DIG for Tuesday the 4th of July…..We have already been forgiven…..Ephesians 4 v 32

Yesterday I wrote about forgiveness and reconciliation, and it is my ‘doctrine’ on these truths that cause me most debates with other Christians.

For some reason (probably traditions of men and lies of the enemy) many in the church are still asking God for forgiveness.

However it is a clear Biblical truth that forgiveness is a done deal; it flowed at the cross along with the blood of Jesus.

Jesus came to bring reconciliation from God (Luke 2 v 14) and this could only be provided if sin was dealt with and forgiveness flowed.

But what about the Sermon on the Mount and what about 1 John 1 v 9 I hear you cry?

Well, I can answer those questions in a later DIG.

And I would also say what about the post-cross Scriptures that show God forgave us first!

After preaching about forgiveness at a meeting one night a woman said this to me, “I really like you Vic but I cannot believe what you said about forgiveness”.

So I asked if she would like to have a coffee together where we could discuss the Scriptures pertaining to forgiveness; unfortunately that was not for her!

As Andrew Wommack once said, “Most Christians don’t let the Bible get in the way of what they believe”.

We must be guided by the Bible for all aspects of our faith and Christian walk, especially with regards to vital truths around forgiveness, reconciliation and righteousness for example.

God forgave us all even before we were born; He forgave mankind at the cross.

Jesus paid for our sin and the sin of the whole world in His once and for all sacrifice on the cross (1 John 2 v 2).

There is now no need to ask God for forgiveness ever again.

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 8th of December…..do you want to know what really annoys me……Luke 2 v 14

My church fellowship know that there are a few things that get me annoyed; teaching that suggests we should ask for forgiveness, dredging up sin during communion and asking God to heal us to name but a few.

Another “biggie” for me is Christmas cards that say “Peace on earth”.

Jesus did not come to bring peace on earth as men normally think (read Matthew 10 v 34 if you don’t believe me).

If Jesus came to bring peace on earth He failed!

Jesus came to bring peace to earth; He brought goodwill from God to men (Luke 2 v 14).

He brought reconciliation between man and God (2 Corinthians 5 v 18).

Jesus coming to this earth was nothing to do with peace between men (although if we truly understand His love peace will become a fruit of this understanding).

Jesus coming was all about peace between God and man.

The reconciliation of man (and subsequent forgiveness through the blood of Jesus) made it possible for all men to come into salvation and righteousness.

The Word becoming flesh was the start of the process of the possibility of us coming back into a true and meaningful relationship with God the Father.

In this context this is possibly the most important event in human history and it disturbs me that believers can get it so wrong with regards to its true meaning.

Please do me a favour this Christmas, do not send any cards that say “Peace on earth”!

Speak this out today…..”Thank you Lord for Jesus and thank you for the reconciliation that came through Him”.

Luke 2 v 14…..Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill toward men

DIG for Tuesday the 6th of December…..Emmanuel, God with us…..Matthew 1 v 23

In this passage in Matthew we read about a name given to Jesus, one of the most wonderful names in the whole of Scripture.

He is called Emmanuel, which means God with us.

This comes from the Hebrew word Immanuel which literally means ‘with us is God’.

This is one of the most amazing truths of the Christian faith that God in the shape of Jesus came to earth as a man.

The Word was made flesh and dwelt among us (John 1 v 14).

Jesus, the agent of Creation and a full part of the Godhead, came in human flesh to the world that He made.

This is just astounding; that the King of Kings and Lord of Lords came in a frail body to His earth.

There is nothing like this in all of religion, and this is not surprising as true Christianity is not a religion it is a relationship.

We are in relationship with Almighty God because of the birth, death, burial, resurrection and ascension of Jesus Christ.

Religion is reaching out to a God, but true Christianity is a relationship we can have because God has already reached out to man.

He did this when Jesus came to earth, bring the Father’s goodwill to men (Luke 2 v 14).

You can enjoy that relationship today by simply trusting in the finished work of Jesus Christ.

Speak this out today…..”Thank you Lord that Jesus came to earth, thank you that the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us”.

Matthew 1 v 23…..Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us

DIG for Friday the 3rd of June…..want a double portion?…Isaiah 40 v 2

Thanks to Nunsy for the DIG today…..

Before Elijah was taken up to heaven he asked Elisha his successor ‘what shall I do for you?’. Elisha said ‘I pray thee, let a double portion of thy spirit be upon me’ (2 Kings 2 v 9).

How amazing and wonderful for us that we don’t need to ask for that! In this awesome New Covenant that we are in we have as much of the Spirit as there is to have! The Holy Spirit has been sent forth into our hearts (Galatians 4 v 6, Romans 5 v 5). Not just in part, but in fullness.

Colossians 2 v 10 says that we are complete in Him. That word ‘complete’ in the Greek is the word ‘pleroõ’ and it means crammed full, like a net full of fish. We are crammed full, wall-to-wall Holy Spirit!

So is there a double portion of something in the New Covenant?

When Jesus was born the angels sang about there being peace from God towards mankind (Luke 2 v 14). There had been a war raging between God and man because of sin, but now that war is over. Isaiah 40 v 2 prophesies a warfare being accomplished, or finished, at an end. This is speaking of what Jesus would come and do, and Isaiah says that the price that was necessary to pay for the pardoning of iniquity would be PAID DOUBLE.

