Friday, August 08, 2008

A Life-Changing Paragraph ... !!

A lot of people in the Christian world seem to testify to select paragraphs that they have read or heard that change their lives. John Piper testifies that Jonathan Edwards changed his life through a short paragraph. I think I've encountered mine - trudging home from a night shift listening to Rob Rufus's sermon; "Attitudes That Attract The Empowering Grace Of God - Part 2". Rob's teaching on grace and glory has already changed my life so much - but this concise paragraph has helped me immeasurably to seperate out again a bit more of legalism that creeps in where-ever possible and it helps me to understand the vast riches of "grace" just that bit more in the great adventure and process many of us have embarked on.

Here it is:

"Grace has two components - Acceptance grace and Empowering grace. Empowering grace enables us to raise the dead, heal the sick, see miracles and say no to worldliness and to work harder. The way into empowering grace MUST be through a revelation of acceptance grace. That even if I don't raise the dead, even if I don't heal the sick, even if I don't get victory over sin, even if I don't get holy or good enough - my Father accepts me in Christ Jesus because He has given me the gift of righteousness not based upon my obedience or disobedience - but the obedience I have is the unfluctuating, eternal, stable righteousness of Jesus Christ given to me".

I'm sure there is going to be much more to say on this short paragraph - and I will of course be publishing the whole sermon so that the paragraph can be seen in context. But I felt like the whole concept of "Grace and Glory" has pushed up another gear and I am seeing another step forward into the cloud of glory where miracles will be radiated effortlessly!


07000intune said...

Along simiar lines I have written in Julie's comments that really our walk only starts for real once we have been blitzed with this grace message...because it gives us the permission to be us, where we are now. We can only build from where we are now. And if our left-brains tell us that that is not good enough - we say "Tough, this is where I am, but I am accepted right now.And anyway Mr left-brain, exactly what has your contribution to Living explosive faith been? ...Well shutup then, while my spirit grows and actually does something. You just keep to the computating step by step procedures of rational thought, and we'll see to immersing ourselves in meditating on the Word, OK...

Dan Bowen said...

"And anyway Mr left-brain, exactly what has your contribution to Living explosive faith been? ...Well shutup then".

I love it. :) Thats how I feel with the whole approach to legalism. I feel like saying to legalism;

"What exactly has been YOUR contribution to my life at the moment? You dominated two of the four churches I have been to in my life and made my attendance there utterly miserable by the end. Because of legalism I was thrown out of one of the churches because a performance was demanded of me that I could never match up to, and furthermore had NOTHING to do with Jesus Christ and His imputed righteousness to me.

Legalism, what have you contributed to my life? Have you contributed to me becoming more holy? Have you contributed to me reaching my non-Christian friends with the gospel? Have you contributed to me seeing signs and wonders and miracles breaking through and amazing and astounding the lost?


Well then shut up!

07000intune said...

OK ...let's GO.

By the way, writing to Julie I became aware of what today's date was.

lydia joy said...

Great quote from Rob!! I so appreciate hearing this truth over and over. For so long we have heard, we need to be diligent, we need to do more for God, but with what understanding do we go forth in our activity for God when we don't lay a thick foundation of His love and acceptance. The real truth is we can't do anything for God, it's all been done! But when we live loved, we can give out his love which comes out in various forms of want to's and desires to serve and love others because we have a piece of the Father's heart to share!!

Today, is 8-8-08
Eight is the number of new beginnings - so let today be triple new beginnings from our triple awesome triune God. Yay!!!

janelle said...

Wow, excellent quote.

07000intune said...

