MY SPECTACULAR GOD

My God is spectacular!!! When we make Him into our own, ordinary image, we make Him appear to be ordinary, beloved!

[SW117] 11/30/2013 message notes by Rev. Susan J. Wynn ©2013
“My Spectacular God”

Scriptures:

Psalm 24
Hebrews 13:8
John 14:12

My spectacular God,
YHWH, the I AM,
God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit.

I do not need to defend my spectacular God
but He has asked me to speak to His church,
for many are uncomfortable with my spectacular God!

Spectacular:

Of or like a spectacle (dramatic revelation); impressive.
grand, great, magnificent

His spectacular works, from the beginning:

Creation — He speaks, and it must come to pass!

Abraham –He gives a child to 100-year-old Abraham and his 90-year-old always-barren wife. It is for the redemption of the world, because from Isaac’s line, Jesus Christ came!

Sodom and Gomorrah — He judges sin spectacularly, for He is holy and just.

Exodus — He judges all the gods of Egypt via signs and wonders, a nation goes forth from captivity, pillars of fire and cloud guiding and protecting them, waters are miraculously parted. Why?

To Pharaoh, He says:

Exodus 9:14 “For this time I will send all My plagues  on you and your servants and your people, so that  you may know that there is no one like Me in all the earth.  15 “For if by now I had put forth My hand and struck you and your people with pestilence, you would then have been cut off from the earth.  16 “But, indeed,  for this reason I have allowed you to  remain, in order to show you My power and in order to proclaim My name through all the earth.

The purpose of these spectacular signs and wonders? Revelation of His nature, His power (Hebrew koakh, Greek dunamis), and that He is the only true God and completely different than anything man creates as an object of worship.

More of my spectacular God:

–Jehoshaphat’s enemies destroy themselves before his army can go into battle because God sets an ambush and confuses them. Why? Worship and obedience by Judah.

–Hezekiah sees 185,000 Assyrians destroyed (Isaiah 37:36) without Judah lifting a finger.

–The giving of His Son
God comes down to deliver us from sin —
To forgive past sins,
and free us from slavery to sin!
— Healing the sick, raising the dead, cleansing the lepers, casting out demons, the blind see, the deaf hear, the lame walk, and the poor in spirit have the gospel — the truth — preached to them!

–The fullness of His Spirit
When my spectacular God comes in,
can it be anything but a spectacular experience?

–The entire change of heart

–His fruit (character and nature) in human beings

Jesus Christ and the Father question the church: Why are you uncomfortable with My power, My spectacular ways? Through them, the world is to know that I alone am God!

We downplay His power and His spectacular ways.
We do not even like to use the word “power!”
But God uses it,
Jesus Christ uses it, too, beloved.
So do Spirit-filled Christians!

Acts 6:8   And Stephen, full of grace and power, was performing great  wonders and  signs among the people.

Romans 15:19 in the power of   signs and wonders,  in the power of the Spirit; so that  from Jerusalem and round about as  far as Illyricum I have  fully preached the gospel of Christ.

1Corinthians 2:4 and my  message and my preaching were  not in persuasive words of wisdom, but in demonstration of  the Spirit and of power,  5 so that your faith would not  rest on the wisdom of men, but on  the power of God.

O Church, you water down the Word of God:

–Don’t expect anything spectacular when you are saved

–Don’t expect anything spectacular when you are filled with the Holy Spirit

–Don’t expect to be set free from slavery to sin; you will always rebel against God, you will always be selfish.

–”Oh, I’m no saint!” Why not? God says your heart can be completely His, and commands that you be holy as He is holy! We think we sound humble, but such words offend God and insult and grieve and quench His Spirit, beloved.

Hebrews 10:26   For if we go on  sinning willfully after receiving  the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins,  27 but a terrifying expectation of  judgment and  THE FURY OF A FIRE WHICH WILL CONSUME THE ADVERSARIES.

Hebrews 10:29  How much severer punishment do you think he will deserve  who has trampled under foot the Son of God, and has regarded as unclean  the blood of the covenant  by which he was sanctified, and has  insulted the Spirit of grace?

Why do we do these things?

The Lord shows me that the primary reason is that many of us are still natural —
we have not received the Holy Spirit.

1Corinthians 2:14   But  a  natural man  does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are  foolishness to him; and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually  appraised.

If we had received His Holy Spirit,
we’d welcome His spectacular-ness.
We’d understand its purpose is that the world will know
there is none like Him in all the earth.

His spectacular ways are inextricably linked
to His holy character, His purity —
He commanded Israel to walk like Him,
to have His holy character.
And He commands of us.

If we had received His Holy Spirit,
we’d hate sin just like He does.
And He would give us power over it.

The second reason we are uncomfortable with God’s spectacular-ness
is that when He displays it,
we come face-to-face with His holy character,
and we see our sinfulness,
just as Isaiah did (Isaiah 6).

But many want to continue in their sin
and at the same time, be saved from hell.

O church, in doing so, you attempt to use God for your own purposes,
rather than allowing Him to bring you into His.

Since we love our sin,
we want to believe God loves that we continue rebelling against Him,
after we receive Jesus.
Agreeing with us for the sake of filled pews,
our teachers cry, “Peace, peace,” when there is no peace.

We thus redefine God,
making Him into our own image.
Since we are not spectacular or powerful or holy,
but ordinary,
the god we make Him into is ordinary.

We think we have made Him a God we can handle,
a God under our control.
We deceive ourselves!

He remains a spectacular God in many other parts of the world!
He reveals His power in Africa, Asia, South America —
even cold and hardened Europe,
even in Islam-controlled countries!

Will you throw to the moles and bats the god you’ve made Him into,
and fall on your face before Him?

Beloved!

Lift up your heads!  Let the King of glory come in! (Psalm 24:7-10)

His glory! In you!

My spectacular God will do spectacular things in you,
and He will do spectacular things through you,
so the world may know that He is God, the I AM!

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UNITY

The church truly seeks unity — here’s the only way it will come!

[SW116] 11/23/2013 message notes by Rev. Susan J. Wynn ©2013
“Unity”

John 17:22 “The  glory which You have given Me I have given to them, that they may be one, just as We are one; 23  I in them and You in Me, that they may be perfected  in unity, so that the world may  know that  You sent Me, and  loved them, even as You have loved Me.”

. . . that His disciples may be perfected in unity!
The literal translation, Greek to English: “completely into one.”

What one?
The One! Jesus in them, and them in Jesus.

What does that mean?
The same nature, character, qualities in followers of Jesus
that are in Jesus and the Father.
The fruit of the Spirit in human beings!
(Galatians 5:22-23)
One with each other BECAUSE
we are one with Him!

But that is not all there is to God’s character and nature!
He is powerful!
It is God’s power,
His miracle-working dunamis,
in human beings.

But that is not all there is to God’s power being given to humans!
    It is the power to overcome sin!

What is the purpose?
That the world may know that the Father sent His Son,
and that the Father loves followers of His Son
with the same agape He has for His Son.

Is it possible? Would Jesus have prayed it if it wasn’t?

The glory Jesus speaks of is the Holy Spirit,
as if the Spirit had already been poured out to His disciples,
though that wouldn’t happen until He was glorified (John 7:39).

It is the pouring out of the Holy Spirit into individual hearts
that will cause these to be completely into one.
He prays this for them,
and for all who believe through their word.

In Verse 8, Jesus says the ones for whom He prayed
received His words
truly understood that Jesus “came forth” from the Father —
that is, He came from beside Him —
and they believed the Father sent Him (16:30).

They were Christians!
And yet they would all forsake Him (16:32).

They were not “all one,” at the time Jesus prayed this prayer.
They fought among themselves,
concerned about their position in the kingdom (Mark 10:37),
arguing over who was the greatest disciple (Mark 9:34).

Most of the time, they didn’t understand what Jesus was saying.
They didn’t understand His parables,
nor could they discern when He was speaking a parable
and when He was not (Matthew 15:15-16).
His rebuke: “Are you still lacking in understanding?”

Peter rebuked Him when He said He must be arrested by the Jewish leaders,
crucified, and rise on the third day (Matthew 16:22).
He and the others did not understand
that His death was the very reason He came.
God could forgive and transform men
in no other way than the death of His Son.

But something big was about to happen —
His death, His resurrection, and the pouring out of His Spirit.
THEN and only then would they be completed into one,
made one with the Son and the Father.

In Acts 2, it happened to the 120.
It happened to them individually.
Even if the Spirit of God comes onto a whole group,
one that is waiting and praying,
He touches each one individually.

Oh, tongues of fire, beloved!
Tongues of fire to cleanse our hearts!

In that room,
the 120 died.
Then His Spirit came to live in them,
and Jesus and the Father, too,
just as He promised in John 14,
just as the Father promised in the Old Testament
(Ezekiel 36 and elsewhere).

What do I mean, they died?
They walked around and spoke and testified about Jesus,
and worked the works of God,
until most were martyred by unbelievers
(except for John).

Beloved, if you do not understand or these words seem strange to you,
it is because what you are hearing
is not taught in most of the church!
And yet this death is the only thing
that can make us perfectly into one!

Their competition among themselves
died!

Their desire recognition one above the other,
died!

Their desire for power,
died!

Their selfish ambition
died!

Their pride
died!

That’s because their flesh — the rebellious nature —
died!

And suddenly, Christ lived in them!
They were crucified with Him!

And suddenly, God’s love — agape —
filled their hearts to overflowing!

And suddenly, they understood His words.
They weren’t confused any longer.

And suddenly, they had the nature of God, His character!

And suddenly, they were perfected in unity — completed!
Made into one!

They loved God with God’s actual love,
they loved each other with God’s actual love,
they loved the world as God did —
so they were compelled to give themselves fully
to proclaiming His Son,
so the world may be reconciled to Him!

It is His Spirit who makes us one, beloved,
when we are filled with Him!
Then we have His love,
our ambitions go out the window,
and our eyes are fixed on Christ — not us!

After Pentecost, the disciples had one ambition —
to go out and about as He commanded
making disciples of all people,
teaching them to obey Jesus’ words,
so they, too, may be filled with His Spirit,
and become His witnesses,
so the world may know
God is real,
and Jesus is His Christ!

Then, if one became concerned with what men thought, like Peter,
the Holy Spirit spoke correction through another.
It was done with the very love of God,
and it was received because God’s words were spoken
and the receiver loved God with His love.

O, beloved!
How we must take these words to heart!
How we must be made perfectly into one!

We cannot do it —
only God can!

And He will,
if we agree with Him that our hearts must be changed.

This is a very late hour!

In the Body of Christ, His church,
there is no time for politics.
there is no time for quarreling,
there is no time for selfishness,
there is no time for personal ambition,
there is no time for earthly pursuits.

Fix your eyes on Jesus, the Author and Finisher of your faith!
Ask Him to finish what He began when you were saved!
Ask Him for a personal, individual Pentecost in your heart!

O Church, go to an upper room,
wait and pray until the fire comes down!
Time is too short for playing games!

Jesus says to you today:

Matthew 16:2 . . . “  When it is evening, you say, ‘It will be fair weather, for the sky is red.’ 3 “And in the morning, ‘There will be a storm today, for the sky is red and threatening.’  Do you know how to discern the  appearance of the sky, but cannot discern the signs of the times?”

Will you respond to God’s answer to Jesus’ prayer?

John 17:22 “The  glory which You have given Me I have given to them, that they may be one, just as We are one; 23  I in them and You in Me, that they may be perfected  in unity, so that the world may  know that  You sent Me, and  loved them, even as You have loved Me.”

WALKING IN THE SPIRIT

Walking in the Spirit, your heart and your will totally God’s. I present to the church a possibility, something only God can do. Will you believe?

[SW115] 11/16/2013 message notes by Rev. Susan J. Wynn ©2013
“Walking in the Spirit”

The scripture: Romans 7:24-25, 8:1-13

NOTE:

The Apostle Paul writes to the churches in a particular way —
he writes of what can be as though it is.
He writes of the life that is possible for Christians to lead,
if his readers have faith,
and then challenges them to believe and live it out,
just as he believed and lived it out!

Keep that in mind as we look at these verses in Romans.

God’s great desire and purpose: That we become like Christ, conformed to the image of His Son, and thus become His witnesses.

Mind set on (5427) — mental inclination (a bending of the body or head in a bow, a disposition)

According to (2596) — by, after the manner of, to the uttermost in intensity. The controlling principle.

The Spirit (4151) — The Holy Spirit, the Spirit of God, the Spirit of Christ, the third Person of the Trinity, the One who makes us holy — in a word, Christlike.

OR

The flesh (4561) — (by implication) human nature, with its frailties (physically or morally) and passions, carnally minded. The human nature, corrupted and weakened by sin.

I either walk to the uttermost with intensity, controlled by my own self-interest,
a slave to sin and all the harm it does to me and others,

OR

I walk to the uttermost with intensity, controlled by the Holy Spirit,
whose only interest is bringing honor to the Father and the Son,
free from slavery to sin and gladly a slave to righteousness!

If I look at these verses in Romans 8
without knowing that Paul speaks of possibilities
and then challenges the church to believe and live them out,
I’d have had to say that at that time,
I was not really a Christian.

But thank God, he speaks of the life it is possible for Christian to live!

When I first believed in Jesus and spoke words at an altar
He began to change me,
but I was still a mixture.

Some sins that I used to do B.C.,
I no longer did.
Some I still did.

My own interests were most important to me,
though now I had a desire to know God,
and I prayed to know Him more.

Was I really saved? Yes.
I believed God was my Father,
and Jesus was my Savior.

I had entered the kingdom,
but was not yet transformed.
I was an infant in Christ.

Was I walking to the uttermost in intensity, controlled by the Spirit? No.

I sometimes heeded/did what He was saying to my heart.
But most of the time I continued in my sins.

Was I really “converted?” Yes.
God’s Spirit was changing me, but it was a slow process.

Was I really “born from above?” Yes.
He corrects and teaches His children.
I knew He had begun to correct and teach me.

So how did I come to believe the possibilities
Paul challenges the church at Rome to believe? When did my heart become completely God’s?

It was when I surrendered my will to God,
when all I wanted was to know God intimately,
when I didn’t care what it took or cost me to get there,
I just wanted to know Him, really, really know Him!

From then on, I walked to the uttermost in intensity, controlled by the Holy Spirit.

And what it is it to walk according to/by/in the Spirit?

Walking in the Spirit means living in the Spirit,
filled with God to the highest degree that could be expected in a human,
your heart that is completely God’s.

It is living a life of intense following after Christ,
but in His strength, not yours.
No longer trying to be good,
but overwhelmingly conquering willful disobedience to God.

It means you have no desire for anything but Him,
and your heart is entirely His domain.

It is learning, learning, learning Christ
more and more and more,
and heeding what the Spirit says.

It is no longer being tugged and controlled by
your needs,
your wants,
your old ways,
your “gotta have it nows.”

But now controlled by the Holy Spirit,
wanting to and having the power to walk in Christ’s ways.
wanting what God wants,
which is for you to be like Jesus.

That’s when you become His witness.
Not that you simply go and tell people about Jesus,
But that He is unmistakably in you,
so what you say can’t be denied.
You live what you speak of,
and even those who know nothing of God,
know He is in you.

So what’s the big deal?
Why not continue walking to the uttermost in intensity,
controlled by the flesh?

Isn’t salvation enough?

Jesus Christ loves you enough to save you,
and loves you enough to change you
so you can stay that way.

Look at verses 6 and 7 —
The mind set on the flesh is death.
But the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace (shalom/eirene) —
peace with God, wholeness, reconciliation —
you no longer disobey and are no longer hostile to Him.

Christian, Paul tells you that you are under obligation (3781) —
you are debtors, you are indebted to God —
to live to the uttermost intensity controlled by the Spirit,
to have your mind bowed down before Him.

Not by TRYING to set your mind on Him,
but totally surrendering to God’s will,
asking Him to fill you with the Holy Spirit,
so your heart is completely His.

Is it a perfect walk?
Do I always heed the Spirit’s warnings,
when He tells me a test is coming?

I’m asking Him to work it more and more.

But it’s not about perfect performance.
It is about a heart completely His.
No ifs, ands or buts.

A heart that is completely His!!!!
Gloriously His,
delightfully His,
joyously His!

When the Lord shows me things
from the watchman’s wall,
He asks me to explain His heart,
and then to say what I see.
I see many who believe in Jesus,
and who are children of God,
but who, like Israel,
go their own way,
and keep on sinning.

If what I am saying is not true,
there would be no cruel treatment of pastors,
no church splits over the color of carpeting,
no power struggles,
no politics,
no gossiping,
no adultery,
no divorce.

The resistance to God’s message of complete wholeness —
a heart completely His, in a moment of time, separate from salvation —
is quite intense.
Many are offended to learn
that there is something else God wants to do in them.

Prayer is a must!
Through prayer, we can tear down strongholds
and everything that exalts itself
against the true, full, intimate knowledge of God.

The fault is not only with those who sit in our pews,
but also with those who are afraid to tell them the truth,
for fear people may leave the church,
or for fear they might be crucified by them.

This is the truth, beloved.

I am bold because I have only One to whom I am obligated,
One who is the source of all I could ever need.

If that is not true of you, pastor,
ask the Lord to make it so.

Then go and speak these things,
these uncomfortable truths.
Ask the Spirit for His encouragement,
for a steel rod in your backbone,
and follow Him intensely.
Teach others what He teaches you.
And you will be a good shepherd.

Some will heed what you say, and some will not.
But say it, and leave the rest to God.

Correct sin,  just as Christ instructs in Matthew 18.

If you let it lie there, it will only fester,
like an infected wound,
until the whole head is sick, and the whole body is faint.

Heed the word of the Lord today!
Believe it! Live it! Teach it! Preach it!

O church, you will overwhelmingly conquer sin if you take heed!

A LETTER TO MY BRIDE

I remember the day you said yes to Me, and I danced and rejoiced like a Bridegroom over His bride! You were far away, but when you looked at Me and our eyes met, all the years and tears and fears and sin that kept you from Me — all of that, all of it, fell away and I ran to you and embraced  you with My love.

All this time you have been telling Me of your love for Me, but I have wanted you to see so clearly, so you can’t mistake it any more, that My love for you far, far, far exceeds what you have been thinking.

I chose you, I said this one I will fill with My love and this one will love me fiercely and this one’s heart, this one’s heart will become wholly Mine. And this one will walk with me truly, being true to Me, for all the days this one lives on the earth. This one’s heart will be Mine forever and we will rejoice always, now and always!

You weep, My child, because you lost sight of Me, just for a little while. But you kept walking (I knew you would) and you walked by faith and you couldn’t see but you walked before Me, driven forward by my Spirit until you came into the clear and could see My joy over you.

And now (a command!), bathe in it, immerse yourself in it, for what I, Your Lord, say is truth and I say you are true to Me just as I knew you would always be, for I chose you. All of your life you are Mine and forever you are Mine, for I chose you.

My love does not fail, run out, or turn away. Do you see it? You must really see it, for if you lose sight of it, you will hear whisperings and murmurings and lying things.

I have placed My love before you so you see it. Now it will always be in your line of vision. You will not forget or dismiss what I am saying to you, for you know it is Me who is speaking. Words will come that are not true, but you will refuse them because My love for you is in your line of sight.

In the time you have walked without being able to see, I have shown you I am still leading you. But now, now, now, see for sure, see and know, that I will love you always for I have chosen you.

This one, this one will sing to me, this one, this one I’ll give My words and this one will sing and speak and be Mine. Do not mistake this — you are Mine! I have used others to say to you what you are to Me, and what I have done in you. My child, no one can reverse it.

Listen each day for My words of love to you, even as you speak and sing to Me. Open, and feel My love come back to you — it always has, it always will!

STANDING IN THE GAP

Ezekiel 22:30 “I  searched for a man among them who would  build up the wall and stand in the gap before Me for the land, so that I would not destroy it; but I found no one.

Who will build up with me? Who will stand in the gap with me? Join me, O believers, so the Lord searches and finds us building up walls and standing in the gap, before Him, so He does not send His wayward children into exile!