Jesus has paid a double portion of what was required.

Jesus has overpaid the debt that we owed, and could never pay. His finished work has obliterated the offence that was between God and us. He has completely blotted it out (Colossians 2 v 14). He has dealt with it absolutely. The price He over-paid He paid once, for all sin, for all men, for all time (Hebrews 10 v 10, 12, 14).

Don’t ever let anyone tell you that your sin is separating you from God. The payment that was made is DOUBLE the debt that was owed.

THAT’S the double portion of the New Covenant.

Speak this our today…..”Thank you, Lord, that you have overpaid for me, the debt that I owed, to bring me into a full relationship with the Father, and thank you that as a result of that, I have the fullness of the Holy Spirit”.

Isaiah 40 v 2…..Speak ye comfortably to Jerusalem, and cry unto her, that her warfare is accomplished, that her iniquity is pardoned: for she hath received of the LORD’S hand double for all her sins

DIG for Monday the 14th of December….it does not mean peace on earth, that is not what is written…..Luke 2 v 14

I have to write about this one verse again: I do every year and I think I have done so already this year, but this is such a misunderstood verse we need to keep proclaiming the truth.

The heavenly host proclaimed to the shepherds on that night that the Saviour had been born (Luke 2 v 11).

They did say “and on earth peace” but they did not say peace on earth.

They went on to explain what this peace on earth meant; it was good will toward men.

We know that Jesus was God in the flesh and He was Father God’s gift to mankind, so this good will toward men was from God.

Good will towards man from God, or in other words peace between man and God.

There had been an issue you see, this thing called sin, but Jesus had come to deal with the sin of the whole world and came to bring reconciliation.

He reconciled man to God by removing the sin issue.

This is the peace that the heavenly host were singing about and proclaiming.

Jesus brought reconciliation between man and God, His mission was not to bring peace between man and man.

Now, if you listen to the message of Jesus and believe in Him, this should bring love between men and lead to reconciliation, but this was not His primary role.

The primary role, the role that the heavenly host proclaimed, was the work to being man back into relationship with Father God.

And in that mission He was successful.

Speak this out today…..”Thank you Lord that I have been reconciled to you through the finished work of Jesus Christ”.

Luke 2 v 14…..Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men

DIG for Sunday the 13th of December….of course the shepherds saw Jesus first…..Luke 2 v 16

In the birth of Jesus we see many people hearing from God and then moving in obedience; so far we have seen this in Mary and Joseph.

The shepherds in the fields near Bethlehem are another example of this.

They heard from the Lord via the heavenly host and then they went to see Jesus (Luke 2 v 8 to 17).

Contrary to popular myth the shepherds were the only people to come and see the baby Jesus at His birth; they were the first to see Him after Mary and Joseph.

There is evidence to show that these shepherds were the special shepherds looking after the temple flock.

The temple flock were the sheep that gave birth to the sacrificial lambs used in the temple.

These shepherds would look over the newborn lambs and check for perfection, and if perfect they would be used for the atonement of sin in the temple sacrifices.

Jesus was THE perfect sacrificial lamb (1 Peter 1 v 19).

Jesus was born to take away the sins of the world (John 1 v 29).

So it is perfectly apt that these shepherds were the first to see him.

As I have been known to say many times before, these shepherds knew a sacrificial lamb when they saw one!

They came and bore witness that Jesus was the Christ, the Messiah and they then went out and made it known abroad.

Makes me ask myself this question, “Am I making His name known abroad?”

Speak this out today…..”Thank you Lord that Jesus was the perfect sacrificial lamb and thank you that He has dealt with all my sin.”

Luke 2 v 16…..And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger

DIG for Thursday the 18th of December……the Prince of Peace, but not peace on earth…..Isaiah 9 v 6

Isaiah 9 v 6 is part of a prophecy describing the Messiah, describing the characteristics of Jesus when He would come as a man.

Prince of Peace is an interesting phrase.

The Hebrew word Prince means first in terms of rank or class, and has the meaning of Lordship.

Peace is the Hebrew word shalom.

As I wrote quite recently in DIG Jesus did not come to bring peace on earth among and between men; He came to bring peace toward men from God (Luke 2 v 14).

This is what we are told in Luke and it is what was predicted (or prophesied) in Isaiah.

He came to bring “shalom” to men from God.

This word shalom does not just mean peace, but also health, prosperity and safety.

It is a bit like the Old Testament equivalent to the New Testament word “sozo”.

We are now living in a state of “sozo”, we have been saved (got our ticket into Heaven) and continue to be saved (healed, made whole and prospered).

Jesus dealt with the sin issue.

This was prophesied in Isaiah and other parts of the Old Testament and is confirmed in the New Testament.

Sin was dealt with and we have been blessed (we have shalom and we have sozo) because of our faith and trust in the finished work of Jesus Christ.

Speak this out today…..”Thank you Lord for your peace, brought down to earth by our Lord Jesus”.

Isaiah 9 v 6…..For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The Everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace