How are we to interpret Scripture? Christocentric and Christotelic. What does that even mean?
Christocentric Interpretation of the Old Testament — Jesus, the Christ is the center and the goal of the entire drama of redemption. Everything points to that. In other words, ALL of our study and teaching of the Old Testament revolves around Jesus, the Christ as the center. And ALL the Old Testament conceptions of God must be understood in the light of Jesus Christ, who is God’s FINAL and perfect self revelation (Hebrews 1). Because everything up to that was an inferior, incomplete, immature, dim understanding of God’s glory. For example, Moses saw the backside of God’s glory but Thomas saw the face of God’s glory in the crucified and risen Jesus Christ.
Christotelic Interpretation of the OT — This means thatwe are not reading Jesus back into the Old Testament to revise what it once meant, BUT rather Jesus Christ was the goal (the telos) of the redemption story from the start — starting with Genesis. Christ is the heart of redemption history at every point.
I like what Graeme Goldsworthy in his book, Gospel Centered Hermeneutics: “The hermeneutical center of the Bible is therefore Jesus in His being and in his saving acts — the Jesus of the Gospel.”
There is a similar kind of quote from Peter Enns (Apostolic Hermeneutics and Evangelical Doctrine of Scripture):It is the convictionof the Apostles that the eschaton (the end) had come in Christ that drove them back to see where and how their Scripture spoke of Him. And this was not a matter of grammatical-historical exegesis but of a Christ-driven hermeneutic… for the church, the Old Testament does not exist on it’s own, in isolation from the completion of the Old Testament story in the death and resurrection of Christ
And I love the disciples exclamation on the road to Emmaus. Luke 24:32 in the Passion Translation says, Stunned, they looked at each other and said, “Why didn’t we recognize him? Didn’t our hearts burn with the flames of holy passion[c] while we walked beside him? He unveiled for us such profound revelation from the Scriptures!” Their hearts burned with passion inside them!! What was the PROFOUND REVELATION from Scriptures that was unveiled to them? Verse 27 says, And beginning with Moses and all the prophets he carefully unveiled to them the revelation of Himself throughout the Scriptures. Jesus unveiled to them the revelation of Himself in the Scriptures (aka the Old Testament).
Lately everyone is wanting to unveil PROFOUND REVELATION in the Scriptures. But the profound revelation is so simple… it is ALWAYS (whether in the Old Testament or the New Testament) pointing to Christ.
Jesus said in John 5:39 (The Passion Translation), “Everything you read points to Me.”
Paul said in Galatians 3 that the Law was their tutor to point them to Christ. And in 2 Timothy 3:15, he said, “and that from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.” I love the Mirror Bible translation of that verse: The sacred Scriptures that you were raised with from your mother’s womb dynamically pointed you to the explicit clarity of salvation! God’s belief was always wrapped up in Christ Jesus! And verse 16 in the Mirror Bible is excellent!! It says, Jesus Christ and His work of salvation is the theme of Scripture. The value of scripture in its most complete context is always found in God’s prophetic voice inspiring a thorough education in the revelation of righteousness! This is what carries the breath of God and gives substance and proof to accurately gauge what is being taught.
Any allegorical interpretation we attempt to apply to Old Testament Scriptures that don’t make Jesus Christ and His FINISHED work bigger in your understanding needs to be disregarded as untrue. And any definition of Christ outside of Jesus (who was 100% God and 100% Man) needs to also be disregarded. John said in his gospel (John 20:31 – Mirror Bible), “But what is written here is enough evidence for the reader to be absolutely convinced that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God…”
The Old Testament is ONLY interpreted correctly through the lens of Christ centered, Christ as the goal, and bowing to the revelation of Christ in the New Testament. And like the disciples on the road to Emmaus, it’s time to get back to that 1st century obsession… simply looking for Him in the Old Testament Scriptures!
As I was reading Galatians 6, Holy Spirit asked me… “did you see what Paul did there?” I love that about Holy Spirit. He doesn’t say did you see what I did there through Paul… He’s excited about what Paul did! We were designed to live a beautiful, abundant life of CO with God (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit)… a life of co-participation, co-laboring, co-engaging with Them. And as I looked closer to see what Paul did, Holy Spirit began to show me the beauty and ease of prophesying into people’s lives in order to restore them.
Galations 6:1 says, Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness, considering yourself lest you also be tempted.
Here in chapter 6 Paul calls these Galatians brothers. His relationship with them isn’t so great. Back in chapter 4 he asked them why he had become their enemy? They weren’t treating Paul like a brother, or even a friend for that matter. They were turning back to legalism and because Paul was preaching an uncompromised, pure message of grace plus nothing, of the FULL, FINISHED work of Christ, that truth had made him now their enemy. BUT no matter what their perception of him was, or how they were now treating him, he chose to see them only as brothers. And according to chapter 5 he was FULLY confident that they would turn back and continue in a life of grace by the Spirit.
“Deep in my heart I have confidence that the Lord, who lives in you, will bring you back around to the truth…” (Galatians 5:10 Passion Translation) He goes on in chapter 6 …
… you who are spiritual restore such a one …
He calls them spiritual!! These Galatians who are considering going back to the law, who are treating him like an enemy, and who back in chapter 3 he called foolish and bewitched!! You would think that he would call them carnal but no… he calls them spiritual! Or as the Passion Translation says, you who are in the Spirit. Spiritual is pneumatikos in Greek. It is pneuma which is spirit and ikos which is a suffix that is added to a noun to make it an adjective in Greek. It means “having characteristics of” “or the nature of.” In other words, spiritual or pneumatikos is having the nature or characteristics of the Spirit.
Paul is saying, you who are living IN CHRIST, you who are living life led by the Spirit, having His nature and characteristics restore one who is overtaken in any trespass. He’s not talking about sin. He’s not telling them to restore someone who is sinning. I always thought that’s what it meant. To help restore someone who has been overcome by sin. To help them get right with God again. Because we have been taught to read words like “overtaken in a trespass” and connect it to sin. But that kind of thought connection is a sin conscious mentality. It is a dull mind. It’s Old Covenant thinking.
Paul hasn’t been talking about “sin” in the entire book of Galatians. Paul knew the power of sin had been broken and that we are free from its power, guilt, and punishment in our lives. He’s been talking about the contrast of law and grace… of falling from grace into the legalistic mentality of works and performance — doing in order to receive or become. Of finding our righteousness in what we do instead of simply who we are IN CHRIST.
… if a man is overtaken in any trespass …
The word overtaken is prolambano in Greek meaning to be overtaken, to anticipate, or caught. And the word trespass is paraptoma in Greek which means a falling away; to slip or lapse and comes from the root parapipto which is two words… para meaning close beside, proceeding from a sphere of influence. And pipto meaning to fall; to fall away after being close beside; to defect or abandon; to have fallen from a close position. It refers to a close follower of Christ who becomes a defector of grace, turning back to law.
That sounds like what had happened to the Galatians — they had fallen from a close position of grace. They had stopped soaring under the influence of grace. The Mirror Bible says, someone who continues to anticipate their next failure. And the King James and the Passion Translation says, someone who is overtaken with a fault. Regardless of the many translations that connect this to SIN, these Galatians are simply falling away from grace into the bondage of the law. Turning away from the influence of the Spirit in their lives, to a life of rules and regulations. They are falling away from freedom and grace, and picking up a heavy load of religion that will only cause them to live life anticipating failure. It’s not about sin or wrong behavior! It’s about bondage!
Can you hear the gentleness of Paul in speaking to them? He’s saying to them this is not who you are! We are brothers in Christ. You are spiritual!! And he’s speaking to them as if they were already FREE from falling away from grace because he is FULLY confident that they will turn back, that they will choose a life of freedom in the Spirit over a life of carnal religious burdens.
The word restore is katartizó in Greek means to prepare or perfect for full destination or use; to bring into its proper condition (whether for the first time, or after a lapse); to properly adjust to be in good working order. Paul is telling them “Brothers, see what I’m doing with you right now? This is what you’ll be doing with others who fall from grace, who are tempted to defect from Christ plus nothing. You will restore them – adjusting them back to good working order by telling them who they are… perfect and complete IN CHRIST.”
What a prophetic verse. Although I’ve never seen it as Paul being prophetic before probably because it doesn’t have the “prophetic language” I’ve grown accustomed to hearing. Paul didn’t preface this first verse with “Thus sayeth the Lord” or “I hear God saying” or “I’m getting this by the Spirit.” He simply sees them through the eyes of Abba and talks to them in love — declaring who they are IN Christ. He was simply being supernaturally natural.
I see in this verse a clearer idea of what the prophetic is….
It’s releasing a revelation of restored identity. They are“brothers” – like Paul, born of God or sons of God. They are “spiritual” – they are walking IN CHRIST; living life led by the Spirit to a place of rest, a refreshing place free from the law and its bondage of fear.
And it’s releasing a revelation of restored purpose. Adjusting others back to good working order back into the proper condition of understanding who they are IN CHRIST; reveal the Son in them.
So in this one verse, he declares (prophesies) their restored identity and their restored purpose or mission. Although this was not how they were walking at the moment because right now they had fallen from grace and saw Paul as an enemy. But this was how Paul saw them in the future as spiritual sons of God restoring others in their Christ identity. And so he prophesied or declared that about them. I have no doubt that the Galatians repented (metanoia) and turned from legalism… changed their mindset and aligned themselves with the truth. And that they continued to live their lives under the influence of grace…. living their lives in the revelation of it is FINISHED… Christ plus nothing. And that they went about revealing the Son in others just like Paul revealed the Son in them.
Prophecy is easy. It’s simply declaring what God is saying. It’s about restoring identity and purpose in others. It’s the declaration of the FINISHED work in them.
I love when people who are reading one of my books contacts me to tell me they experienced healing! Links to my books IT IS FINISHED and I AM HEALED are at the end of the post.
𝐉𝐮𝐬𝐭 𝐫𝐞𝐜𝐞𝐢𝐯𝐞𝐝 𝐭𝐡𝐢𝐬 𝐛𝐞𝐚𝐮𝐭𝐢𝐟𝐮𝐥 𝐡𝐞𝐚𝐥𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐭𝐞𝐬𝐭𝐢𝐦𝐨𝐧𝐲 …… and by the way… not just the heart was healed but no sickness whatsoever anymore!! Come on Jesus!!!
Hi Robin, I wanted to try and convey my testimony of “It is finished” to you. A few years back 2 phrases became the cry of my heart… “In Christ” and “It is finished.” I journaled the phrases, I pondered them constantly and began to see so much. Little did I realize the journey those 2 incredible ponderings would lead me on! I became enlighten to OC/NC reality. I began SEEING what the cross accomplished. Little did I know how much MORE this new awareness was going to afford me to see! My heart was searching for the more that I knew was IN CHRIST, in me.
Then in April I got really sick. Really sick! It was right before this that a friend introduced me to your books. I was so intrigued by the title “It is finished” as it had been by heart cry for a long time. I ordered your book. I began reading and could hardly stay in my chair! Your words connected with the place in my heart that had been on this journey for 2 years. Then the sickness! As sick as I was, I would come up to my chair every night and read and journal from this new place of awareness. Whole, healed, delivered. None of it felt like reality but I KNEW it was THE TRUTH. Your words were such confirmation to my soul. I continued meditating on It is finished. My journal is filled with such words of life from an awareness I didn’t know or was not physically experiencing. BUT I KNEW IT IN MY KNOWER!I won’t bore you with all the medical details except this. During this sickness I was also having pretty severe chest pains. Both my brothers had recently had open heart surgery. A history of heart disease all in my family blood line. Doctors were concerned for me.
They scheduled a heart cath and for several weeks before the cath I journaled and pondered wholeness. Thanks to your book. I began pondering the blood of the new covenant that runs in my veins. Heart cath was done, and the words of the doctor was this, “You have no sign of heart disease. Your heart is actually perfect! You did not inherit your family’s disease!!” WELL HALLELUJAH HALLELUJAH Robin!!! I have a new inheritance! A better covenant!! Today I am so enjoying “I am healed”. I see so much, and struggle to even articulate it to friends or family. It blows my mind.
Thank you for your heart to share your incredible insight and wisdom. You give words to such deep truths. Some think I am a little crazy but I literally walk around these days singing these words, “I am healed, I am whole, I am blessed and highly favored.” I sing it over and over. “In CHRIST”has new meaning yet again.
Blessings and love to you Robin. Thank you for touching my life with your words. HIS WORDS.
Exodus 23:25 says, “And you shall serve the LORD your God, and he shall bless your bread, and your water; and I will take sickness away from the midst of you.”
The Young’s Literal Translation says, “I have turned aside sickness from thine heart.”
He wasn’t speaking to Israel as a congregation, a church group, or a select chosen group of people, saying, “I’m going to take sickness out of the midst of the Israelites.” He was referring to humanity — to ALL mankind — and He was saying I will take sickness out of the midst of you. He said I have turned aside sickness from within your heart. Notice that He is associating sickness with the heart rather than with the body. We don’t do that. We usually associate sickness with the body. But this verse tells us that sickness originated in man’s heart, not in the biology of man. The heart in biblical Hebraic understanding is the place where we feel feelings and think thoughts. So, what does it mean to turn aside sickness from our heart? To me, that says that there was a root sickness in men’s hearts (in their thoughts and feelings) that told them that their behavior was associated with their wholeness or lack of health.
So, sickness originated in the heart — in the thoughts and feelings of mankind. This is something the serpent sowed into the heart of Adam from the beginning. When God came looking for Adam, he was hiding. He hid because when he heard God, he was afraid because he was naked (or lacking). So, right here, we see a connection between his behavior and his relationship with God in Adam’s mind. This sickness in men’s hearts (in their thoughts and feelings) told them that their behaviors were associated with their wholeness or the lack of it. And that’s been perpetuated in the church down through the ages. And continues to persist in the hearts (in the thoughts and feelings) of many believers. We continue to believe that our wellness or our lack of health has to do with what we DO… good or bad.
Colossians 1:21 says, “And you, that were sometimes alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled.” Notice the words in your mind! This isn’t God’s perspective of men — it was in their minds! They thought they were alienated from God. That’s what Adam thought when he hid. What does it mean by wicked works? It says, by your wicked works or because of evil deeds. It doesn’t mean that God turned away from them because of their wicked works! It is saying that because of their wicked works, they thought that they were alienated from and enemies with God. All of us have experienced that! We were taught we were alienated from God because of “sin,” by our wrong behavior, or our wicked works. But here in Colossians, we see that the root sickness in man’s heart (in their thoughts and feelings) was the mindset that their behavior was somehow or other related to their experience with God… good or bad. And here, in Exodus with the Israelites, we see that they believed that their good or bad behavior determined their wellness or lack of it.
Exodus 23:25 (Young’s Literal Translation) says, “And ye have served Jehovah your God, and He hath blessed thy bread and thy water, and I have turned aside sickness from thine heart.” This is reminiscent of Genesis 1:28, God blessed them and said be fruitful, multiply, fill the earth, and subdue it. The prophet Balaam said, what God has blessed He cannot reverse. God cannot reverse what He has blessed. It’s impossible! He said in Genesis 1:28, “I have blessed.” That is UNCONDITIONAL and UNCHANGING. Here in Exodus 23:25, He’s simply stating His position from the beginning. It’s not just since Egypt that He has blessed the bread and the water and taken sickness away from their heart (from their thoughts and feelings). God is saying to them, “There has never been a relationship between Me and your behaviors that would hinder you from being well — from being whole. From the very beginning, I have blessed your bread and your water and turned away sickness from your hearts (from your thoughts and feelings). It is the idea that exists in your heart (in your thoughts and feelings) that tells you that your behaviors have anything to do with your access to healing and health — experiencing and enjoying wholeness in every area of your life.”
This is a powerful truth! He’s communicating spiritual law — He’s communicating absolute certainty. He’s saying, “I AM the Authority; I AM the LORD! I AM the One who decided since before the foundation of the earth that your behaviors, what you do or don’t do, have nothing to do with accessing health and wholeness. It’s always been yours.” Mankind’s health and wholeness were never conditional and never a someday truth to look forward to. It is ETERNAL truth and woven into the very fabric of our identity. It’s who we have always been whole and complete IN Christ.
Biblical languages are my passion, both Hebrew and, more recently, Greek and Aramaic. And after completing this MA in Theology, I’m going to go on and get my degrees in Biblical languages.
Koine Greek is the Biblical Greek used in the New Testament. The word koine means common. As the Greek language spread across the known world and interacted with other languages, it was altered. This alteration resulted in what we call today Koine Greek. It is also known as the Alexandrian dialect, common Attic, Hellenistic, or Biblical Greek. It was the ordinary, everyday language of the people. It was not the polished literary form of Greek. It was the simplified version of Classical Greek. And it is the language that was used in the Septuagint to translate the Hebrew Scriptures. It became the universal language of the known world, so that no matter where you traveled, you could speak the language and understand what was being said. And God used this universal language to communicate His gospel!
I like what Bill Mounce says, “In the fullness of time God sent His Son, and part of that fullness of time was a universal language. No matter where Paul traveled, he could be understood.”
I don’t believe you have to know Greek or Hebrew to understand Scripture. Because Holy Spirit enlightens and quickens your mind, giving you the ability to understand. But learning to understand these languages, not just the word meanings but also the grammar of the language, has helped me get a greater idea of what the writers were saying. Greek language (as well as Hebrew) is so vastly different from English. Sometimes you come across a word where there is just no equivalent in English. And because our Bible is translated into English, we tend to read it with an English understanding. In other words, understanding it from the perspective of our English/Western culture. And we end up understanding, or rather misunderstanding it, from our Western way of thinking.
Not realizing that the culture, the people, and the language is different from ours.
For example, when Jesus told His disciples to go and make disciples, we read that with a Western understanding and interpret it from our church culture and language. We hear what we think is the “great commission.” In other words, we are to go evangelize, go spread the gospel, and get people to repent of their sins and get saved!
But if we understood the language and culture of the day, we would understand what Jesus meant by GO!
The Greek word for go is poreuomai and means to pursue one’s journey and lead or order one’s life. It is a participle meaning going, not go. Meaning, in your going make disciples, or in your everyday life, and everywhere you go, make disciples. In whatever you do, when you are at work or school, when you go hang out with a friend, when you go to church, or even when you go for a walk — make disciples. What does the Kingdom of God look like? It’s not about we do or don’t do, but it’s Christ IN us. It is righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit — all of which are FINISHED and IN us.
That’s going and making disciples! It is bringing others to an awareness of the FINISHED kingdom life IN them.
Ok, so back to the subject of hermeneutics. It would help us to learn necessary, simple Hermeneutic skills. So that we could know how to interpret Scripture ourselves rather than rely on others’ commentaries or interpretations! Understanding that what we read in English translations may or may not accurately reflect what was written in the original languages. It may reflect the translator’s personal beliefs or understanding of God. In English, nouns are an essential part of sentences. But in Greek, it’s all about the verbs! And these Greek verbs each have moods, tenses, and voices.
I love the aorist tense. It often gets mistranslated as past tense. It is a COMPLETED tense, DONE! FINISHED! In other words, it doesn’t need to be done again, and in fact, CAN’T be done again. Nor can it ever be undone! While English is built primarily on the present tense, the aorist tense is the default tense in Greek. I love that!! In other words, FINISHED is the default tense of the New Testament Scriptures!!
In Luke 23:34, Jesus said, “Father forgive them.” Forgive is an aorist tense – it is FINISHED!! The Father is not forgiving anyone today. Why? Because He has COMPLETELY, FULLY forgiven us — FINISHED, DONE!
In fact, when we mess up and ask Him to forgive us, we will ALWAYS hear Him say, “Forgiven!” Not because He is right now forgiving us for what we’ve done. But because FORGIVEN is who we are! FINISHED!!! Do we have to receive His forgiveness if it’s already given? Of course! But it’s received by understanding that He’s already COMPLETELY, FULLY forgiven us. He can’t forgive us any more than He already has — it is FINISHED, DONE!!
Our receiving that truth means we’ve grasped it and are now free in our thinking to experience His forgiveness.
The aorist is a completed action that took place at a point in time. When did God forgive? On the cross. It was fleshed out in time two thousand years ago. But the cross is ETERNAL, which means He COMPLETELY forgave ALL mankind before time ever began! Before Adam fell, he was COMPLETELY, FULLY forgiven… FINISHED! Before humanity ever sinned, they were forgiven…. FINISHED!
We have always been ETERNALLY forgiven (Ephesians 1)!
Another essential element of Greek grammar that we need to understand is the genitive possessive case of nouns. It denotes ownership. In our English Bibles, the word “of” is usually added in translations to help the verse read easier. ALTHOUGH, at times, a different preposition is used by the translators, such as the word “IN.” Which can cause us to interpret the verse as something we need to do.
For instance, Romans 3:22 (NKJV) says, “Even the righteousness of God, through faith in Jesus Christ, to all and on all who believe. For there is no difference.”
The phrase is consistently rendered in English translations as “faith in Jesus Christ.” The Greek, however, says, “Pistis Iesou Christou,” which means the faith of Jesus Christ or Jesus Christ’s faith. Both of the nouns, faith and Jesus Christ, are genitive possessive. Remember, genitive possession denotes ownership, meaning Jesus owns the faith. But translating it as “in” makes it sound like we need to put OUR faith IN Jesus, and we miss the importance of understanding that the faith belongs to Jesus — it is His!
Romans 3:22 is an important verse to correctly understand how God’s righteousness comes to us.
Is it by Jesus’ faith or putting our faith in Jesus that we are made righteous? The NLT (New Living Translation) says, “We are made right with God by placing our faith in Jesus Christ.” The ESV (English Standard Version) says, “The righteousness of God, through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe.” And the CEV (Contemporary English Version) says, “He (God) accepts people only because they have faith in Jesus Christ.” That’s only three translations, but MOST translations say something similar. I found only a few that say faith OF Jesus Christ, the KJV, Douay-Rheims Bible, Darby Bible Translation, and Young’s Literal Translation.
Why is an understanding of the words OF or IN critical?
Because the faith OF Jesus Christ says that it’s a free gift, a FINISHED work! But faith IN Jesus Christ makes it something we need to do to become righteous or that God ONLY accepts people BECAUSE of their faith in Jesus. And that’s just not true. That makes it about OUR works, instead of His FINISHED works.
And just like you can’t understand Romans 7 unless you read it with the understanding of chapters 5 and 6.
You also won’t understand chapters 5 and 6 without a correct understanding of Romans chapter 3!
If you read it as putting your faith IN Jesus, that will also be the lens through which you read Romans 5 and 6.
Martin Luther was a German monk and theologian whose impact on the world is still felt today. His German translation in 1534 profoundly influenced the tradition of our English Bibles. Martin Luther said about Romans 3:21-31 that it is the chief point, the very central place of the epistle, and the whole Bible. He translated the phrase “pistis Iesou Christou” in Romans 3:22 as an “objective genitive,” meaning Christ is the faith’s object, NOT the Possessor of the faith. In other words, Luther’s translation was faith IN Christ.
However in 1526 (8 years BEFORE Martin Luther’s translation), William Tyndale’s English translation chose to translate this verse as faith OF Christ. In other words, as Christ’s faith, He’s the Possessor of the faith!
But it was Martin Luther’s translation, faith IN Christ, that influenced how we read verses today — taught to read it as putting OUR faith in Christ as the KEY factor in our new lives IN Christ.
I think a correct understanding of Romans 3:22 is kind of like understanding the garden scene in Genesis 3. In those verses in Genesis 3, our perception of God sets the stage for how we see God through the rest of Scripture – either as a loving Father or a demanding God punishing disobedience. Here in Romans 3, our perception of Christ’s faith or (our) faith IN Christ sets the stage for how we read the rest of Romans and the New Testament in general. Either emphasizing it as the FINISHED work of Christ or conditionally based on our putting our faith in receiving justification, salvation, righteousness, etc.
Paul’s opponents to his grace message believed that justification came from obeying the Law of Moses.
However, Paul taught that our justification came NOT from works but from Jesus.
Romans 3:20 tells us that NO ONE is justified by the law (or by our own works). And verse 24 says that we were FREELY justified by His grace through the redemption that is IN Christ Jesus. Both grace and redemption in this verse are also genitive possessive case nouns… they belong to Him. It is His grace, His redemption, and His faith that justified us.
And Paul declared to the Philippians (in Philippians 3:9) that he is found IN Christ, NOT having his own righteousness, which is of the Law. But it is through Christ’s faith (genitive possessive case again). Declaring that THE righteousness of God is based on THE faith (of Christ).
I love all of the “THE’s” in this verse… THE law (of Moses), THE faith (of Christ), THE righteousness (of God). Notice that none of it is ours… we are not THE source of any of it!
Paul also tells the Galatians, “Man is NOT justified by works OF the law, but by THE faith OF Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Christ Jesus that we might be justified by THE faith OF Christ and not by the works OF the law; for by the works OF the law shall no flesh be justified.” (Galatians 2:16, KJV – emphasis mine).
It says THE faith. Meaning it’s not a general faith, it’s THE faith. Who’s faith? Ephesians 4:5 tells us there is ONLY ONE FAITH — HIS. And Paul said this is THE faith he lives by — THE faith (the ONE faith) of the Son of God.
metanoia moment: This verse (Galatians 2:16) mentions our believing in Christ Jesus that we might be justified by Christ’s faith and not the works of the Law. The word in is eis in Greek, meaning a point reached in conclusion. It is not putting our belief in Jesus. Instead, it means that His belief, His faith, is the ONLY valid basis for our believing. In other words, we believe what He believes. His belief is the conclusion of our belief (eis).
Jesus is the Author and Finisher of our faith. But is that what it says in Hebrews 12:2? Does it say that He is the Author and Finisher of OUR faith? That’s how I have always quoted it. But when you look it up in the Greek, it says looking unto THE faith Founder and Finisher. He is the Founder and the Finisher of THE faith (Ephesians 4:5 – the ONE faith). I love that! That tells me that there is NO OTHER faith that exists… not His faith AND our faith. NO, He is THE faith (the ONE Faith) Founder and Finisher! The Mirror Bible says it like this, “He is the Fountainhead, and Conclusion of faith.” I LOVE the words the Mirror Bible used, Fountainhead and Conclusion. THE ONE faith flows out from Him (as the Source) and ends or FINISHES in Him. The faith we have is His faith IN us…. it is a FINISHED faith, a PERFECTED faith. All that we do is rest in it.
Romans 1:17 tells us that God’s righteousness is revealed (in the gospel) from faith to faith, and the righteous shall live by faith. Paul is not telling us that we are to live our lives by OUR faith. Although, for years, that’s what I thought he was saying. I thought the righteous he was talking about were ONLY those who had believed in Jesus, asking Him into their hearts. Those I saw in church every Sunday, not the worldly bunch that didn’t live for Jesus – they were unrighteous. Now, I can’t even think that way… it’s foreign to me. So, I thought the righteous were to live by THEIR faith. Meaning I needed to live a life of faith — a life of believing God and obeying Him. All based on me, on what I DO. But Paul tells us in Galatians 2:20 what living a life of faith looks like.
Galatians 2:20 (KJV), “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless, I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”
The Mirror Bible version says, “So here I am dead and alive at the same time! I’m dead to the old me I was trying to be and alive to the real me, which is Christ in me! Co-crucified, now co-alive! What a glorious entanglement! I was in him in his death; now I discover that he is infused in me, in my life! For the first time, I’m free to be me in my skin, immersed in his faith in our joint-sonship! He loves me and believes in me! He is God’s gift to me!”
Paul’s life of faith was a life of CO… co-crucified, and co-alive. It was a life of joint sonship, IMMERSED in Christ’s faith! He is infused IN our life!! Jesus’ beliefs were Paul’s beliefs.
I like the wording, “What a glorious entanglement!”
Paul doesn’t live by any faith of his own but IN the faith OF Jesus. BUT Galatians 2:20 reads in most translations, “I live by faith in the Son of God.” And unfortunately, most believers just read the way the translators translated it, and don’t look it up in the Greek to see what it actually says. In Greek, it reads, zo en sarki (I live in flesh), en pistei zo (in faith I live), te tou Huiou tou Theou (that from the Son of God).
So what is Paul saying?
He is telling us that his life in his physical body here on earth is lived IN faith. But who’s faith? Translations make it sound like it’s his faith in Christ. But the Son is a genitive noun, which means He owns the word (or the thing) that comes before it, which in this case is THE faith. The Son owns the faith. ALL of it!! In other words, we live IN the Son’s faith. There is no mention in this verse of our own faith or putting our faith IN Jesus. We live our lives here on earth IN a FINISHED, PERFECT faith — His faith IN us. The word IN (en in Greek) denotes rest. We live our lives resting IN His faith.
That’s liberating!! It’s not doing; it’s resting. And when I do that, I don’t have to wonder if I have enough faith. And I don’t have to try and build my faith up. I only need to live life resting IN His faith!!
But don’t we need to believe? Of course!! We are to believe that it’s His faith we live in, that we rest in! And then we realize that His beliefs, His believing, is already FINISHED IN us.
Except for Romans 3:26, the KJV favors the faith OF Christ in all these verses.
It’s His faith, His faithfulness, His trust, His obedience! It’s HIs heart response to the Father, and it’s His YES to the Father’s will that is IN us. FINISHED! In Romans 1:17, Paul is quoting Habakkuk 2:4, which says, “The just (the righteous) shall live by His faith.” Habakkuk says b’emunahto, which is translated by his faith. The b’ attached to the word is the Hebrew prefix bet meaning in, by, or with, but usually translated IN. The Septuagint uses the Greek preposition ek, a preposition that points to something’s origin, to the source. Paul, quoting Habakkuk 2:4, agrees with the Septuagint and also uses ek.. This verse is about the faith OF Jesus because He is the Ek, the Source, and the Origin of faith — He’s the faith Founder, and the faith Author. And it’s His faith we live IN.
What if Romans 1:17 is talking about the Righteous One, Jesus, living faithfully — FULL of faith? In other words, living as the embodiment of God’s faith, resulting in our justification? “The Righteous” was a common Messianic title in the Essene community of Paul’s day. In Christ, God finds an accurate and complete expression of Himself in a human body — an exact and FULL expression of THE ONE faith… God’s faith.
And we as the righteous ones IN the Righteous One are an embodiment of His faith that is IN us. We are a living expression of His faith in human form. Isn’t that what Paul said in Galatians 2:20? Christ lives in me, and this life I now live in the flesh, I live IN the faith of the Son of God.” So, the just ones live IN the Just One IN His faith. Who are the righteous or just ones? Romans 5 says that ALL mankind is righteous because of Christ’s obedience. So, ALL mankind lives life IN and by His faith — the faith of the Righteous One. We are not living life by our faith in Christ to become righteous. NO!! We’re living our lives IN and BY the faith OF the Son of God. And trusting in His faith (or living IN and BY His faith) awakens my faith – faith to faith – to live in the awareness of FINISHED. To rest in the realization of who He is IN me, AS me, and THROUGH me. His faith becomes my experience in life.
It was by His faith (the ONE faith, God’s faith) that we were justified – not just set free from sin but placed in the SAME position as the One who has NEVER sinned– as sinless! We (ALL mankind) are sinless!
Let’s look at another verse. Galatians 3:24 says, “So the law was our guardian until Christ came, that by faith we might be justified.” In Greek, it says, ek pisteos, which is translated by faith. The word faith is a genitive case meaning that the faith belongs to someone. But who does it belong to? We see the word “by faith” and automatically read it as “by putting OUR faith in Christ” that we might be justified. NO! The Greek doesn’t say by, it says ek, which points to origin and source! So, whose faith is being referred to in this verse? Christ’s faith!
OUR faith is not the origin or source of our justification — His faith is!
In verse 25, Paul says, “Now that faith has come, we are no longer under a guardian.” The word faith in this verse is also a genitive case meaning the faith belongs to someone. Again, who’s faith is Paul talking about? Did OUR faith set us free from the Mosaic Law? NO, of course not! Jesus set mankind free from the Law. So, this verse must be referring to His faith — when He who is the FULL expression of God’s faith came, mankind was no longer under the Law. The Faith came! Jesus came!! And the Faith justified ALL mankind two thousand years ago!
It was the God faith embodied in the God- Man, Jesus Christ that justified us.
And then we get to verse 26, and it says (NKJV), “For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus.” This verse has the word IN in it… faith IN Christ Jesus. And in the Greek it is there too… pisteos en Christo Iésous. The Greek word en is IN. But it is not saying that we are to put our faith in Christ. Please don’t get to this verse and let it throw you back into thinking that we are made sons of God by putting our faith in Jesus.
That’s not what’s being said! The word faith in this verse is a genitive case, meaning that it belongs to someone. The question is, who?
Well, it says that it is through faith that we are made sons of God. And based upon the last two verses, it is His faith that justified us, and it is also His faith that freed the Jews from the Mosaic Law. So, it would be safe to say then that it is also His faith that made us sons of God. After all, Hebrews 2:10 tells us that HE brought many sons to glory. There is only ONE Faith — God’s faith. And His faith was FULLY expressed and embodied IN Jesus Christ. It was through the faith that was IN Jesus. He was God’s faith embodied in the Incarnation – in His birth, life, death, burial, resurrection, ascension, and seated-ness! Paul is NOT saying that we are sons BECAUSE OF our faith in Christ!! In Acts 17, Paul tells these Gentile unbelievers that we are ALL God’s offspring and that IN Him we live, and move, and have our being!
We have ALWAYS been sons! It was His doing, not ours that made us sons…. we came FROM Him, He is our Daddy!!
I’m not sure why we as believers struggle with it being His faith and not ours. We realize that it is His strength, His wisdom, His righteousness, so why wouldn’t it also be His faith IN us, AS us, and THROUGH us? 1 Corinthians 4:7 asks, what do we have that we have not received?
The word received is aorist indicative… past tense, FINISHED fact. ALL that we have received, which includes His faith IN us, is FINISHED, PERFECTED, and COMPLETE in us!
Paul says in verse 27, “For as many as were baptized into Christ, have put on Christ.” He’s not talking water baptism; he’s talking immersion into Christ. He’s talking about our identity! Who was immersed or baptized into Christ? What is the as many as that Paul is talking about here in verse 27? In Romans 6, Paul talking about baptism in Christ equates it with those who died with Him, were buried with Him, and raised with Him.
Who is it that died, was buried, and raised with Him? ALL mankind!! ALL were baptized or immersed into Christ so that we could live in newness of life, resurrection life – His life IN us!
Sadly, not all are YET awakened to that truth. Not even everyone in the church, who prayed the sinners prayer and asked Christ to come into their heart, has awakened to the FULLNESS of His resurrection life IN us, as our life!
Paul is saying in Galatians 3:27 that we were ALL baptized, immersed into Christ, and we have put on Christ. In other words, He IS our identity. His strength is our strength, His wisdom is our wisdom, His righteousness is our righteousness, AND HIS faith is our faith. Then in verse 28, he continues with mankind’s identity being IN Christ. They are no longer defined by their OWN personal identity of Jew, Greek, slave, free, male, or female… but ALL are defined by HIM.
That’s good news! That’s the gospel — the good, glad, happy news that will make a man jump for joy (William Tyndale’s definition of the word gospel).
Paul is not contrasting two human endeavors – obeying the law or having faith in Christ! Instead, he is contrasting works of the Law to the revelation of FINISHED (His faith IN us!!!). He is not saying that this new life is now about putting our faith in Christ instead of obeying the law…. that would still be works, it would still be DOING TO BECOME. Paul’s message was ALL IS FINISHED. And we are to live our lives resting in the realm of FINISHED!
The good news of the gospel is that righteousness came through THE faith that is IN Jesus or THE faith OF Christ! Romans 3:9 says that ALL (Jews AND Greeks) were under sin. And verses 10-18 says, “There is none righteous, no, not one; 11 There is none who understands; There is none who seeks after God. 12 They have all turned aside; They have together become unprofitable; There is none who does good, no, not one. 13 Their throat is an open tomb; With their tongues they have practiced deceit; The poison of asps is under their lips; 14 Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness. 15 Their feet are swift to shed blood; 16 Destruction and misery are in their ways; 17 And the way of peace they have not known. 18 There is no fear of God before their eyes.”
Paul is saying that ALL mankind has wholly lost sight of God! He’s telling these Jews that their moral conduct (the Law) did not free them from the same sin the rest of the world was also trapped in. There wasn’t any amount of THEIR faith or anything they could DO to restore what was lost. Verse 20 says, “Therefore by the deeds of the law no flesh will be justified in His sight, for by the law is the knowledge of sin.” The law couldn’t justify them, it could only point out their sin.
Thank God for the, BUT NOW, that interrupted mankind’s lost fallen state of mind!
Verse 21-22 of Romans 3 says, “BUT NOW the righteousness of God apart from the law is revealed, being witnessed by the law and prophets, 22 the righteousness of God through THE faith OF Jesus Christ toward ALL believing, for there is no difference.” BUT NOW God’s righteousness has been revealed completely, successfully, 100% through THE faith OF Christ! This righteousness was revealed toward ALL believing, for there is no difference.
That’s a challenging part of the verse for us to understand. Because we still read the words “to all believing,” and we hear it’s according to my faith or my belief.
It’s how we’ve been taught, and it’s become, unfortunately, our default mode.
I love the Mirror translation of this verse, “Jesus is what God believes about you! In Him, the righteousness of God is on display in such a way that everyone may be equally persuaded about what God believes about them, regardless of who they are; there is no distinction.” EVERY single person is equally persuaded… he’s talking Jew and Greek. ALL mankind may be equally persuaded about what God believes about them! How? Because it’s His faith IN us that convinces us. It says, “The righteousness of God through the faith OF Jesus Christ.” It doesn’t say our faith IN Jesus, although that’s what a lot of translations will say. The words faith and Jesus Christ are genitive possessive. It’s His faith!! And the next verse is probably one of the most well-known verses in the Bible.
Verse 23 says, “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”
Paul had just said in Romans 3:9 that ALL mankind (Jews and Greeks) were under sin… so verse 23 shouldn’t be much of a surprise to us, when he says that ALL have sinned. The Mirror Bible translation says, “Mankind is in the same boat; their distorted behavior is proof of a lost blueprint!” Humanity (Jew AND Greek… ALL mankind) lived life out of context with the blueprint of their design. They were behaving out of tune with God’s original design – as sons in their Daddy’s image and likeness!”
The problem is that we stopped at verse 23 and constructed the entire Romans Road TO Salvation from it. We were supposed to keep reading and see that Paul’s message in Romans was not a road TO salvation but of our FINISHED salvation IN Christ!!
So, Paul told us in verse 23 that ALL mankind has sinned. BUT thank God for verse 24!!! It says, “Being justified freely by His grace through the redemption IN Christ Jesus.” (Romans 3:24, NKJV – emphasis mine) The Mirror Bible says, “While the law proved mankind’s dilemma, the grace of God announces the same mankind (mankind under sin, in a dilemma) redeemed in Jesus Christ! Their blameless innocence is a free gift…. Mankind condemned in the language of religion is NOW mankind justified in the language of the gospel.”
There is no good news, no gospel, in verse 23 alone. It is only good, glad, happy news that makes you jump for joy when connected to verse 24.
Paul is saying that ALL fell short because of Adam. AND the same ALL are equally declared righteous because OF Christ. There is NO distinction! But don’t stop there! Keep reading. It just keeps getting better!! Verse 26 (NKJV) says, “To demonstrate at the present time His righteousness, that He might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.” God’s justice is in the showing forth of His righteousness!! He is Just and the Justifier!!” Who does He justify? Our English translations read the one who has faith IN Jesus. So from our translations, it looks like He only justifies those who believe in Jesus.
But is that true? Does He only justify those who believe?
Paul in the previous two verses had been talking about ALL men. Why would he now switch to just those who have enough faith to believe in Jesus? He had just said in verse 24 that the ALL mankind in verse 23 was justified FREELY by God’s grace through the redemption that is in Jesus…. there is no mention at all of our faith.
This is why just a little bit of understanding of Biblical languages would be helpful for us when we read Scripture. Because in Greek, verse 26 doesn’t say the one who has faith in Jesus.It says we are justified from out of Jesus’ faith.Out of is ek in Greek, which points to the source or origin. And both faith and Jesus are genitive cases — Jesus owns the faith, He is the Possessor of the faith! He IS the source and origin of our justification! ALL mankind was justified from OUT OF His faith! The Mirror Bible says it this way, “All along God refused to let go of mankind. At this very moment, God’s act of righteousness is pointing them to the evidence of their innocence, with Jesus as the Fountainhead OF faith.”
And YET KJV translated this verse as God is the Justifier of him who believes IN Jesus… pulling us back into the legalistic, conditional language of DO TO BECOME!
So, Luther translated these verses as faith IN Christ. And the majority of English translations, except KJV (for most of them), followed his lead. And the result has been that our justification is viewed from a conditional perspective rather than a FINISHED one. Emphasizing what man must do to bring about their salvation. Rather than what Christ has done, rather than what is FINISHED. Christ’s faith (the ONE faith) saw the end from the beginning. Christ’s faith was His overwhelming YES to the Father’s faith. God’s faith (the ONE faith — the faith OF Christ) saw us IN Christ! In Paul’s understanding, it is THE faith OF Christ, the faith that is IN Christ, the Faith of God that He embodies, that justified us. It is Christ’s faithful YES to the Father’s belief in us that justified ALL men.
And it is that faith that is our faith. And it is PERFECT, FINISHED, AND COMPLETE IN us.
This subject of faith is a big argument between theologians. The interpretation of Romans 3:22 can be either genitive subjective (faith of Christ). Or genitive objective (faith in Christ). Grammatically, either interpretation is possible. So, to interpret it correctly, we would need to look beyond the grammar and look through the lens of Christ – through the lens of FINISHED! Hebrews 1:2 tells us that God’s final word to us is spoken IN His Son.
I love the beginning of verse 3 IN Hebrews 1 in the Mirror Bible, “Jesus is the crescendo of God’s conversation; He gives context and content to the authentic thought. Everything that God had in mind for mankind is voiced in Him.” Jesus is God’s language. His final words were IT IS FINISHED. And so, that has to be the lens through which we read Scripture! Therefore, when you come to Romans 3:22 and see the faith OF Christ, or faith IN Christ you have to choose faith OF Christ.
Because that choice speaks the language of IT IS FINISHED!
Luther was on track when he said that human works couldn’t lead to justification. Still, he should’ve gone further by saying that human faith, or human faithfulness in putting our faith in Christ, couldn’t lead to justification either!! It’s by believing that it was His faith alone. In other words, it is our aha of that truth that we experience our justification. It is our awareness of that truth that causes us to walk in the reality of our justification.