Father, Lord Jesus, Holy Spirit, I bow my knee before You. I pray for others to join me in building up the wall — the wall of righteousness, the one that is plumb when it is measured against Your holy Word. I pray for others to join me in fortifying it with Your truth, filling its cavity with Your Word so the shock of the blows of the battering rams of the Enemy is absorbed and he is unable to break through. I pray for others to join me in filling the seams of the wall with the mortar of Your very love, poured out in the hearts of the builders by the Holy Spirit. It will be a strong wall, strong in Your strength and not ours. For the sake of Your reputation and honor, I pray You answer. Heal us, O Lord!

Father, Lord Jesus, Holy Spirit, I pray for others to come and stand with me in the gap between You and Your wayward people — in Israel, and in the church. I pray they will stand with me, before You. Who can ascend to You, to stand before You? He who has clean hands and a pure heart. It is something only You can do in our hearts. Answer my prayer, O Lord, and bring many to build and stand in the gap, before You, so that Your church and Your people turn back to You.

LOSING HEART

2Corinthians 4:1   Therefore, since we have this  ministry, as we  received mercy, we do not lose heart,  2 but we have renounced the things hidden because of shame, not walking in craftiness or adulterating the word of God, but by the manifestation of truth commending ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God.

Losing heart. It means to fail in heart, to become faint, in the original Greek. And it is a common affliction of those who have been sent by God to call the church back to Him. Back to Him? Yes. We have adopted man’s ways to try to attract people to Jesus, and we have advertised God as a Blesser without the required obedience. He does bless — His eyes move to and fro around the earth to strongly support . . . who? Those whose hearts are completely His, beloved. There’s where the rubber meets the road.

Why do the hearts of His messengers fail? Opposition! The calls of these men were not, “go and teach the power of positive thinking” or “preach only the attractive words Christ spoke” or “talk about the positive promises of God while forgetting to mention His warnings.” I tell you the truth — even today, human hearts that have not yet been purified and filled with God’s actual love will react to the words of God just as in Isaiah’s and Jeremiah’s and Ezekiel’s day.

These fearless men of God were to go and speak the truth to rebellious people whose hearts were not entirely God’s. At His servants’ preaching, a very small number heard and turned back to God. But the Lord warned His servants the prophets that the words He gave them to speak would make most hearts insensitive, fat. He said their ears would become dull, heavy. He warned them that His people’s eyes would become even more dim, besmeared. He commanded them to keep speaking, lest the people see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their hearts, and return to God and be healed. He told Isaiah to speak to His people the very words I’ve just written. Look it up in Isaiah 6.

It doesn’t sound like a very positive assignment from God. It doesn’t sound like what is being preached from most of our country’s largest and most successful churches. Church historians say that Isaiah was sawed in half for His obedience to the Lord’s command to speak. Thus the hearts of God’s people were revealed. They could not see or hear or sense in their hearts that Isaiah spoke the very words of God. So they killed him.

Even so, today the church reveals her heart when she actively opposes and/or coldly listens to the message of repentance toward God and single-minded seeking to be filled with His Spirit, in a moment of time, after salvation and water baptism. And so the church continues with internal conflicts between members, favoritism, churches splitting apart over the color of carpeting, and worse — sins of pornography and adultery and even pedophilia. As a pastor, I have seen these things, even among lay leaders and preachers, dear ones.

Woe! Alas! It is the cry of the ones the Lord sends to speak to His people. We aren’t glad to say what we must say. But we say it because God commands us, and we know there will be a few who are convicted by the Holy Spirit and turn back to the Lord. God’s heart is for them to turn — His purpose is to redeem His people, not judge and destroy them. But they will self-destruct if they do not turn. God shows us what will happen. We see it and weep.

Woe! Alas! It is an expression of grief, pity, concern. And in our grief, it is easy to lose heart. Our hearts become so broken for God’s people and so tired of rejection that we really want to give up and simply let them go their own way. But we cannot — we are compelled to speak, by the very love of God that has been poured out in our hearts. We want them to be reconciled to God, for He has given us His heart. We feel what He feels.

You may say I’m crazy, foolish, lacking common sense and human reason, as the Corinthians accused Paul:

2Corinthians 12:11   I have become  foolish; you yourselves compelled me. Actually I should have been commended by you, for  in no respect was I inferior to the  most eminent apostles, even though I am a nobody.

