Thursday, June 19, 2008

Dr Martyn Lloyd-Jones and Rob Rufus!!

This is the second post looking at Rob Rufus's views on grace and how that relates to us being the righteousness of God in Jesus Christ. The previous post was called; "Dr John Stott and Rob Rufus!!". A number of people have expressed concerns with Rob's teaching particularly in this area and particularly concerned that such teaching will "give license to sin". Now as I mentioned here - I am not a Bible exegete or a teacher and have no skills in looking into the Greek and Hebrew of particular texts. But I am blessed enough to be able to work back through my books and look at particular gifted ministries and see what they had to teach on this - and how it compares to Rob Rufus.

The particular quotes were from Dr Lloyd-Jones's commentary on Romans 3:20 - 4:25. Now this is very important to me - because I do think this particular wonderful doctrine of justification by faith carries HUGE implications for living the Christian life! Janelle Phillips, Julie and I are enjoying a lively debate about this exact subject over here on my post; "Effects of Grace and Law!!". Janelle always manages to make me think carefully through issues and this comment of her's particularly is important;

"All that to say, sanctification and being transformed into Christ's image is primarily done through confession of sin and working by God's grace to change. How else would that take place?".

I came back to her and quoted from Rob in his recent sermon; ""Do Christians Need To Confess Their Sins To God?" - that we do need to be consistent. If we join accountability groups and confess sins - then we need to confess ALL sins - not just the "big" ones! So why is confession of sin such a vital issue? Janelle touched on the answer in her response to me;

"I'm not talking about confessing my sin to become a Christian, I'm talking about confessing my sin to continue in sanctification".

This - theologically - is where I have always been (and still sort-of are). I am quite happy with the fact that Jesus Christ forgave my sins upon my conversion and wiped them away from His mind - never to remember them again. What I do struggle with - is the suggestion that my sins are STILL wiped from His mind! Would I be unfair to suggest (at least in my experience) that the same has traditionally been taught about "two types" of righteousness? Saving righteousness - (Romans 10:9, 10) that when we confess with our mouths and believe then we shall be saved. Then there is sanctifying righteousness - the sort Janelle has been referring to?

I find Dr Martyn Lloyd-Jones incredibly similar to Rob at this point. He is obviously in the middle of expounding Romans 4 and speaking about Abraham. He starts off by mentioning the exact same hymn that John Stott refers to - Count Zindendorf's; "Jesus, Thy blood and righteousness". And he says;

"Let me use the kind of illustration that was obviously in the mind of Count Zindendorf when he composed his great hymn on this theme ... "Jesus Thy robe of righteousness, my beauty is, my glorious dress". This is the picture. There is a man standing in his rags, in his filth. There is the condemned, guilty sinner before God, the prisoner in the dock.

What happens? Well God puts on him this robe of righteousness - He puts on him the white robe of Christ's perfection and now He sees that and nothing else. That is the doctrine of justification. He puts that to our account".

"He sees that and NOTHING else!". So the question facing us is - is that situation a permament position? Or does our sin remove us from under that "robe of righteousness" and make God see us in our true sinful state? If that is not so, and we are indeed permamently and safely under that robe of righteousness, then what does sanctifying confession achieve? Let's go on. Dr Lloyd-Jones goes on to say;

"Notice this other interesting statement: "he is a man to whom the Lord will not impute sin, he will not reckon sin to him". What does that mean?". The man has committed sin, how then can he be a blessed man? The answer is that though he has sinned and is guilty of many sins, God will not put down sins to this man's account in His heavenly ledgers. He might do so, He has a perfect right to do so. He does not put them down in the account. He leaves them out. He has sent them away - He has covered them up. He has forgiven them!".

He could punish us! He has a perfect right to do so! But He does not! What awesome grace! But again surely the key is in the timing of this statement; "Blessed is the man to whom the Lord does not impute sin". The Lord DOES NOT impute sin! Is that based on our confessions? Or is that based on the sinless sacrifice of Jesus Christ then, now and forever? Dr Lloyd-Jones goes on in his explanation (one of the reasons I love him so much - he delves so deeply into these truths!) and says this;

"Let me put it like this: the man who is truly blessed is the man whose sin is forgiven as debt, whose sin is covered up so that God will never look at it again. He is one to whom it is never going to be imputed as a crime. There is the negative aspect. But it goes beyond that; he is also one to whom God reckons this righteousness of Jesus Christ. That is the doctrine of justification by faith. Here are we - all of us sinners in the sight of God.

What does this doctrine tell me? It tells me that as I stand there on trial my debt is cancelled, my sin is covered. God has cast my sin behind His back. He will never look at it again. He will never see it again. It is blotted out - out of His sight for all eternity. And I shall never be charged with it as a crime. I am completely delivered from it. But over and above that God puts this to my account and reckons to me, this righteousness of Jesus Christ His Son".

So there is this positive aspect to justification by faith in Dr Lloyd-Jones eyes and a negative aspect. The negative aspect - forgiveness of sin - is clear. But it is the positive aspect that I think Rob Rufus has devoted much of his ministry to. The fact that it is not simply our debts - our crimes that are wiped. But we receive the imputed righteousness of Jesus Christ! This is probably one of the best definitions Rob gives to the gift of righteousness;

"Righteousness in the New Covenant refers to "right standing with a holy God without fear, without intimidation, without inferiority, without condemnation". You come boldly into the throne room of grace - you come with full assurance of faith to the most Holy Place with all your imperfections, all your failures and all of your mistakes and all of the things you still do wrong as a Christian and you come boldly with full assurance into the most Holy Place with the blood of the New Covenant that sprinkles your conscience from guilt and cleanses your conscience once and for all!".

Once and for all! But if you are anything like me you can feel your head protesting against this. It's unjust! It's wrong! We sinned! We should pay for it! We should have to confess for it! We should have to pay penance ... somehow. Dr Lloyd-Jones agreed;

"So let me once again state this great and most blessed doctrine; God does not reckon our sins to us. But you may say how can He do that and still be God? We have committed these sins, how is it possible or God not to reckon them to us though we have committed them and are guilty of them? The answer is that He has reckoned them to His only, begotten Son".

I think I could be right in saying that the hardest thing we as Christians struggle with is the realising that there is NOTHING we can do. Everything within us struggles to do "something". But as Rob said; Jesus + anything = Nothing. It HAS to be "in Christ alone!".

"That is what is meant by justification. It is all God's action. We do nothing at all - we cannot do anything at all. We have no works, our righteousness is as "filthy rags", it is "dung", "refuse". We love nothing at all. We are ungodly. We are helpless. We are hopeless. God does it all. It is entirely God's action. It is what He does with these sins of ours which He puts on Christ and punishes them in Him. It is what He does with Christ's righteousness which He puts on us. It is all done to us and we receive it passively from God".

So my wondering is - if we can accept it is all God's action at salvation - why are we so eager to regain control and start "doing things" after conversion? Can we have the faith when we first become Christians to realise there is nothing we can do - yet react against that post-conversion? Are we dividing that which shouldn't be divided?

Anyhow - the debate will go on - of that I am sure! I don't call on Dr Lloyd-Jones as though he (like John Stott) will persuade the doubtful! These are all just men and ministries given by the ascended Christ as gifts. But the reason why I am reading around this subject is to discover and prove to myself that again - if we are TRULY to preach the gospel of grace then we WILL be accused of antinominanism. The gospel of grace IS outrageous! I wonder ... if our gospel in our own mind has become a bit respectable then maybe - it's not the true, pure gospel and we have slipped into Galatianism. But all this debate aside -whether we agree on having to continue confessing sin or not - all this study has refreshed my wonder at the Gospel and the cost of what Jesus Christ went through that we might enjoy unhindered fellowship with God Himself!


Chris Welch - 07000INTUNE said...

Seek ye first the Ki...and His Ri...
Seek first the Kingd...and His Rightousn...........
Seek first to reverse Genesis 3;5 and the rightousness that flows from making the switch, because The Eternally Right One is back living His life out through you,and all these things will be added to you.
So when did we, the Jesus People generation seek first the Kingdom of God and His Righteousness?
We sought an object called the Kingdom of God.
We sought a basic rightness that comes from having our sins forgiven. Maybe we went further and were baptised in the Spirit and had good meetings.
But when did we seek first the Kingdom of God exactly?
We were keen to share our incomplete gospel, calling it the Full Gospel. We were keen to bring others in to the joy that we have known, of having our eternal destinies settled in heaven. But when did we seek first the Kingdom of God that was ripped to shreds in Genesis 3:8.
Was our praise and worship in the meetings just salve to annoint the battered bruisings of just not knowing how God's Life actually works.
Him living His Life through us.
We had conferences at which apostles of this incomplete gospel would take us further in its incompleteness. But when did we seek first the Kingdom of God and His Rightousness.
We established evangelistic events all over the world to tell how you too can have your sins forgiven and an experience called Baptism in the Spirit. But when did we seek first the real Kingship of Christ and let Him do the stuff.
Actually, I'd say only recently..may be before Florida, maybe at Florida....
which ofcourse means we never sought Him first at all...He has been some 40 years down the line.
Perhaps this generation will be the first to obey this verse, ever, since Genesis 3:5

Chris Welch - 07000INTUNE said...

I have been thinking about the comments about me doing a blog.Maybe later. maybe next ...well whenever.I think my function at the moment is to be one of those annoying trailers that they put on DVDs saying what is coming out shortly, before you get to the main programme which is Dan Bowen.
I am actually carrying a very serious word at the moment for the Church. It is coming out of the definition that everyone seems to be picking up about not mixing the new and the old. I thought Jullia's description of it all was superb. I have just heard Rob talking about it all. Remember when I dug out Juan Carlos Ortiz and then began talking about Windows and MS DOS I had no idea what Rob had just shared.
This got me to think about synchronicity. Then like a flashbulb going off I saw that the whole of meeting life as described by Paul in 1 Corinthians 12 where "Everyone hath a...." to quote Ern...this all relies on synchronicity. In other words this is what DEFINES the difference between the way the Holy Spirit runs things in the order of Melchizedek....compared to the way RELIGION runs meetings. And what we have here on your blog is a giant worldwide meeting. And the meeting at the moment is on the subject of grace.
Yesterday when I got up my eyes caught a book I have not noticed for over Maurice Smith
called 20th Century Pilgrim ISBN 0 947599 03 7 publishers VINE. here is Chapter 1. If you like it I could do chapter 2 which is on Maurice discovering he is dead (in a Romans kind of way).
Go on, go on, go on, go on, •
Go on, go on, go on;
Go on, go on, go on, go on,
Go on. go on, go onl
I first heard those words 'go on. go on' from Henry
Holloway some twenty-five years ago. The de-
nomination without a name that we were in, had
no set rules and regulations, or fixed doctrines and
dogmas; but we had a great deal of unwritten
liturgy. For instance, we used no Christian names,
well hardly any. Everyone wasBrother this and
Brother that. Brother Holloway was around eighty
years old I guess, so of course he naturally became',
'Old Brother Holloway'. I don't think anyone has
influenced me more. He was a university graduate
,in his youth - a rarity in those days - and spoke
'with a highly cultured diction, which disguised an
almost constant chuckle. He was diminutive of
stature, neatly dressed with a watch-chain re-
splendant across his striped waistcoat. There was a
permanent twinkle in his eyes. Time and again he
would sidle up to me and whisper a word of wisdom
in my ear. This particular 'go on' word has been
with me ever since the day he looked me straight
in the eye and delivered it with all the seriousness
of a Shakespearian actor.
Now two and a half decades later, on a sweltering
hot Sunday afternoon, the first of August. 1982 I
am pursuing those same words 'Go on, go on as

they’re emblazoned on-.the back of a young man's
T-shirt in the Dartford half-marathon. I'm now a
veteran runner and strenuously trying to maintain
form to keep up with the wearer, but I do so enjoy
seeing young men, and women on full stretch for
the tape. Little does the T-shirt wearer know that
his disappearing vest is speaking volumes to me in
another dimension; the dimension that O.B.H. had
opened up to me time and time again. He finished
his course, we're still running on.
I seem destined to be influenced by old men. At
about the same time as I was listening to the
thoughts of Brother Holloway, I used to sit at confer-
ences and watch the face of an old gentleman who
I would estimate was well into his seventies. This
man's name was Oliphant - Brother Oliphant of
course. Watchman Nee once called this old warrior
The womb of the West'. He had a face lined with
suffering and I knew just a few of the details and
the cost involved. Looking at him across the confer-
ence hall I grew to respect that lined face and
sitently asked God to give me some of the peace
and tranquility I could see written there. Somehow,
those dissimilar twins of gaiety and suffering, so
admirably portrayed in two of the Lord's old gentte- '
men, have set a course for me through the middle
part of my life. They hadn't stopped going on. They
were satisfied but not satiated. My mind was made
up; I'm in the race of joy and suffering for a life-
time. I didn't know it then, but I was beginning to
accept the need for darkness as well as light, to
make room for pain and sorrow; to receive the
negative side of God and his creation as well as-the
positive. Perhaps then I saw all the unpleasantness
as mere back-drop to an the good God wanted to

do in the world, whereas the years have begun to
teach me how essential suffering is to produce
character and to enable us to finally reign with him ...
but I begin to run away with myself. Much of the
time, this was a light-hearted period of life. Jesus
and me, in good fellowship, and my acceptability
as a preacher falsely giving me the impression that
I was making really good headway in this Christian
Looking back I can see there was a lot of self-
effort in my believing, but no doubt it's all been
necessary. So often we have to labour to enter into
our rest.2 Then I felt I knew so much of God's
eternal plan end purpose. Although I vehemently
declared there was no set pattern for church':
structure and order in the New Testament, I had
secretly come to believe that we were nearer the
ideal than most. I'd swallowed volumes ol
Watchman Nee and T. Austin-Sparks and spent
hours under the expert tuition of Robert Warke
from Ireland. I felt ready to set in order much that
was awry in the church scene. Oh my, what the
intervening years have contributed towards the
maturity I saw to those aged saints. It’s been painful and it’s been fun; like everything else I’ve encountered with God, ther’s a paradox to grasp and live with.

I suppose we all start with a vision. For me, overriding everything else in my life were the the words of Jesus’ prayer in John 17 “that they may all be one…that the world may believe that you have sent me”.
Therebseemed so few in those early days that were concerned fpr a togetherness. Plenty were ready to go for an old style evangelism, but the results were unimpressive, except in the case of a few very
talented individuals. It was the corporate nature of
our life gripped me. Somehow it wasn't just
that I had etemal life now that I had believed in
Christ, but more importantly that we shared it to-
gether. We really were members of one another*
and were meant to be together, get on together,
and be such a visible provocation to the world that
they'd want to know what we had got. This all
seemed a million miles away from the experience
going on around me, where all I could see-was
.break-up and division, back-biting and hurts, and
people so full of insecurity that they didn't seem
any better off than folk who had not experienced:
the great transaction of salvation through knowing
Jesus Christ. In fact, to be honest, very often they
seemed worse off. I remember doing a very sim-
plistic survey once, when I observed over a period,
and recorded, that the Christians in my street
looked, on average, more miserable than their non-
Christian counter-parts. There just had to be an
answer to such a sorry condition, "where the re-
cipients seemed to have an initial experience of joy
; and first love, and then gradually sink back into a
knowledge of their position, without the attendant
radiance that was there at the beginning. Actually^
as l say, I didn't fully identify with this morbid Christ-
ian scene for several years because I was able to
hide behind my preaching and natural charisma,
but the crunch came when I finally felt dry. wearied
of marking time. and began to search for more light
and truth . The vision of the Church continually
gripped me; "That they might be one' pounded in
my ears day and night. Here was I with the Normal Christian Life and Concerning Our Missions
To be called the Normal Christian Church Life
off pat; but I couldn't make it work. I was learning
that revelation was not enough, and that the
Father's way is to allow suffering to come across
our path. In order to guide us into the realising of
what we have seen.' He wanted what we had taken
hold of to take hold of us, so that there was no
strain in our living.
How could I get all these Christians to be a happy
band of pilgrims? How could we live the joyous
overcoming life I saw portrayed as normal in so
many New Testament Christians and others since
them down the centuries? How could we in our
generation produce men and women of the calibre
of those I so admired? The visible church to my
century was a laughing stock, the ready prepared
material for the comedians and cartoonists. I could
no longer hide my grief and despair that. for all the
ardent preaching of the vociferous minority, we
were having next to no impact.
The arrival of the world-wlde charismatic
movement and the consequent opening up to the
Holy Spirit made a difference. But in my own ex-
perience, after the initial course of joy and the use
of several spiritual gifts, I still found that life. was
far short of all I knew it could be. I thought the
baptism in the Holy Spirit, as so many called the
. experience, was going to settle everything, but far
from it In fact. it seems that for me, that experience
marked the commencement of a long period of
severe dealings. Maybe as John the Baptist warned
we were to be baptised with the Holy Spirit and fire
Everyone I listened to conveniently forgot
the fire. They never promised me that . I usually
tell folk that ever since the days of my deeper knowing
of the Hdy Spirit, life has been quite dreadfel. Sorry
if that doesn't/fit the recognised charismatic theo-
logy. but it's the truth. Like Jacob, I've experienced
'the gate of heaven' and 'a dreadful place' both at
the same time. There has been a new sense of the
presence of the Lord; a new joy, plus depths of
darkness and despair that I never dreamed existed.
Certainly had I known the path ahead I would
never have joined, but for me the Christian life
seems best summed up in the title of Norman
Grubb's book, 'Once Caught. No Escape!' Most of
us are in for keeps.
The original slide-away from the joyous conscious-
ness of his life within me and into the subtle de-
pendence upon laws and methods and arbitrary
standards of performance, had been instigated
almost from the moment of my conversion. On that
magic day in 1955, I had given my life to Christ;
lock. stock and barrel, as best I knew how. I awoke
the next day with the assurance of my re-
conciliation to God and a feeling of peace."
Everything seemed okay. There was now no desire
for the thirty cigarettes a day which were my
~ previous assurance of some semblance of calm
amidst the storms of earning a living and bringing
up a young family. As soon as work on the first
day was over I shot down to the rectory to tell my
good news to the rector. Dr. G. C. B. Davies, who
had been instrumental in my final capitulation to
God and I wanted him to share the enjoyment. He
was, I was informed, at the village hall to officiate
at a function, so I ran all the way there and burst
in with my proclamation. Collis was delighted and
confided that the Lord had told him that one person
would be converted under his ministry in the
Cotswold village of Kingham where we all lived at
the time. He moved on to pursue a more academic
calling and was soon a lecturer at a University and
eventually became Canon of Worcester Cathedral.
But I digress.
I asked where a close friend was, for I wanted her
to join the party. I had a river of living water
gushing up inside of me and I wanted everyone to
drink. Soon I found her, and with the strains of the
amateur musicians in the background I shared with
her my testimony. She was absolutely overjoyed
and we laughed together in quite a natural
manner. I followed on the conversation by saying.
as the river of life continued to rise in me:
'Can I have this dance please?'

It was a kind of celebration act to me. I cant-
remember now whether she accepted or not, be-, •
cause I was so stunned by her reply. She leaned
forward and whispered to me,
'Christians don't dance, Maurice!'
*0h dear,' was my word in response. It was a -
strangely disappointing interchange and I was
temporarily confused. However, I soon recovered
and sallied forth into my new found Christian-
experience with great enthusiasm, but almost
imperceptibly the first chain of bondage had gone
round my leg. A law had been applied. It was not
the inward working of God writing in my heart,
but the external application of a mode of behaviour
that was to gradually stifle the thrilling experience
, of walkjng with the presence of God's spirit within
me. I had taken a step away from grace, whicn^
meant God doing something for me. and I had moved into an area of law, which meant me doing something for God. And this had happened within
twenty-four hours of my conversion! I can now :see
that like many Israelites of old, I was born a free
true child of God, but born in a land of captivity.
- There were folk on every hand to tell me what I
I had to do to become a good Christian. Soon I had
- more and more rules to observe. One well-meaning
; soul upon hearing of my conversion, asked me if I
was having a Q.T
'What's that?' I enquired, by now perplexed; I ve
: ' never heard of it.'
Then followed the serious explanation of a regu-
lar Quiet Time. A period of study and meditation
held early in the morning without which no serious
Christian could possibly exist. A necessary dis-
cipline I was told. No one told me to treasure the
spirit within, but how to polish up the externals.
Before long I heard,
'You realise Billy Graham reads five Psalms and
three Proverbs every day -should you do less?'
Oh dearl A sense of heaviness is coming over me,
the honeymoon is passing, It's time to get down to
the nitty-gritty chores of married life with God. I
think I'm losing my first love. I've failed to keep the
'ten commandments of the Old Testament and they
had led me to Christ as the only hope. Now I've
got to get down to the business of keeping the one
hundred and ten commandments of the New
Testament. Then I couldn't commit adultery, now I
mustn't even have an appreciative glance^
according to some. Murder was out under Moses
but now I mustn't hate anyone. Of course it
wasn’t long before I was disliking people intensely
but loving them in the Lord', whatever that sickly
phrase means, This 'love' didn't seem to be having
much effect on them that's for sure. Well, here's a fine dilemma; in thesame breath, senior Christians
telling me to trust, and not try, and here's what
you must do. One classic contradiction of advice
came when I was seeking guidances over a par-
ticular matter. Within hours of each other two well-
meaning advisors stated...
'When in doubt, do "nowt"' and 'When in
doubt, strike out!'
I realised that I was going to have to find some
easier way than this; but I didn't. I opted for getting
down to it. Searching the scriptures daily, for I felt
in them I had eternal life.12 Praying long and hard,
trying to keep my mind from wandering. Taking
communion as often as possible and getting into
condemnation every time my mind wandered on to
the Arsenal Football Club instead of the Lord's great
sacrifice for me. I so wanted to be a good Christian*
I so wanted to please God, that I gradually took OB
this new life-style; this do-it-yourself Christianity,
this self-improvement plan! And, compared with
many others, I became good at it. In public I was a
most impressive pray-er and was often asked to lead
in prayer at public gatherings. I could pray in spiri-
tual jargon for the best part of twenty minutes,
telling God things he knew before the foundation el
the world, but I couldn't call him Dad- (Abba)"
and get an answer.
Something was wrong somewhere. This fight
against sin, this strained endeavour to be a suc-
cessful Christian. The great burden that dropped off
me at conversion seemed to have crept back on
again; but I had to keep up the front I was telling
people that I was the one with the real joy and
they, the non-christians, were the ones who were unhappy. I did wish some of them wouldn't be so
nice though.That first-love excitement had soon
worn off; mind you I still had the inner assurance
of salvatton and that wasn't to be sneezed at. I
knew where I was going, even if the present was
not too enjoyable. That eternal life seemed to have
slid into the future tense somehow, and I wanted
to share some of its thrill and excitement along with
all the others in my new-found family. That cor-
porate quality of life was supposed to make such
an impact upon secular society; they were supposed
to be asking what was the secret behind this great
spontaneous expression of carefree living. 'Pie in
the sky when we die' Christianity was not such a
Crowd-puller. We seemed to be answering questions
that nobody was asking, and that's rude. I suppose
for me the prime example of this was one day set
forth in the delightful Cornish seaside resort of Port
Isaac. I was the guest speaker at Stan and Mariorie
Bates' Christian guest house, and after dinner one
Tuesday evening I strolled down to the harbour for
a breath of sea air and to take in the local atmo-
sphere. The town band was playing on the harbour
front and,. After I had listened for a while they struck
up the Floral Dance and headed up the steep hill
towards the guest house. Hundreds of holiday
makers formed up behind and began the traditional
one-two-three hop. Well. you can't keep me out of
that sort of thing (but I do hasten to add (that incident occurred after my baptism in the Holy Spirit.
'because before then 1 would have felt such enjoyment to be rather worldly. Probably the effect of the no- dance routine I had got into). As we passed the guest house I peeled off and danced up the pathway and into the lounge where I was due to
give my spiritual talk for the evening. One ultra-
respectable lady looked across the room and
commented in a frosty manner,
'Here comes our carnal brother' I looked around
for support.
•That's nothing,' said Stan, coming to my aid, ;
'we had someone so irate in here one night, because
the band was holding up our Bible study, that she
rushed out to witness to them. After a few moments
she returned triumphant,
' "Did you manage to speak to them about the
Lord?" I enquired,' said Stan.
* "There was too much noise," she replied, "but
I did manage to poke a tract down someone's
What are we coming to? Was this the life that
sprang from a relationship with God? Were these
sincere but unhappy people to be my companions
on this long pilgrimage? I did hope not; it
seemed to be getting more and more restricted
along the way. and many of these fellow travelers
had evidently settled for restriction; but something'
inside me just wouldn't settle; as O.B.H. bad said, I
had to 'goon'.