Having the tools to be able to look up these verses in Greek is essential! We have trusted in the translators, theologians, and Biblical commentators’ interpretations and translations for too long. Trusting men who didn’t have an understanding of FINISHED. And so we read these verses thinking, “If I can just have enough faith or if I can just believe enough!” Not realizing and resting in the truth that there is only ONE faith, and it’s His faith IN us. We are simply reflections of the ONE faith, of God’s faith — the faith OF Christ!
By translating these verses faith IN Christ, the translators allowed for only one interpretation – putting OUR faith in Christ. They forced upon us THEIR own interpretational decision of what the verse means, ruling out the passage’s reading as saying that it is Christ’s faith and not our own. And these faulty interpretations have been passed down for centuries resulting in believers who believe the FINISHED work of Christ is conditional upon putting our faith in Christ!
But what if these verses had been appropriately translated as THE faith OF Christ? How might this have changed our Western theology? Would we have thought that salvation, justification, redemption, etc., was conditional? Or would we have understood that ALL was FINISHED for ALL, requiring nothing on our part!
For Paul, our faith is not a condition of our justification or salvation! Ephesians 2:8 says, “For by grace you are saved through faith, and this not of yourselves; it is the gift OF God.” The Mirror Bible says: “It was a grace thing from start to finish. Even the gift to believe simply reflects His faith!” The notes for this verse in the Mirror Bible says — Grace reveals who we are, and the faith of God persuades us of it! Grace completely, successfully, 100% saved us! Putting our faith in Jesus didn’t result in our salvation. We had ZERO contribution to our salvation! Both grace and faith are His gifts IN us. In Romans 1:17, where it talks about from faith to faith, the subject of the sentence is not the believer or even the believer’s faith. The subject is the righteousness of God and how it is revealed through the Gospel. It is God’s righteousness revealed from (Greek ek — pointing to source or origin) THE faith of Jesus unto the believer’s faith. God’s righteousness is revealed in the ORIGIN of HIS faith.
If we miss that part (the origin of faith), we will always strive to have enough of our own faith.
We don’t have to believe in our own faith for anything. We simply need to realize that it’s His faith IN us. The power to walk in healing, prosperity, deliverance, and WHOLENESS is by resting in His faith IN us, AS us, and THROUGH us. Faith to faith is His faith lived out AS our faith!! If we believe for those things in our faith, we end up striving. We strive to overcome doubts in our thinking by finding Scriptures to stand on, confessing those Scriptures repeatedly, louder and longer. Trying to figure out why we aren’t “getting” what we are believing for… whether it be healing, financial miracles, family salvation, etcetera.
His faith is ETERNAL. It is always NOW! His faith says NOW you are WHOLE! NOW you are healed, NOW you are prosperous, NOW your family is saved! NOW is not a time-bound word. As in Jesus saying, “Ok NOW you can have it because you were faithful in obeying, faithful in tithing, faithful in the waiting, faithful in applying your faith to these things!” NO! HIS faith says NOW as in, “You have ALWAYS been WHOLE! Your family has ALWAYS been saved! You have ALWAYS been healed!” NOW was fleshed out in time on the cross two thousand years ago, and NOW was the Lamb who was slain before time began! NOW is eternal… it is NEVER bound by time’s limitations. And the language of His faith speaks NOW and FINISHED!!
I don’t think Paul meant for us to struggle with faith IN Christ or faith OF Christ. I’m pretty sure to Paul they both are saying the same thing. It doesn’t seem from his writings that faith in Christ was about a walk to the altar, repenting of our sins, or asking Jesus into our hearts. It wasn’t about putting our faith in Him so that we could be justified, saved, made righteous, etcetera. For Paul, there was only ONE faith – Christ’s!
We read his letters forgetting that he isn’t talking TO us! He’s talking to a generation who is on the other side of the cross. There are still sacrifices offered daily in the temple, the Law of Moses is still being upheld. For them, their faith and the faith of their ancestors had been in Moses’s law, believing that they would be made righteous by obeying it. Paul is telling them that they have been made righteous by Jesus’ faith ALONE. He’s telling them to simply believe that. Not as in “believe so that they can attain it.” Paul doesn’t talk in the Old Covenant conditional language of “IF and THEN.” He’s telling them to believe it by just resting in Christ’s FINISHED work that MADE them righteous.
But what about Romans 10:9? Doesn’t it say that IF we believe with our hearts and confess with our mouths that THEN we will be saved?
Romans 10 begins with Paul praying for Israel to be saved. He’s not longing for them to BECOME saved, but to REALIZE their salvation. In our Western understanding, the concept of salvation has been reduced to making heaven and missing hell. But that definition isn’t included in either the Greek word sozo or the Hebrew word yeshua. The Hebrew word signifies freedom from what binds or restricts. When the children of Israel were fleeing from the Egyptians and crossing over the Red Sea, Moses told them they would see the Lord’s salvation. He was NOT telling them they would go to heaven and miss hell! He was telling them they were going to be delivered and set free from the Egyptians! They were going to be free from what was binding them! And the Greek word sozo means WHOLENESS in every area of life!
Paul’s heart was burning for his fellow Jewish brothers to REALIZE their salvation. To realize their freedom from what was binding them (the Law)! And to experience the life of God, to experience their WHOLENESS in every area of their lives!
He goes on in verse 3 to say that they (his Jewish brothers!) are ignorant of God’s righteousness, which he had already told them in Romans 3 came through THE faith OF Christ! Yet, they seek to establish their own righteousness, and they haven’t submitted to God’s righteousness. They were ALREADY made COMPLETELY righteous! FINISHED! There was no need to continue to seek to BECOME righteous! The Mirror Bible says, “They are tirelessly busy with their own efforts to justify themselves while blatantly ignoring the fact that God has already justified them IN Christ.”
Christ was the conclusion of the law.
This is the context behind Romans 10:9. He’s talking to his Jewish brothers, who were still living life trying to be righteous through the law. Ignoring the fact that IN Christ, they already were righteous. He tells them that Moses is the Law’s voice, but faith has a different voice! In verses 6-7, he tells them that faith righteousness (the righteousness that came through Christ’s faith) does NOT say, “Who will ascend to heaven? or who will descend into the abyss?” Right here, we see that salvation is NOT a heaven or hell issue! Ascending to heaven or descending into the abyss is not the language of faith! So what does faith say? He tells us in verse 8, “The word is IN your mouth and IN your heart. That is the word of faith (THE faith word – or the spoken faith) we proclaim.” The word of faith (or the ONE faith, God’s faith, the faith OF Christ) IN you speaks forth from your mouth and heart!
It’s the effortless language of Christ’s faith.
We’ve made verse 9 about our doing – confessing and believing. We’ve made it about a “prayer of salvation” so that we can make heaven and miss hell, and YET verses 6-7 specifically say heaven and hell is NOT what faith speaks! The Mirror Bible translation of verse 9 is, “Now your salvation is realized! Your own words echo God’s voice. The unveiling of the masterful act of Jesus forms the words in your mouth, inspired by the conviction of your heart that God indeed raised Him from the dead.” As our hearts believe (not through praying a prayer, but by having the AHA moment – the YES moment!), our language will echo His faith – IT IS FINISHED!!
Jesus said in Mark 11:22 that we are to have God’s faith. In Greek, it is echete pistin Theou. Echete is the word formed from adding the personal pronoun “you” to the word echo, meaning you have! Jesus told them, “You have God’s faith!” Or we could say it like this — you echo God’s faith, you echo the faith OF Christ. The word echo is in the present tense. We are to continually and habitually echo God’s faith — what He believes.
In other words, echoing His faith is to be our lifestyle!
In Mark 4, when the storm came, and the disciples in the boat were afraid, Jesus said in verse 40, “Why are you afraid? How is it that you have no faith?” Have is the word echo. In other words, “Why are you not echoing faith?” We are to echo His faith when there are mountains that need to be moved or when the storms of life are tossing us about, and we’re afraid.
If we would begin to read the word faith as the ONE faith, God’s faith, THE faith of Christ, it would remove the struggles, the doubts, and the DO TO BECOME mindset that the body of Christ has. The phrase faith IN Christ speaks the language of waiting, doing, and becoming (Old Testament language). In contrast, the faith OF Christ (THE ONE faith, God’s faith!) speaks FINISHED, DONE, NOW! It is the language of our identity!
For my blog post today, I decided to give you a chapter from my book Awakened. This is probably one of my favorite chapters because it poured out of my heart three years ago, after visiting a dear friend who had been diagnosed with inoperable cancer. While I was writing this book, a friend who was proofing it for me asked, “What happened to your friend?” I hadn’t added the outcome to the end of the chapter, so I included it in the next chapter… so, I’ll add that part to the end of this blog.
Wednesday night, my husband and I, came home from the hospital after seeing a friend diagnosed with stomach cancer. He was told that it was inoperable and untreatable. Thursday morning, I got up and sat down to work on my Bible study teaching notes and instead ended up writing ten pages of what turned out to be this chapter! There was no thinking, no striving. It just flowed out of me through my pen. We went to encourage our friend, lay hands on him, and pray. While we were there visiting with him and his family, I sat there quietly, praying in tongues at times, and encouraging him at other times — all the while reminding him that he IS healed. Healed, not only two thousand years ago, but healed BEFORE the foundation of the world (since the cross is ETERNAL and He was the Lamb slain BEFORE the foundation of the world). He would respond by lifting his hands to heaven and declaring “I choose life, I choose life! I will not die because I choose to live.” Life and death is in the power of our tongue!
I looked him in the eyes and told him that it is not about his faith or believing. It is ALL about Jesus’ faith.
Like Paul, we live our lives by THE faith OF the Son of God. This was not my friend’s battle OR even the Lord’s battle! In fact it isn’t a battle at all! It is a victory that is his NOW!! Cancer has been defeated and has no right in his body. As my husband and I were praying for him, I laid my hand on his head, and a rush of tongues flowed forcefully out of me, and then laughter came bubbling out of me. The Bible says, “With joy, we draw from the wells of salvation!” With joy we draw from the wells of divine health and healing… wells of WHOLENESS! We didn’t ASK God to heal him; we just spoke to his body to be healed. I then told him that I heard the Lord say “Hey, hey, hey man of God, you ARE well!” On the drive home, my husband and I talked about some of the things we heard well-meaning believers say while we were there. Comments like, “God have mercy on him,” “This battle is not yours, it’s God’s,” “just give it to Him so that He can get the glory,” and “You just have to believe!” Our hearts went out not just for our friend, but also for all the people we heard praying over him. And we talked about how imperative it is that the body of Christ understand what this Gospel of Grace is.
We talked about how vital it is that we know what this FINISHED work of Christ looks like with skin on! In other words, what we look like as the embodiment of ALL that is FINISHED. Because when our understanding changes, our words will change…. the language of FINISHED will just overflow!
