I made the decision to go back to school and enrolled in Global Grace Seminary to get my bachelors in Theology. My life is already so crazy busy, but I decided to make the time and fulfill a dream I’ve had for quite some time. Well, I had an essay that was due that needed to be 2500 words and what I’ve learned in my Foundations course and how I can apply it to my life.
I turned it in yesterday and my professor gave it an A+ (100%) saying I blew him away with this heartfelt essay. That it is FILLED with Christ-centered nuggets of freedom and he would like permission to use it “somewhere” in the future. As awesome as that feedback was, it was my husband’s comment after reading it that filled me with joy. He said it read like a letter, like a beautiful love letter. Well, that was definitely a quote worth putting on my Facebook page. After posting it I had a couple of people ask to read it so I thought I would put it on my blog. Enjoy!
Foundations Course One Essay
I enrolled in Global Grace Seminary a month ago today, and I just finished course one, Foundations. I have enjoyed it so much. Some of it is new to me and other parts of it, especially the IN CHRIST teachings just awakened things I had already been taught but had allowed to slip.
A couple of years ago, God opened my eyes to the revelation of reading the Old Testament through the lens of the New Covenant. So, one of my favorite classes in this course as Don Keathley’s teaching on Uncorking Your Bible. It really helped solidify what I’ve already been teaching in my Bible studies through our church. The cross was completely, perfectly, successful. Jesus finished His part, and He finished my part. When Jesus “said it is finished,” the Old Covenant was done, and the New Covenant was now in place. I learned that because the New Covenant didn’t take start until the cross, I need to read the “words of red” in light of the finished work of the Cross. While Jesus came full of grace and truth, He came as a minister of the circumcision to the Jewish people.
Not everything Jesus said was to me. It still has value for me, but it wasn’t to me. In order to have His heartbeat, His mind, and His mission I have to have an encounter the Author of the words in red. A daily encounter where He shows me more of Himself, and as a result, I see more of who I truly am. No longer striving to become what I already am and always have been. But having an encounter that leads to the grace which takes me to love and then I will love as He loves. 2 Corinthians 3:6 says He has made competent as ministers of a new covenant—not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life. Releasing a love full of mercy (grace) and truth.
Love that reveals that we were always in the heart of God. Love that reveals that He had a plan to redeem me and His covenant love for me was His unwillingness to let go of me. Love that reveals that He pursued me relentlessly because He loves me He designed me to be in union with the Trinity, and He desired for me to find my meaning in Him. Love that reveals that the simple Gospel starts with Him, ends with Him and swept me up in the middle.
My adventure in Christ begins at the finished work of the cross. It is a journey of discovering who I am in Him. Of becoming more aware of the One Who’s fullness I have received. Of knowing that He is constantly present. He is not an outside God, but rather Emmanuel in me and I in him. Life with Him is a co-union that now defines my life. It is no longer just Jesus or me but rather it is a seamless union. It is His life expressed through mine. In Him, I live, and move and have my being. While at the same time He lives, and moves and has His being in me. I am a beautiful expression of Him to the world. I am no longer a woman with myself, for myself or by myself. I now live only as a woman who is with God, for God and in union with God.
My co-union in Christ is what God’s faith knew about me all along when He resurrected Him from the dead (Colossians 2:12). It’s His faith that justified me, not my faith in Him. It’s His faith that is in me and that I live by. Any faith on my part is simply a reflection of Jesus’ faith in me. It’s just an outflow of “the Faith.” Living by His faith is believing what He believes about me and allowing it to transform me. Faith in me awakens to the fact that I am in Christ and in union with God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. My oneness has been redeemed, and all distance, delay, and dispute have been canceled forever. There is no longer any separation between God and me. The cross settled all of that.
His mind is made up about me, and He is determined to relentlessly love me. To love me fully, completely and extravagantly. Jesus is evidence of that. Eternity is not some distant future event but rather dwells in me now. I can’t be anymore eternal than I am at this moment. I am right now an eternal being reflecting Him. In Him, there is a co-seatedness where I cease from my labors. Where I rest in Him. The Gospel language is a co-language. I am co crucified, co buried, co resurrected, co ascended, co seated, co-heir, co awakened, co quickened. I have co-union, and I have been co revealed IN HIM. This past month, as I read the Bible I see “co” everywhere I look. It has become my new lens. The truth of this Gospel is the Son revealed IN me. This co-language has become so real to me that I didn’t even realize this was from Francois du Toit’s notes from his class Moment of Awakening. I thought Holy Spirit revealed it to me. I love that! When you no longer remember who said something because you can only hear yourself echoing Him.
In this co-union, I have grace benefits that belong to me as part of my inheritance. I have been forgiven of my sins. All of my sins have been forgiven, past, present, and future. Understanding this keeps me from being sin conscious and allows me to be righteousness conscious or Son conscious. He didn’t just cover my sins; He completely removed them. His forgiveness is perfect and complete in my life. After making purification for my sins, after He successfully cleansed and acquitted humankind, He sat down at the right hand of God. He now occupies the highest seat of dominion to endorse our innocence! His throne is established upon our redeemed righteousness.
Also, He remembers my sins no more. I have been justified. Declared innocent through the righteousness of Jesus. In God’s eyes, it’s as if I’ve never sinned. He doesn’t remember my past or refer to my past.
The third benefit of my grace package is He is never angry with me. He’s a good Father who is always pleased with me. Nothing I do makes Him more or less pleased. He is just happy with me all the time. I think this is one of my favorite benefits. I grew up always saying and doing the right thing so that I wouldn’t displease my dad. His standard was impossibly high. Not so with my Father. He is never disappointed in me. He loves me regardless of my good or bad behavior. I can’t make Him any happier than He already is with me. His mind is already made up about me.
I also love the benefits package that He qualifies me for ALL things. How refreshing to know that IN CHRIST I don’t have to jump through hoops or pass tests to qualify. He qualified me, and I can rest in His obedience. I share in His inheritance through His qualifications, not mine. He takes hold of me and never let’s go. He keeps me from stumbling. He doesn’t ever let go of me, so there is never any separation between us. There is only oneness because He reconciled me to Himself. It is now Father, Son, Holy Spirit and me! That one still makes my head reel, but I keep saying it because He said it and the reality of it is going deeper and deeper on the inside of me. The truth of it is changing my thoughts and aligning them with His thoughts about me.
Grace benefit number 6 is that God credited me with perfect righteousness. He made me who knew no righteousness to be His righteousness because He who knew no sin became my sin. I am as righteous as Jesus. A couple of years ago I started confessing that on a daily basis. I am righteous! It began to change me from the inside out. It changed how I saw my self and began to change how I walk this new life out. Making me more aware of all that He had done for me and in me. It began producing in me a freedom and a boldness that I hadn’t previously known.
He also gave me the Holy Spirit to teach me. He is the One who unlocks all of this inheritance for me. He is teaching me, empowering me and revealing the Son in me. I realize now that it wasn’t I who accepted Jesus. He accepted me! Holy Spirit simply opened my heart to believe. He was leading me, drawing me and pulling me the whole time. It wasn’t my decision but rather the decision that God had put in me all along awakening to the truth. Another benefit is that God is for me! He’s on my side, He’s accepted me, and I’m in partnership with Him. This is where true freedom is experienced. I am His delight, His masterpiece. He not only loves me but He likes me. He created me to uniquely express Him.
Not only is He for me but He is with me. I am the house of the Lord. I don’t have to ask Him for His presence because He is always with me. We are joined together. We are united in His death and united in His resurrection. Two parts joined together to make one individual that is indivisible in wholeness! I am absorbed into Him! Whatever became of Him became of me. Whatever happens to Him now happens to me. We have become ONE! I love that!
I have been empowered to overcome the enemy. Religion can no longer pull me into bondage again. He has given me strength to overcome enabling me to stand in His liberty. He has given me eternal life. I will never die. I just walk from one dimension to the next. All of these grace benefits are mine to enjoy. He is a benefit giving Daddy that knows no limits in my life. He is extravagant in His love for me.
I have been fortunate to not grow up with much religion. I didn’t grow up in church, and I had my moment of awakening 25 years ago at the age of 25. I was taught by a Pastor who’s ministry message centered around Colossians 1:27 Christ in you, the hope of glory. Receiving that foundational teaching of being IN CHRIST was priceless. I did get involved in a ministry for a short time that was a bit controlling and legalistic. The foundation that I had of Christ in me held me and helped me find my way out of it.
A few years ago, Holy Spirit began teaching me how to look at the Old Testament through the lens of Christ’s finished work on the cross. These classes have helped strengthen that. However, the teaching in these GGS classes on inclusion is a new revelation for me and one that I am continuing to see clearer.
I always knew Jesus did it for the world, but somewhere along the years, I had picked up an “us and them” mentality. Before I started taking these classes, Holy Spirit had begun revealing to me this message of inclusion through a couple of Scriptures. The first was 2 Corinthians 5:19 namely, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and He has committed to us the word of reconciliation. And the second one was Ephesians 2:4-6 But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, (5) even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), (6) and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus.
These two scriptures were now face to face with me, and a change in my thinking was needed but I wasn’t sure how to do it. The problem was that I still held on to the “us and them” mentality believing that we were only reconciled, made alive with Christ, raised up and seated with Him when we believe. But the phrase even when we were dead in our transgressions kept jumping off the page and conflicting with what I believed. I would have to let go of the old in order to carry the new, but I wasn’t sure how to do that. No one I knew was teaching this.
God has really opened my eyes through these classes that the cross included ALL mankind. And that His resurrection included ALL mankind. They just have to awaken to it, but it’s already done. I also learned that God didn’t turn His face from Jesus on the cross because He couldn’t look upon sin. Jesus came to reveal the Father. He was known as the friend of sinners which means that was what the Father was like as well. God was in Christ on the cross! He was reconciling the world to Himself through Christ! Humanity changed on the cross. Jesus was the last Adam, not the second Adam. He was the LAST Adam to be part of that Adamic race.
To stand guilty before God was no longer an option. The LAST Adam came and went In His resurrection He brought about a whole new humanity. A humanity that stands guiltless and blameless before their Maker. A humanity that is now a new creation in Christ.
This truth has changed how I now see the world. And because the One died for ALL, I can say like Paul, “so from now on I no longer see anyone after the flesh.” Because in Christ, humanity has been made new. This new revelation is changing how I share the gospel. It is no longer me requiring that someone say a “salvation prayer” or come to the altar. Jesus went to the altar for ALL and placed His blood on the mercy seat. The gospel doesn’t require faith but rather supplies the faith that is needed. It communicates the faith of God, His persuasion about us. Our faith is that wow moment when we see what God sees, and it takes our breath away. We “accept” Him because we realize we have always been accepted.
One of the most beautiful things I’ve heard was in Don Keathley’s class (Uncorking Your Bible). He said that the Godhead’s mission to humanity is to unveil the love that is flowing from Them to us. My thinking has now changed from an “us and them” exclusion mentality to a “Them and us” inclusion mentality.