I like posting my essays on my blog and sharing what I’ve learned. This essay is from my 3rd course on Identity and Inheritance.
So much wrong teaching is being dismantled in me. False beliefs that I wasn’t even aware that I had. Misunderstandings of Scripture because of a misunderstanding of who my Father is and always has been. I know I say this at the beginning of every essay I turn in, but WOW I’ve learned so much through this last course on Identity and Inheritance.
There are times lately on this journey of grace that I feel as if I’m meeting my Father for the very first time. I’m learning that He is so very different from the Father that I had been taught about and the Father I thought I’ve known for the last 25 years. He doesn’t love me more now that I am reconciled to Him. I am just free now to realize how much He has always loved me and to experience that all-consuming love.
I cringe now when I hear in church or Bible studies the division of “us and them.” God has no us and them perspective. There are no “outsiders” of His covenant. I am so very thankful for His patience and grace toward me in the midst of my wrong thinking. So acutely aware that it His goodness, His covenant love, that leads me to change my thinking. He died once FOR ALL. The depths of His love and kindness are overwhelming as I think about His far-reaching grace toward the ALL.
That word ALL has become to me one of the most beautiful words in the Bible. Three years ago I was teaching Bible study on the subject of healing, and I came across Luke 6:19 “and Jesus healed them ALL.” That word ALL literally jumped off of the page at me! As I began teaching that word ALL in connection with healing, people began to be set free from their wrong thinking about healing. Wrong thinking about God as their healer. Instead of healing being a “maybe” from God, they began to see that God’s will is always to heal and that He never turned anyone away who came to Him asking for healing.
So, as I began teaching the ALL included in healing and that healing and wholeness was ABSOLUTELY, ALWAYS God’s will for ALL, I started to see healings manifest as they grabbed hold of that word ALL. Cancer, broken bones made whole, heart defects, words spoken for the first time, etc.
Now, through course 3, God has begun to expand the meaning of the word ALL for me. I realize now that ALL is not just those who come to Him asking, the ALL included those who were never seeking, never asking. Somehow, I still thought there had to be an asking involved to receive. God did His part, and we needed to do our part. But He relentlessly pursued ALL in His love for us. While we were yet enemies (opposed to God in our thinking, not seeking Him), He reconciled us. He has never lost one of the ALL.
Once this truth unfolds, you can never go back to the way you used to believe. In fact last month I was deciding what to teach in my Thursday night online Bible study because we had just finished Galatians. I decided to do Romans because I had just done that study with a different group and the notes were already completed. No studying required since it was just last year. HA! I am teaching Romans again, but I’ve had to restudy and rewrite my notes. I no longer believe a lot of what I taught last year. I was still teaching law and grace the previous year, and I had no concept of the ALL.
Now I see ALL everywhere I look in Scripture. Both in the Old Testament and the New Testament. God’s love and passion for ALL is not a New Covenant idea. ALL has always been His heart. He chose ALL in Christ before the foundations of the World. Adam’s fall didn’t change God’s heart for mankind. It simply changed mankind’s heart for God. But thankfully He didn’t wait until we sought Him but instead He passionately came after us and rescued us.
ALL was never separated from Abba except in their thinking. We were alienated from Him in our own minds (Col 1:21). That was a truth I never understood. But now it changes how I see mankind. I used to see them as lost, sinners and “unsaved.” Now I’m beginning to see them as my Father does. He doesn’t see them as lost; He has always seen ALL found IN CHRIST before the foundation of the world. At the Cross, He judged ALL righteous and reconciled.
He doesn’t see sin since He’s not imputing their sins against them. Jesus took away the sin of the world. By the sacrifice of Himself, He canceled sin. Sin no longer exists. It became obsolete, eradicated, dissolved, taken care of. The only time we seem to find it is when we are sin-conscious. But God can’t find sin anywhere – Jesus didn’t miss anything!! The finished work of Christ changed everything! And as for those, I thought were lost, sinners or “unsaved,” they simply haven’t awakened to who they are IN CHRIST yet.
That was a massive revelation for me. An understanding that I was never in Adam. Understanding that Paul’s letters were speaking to a transitional generation, to those who lived on both sides of the Cross. Realizing that the body of sin was done away with and that the old man was crucified 2000 years ago!!
It finally clicked a couple of months ago that because Adam (the old man) died on the Cross, and I was born on this side of the finished side of the Cross, that Paul was not referring to an old me and a new me. He’s not referring to my experience before I accepted Christ as opposed to my experience after receiving Christ. I have never had two different identities.
I was never a slave to sin! Wow!! I may have lived a sinful life before coming into the knowledge of Christ, but I was NEVER a slave of sin. I was born free IN CHRIST! Death and it’s effects of sin, sickness, disease, poverty, etc., no longer had dominion over anyone born after the Cross. We were ALL were co-crucified 2000 years ago. The only way it can dominate anyone is in our wrong, distorted thinking.
I finally understand that no part of Adam survived the Cross. Christ did not do an incomplete, partial work. His last words were not “OK Dad; I did my part now it’s up to them to believe.” No, His last words were IT IS FINISHED! He abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the Gospel. He died once for ALL. And this is how we are to now judge, if One died for ALL then ALL died. He died as the last Adam. Not the second but the last! Understanding this frees me to see ALL no longer after the flesh but seeing them as IN CHRIST. Christ created one new man in Himself, in His body — ONE NEW MAN. Made up of ALL mankind. Mankind was born again through the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
My old way of thinking that Jesus came to take our punishment to appease an angry God is over. I no longer see Him when I miss the mark as an Advocate who is forever interceding to keep God happy with me. One who persuades God to overlook my sin because of what He did for me on the Cross. That kind of thinking just kept me fearful of approaching God. It kept me seeing Him as a demanding Father, as long as I did what was right everything was okay. But that’s no longer how I know Him.