And instead of well-meaning “soulish” words… which are powerless words, we will say what God says, “IT IS FINISHED!” And those words will release the dunamis, miracle-working power into our lives, and the lives of those around us. And the sick will realize they ARE healed, the captives will know they ARE no longer imprisoned, the blind will know they can see, and the oppressed will walk free. A friend recently asked me, if once we understand what it means to be FULLY redeemed, will we see different results now in this life? I believe we will! We were created to live a FINISHED life, and we were definitely designed to see the results of it NOW. We were created to live a life of WHOLENESS. A life of nothing missing, nothing broken, nothing lacking in EVERY area of our lives was designed to be our everyday experience. Our experiences are an outpouring (NOT an outpouring from heaven) but an outpouring from the Christ-life within us. In other words, the FINISHED works of Christ flowing THROUGH us into manifestation.
What does any of this have to do with a chapter on salvation? Everything! Because salvation is much more than going to heaven. Jesus said in Luke 5:23, “Which is easier, to say, ‘Your sins have been forgiven you,’ or to say, ‘Arise and walk?’” Salvation and healing are one and the same. Jeremiah 17:4 says, “Heal me O Lord and, I will be healed; Save me and I will be saved. For You are my praise.” We are saved; therefore, we are healed.
The word praise means to tell the story! We are to tell His story, WHICH IS also our story. IN Him, we are healed, AND we are saved! His story (AND yours) is that BOTH were done simultaneously — when He saved you, He healed you… boom, bam, DONE, FINISHED all at once!! So as I worked on my weekly Romans Bible study the next morning after visiting our friend, what jumped out at me was Romans 1:16. “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God unto salvation to everyone believing–both to Jewish first, and to Greek.” And then what flowed out of me just as forcefully as the rush of tongues when I prayed for my friend, was this chapter on salvation. Paul was not ashamed of the gospel. He was confident in the gospel’s power to result in salvation to everyone who believed. Please don’t read that as conditional IF and THEN language! The result of the Gospel was salvation to ALL men. FINISHED! And as we continue to learn more and more about this Gospel of Grace, about the FINISHED work of Christ, it results in salvation (Greek sozo = wholeness) manifesting more and more in our lives. Paul FULLY trusted in the truth that this Gospel of Grace had the power to result in salvation in our lives. The problem is if the gospel has the power to do that (and it does!), then why aren’t more people living lives that reflect salvation?
And I guess we would have to answer the question with a couple of questions. First “What do we believe about the Gospel?”
Do we believe that this Gospel of Grace (this nearly-too-good-to-be-true good news of Christ and His FINISHED work) has dunamis, miracle-working power from God to manifest salvation in our lives? What do we believe about this Gospel of Grace and about salvation? Is the Gospel just a sin focused message that we preach to unbelievers so they will repent? Is salvation about making heaven someday and missing hell?
And the second question, “What actually is salvation?”
Salvation is sozo in the Greek. Meaning healed, delivered, WHOLE in every area of life, nothing missing, nothing broken! It is ALL of the FINISHED work of Christ. Salvation isn’t that we go to heaven someday, BUT salvation is NOW. We are designed to reflect sozo or salvation NOW — healed, delivered, WHOLENESS in every area of our lives. And if our lives look contrary to that (as in sick, chaotic, fearful, broken, or lack of any kind) the problem may be our understanding of salvation.
There is nothing we did to receive salvation. It was ALL His doing. Our “receiving” it, or our “aha moment” is simply yes and thank you! And with that simple yes, we enjoy the benefits of salvation — healing, prosperity, deliverance, and WHOLENESS.
This understanding ALREADY exists in our hearts, i.e., in the mind of Christ. We simply need an awakening of revelation IN us. Paul told the Romans in his letter, that there are some things we should know in Romans 6:6-7.
Knowing that Adam (the old man) was crucified at the cross — ALL of Adam!
Knowing that the body of sin (ALL sin) was done away with at the cross. Knowing that we are no longer slaves to sin.
Knowing that since Christ was raised from the dead, He dies no more.
And knowing that death no longer has dominion over Him.
We really do already know these things in our hearts. We just simply need to relax and rest in this knowing, in the mind of Christ…. just awakening to it.
Paul said these are things we know. The word know isn’t an imperative or a command to do something. It’s just a statement of fact – we KNOW! In other words, we understand that sin and death are a non-issue because Jesus did away with sin and completely defeated death. FINISHED! It’s an awakening to the truth that because we are IN Him, what’s true of Him is also true of us. This is who we are — a new creation, no longer identifying with Adam, no longer slaves to sin, BUT raised from the dead and dying no more, and death (and its effects) have no dominion over us! Salvation (Greek sozo) is living as Paul said in Galatians 2:20….. “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”
Salvation is His life, the Christ life IN us — the newness of life IN us. And as we awaken to it and realize it’s who we are, our lives will reflect His salvation – healed, delivered, and WHOLE in every area of our lives!
Sadly, instead of seeing ourselves as WHOLE, we focus on our brokenness. Believing that it is our brokenness that glorifies God and thinking that He broke us, or allowed us to be broken, so that He can use us. Or so that we can grow and mature in Christ. And then we find Old Testament Scriptures to identify with that way of thinking. Scriptures like…..
Psalm 51:17“My sacrifice, O God, is a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart you God, will not despise.”
And Psalm 34:18, “The LORD is near to the brokenhearted And saves those who are crushed in spirit.”
BUT that was David’s cry! We’re not David! We are IN Christ. Jesus was broken for us, AS us! We may have, at times, felt broken, or believed that we were broken. But we are not and never have been broken — we are WHOLE in every area of life. And we were made WHOLE two thousand years ago! But instead of seeing ourselves as ALREADY delivered, we’ve been crying out for God to deliver us, save us, and have mercy. Identifying with Scriptures like these…..
Psalm 34:4, I sought the LORD, and he heard me and delivered me from all my fears.
Psalm 34:17, The righteous cry and the LORD hears And delivers them out of all their troubles.
And Psalm 107:6, Then they cried unto the LORD in their trouble, and he delivered them out of their distresses.
Again this was David, in Adam. It’s the cry of the old man of the flesh! He cried out for God to continually deliver him and to act on his behalf. To rescue him from trouble. We don’t have to cry out and ask God for what He’s already done. We were delivered 2000 years ago! For us, it’s just who we are — Delivered (past tense, FINISHED)!! The word delivered in Hebrew is natsal and means to be delivered, snatched away, or rescued out of and into. It’s not just being rescued FROM something but INTO something. Colossians 1:13 says, “We HAVE BEEN delivered FROM the dominion of darkness INTO the Kingdom of His dear Son.”
David cried out for continual deliverance. We are to simply live IN the deliverance that is ALREADY ours IN Christ.
Divine health is part of our deliverance — part of our inheritance, part of our salvation. We were delivered out of sickness and disease, which was in the dominion of darkness, and into health, WHOLENESS, IN Him. But instead of our lives reflecting health, instead of seeing ourselves as ALREADY healed and WHOLE, we are often sick and diseased. Either believing that God allows it — or by allowing a defeated enemy to attack us. And/or believing that He uses sickness and disease to teach us or to perfect us. And we find things like Paul’s thorn in the flesh or the sufferings of Job to wrongly validate our beliefs.
And these wrong beliefs affect everything in our lives. It affects how we see God. And affects how we pray for others — asking or begging God to do what He’s already done IN Christ, instead of declaring it is FINISHED! It affects the quality of our own lives… how we see ourselves and, consequently, how we experience life. And wrong beliefs also affect how we understand and interpret Scripture.
For example, after reading what Paul says we should know in Romans 6, we should read chapter 7 from that knowing. But we get to Romans 7 and carry over our wrong beliefs, and we misinterpret this chapter. We read chapter 7 not realizing that since we are a new creation, we CANNOT be a wretched man, sold into slavery to sin, or a carnal man. Therefore, Paul couldn’t possibly be talking present tense about himself in the present tense! And he couldn’t be talking about us IN Christ!! How do we know this? Because it contradicts other things that he said earlier in Romans. For instance…
Romans 1:9, “For God is my witness, whom I serve with my spiritin the gospel of his Son, that without ceasing, I make mention of you always in my prayers.”
Paul said that he served God IN his spirit and IN the gospel (good news) of His Son. That isn’t a description of a wretched man! But because we sometimes struggle in wanting to do what’s right and not doing it, we WRONGLY identify with the wretched man. Forgetting that Paul told us in Romans 6 that Christ is our identity.
Romans 6:3-4, “Or have you forgotten that when we were joined with Christ Jesus in baptism, we joined him in his death? 4 For we died and were buried with Christ by baptism. And just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glorious power of the Father, now we also may live new lives.” We were co-crucified, co-buried, co-resurrected, and co-ascended. And we are NOW co-seated with Him in heavenly places. We are NOT sold into slavery to sin – and NEVER have been! We are NOT under the dominion of death — and NEVER have been! The Gospel is the power of God unto — or resulting in salvation — for ALL mankind. Titus 2:11, “For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men.”
Paul’s message in Romans, and ALL his epistles, is NOT that we should struggle between sin and grace. His message is NOT that we have two natures at war on the inside of us — a little bit of Adam and a little bit of Christ – an old man and a new man.
NO! His message was and is INSIDE YOU IS CHRIST.
This is his message to ALL men. This is the message that Christ taught him in the wilderness. And this is the message the Father commissioned him to take to the Gentiles after he awakens to Christ revealed IN him. It’s the message of the Gospel — Colossians 1:27b, “The glorious riches of the mystery is Christ in you the hope of glory.” And that revelation of Christ IN you — is enough to manifest salvation (Greek sozo – WHOLENESS) in your life. Inside you is Christ. Therefore IN you, AS you and flowing THROUGH you is WHOLENESS because He is the Master of Wholeness.
Isaiah 9:6 (The Voice Translation), “His name? His name we’ll know in many ways— He will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Dear Father everlasting, ever-present never-failing, Master of Wholeness, Prince of Peace.”
The message of the gospel is, inside you is Christ — therefore IN you, AS you, and flowing THROUGH you is deliverance because the Deliverer is IN you. Inside you is Christ — therefore IN you, AS you, flowing THROUGH you is divine health because the Healer lives in you – He is the health of your body. In Exodus, it says He is the LORD God our Healer. In Hebrew, the root of Healer is rapha) meaning wholeness. In other words, He is the LORD God, our WHOLENESS IN us!! WE LACK NOTHING IN CHRIST! ALL is FINISHED!
We MUST get this! We MUST begin to read and understand Scripture from Christ’s point of view… from a view of FINISHED! Because this Gospel, this message of Christ IN us that Paul preached was given to him by Christ Himself. So it’s essential to ask yourself how Christ sees you. He sees us saved or sozo’d — healed, delivered, WHOLE in EVERY area of our life. And since He sees us that way, we need to see ourself that way as well — we need to agree with Christ!