How do you get on with Roy Field Dan?
Apparently last night was his 3rd preach. I have seen 2 and I love his stuff. I commented previously on this blog.
Thing is, he's got the grace message, the supernatural, the coming into the Presence that Rob preaches but he also has the reverse coin stuff as well that I believe is also what scripture teaches.
Not taking salvation lightly...the message behind Hebrews.
If Jesus Himself was heard for His crying
and travailing on Earth, then you can be sure we ought to be following His path.
Last night was on those of us who move in signs and wonders being told in heaven...yes, but I never knew you...depart from Me.
Do you remember me commenting a few months ago about the inner turmoil I went through in 1974, when I'd just read a lot of Maurice Smith's material on grace...and in fact I was having loads of input from all the London leaders ...Gerald Coates, George Tarleton,David Mansell. And it was all grace, freedom,etc etc.
But simultaneous to this Amersham Church had a visit from Richard Wurmbrandt fresh out of Communist jail, then that summer I went to pick up as much as I could from the Sisters of Mary in Darmstadt and Mother Basilea Schlink. They were a Lutheran setup. The fruit and goldfish were huge, as God literally blessed the fruit of their ground as they believed on the promises of scripture. If any of them fell out, quite often their machinery would breakdown, or they would get plagues of mites or something.As they repented, the blessings would flow again. They have a garden of Remembrance, which marks the stations of the Cross, which at one levl you would think...flippin 'eck, what would Gerald Coates be saying about this? But on the other hand as you meditated in real terms on what the gospel could cost and did cost Jesus, you found a more sober evaluation of the days ahead forming. How much was this preparing me for the days when I would be chucked out for faithfully giving what I believe was a Word of God, and enduring a few years of all my previous friends, not only not talking to me, but in most instances being told to literally not even look at me if they saw me.
So fasten your seatbelts, this is what I now believe concerning the Word of God. This is what I wrote on Lydia Joy's site...but it got snaffled because of a bad internet connection. So let's have another go.
This is what I saw last September concerning the true nature of the Word. 'Fraid Sheila it's another of those science things!!!
I saw a chemistry lab with a bench and a metal orb. The orb was motionless and flat on the bench. Around the orb were a number of poles with electro magnets on them, all laid out in circular fashion, like floodlights around a football pitch.

OK so far?

Well imagine God saying to us as believers..."You think that the orb is the Word, and you have the Word because you have a lifeless orb sitting in front of you on a bench."

"Well, switch on the electricity and see the orb rise, suspended in mid-air between all these opposing poles. I tell you, that is the Word. It is My Presence suspended between all the seemingly opposing truths in the Bible. I come and dwell in the space between all these truths. I am like the Glory Cloud suspended without human involvement above the Mercy Seat between the Cherubim in the Most Holy Place. This is My Presence surrounded on the one side by the Truth that my salvation shall never fail, none shall pluck you out of my hand, and on the other side, by Hebrews 2"We must pay more careful attention, therefore, to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away. For if the message spoken by angels was binding, and every violation and disobedience received its just punishment, how shall we escape if we ignore such a great salvation?"

But My Presence, My Life is described perfectly by all these things. It is not that you have to work harder at producing something...You have to believe all these things are the nature of My Life within you...even if you cannot understand how with your minds.Even if to your own understandings there seem to be such contradictions.

People in previous movements have camped around one or two poles and lost my Presence. I only linger in a place where my whole Word for You is honoured."
Last night, where you had spontaneous laughter and great release of praise, followed by a very sober Word from Roy Field was I believe representative of all this.

jul said...

Chris, is the message by Roy Fields you're talking about available online anywhere? I'd be very interested to hear his take on "depart from me I never knew you".

07000intune said...

I'm afraid I don't know but it was on God TV last night so I guess it was Thursday in Lakeland.

Dan Bowen said...

I really like Roy Field, and would be very interested in hearing the sermon you mentioned! I must confess again, I think the principle applies that we should approach the Lakeland meetings demanding and expecting expository, foundational ministry. I have had the awesome benefit of a lifetime of incredible expository ministry from an outstanding theologian/teacher - despite all the unpleasant legalistic add-ons. And of course I am not saying that I don't continually need and long for continuing expository teaching because how can we ever know enough about the Word of God?

But that sound, orthodox background gives me freedom to enjoy the exhortative teaching that is coming from Lakeland and appreciate it for what it is.

I admit that those who perhaps haven't been as blessed as I have, to have such a background of sound teaching would be left short if that is their sole teaching input.

But all that aside, yes I really do appreciate Roy Field's deep passion and love for God and his desire to see the anointing passed on to the thousands who have come.

07000intune said...

Here’s a conundrum for you especially at the conclusion of this post.But before that have you seen Lydia Joy's clip?
I'm a bit fascinated by you and Sheila on this last statement of yours.
It throws up things like....
when Smith Wigglesworth prophesied that the next move would marry The Word and the Spirit...what was going on in the 40s and 50s?
Would your take with Oral Roberts etc be that it was missing expository teaching?
My take is that earlier moves only concerned themselves with the 1st 2 levels of knowing Christ...Forgiveness by the Blood of Jesus, being born again, and then moving into the 2nd level action stage of knowing you are Victors in Christ, casting out demons, healing, being baptized in the Spirit, (I write to you, young men,
because you are strong,
and the word of God lives in you,
and you have overcome the evil one.) Actually, because of the way things were until quite recently, there were only 2 church models in evangelicalism. One was purely expository, the other contained baptism in the Spirit as well....but I think because of the kudos "knowing things" brings, I think it would be true to say whichever church type has always held great store on a certain quotient of teaching. Obviously some teaching was liberating, and some was extra-Biblical containing reasons why the spiritual gifts have now ceased. Perhaps in the last 3 decades of new churches, leaders have been so concerned with re-evaluating how churches should be run, and with emphasis on worship and the spiritual gifts, that huge chunks of what you had in Dunstable, and what guys like Mark Heath,Dave Bish and Adrian Warnock value, have been missed out.

I find myself intrigued by all this. Here are some Biblical parameters.
Jesus laid all-knowing aside as part of laying aside His Divinity and grew as a man in the knowledge of God and the Word presumably through the weekly Synagogue gatherings. We are not told much at all. We know Paul had the most amazing access to the Word going through some of the best training that was available at the time….but ended up consigning the people of the Way to their deaths.

We know that one of the effects of the New Covenant as worked by the Holy Spirit
Is that “we shall all know Him from the least to the greatest” that we shall not have the same need as before to say to one another “Know the Lord”.

And we know that phrase I am always quoting from Jesus in John7:17 If anyone chooses to do God's will, he will find out whether my teaching comes from God or whether I speak on my own.” Which throws up a fresh and different correlation of how we can get accelerated downloads of learning, the moment we flick switches inside of us to simply say to God “ I give up fighting, God just have Your way in my life.”

But there are also equally valid scriptures that say “Study to show yourelf approved as God’s workmen”.
Jesus own teaching worked at 3 levels. Introducing complete outsiders. Feeding the more dedicated, and transplanting His own Life by the Word into 12 most dedicated followers. But like the Florida move, His teaching was very “ as and when.” And a lot of His most significant revelation was said giving light on actual Feasts as they all went through the cycle of Feasts every year. I just wonder to myself , I guess, how you and Sheila would have got on with Jesus, and whether He would have made the grade for you. What do you think?

Sheila said...

Chris, you crack me up!

I skimmed your note above, but in knee-jerk answer to your question, I don't think I would have got on with Jesus as well as EITHER Judas or Nicodemus did. I think I would have struggled mightily with being a stinking Pharisee. There. Does that answer satisfy you? :-))

It doesn't make me proud. I've agonized over that reality in my life.

but I think He would have loved me anyway....and in reality, He created me for such a time as THIS. I am alive, right now, serving Jesus, and passionate for Him, in 2008. To get too introspective about how I would have received Jesus ministry in Jesus' day, removes me from the very grace of God we talk so much about on this blog.

I choose not to go there.

Jesus went about breaking rules, but fulfilling law. Eating with sinners, yet sinless. Telling one adulterous woman "neither do I condemn you, go in peace" and telling another "poor crippled" man, "Go and sin no more, lest a worse thing come upon you." Go figure. Rusty, swearing fishermen also had a difficult time with Him - in their own way. So did the teachers. So do we all, today, sometimes stumble at this Man who has become the Chief Corner Stone.

Blessed is she or he who is not offended in Him. I am blessed, most days. Other days, that whole "turn the other cheek" thing just bugs the crud out of me. Why can't I just punch someone's lights out?

No one - but no one - however grace saturated, or leaning towards legalism, has the full picture. We *all* prophesy in part.

Since I tend to stumble and fall a LOT, I hugely value the grace by which I STAND. Such grace keeps me bowing low, and the low have but an inch to fall. I dislike heights, anyhow.