v 13 says, “Having forgiven you all trespasses”.

Now before this verse Paul talks about our conversion process, what we were saved from and saved into (Colossians 2 v 10 to 13).

And just after his verse Paul talks about the finished work of Jesus on the cross (Colossians 2 v 14 and 15).

These verses explain when forgiveness was given and what the purpose of forgiveness was.

Forgiveness flowed at the cross as the blood of Jesus flowed (Ephesians 1 v 7 and Colossians 1 v 14).

And forgiveness was given so that men might be saved and made righteous.

We were forgiven (past tense) at the cross so that we could choose to be saved and made righteous.

Forgiveness and reconciliation were prerequisites for men to be saved; forgiveness was an essential forerunner for salvation.

You did not do anything to be forgiven; you were forgiven long before you were even born.

It is the performance of Jesus that WAS important for forgiveness; no one is being forgiven today, that has already been done!

Speak this out today…..”Thank you Lord that I have already been forgiven for all my sins and trespasses, praise the name of Jesus”.

Colossians 2 v 13…..And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you of all trespasses

DIG for Monday the 14th of August…..I am a saint, and I’m not even dead yet…..Ephesians 1 v 1

As I was listening to a preacher today he started speaking about how a person becomes a saint in the eyes of the Catholic Church.

Before a person can be a saint they have to be dead, and they have to have had proven miracles accredited to them.

Then a committee of men make that person a saint.

This is so contrary to what the Bible actually says.

I am a saint, and if you are born again, then you are a saint.

We are not made a saint by men because of what we have done, we are made a saint as a gift of grace through faith in Jesus.

In one sense we are the same as saints made by men in that we are dead, although not physically.

Our old sin nature has died and our new perfect nature was created in righteousness and true holiness.

This is how a saint is ‘made’, by God as a gift of grace through faith, not by a committee of men looking at the your deeds.

No matter how good you are, you cannot make yourself a saint through works or deeds.

Only the Lord can make you a saint and that only comes through faith.

Are you born again this afternoon?

Yes, then you my friend are a saint!

You are no longer a sinner and you are certainly not a sinner saved by grace; you are a saint.

Once you recognise that, believe that and tell yourself that, then you will start to display saintly actions.

Speak this out today…..”Thank you Lord that I have been made a saint as a gift of grace through faith in Jesus”.

Ephesians 1 v 1…..Paul, as apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, to the saints which are at Ephesus, and to the faithful in Christ Jesus