So, when your body doesn’t look healed — you need to still see yourself as healthy and whole because He is Health and Wholeness IN you. When your finances or relationships appear to be lacking — you need to choose to see them as abundant and whole… nothing missing, nothing broken. Then speak to those areas to line up with what God says to be true about you. Begin to say what He says… you are saved or sozo’d — you are healed, delivered, made WHOLE in every area of life: spiritually, physically, mentally, socially, and financially. Sickness, disease, poverty, and lack were all defeated in Christ. They have no power unless we give them power!
How do we give them power? By having a sin consciousness. Because death (and all of its effects: sickness, disease, etc.) can only reign through sin. They have no authority in your life! We have been given ALL power and ALL authority over ALL things. The book of Romans is NOT a book about sin. It’s about our new lives IN Him. It’s the Christ life, IN us. Resurrection life IN us!
Who I am IN Christ is part of my daily confession. Confession is homologeo in Greek. It is my agreement with Abba. It is my co-thinking, and co-speaking WITH Him what He says about me!! Romans 7 is about a frustrated life before Christ enslaved to the law (before the cross) BUT the resurrection changed EVERYTHING and EVERYONE!
Hosea 6:2, “After two days will he revive us: in the third day he will raise us up, and we shall live in His sight.”
Isaiah 66:8, “Who hath heard such a thing? Who hath seen such things? Shall the earth be made to bring forth in one day? Or shall a nation be born at once? for as soon as Zion travailed, she brought forth her children.”
Romans 7 was not written to us as believers. It was not written to the church, or, for that matter, to anyone after the cross! Romans 7:1 says, “Or are you ignorant brothers (for I speak to those knowing the law), that the law rules over the man for as long as the time he is alive?” Paul is speaking to a transitional generation of Jews — teaching them to how to transition from Moses to Christ. The law was never for Gentiles (non-Jews) or any Jews born after the cross. We (born after the Cross) were NEVER slaves to sin. We were NEVER in Adam. ALL of Adam died at the cross. Jesus was the LAST ADAM!!
PROBLEM:We thought we were born in Adam with a sin nature! And we think sin is something we still have to master and rule over. Still thinking that we have to maintain a victory (stand in faith) against sickness, disease, etc. Thinking sin and death are a normal part of our lives.
TRUTH: Sin and death NEVER had dominion over us. The effects of death – sickness, disease, poverty, lack, fear, etc., had NO dominion over us EVER!
The key to walking in this new life IN Christ where salvation is manifested, where we have health, freedom, and wholeness in ALL areas of our life, is found in Romans 6. It’s found in our knowing what is true about us. Romans 6:6-10 says, “Knowing this, that our old self was crucified with Him, in order that our body of sin might be done away with, so that we would no longer be slaves to sin; 7 for he who has died is freed from sin. 8 Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him, 9 knowing that Christ, having been raised from the dead, is never to die again; death no longer is master over Him. 10 For the death that He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God. The key is in knowing these things about us and reckoning ourselves dead to sin and alive to God IN Christ. And realizing these things are not just about yourself, but about ALL mankind. In 2 Corinthians 5, Paul said he knows no man any longer after the flesh — he goes on to say that it’s because, IN Christ, we are a new creation (a new humanity). The old has passed away and the new has come (or been born). Verse 14 says that he sees all men as new creation IN Christ and not as the old man (in Adam) because if One died for ALL, then ALL died.
We are sons and daughters of God. Our lives are a reflection of our Daddy’s life. I’m a Daddy’s girl — just like Him — made in His image and likeness. The exact representation of His glory — just like Jesus. Because As He is so am I in this world.
AS HE IS…… He has NO sickness! NO disease! NO poverty! NO fear, lack, depression, addiction, etcetera!!
SO AM I….. therefore, I have NO sickness! NO disease! NO poverty! NO fear, lack, depression, addiction, etcetera!!
His nature is my nature. I am love because He is love. I am goodness because He is goodness. Love and goodness are not adjectives that describe Him — it’s who He is. Likewise, they’re not adjectives that describe us — it’s who we are! It is Love and Goodness IN us, AS us, flowing THROUGH us!
Paul said he served God IN his spirit IN the gospel (or the good news) of His Son. What is the good news of the Son? IT IS FINISHED. To serve isn’t working FOR God… We’re not a hireling. We’re sons!! Begin to see the word serve as in co-participation and co-union with Him — in your ONENESS with Him. Our serving God is in our co-labor, co-reign, co-life, co-grace, and co-union. Our serving is in our co-participation of what is FINISHED. Our serving, is the FACE TO FACE fellowship we have with God IN Christ.
We are ONE…we are bone of His bone, and flesh of His flesh. Ephesians 5:30, “For we are members of His body, of His flesh, and of His bones.” We are alive in Him and dead to sin! Sin, sickness, disease, poverty, fear, lack, etc., NOT a part of our lives — NOT co-existing with us. Why? Because we are filled to the FULL with the fullness of the Godhead. We are ONE with Them. FACE TO FACE!!
And that fullness doesn’t leave room for anything else. We are complete, FINISHED in Christ. We lack nothing!
BUT a mistaken identity causes us to think we are lacking. And we continue to go to the Father and cry out for Him to deliver us, to cleanse us, or forgive us from sin. And the Father’s response to us is, “What sin? You have been set free from sin. You ARE alive IN Me.” We cry out for healing for our bodies from sickness and disease! His response — “What sickness, what disease? What cancer?!? You are alive IN Me, and I AM the health of your body. You are healed, delivered, WHOLE in EVERY area of your life!” Like with Adam, He also says to us, “Who told you that you were naked, and lacking anything?”
We lack nothing IN Christ. We have been given every spiritual blessing IN Him, and He has given us ALL things that pertain to life and godliness. IN Him, we lack nothing!
Awake to righteousness! Awake to who you are IN Christ! Saved, healed, delivered, WHOLE in every area of life (spiritual, physical, mental, social, and financial)… NOTHING missing, NOTHING broken! Reigning over EVERY defeated thing that would attempt to rise up against you (in your thinking). The truth is that it has NO power to rise — every enemy 100% DEFEATED in Christ!! Sickness, disease, poverty, etc., have nothing in you because Christ is IN you, and you are IN Him. ONE with the Father, Son, and Spirit.
Alive IN Him! And dead to everything that is not of Him!!
It’s not that we don’t pray for people, and lay hands on the sick — of course, we do! Jesus said in Revelation that He is the One who IS and WAS and IS TO COME. He is an ever-present Healer, Deliverer, etc. It’s just that we need to go higher – we need to have a BIGGEER revelation of this Gospel of Grace …. of His FINISHED work IN us. We need to see everything through the lens of IT IS FINISHED! 100% DONE!
Manna was provided in the wilderness for the children of Israel, BUT it wasn’t God’s best for them. He is a GOOD Father and always provides what we need. But manna wasn’t what He wanted them to experience forever… He wanted them to cross over into the Promise Land. To grab hold of His promises to them! It was theirs and belonged to them. Likewise, the FINISHED work of Christ is ours — it belongs to us. It is our Promise Land! He is still our Healer, but His desire is that we walk in the fullness of health that belongs to us — in our WHOLENESS! He is still our Deliverer, but His passion is that we see ourselves as COMPLETELY delivered and walk in the fullness of freedom that is ours.
We’re not trying to get healed. We’re not trying to earn God’s favor. We’re not trying to get more increase in our lives. It’s not IF we obey or IF we have more faith, THEN we will have more favor, obtain our healing, or walk in abundance and increase. NO! We ALREADY have it ALL IN Christ!
We are not struggling to get anything from Him. We have it ALL ALREADY IN us! FINISHED!
We just simply need to BE who we ALREADY are — image and likeness of Him!! Alive IN Him. It’s Him… His life, IN us, As us, and flowing THROUGH us. We are saved (Greek sozo) — healed, delivered, WHOLE in every area of our lives. Nothing missing, nothing broken! NOW in this life! Because He is Salvation In us, As us, and THROUGH us.
suggestion: For more on living in WHOLENESS NOW in this earth in our physical bodies, I suggest you read my first book, It Is Finished.
An excerpt from the chapter Paul’s Gospel……
We were created in His image and likeness, we are reigning sons, made a “little lower” than God (Psalms 8:5), crowned with glory and honor. The word crowned in Psalm 8:5 is an imperfect verb and reads as will crown. Mankind had forgotten who they were. Genesis 1:26 reveals that man was crowned (given dominion) in the garden. But then after the fall, they had forgotten they were reigning sons, and creation no longer responded to them…. “the ground no longer yielded.” Man lost their dominion and began to forget his origin – BUT God did not!
Hebrews 2 tells us, “BUT we see Jesus!” The Incarnation not only restored us to what Adam and Eve had lost or had been but restored us to what Christ the Last Adam is — a glorified, incorruptible, immortal human participating in the divine nature.
Hebrews 2 quotes Psalm 8 and puts the word crowned in the aorist indicative tense…. A past tense, FINISHED fact! I love the past tenses of Scripture. FINISHED! Jesus restored to us once again (what was always ours) dominion or reigning. We are crowned… adorned as victors… with glory and honor and with dominion. Ruling over the works of His hands with ALL things in subjection under our feet! And just in case we didn’t understand the vastness of our dominion, the writer of Hebrews adds, “He left NOTHING un-subject to him.” Nothing in this verse is a strong word. It means NOT ONE THING!
Leaving NO exceptions… ALL things = ALL things!
When I wrote my last chapter, a good friend was in the hospital with inoperable stomach cancer. We prayed for him and fully expected him to recover. Unfortunately, he died a few days later. It truly rocked me to my core! Steve and I had fully expected him to walk out of that hospital fully recovered. I don’t know why he didn’t. And please don’t say, “oh but he did, not just in the way you expected.” We believe in experiencing health and wholeness NOW not after we die. Death is not our savior, Jesus is and we completely, 100% know that we are meant to experience His FINISHED work NOW in this life. So, again, I don’t know why that wasn’t Manny’s experience. And as I said it truly rocked me to my core! But my anchor is hope and when circumstances rock me and threaten to cause me to drift into the unknown, I simply fall back I what I do know! And what I do know is He is the Healer and divine health and wholeness is ours to freely walk in.
Since then, Genesis 1:28 has been on my mind. It says, that God blessed mankind and said subdue and have dominion. We reign as sons, and our lives aren’t subject to sin, death, sickness, disease, and poverty. Our new life IN Christ is resurrection life. And resurrection life continually quickens our physical bodies. We are seated with Him in heavenly places. In Ephesians 1, Paul tells us that He is seated far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every name named, not only in this age but the one to come. And then he says we are His body and the fullness of Him who fills all in all.