He doesn’t need persuading from Jesus to overlook my sin because He has imputed righteousness to me and not my sins. There is no sin problem from His perspective. Jesus is not persuading Him to remain happy with me. He is never unhappy with me. He is ALWAYS pleased with me and loves me. Now, when I look at the Father, I see Jesus. And when I look at Jesus I see the Father. They are indivisible. Jesus didn’t come to save us from God but rather to reveal God as He truly is! He is my Daddy, my Savior, my Redeemer, my Passionate Lover, my Pursuer.
My righteousness is complete and finished IN CHRIST. I’m not trying to attain anything but simply being who He designed me to be… made in His image and likeness. There is no “old man” to put off and a “new man” to put on. That was a transitional generation Paul was talking to. I never had an old man to put off because I was born after the finished work of the Cross and Resurrection. The new man is not something I put on, Jesus made mankind a new man at the Cross. Putting the new man on for me is simply to be persuaded of who I am in Christ. Ephesians 4:24 says to put on the new man created like God, righteous and holy. Colossians 3:10 says to put on the new man which is renewed in knowledge after the image of God. Verse 11 ends with only Christ. To put on the new man is simply acknowledging that I am created like God, righteous and holy, made in His image and likeness. It is an awareness of only Christ, of oneness IN HIM. It is Galatians 2:20, I no longer live, but Christ lives in me and this life I now live I live by the faith of the Son of God who loved me and gave Himself for me.
Christ is all in all. I am to have no identification whatsoever with flesh. It is where my identity is ONLY CHRIST. He is ALL. He is all my life, all my righteousness, all my holiness. He is all my health, all my provision, all my obedience and all my faith. And He is in ALL. People that we call unbelievers. He is ALL in them as well. Without a revelation of this, I won’t effectively communicate the Gospel. To see ALL mankind as He does and always has. To see how excited He must’ve been when the fullness of time came. Oh, the joy He must have felt on the day of the Cross.
Isaiah 53:10 says the sacrifice of Jesus pleased the Father because of the finished result of ALL being justified. Pleased in Hebrew in that verse is “chapets” which means desired. To be eager, zealous, excited. Can you imagine how He must’ve looked forward to this day? 4000 years. 62 generations. Wow! What patience, what love! Faithfully, lovingly, pursuing ALL men for thousands of years even when they were unfaithful, and opposed to Him. You can see glimpses of His heart for ALL mankind all through the Bible if you look with unveiled eyes if you see with His eyes.
Naaman is one of those ALL. He wasn’t seeking after God. In fact, he was a mighty Gentile warrior who was attacking Israel and even kidnapped a young girl to give to his wife as a maid. As powerful and fierce as Naaman was, commander of the Syrian army, he had leprosy. But the young girl told Naaman’s wife that if he went to see the prophet Elisha who was in Samaria, he would be healed.
I love the heart of this young girl. The Bible doesn’t tell us how old she was. The Hebrew word used to describe her is “qatan naarah” which means little girl. This little girl had been savagely taken from her family, her country and all that she knew. She was made a slave. But this young girl had the heart of the Father; she had His compassion and mercy. She is definitely a beautiful picture of what it looks like to co-labor with God and be a minister of reconciliation.
She didn’t look at Naaman as one who was getting what he deserved. She didn’t see leprosy as his punishment for being an outsider of the covenant and for being an ungodly pagan. She knew her God. She knew He was not only able to heal but is also willing to heal, even an enemy of Israel! Naaman did go and find Elisha and God healed him. And he doesn’t just declare the goodness of God but that God is the only God in the entire world. God, in love, was pursuing Naaman and through this girls belief in His love and grace, a man’s life was forever changed.
She didn’t tell Naaman that if he would only “repent” and change his ungodly, pagan ways that God would heal him. Her job was not to judge him. She simply introduced him to the One she knew as Healer.
We are not to judge anyone. Our role as ministers of reconciliation is not to try and “reconcile” them back to God through repentance or a “salvation prayer.” Our part is to recognize that God was in Christ on the Cross and HE reconciled ALL men to Himself. The reconciliation is done. We simply, as ministers of reconciliation, are to tell people that God reconciled them at the Cross and He is no longer counting their sins against them. Like this young girl who simply saw that Naaman needed healing and she knew the Healer.
Verse 18 says He simply gave us the ministry of reconciliation. Ministry is diakone meaning waiting at a table. I am simply the waitress at God’s beautiful table of reconciliation. Then in verse 20, He says we are ambassadors. The word ambassador implies maturity and having seasoned judgment. It is someone who is respected as trustworthy, loyal and knowledgeable, especially in the opinion of those they know or belong to. The Mirror Bible says our lives exhibit the urgency of God to persuade everyone to realize the reconciliation of their redeemed identity.
My role as a minister and an ambassador is to tell everyone I come across of the divine exchange. That He took our sins and we became His innocence. Not because of anything we did or even believed but because of what He believed and did IN CHRIST. These classes are opening my eyes to the mystery of the Gospel. They are opening my eyes to God and His love affair with ALL mankind.
There are things that I heard in course 1 and 2, and earlier last year before I even started GGS but I was listening to Steve McVey and Francois du Toit, things that I didn’t understand and I just put on a shelf, knowing Abba would eventually reveal them to me. Those things are finally beginning to click. And sharing them with others has become so much simpler because now it is just flowing out of a place of knowing. A place of intimate knowledge and an awareness of the oneness I share with Him.
I can’t wait to begin course 4 and watch Abba unfold even more beautiful, liberating truths in and to me.