VIDEO Jesus Paid It All, O Praise the One

Oct 27, 2010

Originally written by Kristian Stanfill this is a video created to the song Jesus Paid It All (Also know as O Praise the One). I did not create the video and take no credit for it or the song. Enjoy 🙂

Love is Not the Gospel of Jesus Christ

Why is there no “fruit” or results from American Christianity in our nation?

Why doesn’t Christianity have a larger, more-redemptive role in our crumbling civilization including in the U.S.A.? Maybe because what people consider to be Christianity isn’t really Christianity at all. Society understands a Christianity that has nothing to do with actual Christianity.

God is love, the Bible tells us. 1 John 4:8. Yet love is not the gospel. Motivated by His vast love for each and every one of us and all humanity (both individually and collectively at the same time) God died on the cross at Calvary in the form of Jesus Christ. We are saved by God’s grace, not by our own works, because God loves us.

But our own human love as human beings for other human beings has nothing whatsoever to do with the gospel. In spiritual terms, human love cannot make even one hair on someone’s head either black or gray. Human love cannot move a speck of dust one inch (in the spiritual world).

The vast majority of alleged Churches (which I believe are social clubs guilty of trademark infringement) insist upon making a curious error. Jesus was very clear:

Matthew 22: “36 Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” 37 And He said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the great and foremost commandment. 39 The second is like it, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets.”

Yet the vast majority of alleged Christians occasionally attending alleged Churches violently reject the first and embrace only the second. How can one claim to be a Christian and yet fail to recognize what the Founder and heart of Christianity tells us is the greatest commandment of all?

“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.” Most Americans take a pair of scissors and cut out Matthew 22:36-38 and every similar passage from the Bible. They furiously insist that Christianity is exclusively about human love and compassion for other humans.

Salvation from sin is the gospel. The message and method of being redeemed from our sins by the voluntary, willing, intentional death of God Himself, taking on the form of a man named Jesus Christ is the gospel. And salvation from sin through the one and only Savior Jesus Christ is the centerpiece of Christianity. Salvation leaves every other issue in the dust by a thousand miles.

Yet Christianity is vastly broader than just the gospel alone. Christianity touches every aspect of life and encompasses how we live in every respect – at least potentially, for those who are faithful to apply Christian teachings throughout their lives. (A Christian is required to do so, but almost nobody does.)

The gospel is the heartbeat of Christianity. But the gospel and Christianity are not the same thing. Without the gospel, there can be no Christianity. But living life as a Christian is not the gospel.

Giving to the poor is not the gospel. It is a teaching of Christianity. It is not the gospel, however. No one will ever be saved from sin or gain entrance to heaven by giving to the poor. (And by “giving” we should always include any kind of help, whether monetary or practical. It may be far better to volunteer one’s time to help a person find a job or repair their car than to donate money.)

If a person could give the entire wealth of the universe to the poor, it would still be less than the total amount of their debt to God as a result of their sin. Giving all the wealth of the world to the poor would still only be a drop in a bucket compared to the sin we have committed against God. Our sin is a debt we can never repay and it is foolish to fantasize that we can “work off” our debt to God. We are hopelessly lost without a Savior.

And yet we hear many, many major Christian leaders casually talking about charity as being the gospel. Dare I say the “P” word without distracting from the point? We are lied to and told that compassion is the gospel, including ignoring the sins of promiscuity and homosexuality. But Jesus always warned “Go and sin no more.”

I’m not saying you should throw away 95% of the Faux Christian music that dominates the allegedly Christian radio stations. But you might seriously consider it. Our culture is swamped with the idea that human love is the gospel or Christianity. Glaringly absent from our culture, our churches, and Faux Christian radio stations most of the time is…. God.

It’s all about us. Hmmm… Isn’t that the origin of our sin problem to start with? The sinful nature’s view that everything is all about us. Isn’t that what gets us into the sin problem? Yet we propose a Christianity as a solution to our sin which – once again – is all about us.

Let’s have some real fun:

James 1: “2 Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. 4 And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.”

And Hebrews 12: “5 and you have forgotten the exhortation which is addressed to you as sons, “My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord, Nor faint when you are reproved by Him; 6 For those whom the Lord loves He disciplines, And He scourges every son whom He receives.”

Oh, swell. God loves us too much to leave us the way we are. God’s idea of love includes putting us through fiery trials. And we are to rejoice when God sends us through the fire. God scourges every – that is, every – son (or daughter) He loves. Remember that “scourge” means to whip with a whip that includes bits of metal that tear into the skin. Jesus was scourged by the Roman soldiers in this way. Not sure how I feel about that. Not loving that.

I remember as a new Christian getting very upset while stuck in traffic driving around the Beltway on the southern edge of Washington, D.C. I was on my way to a Friday night prayer meeting, which I felt I desperately needed to attend. All of my worries and frustrations were wrapped up in learning from God in this Christianity totally new to me what to do in some immediate decisions staring me in the face and my need to get a job to pay my bills. So I was getting upset.

But I remembered the admonition to be anxious for nothing but to let our requests be known to God. So I talked to God while driving the car and admitted to God that I was very frustrated and having a very bad attitude – while heading to a prayer meeting. And I asked for His help. God spoke to me very clearly in my heart, in my car: “To Me, this is beautiful.”

What??? I was astonished. I am feeling tormented by insecurities, frustrations and fears, afraid I will miss the prayer meeting and the answers I need – immediately – about what to do for work and career. And God says it is “beautiful?”