lydia said...

Wow Chris, that was awesome!!

Dan, I found this post to excellent, well said, well thought out and compelling....!!

I would agree santification is not something we is an ongoing work of the Spirit....something that I recently learned and got a hold of that I think goes so well with this is the verse in 1 John 1:7 prior to the if we confess our sins verse...."But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin."
when we "walk in the light" it is not our confessions that cleanse us from all sin, it is the blood of Jesus! The verse says "walk in the light" not "walk according to the light" Walking in the light means walking in the realm of the light that the death of Christ has already brought for us. We are out of the realm of darkness and into the realm of light -as believers. So when we sin, we sin in the realm of the light and are cleansed in the light and are IN the light.....the word cleanses in this verse, in the greek, is a present and ongoing from the moment we are saved and receive Christ, His blood will keep on cleansing us.

Confessing our sins all the time, will only make us more sin-conscious.....but knowing we are constantly being cleansed forever alll the time.....will keep us forgiveness conscious and knowing we are forgiven will give us great faith and empower us and we can reign in life over all our bad habits and struggles and have victory!! This is what the Christian life is all about, living in the freedom of our forgiveness empowered to reign and be victorious in life!

By the way, Joseph Prince has an awesome book, "Destined to Reign" and I think you will love it, he is so similiar in his teaching to what Rob is teaching, it is amazing!!!

Chris Welch - 07000INTUNE said...

Amendment to Ist post I meant to repeat Genesis 3:5 not 3:8....but it still kind of works because that was when we first hid from the Lord. Sorry.

Thanks so much Lydia Joy.
here's an update. I've just returned from a day at HMS Sultan.
Great time with my son Ben who is 8.There's always plenty of stuff going on. but , uncharacteristic for me, not being too engineery, we stopped off to look at a stripped down frigate propulsion unit. (There can be 4,6 or 8 on one vessel)A sailor took us right through how it worked. When we got to the burners I noticed they were a group of cylinder type things, about 12 or 20 or something positioned in a circle. Then at the side of all this were 2 small ignition burners on the left and on the right. Don't switch off artist types- or non engineery girlies!!!I asked how often did they have to be stripped down for maintenance? He said after around 600 hours all the cylinders were completely changed. all that? This is what God said. All that we have seen up until now...from John G Lake, Smith Wigglesworth through the one man pioneers of the 50s through to Morris Cerullo Rheinhardt Bonnke...far from being the main show...were just ignition burners for the Kingdom. The real Kingdom ministry as pioneered by John Wimber and later Toronto and hopefully Florida is a faceless affair. Its the whole Body moving into overdrive. Men like the aforementioned were called men, ahead of the game, but now in secret,all over the world,the Body has been growing. So i felt God say that many would be used as simultaneous burners at full throttle, but then they would be put aside for another set of burners. In the navy example the burners are thrown away...but in God's Kingdom,people are not discarded after use, they experience a reassignment!! So imagine...if what we look up to now are just the ignition burners, the fire starters, what does the Kingdom look like when all the rings of 12 or 20 burners come on working simultaneously and in parallel??????Only to be replaced immediately by another set, then another set.And one ship can have 4 or 8 of these propulsion units!!!!
To a world fed on church comedy like the 60s "All Gas and Gaiters" through to the 90s "Father Ted" and "Vicar of Dibley" they won't know what has hit them. "Where did they come from?"

Dan Bowen said...

Lydia - thanks again Chris, your weighty comments are becoming a valuable and prophetic addition to this blog, and I do offer you again the offer, if you did want to join this blog as a contributer whenever the Spirit of God so moved, I would love to have you join us. I am just concerned that your comments get missed tucked away here.

I think you have a wonderful gift of seeing "behind the scenes" as to what God is doing and "joining the dots". It's really helping me see Florida particularly in it's wider context.

Like Lydia - thanks again!!


"Confessing our sins all the time, will only make us more sin-conscious.....but knowing we are constantly being cleansed forever alll the time.....will keep us forgiveness conscious and knowing we are forgiven will give us great faith and empower us and we can reign in life over all our bad habits and struggles and have victory!!"

THAT is the best summary I have read yet of what we are discussing! It's worthy of a place on "Pentecostal/Charismatic Postit Notes"!! ;-)

lydia said...

That's really cool Chris.....that lines up with what has been on my heart lately, thanks for posting that!!

lydia said...

Thanks Dan, my comment was inspired by reading Joseph Prince's book, which just reaffirmed what God has been showing me as well as what I am learning through Rob Rufus.....!!