We ARE His body!! We ARE the fullness of Him!! He is IN ALL of us… the FULLNESS of who He is… a reigning Son! We are to bring into subjection (or subdue) ALL things (Psalm 8; Hebrews 2) and rule over them. As a son, made in His image and likeness, we reign in life and ALL things are subject to us. What are ALL things? Everything Jesus defeated and stripped of power is in subjection to us… under our feet. Sickness, disease, poverty, lack, fear, etc. IN Christ, we have peace with God. We have WHOLENESS — nothing missing, nothing broken in our lives, WHOLE in every area (spiritually, physically, financially, socially, and mentally). Cancer is defeated; therefore, cancer is under our feet because we are reigning sons. Sin was stripped of ALL power; therefore, sin is under our feet.
I’m hearing a lot about peace these days. Makes sense I guess that in a world right now where there seems to be nothing but chaos, division, anger, hostility, tension, etc., people really want to FEEL peace. And Eastern Mysticism and other philosophical self help religions promise inner peace through meditation, yoga, or some other formula. But is peace an inner feeling or an emotion? And if it is what happens when we don’t “feel” it? Don’t get me wrong I have had moments when I have felt absolute peacefulness! But the thing about a feeling or emotion is that it ebbs or flows depending on our circumstances, our atmosphere, or what we do to maintain it.
But is that the peace that God says we have?
The good news is that peace is a FINISHED work!! There is nothing you can do to get it, or get more of it. There is nothing you need to do to maintain it. And there is nothing you can do to lose it! It is independent of your feelings or emotions. You have ALL peace right now! It doesn’t ebb and flow, it is constant, secure, and anchored IN Him. Isaiah 9:6 says that Jesus is the prince of peace! The word prince is sar (שַׂר) in Hebrew and means chief, ruler, master, lord, keeper. The root of the word is sarar (שָׂרַר) and means to have dominion. He is the Keeper of peace, it’s under His authority and dominion. Peace is His and He gave it to you!
Romans 5:1 says, Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.
What a beautiful truth….. we have peace with God!! It’s ours! Doesn’t matter if you feel peace… you have it! Doesn’t matter if circumstances are good or bad… you have peace with God! You don’t have to follow after religions of mysticism such as Buddhism, New Age, Kabbalah, etc…. you have peace with God! And Paul said we have it through our Lord Jesus Christ! That’s it! You don’t have it through any other source. He is the prince or keeper of peace and our justification by His faith = we have peace with God!
The word peace is eiréné in Greek and means to join, to be set at one again. In carpentry it is referred to as the dove-tail joint, which is the strongest joint. And the word with is pros in Greek meaning face-to-face. Peace is the unhindered enjoyment of our face-to-face friendship that we have with God IN Christ Jesus!! It is our oneness with Father, Son, and Spirit, IN Christ.
And this peace is a fruit of the Spirit. I like the Mirror Bible’s translation of Galatians 5:22…..
Your spirit effortlessly bears the rich harvest of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, integrity, gentleness and self control; all these individually reveal the irresistible attraction of the inner-life of our design. (They are not fading, fragile emotions produced by willpower. This is the fruit of what you know in your spirit to be true about you. Fruit is the effortless, spontaneous expression of the character of the tree. Rest in the awareness and assurance of who you really are!)
I love that. Peace is not a fading, fragile emotion produced by willpower. Peace is the effortless, spontaneous expression of Father, Son, and Spirit IN you. That’s good news! That’s the gospel of peace!
Today I was meditating on Mark 11:24: Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them.
I love when Abba breathes on a Scripture, causing it to come to life in us!!
Asking and believing are present tense verbs (present and continual). And that is exactly what we’ve been taught to do with this verse… ask and believe, ask and believe, and ask and believe again. Over, and over, and over UNTIL we receive what we have been asking and believing for.
But the word receive is aorist… in other words, it’s a FINISHED tense; DONE!
We’re not being told in this verse to ask and believe until our faith is strong enough to receive what we’ve been asking and believing for. No, what we are to understand in this verse is that when we come to the realization that we have already received, then we will have it. In other words, when we understand that receiving is a already a FINISHED work. 2 Peter 1:3 says that we have been given all things that pertain to life and godliness! There isn’t anything else to receive! We’ve been given ALL.
So, when we realize that what we have been “asking and believing” for ALREADY exists (eimi) IN us, then we will HAVE it. Or in the Greek. The word have is our English translation of the Greek word eimi meaning to be, or to exist, I AM.
What have you been asking and believing for? Healing, finances, peace, wisdom, etc.?? Realize that is already a FINISHED work IN you, begin seeing yourself as I AM HEALED, I AM PROSPEROUS, I AM FULL OF PEACE, WISDOM, LOVE, ETC. and it will manifest in your life... it will BE!
When He died – YOU died
When He was buried – YOU were buried
When He rose – YOU rose
When He ascended – YOU ascended
AND where He is seated – YOU are seated!!
SPOILER ALERT — where He is seated there is no Covid-19!!! Likewise where YOU are seated is NO Covid-19!!
GOOD NEWS – Romans 6:11 we ARE (right now – present tense in this life!) dead to sin and alive to God!
Sickness and disease WERE the result of sin and death
THEREFORE – YOU are dead to sickness and disease… YOU are dead to Covid-19 AND alive to God… alive (right now – present tense in this life!) with His life and health flowing through you!! As He is SO ARE YOU IN THIS WORLD!
KEY – Just believe it and say no! NO to sickness and disease! NO to Covid-19!!
My 21-year-old daughter had to write an essay for one of her classes. It is so beautifully written (and no that isn’t mom bias!!) that I thought I would share it with all of you. Enjoy!
THE RADICAL LOVE OF JESUS – WHAT GRACE COMMUNICATES
The most significant transforming truth I’ve come to understand this past year and a half has been the radical love of God. It’s a simple reality that I’ve claimed to know and encounter and yet something I’ve realized is that I knew absolutely nothing about the radical love of our Jesus. We often take the spotlight off of how radical it is and make it about ourselves. We make it about our sin, and our separation, and our need for a bridge back to God. But the crushing reality the Holy Spirit brought me to is that the cross was never about my lack or separation. It was always about a bold display of love. A love that cries out “YES!” to His people, “THIS IS WHO YOU ARE TO ME. THIS IS WHO YOU HAVE ALWAYS BEEN.” Never once was it about a wrath with which I have been taught that my God was bubbling.
As long as I can remember, I saw the cross as a place where God poured out His judgment, His anger. But how can my God be both consumed by love and also wrath? The two oppose entirely one another! I have been taught that sin was so offensive to this holy, all-powerful God that He could not enter or be near it. How ridiculous is that? How can an all-powerful, strong God not be near something as little as my sin- when Romans describes sin as just ‘missing the mark’! How can such a loving God be offended by my merely missing the mark? That sounds like a sensitive man, a man who isn’t strong at all. I’ve come to learn that isn’t God whatsoever. My earthly father is never offended when I miss it! He embraces me even more, pouring the truth of who I actually am into me. I can’t imagine how much more my heavenly Father does that to me! Not only is He not offended by sin, but I also go as far as to say that He doesn’t even care about it. And I say that because the truth is: He cares about our hearts. The law, the cross- it was all to point out that our hearts were far from Him after the garden, but His was never far from us.
The garden has become one of my favorite stories. Holy Spirit has completely shifted my view of it! I had been so used to hearing an angry God call out to Adam after he had ‘sinned,’ “WHERE ARE YOU?!” When what happened was Adam hid, and a loving, tender Father cried out, “My son? Where have you gone? You are far from me!” All Adam did was miss the mark of his original design! In my relearning of this story, I found the word ‘sin’ isn’t even in it. The word used in the garden story is ‘disobeyed’ which is the word shemah in Hebrew. It’s ‘to listen.’ Nowhere in this story is God angry towards any ‘sin.’ In fact, He is overwhelmed by a passionate, zealous love that says, “I WILL NOT LOSE YOU TO YOURSELF BECAUSE YOU FAILED TO LISTEN.” The Father never separated Himself from humanity out of anger or disgust toward his son’s now presumed ‘unholiness.’ God sought humanity out! God went looking for Adam because the view of the son had not changed. What changed was our view of the Father. Here is where we see a passionate love story unfold.
When I came to these conclusions, my theology as a whole was on tilt. How then did the law, the wild stories from the Old Testament fit in with all this??? For if my God is the ‘same yesterday, today and forever,’ how could He be angry in the beginning stories of the Bible and pure love after a day of judgment toward His son? He couldn’t. So I had to go searching out what wrath and anger meant because those are words used in scripture! Here began my journey of grace- my journey of actually understanding the radical love of Jesus.
As I was reading up on this, seeking out, essentially, who God is- I discovered the meaning behind the word ‘wrath.’ I found the word used most often in the New Testament is the word orge, which means, ‘any strong passion.’ It’s the origin of the English words, ‘orgy’ and ‘orgasm.’ I would say those are definitely not words having to do with anger! I would even say the latter has to do with a response of overflowing love towards another person! I read a book by a man named Steve McVey called Beyond an Angry God. In his book, he describes ‘wrath’ like this:
‘If a small child picked up a snake and his dad ran toward him screaming, grabbed him up and was slapping his hand, the child would perceive it as anger but in actuality, what he would be experiencing would be “fierce love.”‘
I discovered that the word wrath or orge is a violent love towards anything that harms us- such as sin and death. I called my mom, absolutely undone by everything I was learning. I felt as though I had no idea what the actual purpose of the life of Christ was until this very moment. She shared with me that the root word of orge is orego. It means ‘to stretch oneself out to touch or grasp something.’ This is what Jesus did toward us! The radical love of Jesus stretched Himself out (on the cross) to grasp us! Another meaning of orego is, “to yearn after, to desire, to stretch toward (to pull towards). “The Father in His love for us, desired us and stretched toward us (through Jesus), pulling us to Himself.”
Writing all of this has me wholly undone yet again. I find myself in tears as the reality of the garden married to the reality of the cross comes to settle within my heart. I have come to know the heart of the radical love of Jesus. It’s Hebrews 12:9, “His jealousy over us burns like fire.” It’s Hebrews 2:6, “Somewhere in the scriptures it is written, “What is it about the human species that God cannot get them out of his mind? What does he see in the son of man, that so captivates his gaze?” It’s God leaving the garden with Adam. It’s the radical, “YES! YOU ARE MINE!” of the cross! It’s the law fulfilling the emptiness within itself- crying out for an example of how to actually reach God and thus leading us to the realization we never lost the relationship with Him!
This long journey has offended my mind and my theology. This truth has unraveled me completely! I feel like Paul, “Overwhelmed by what grace communicates, I bow my knees in awe before the Father.” (Eph. 3:14Mirror Bible) My heart cry is now, “The secret is out! His cherished love dream now unfolds in front of our very eyes.” (Eph. 1:9Mirror Bible) Grace communicates my origin. Grace communicates that I am the very dream of the Creator. Grace communicates I never lost right standing with God. Grace is not an excuse for me to do as I please but causes my heart to shemah- to listen and respond to all He is and says. This is grace. This is the radical love of Jesus.