God explained: “You see yourself in the middle of this situation. But I see you coming out the other side, with better character and growing faith. And that is beautiful to Me. I see what you are becoming by going through these trials.” Now, I still don’t like trials, despite God’s lovely words. But I am trying.

So God is not about the kind of selfish “It’s all about me” love that American society supposes. Millions of Americans have turned their back on God because they once prayed for their pet not to die or some other demand they presented to God. But Christian leaders are failing their flock and society by giving a false understanding of Christ. The kind of love that affirms people in their sin is not the gospel.

by Jonathon Moseley

original here

God’s Goal in Communicating

1 Corinthians 2:9-14

Whenever the Lord speaks to us, He gets straight to the point. He doesn’t dance around the issue, engage in idle chitchat, or talk just for the sake of talking. God always has something specific to say to us—and it is for our benefit. He says it precisely, and His message invariably speaks directly to our needs.

Therefore, if the Lord has something important to say, and if it is vital to a deep need in our life, then we must be clear in asking, What is God’s primary purpose in speaking to me? What does He want me to do as a result of what He has said?

First, God speaks so that we are able to comprehend the truth. That is, He wants us to fully understand His message and absorb it into our heart and mind.

Second, God speaks so that we may be conformed to the truth. Just knowing biblical principles is not enough; we must apply those guidelines to our circumstances and live out the life of faith.

Third, God speaks so that we can then communicate the truth. It is not enough simply to hear scriptural principles and then apply them to our own situation. Our Father wants us to share that life-changing information with others.

How can you better understand biblical truth? How can you more effectively apply God’s principles in your life? How can you best share them with others? The Lord holds us accountable for our answers. Open yourself to His message today, and then submit to whatever the Holy Spirit tells you.

Partakers of the Promise

“That the Gentiles should be fellowheirs, and of the same body, and partakers of his promise in Christ by the gospel.” (Ephesians 3:6)

There are many Christians who regard themselves as almost exclusively New Testament believers, arguing that the Old Testament was for the Jews under the dispensation of law and thus not applicable to Christians today.

Nothing could be further from the truth. While the old animal sacrifices, temple rituals, and Levitical priesthoods have indeed been superseded by Christ’s “one sacrifice for sins for ever” (Hebrews 10:12), there are many “exceeding great and precious promises” (2 Peter 1:4) of the Old Testament that can be properly and joyfully appropriated by Christians. “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable,” wrote Paul (2 Timothy 3:16), speaking particularly of the Old Testament Scriptures.

In the context of our verse for the day, Paul is stressing that his own new revelations, given in connection with the Christian gospel, actually involved bringing Jew and Gentile together as one body in Christ. The “dispensation of the grace of God . . . by revelation he made known unto me,” he wrote, but in previous ages, it had not been “made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit” (Ephesians 3:2-5).

And what was it that had not been made known? The hidden mystery was simply “that the Gentiles should be fellowheirs” with the Jews, and therefore “partakers of his promise in Christ by the gospel” (Ephesians 3:6).

Thus, Gentile believers can now share in all the gracious promises of God in the Old Testament (e.g., Psalm 23; Isaiah 26:3; etc.), except those directly dealing with the future of Israel as a nation, “that the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ” (Galatians 3:14). HMM

The Glory of the Cross

He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities. —Isaiah 53:11

The meaning of these “stripes” in the original language is not a pleasant description. It means to be actually hurt and injured until the entire body is black and blue as one great bruise. Mankind has always used this kind of bodily laceration as a punitive measure….

But the suffering of Jesus Christ was not punitive. It was not for Himself and not for punishment of anything that He Himself had done.

The suffering of Jesus was corrective. He was willing to suffer in order that He might correct us and perfect us, so that His suffering might not begin and end in suffering, but that it might begin in suffering and end in healing.

Brethren, that is the glory of the cross! That is the glory of the kind of sacrifice that was for so long in the heart of God! That is the glory of the kind of atonement that allows a repentant sinner to come into peaceful and gracious fellowship with his God and Creator! It began in His suffering and it ended in our healing. It began in His wounds and ended in our purification. It began in His bruises and ended in our cleansing.

He was bruised, He suffered and He died that I might be justified before a holy God. Oh, Lord, the glory of the cross! Amen.

You Losing the Mystery?

If any man will do his will, he shall know… whether it be of God. (John 17:7)

We may be sure we are gaining spiritually when we discover there is a sense of divine mystery running throughout all of the kingdom of God!

I am aware that there are teachers in various Christian circles who pretend to know everything about God. They will quickly answer any question you may have about God, His creation, His judgments. They end up taking the mystery out of life and the mystery out of worship. When they have done that, they have taken God out as well!

Their cleverness and glibness may well betray a lack of the divine awe within the human spirit—awe and adoration, silent and wonderful, that breathes a whisper, “Oh Lord God, Thou knowest!”

In Isaiah we see clearly what happens to a person in the mystery of the Presence. Overpowered within His own being, Isaiah can only confess, “I am a man of unclean lips!” A person who has sensed what Isaiah sensed will never be able to joke again about “The Someone up there who likes me.”

Owe the same duty to our heavenly Father

It is quite certain that those whom Christ has washed in His precious blood need not make a confession of sin, as culprits or criminals, before God the Judge, for Christ has forever taken away all their sins, so that they no longer stand where they can be condemned; but having become children, and offending as children, ought they not every day to go before their heavenly Father and confess their sin, and acknowledge their iniquity? Nature teaches that it is the duty of erring children to make a confession to their earthly father, and the grace of God in the heart teaches us that we, as Christians, owe the same duty to our heavenly Father