They said Paul was crazy because he was compelled by the love of God to speak the truth — to call the church at Corinth to be reconciled to God (2Corinthians 5:20), to warn them not to receive the grace of God in vain (2Corinthians 6:1), so that they ultimately appear before Him empty-handed (that’s the original Greek meaning of  “in vain”). Woe! Alas!

It is that way with Jeff and me — and we surely are nobodies by the world’s and the church’s measurements. I am not sure what forum the Lord will use, in continuing to have us speak. Jeff and I have suspended the video ministry because we believe this is a flesh-and-blood gospel. We need to be physically in contact with those to whom we speak, so that by the grace of God and the power of the Holy Spirit, some might catch a glimpse of Jesus Christ and recognize that we are sent by God to turn them back to Him. I will continue to pour out the words God gives me in my blog. And we will continue to pray for the church to return to God.

NO LONGER SLAVES

Free, indeed! Free from that thing in us that makes us rebel against God, that wreaks havoc in our lives! Hallelujah! It is the free gift of God, through Christ Jesus our Lord!

[SW114] 11/3/2013 message notes by Rev. Susan J. Wynn ©2013
“No Longer Slaves”

The scripture: Romans 6

The context:

Rome, the cosmopolitan city

False teachers (Gnostics, etc.) saying, “Keep on sinning; grace will keep on increasing and God will keep on forgiving you.”

The truth:

Starts with Romans 5:20-21:

–The Law (the Ten Commandments) defines God’s moral standards.
It cannot be done in our natural goodness and strength and love.
When we tried and failed,
We saw that we were sinners.
Was that the end of the story?

–No! Thanks be to God, grace abounded! How?
He sent His Christ so we could become right on the inside
and have eternal life.
Sending His Christ
is the “grace (that) abounded even more.”

–Well, since grace is here, through Jesus Christ,
can we who believe into Him keep on sinning?
Won’t grace increase if we do?

–May it never be!
Haven’t we died to sin?

–Wait a minute.
Isn’t sin the things we do that are against God?
How can we die to an action, to a verb?

–To sin is to willfully disobey (rebel against) God.
If we sin, it is a symptom of a deeper issue —
the sin nature — the root cause of sin.
That’s the noun Paul refers to.
We are born with rebellious natures.

–But Paul says we can DIE to that sin nature.

If we die to it, we are set free, indeed (verse 7).

If we do not die to it, we are slaves to it (verse 6).

Slavery to sin defined:

In bondage to sin
subject to sin
mastered by sin
legal property of sin
forced to obey sin
controlled by sin
ruled by sin
under authority of sin

An aside:
Human enslavement by humans is evil, indeed.
But it is just a symptom of the deeper issue —
the sin nature.
Until that is dealt a death blow,
human enslavement by humans will continue.
The sin nature must die,
and the divine nature must come in to replace it.
The stony heart must be plucked out by the hand of God,
and be replaced by a nature that responds to Him.

How does that happen?

What I am about to say is different than the usual interpretation of Verses 3 and 4.
But I believe it is the truth.

“All of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus” —
what is it to be baptized into Christ Jesus?
Is it water, or is it fire?
John the Baptist says Jesus baptizes
with the Holy Spirit and fire.

It is when we are baptized with the Holy Spirit and fire,
that we are “baptized into His death.”
Our sin nature dies, and we are no longer slaves to it!

Jesus took our sin upon Himself and died once for all.
Spiritually, when we are baptized into the Holy Spirit,
the sin nature dies in us,
and the Holy Spirit gives us God’s nature.

Then He continues His work —
we work it out with Him, in fear and trembling,
for we know it is God who is at work in us.
But all willful disobedience,  all rebellion,
died when we were baptized by Jesus
with the Holy Spirit and fire!

No longer slaves to sin!!!!

No longer in bondage to the sin nature
subject to the sin nature
mastered by the sin nature
legal property of the sin nature
forced to obey the sin nature
controlled by the sin nature
ruled by the sin nature
under authority of the sin nature.
It is dead!

So will we believe that it can be done (verse 12)?

EITHER the sin nature reigns
and we are its slaves and not right on the inside,

OR we are alive from the dead (because the wages of sin is death),
and we are right on the inside,
and instruments of God!

Instruments of God — hepo (3696) —
busy about doing God’s works, His implement or tool,
especially, an offensive implement or tool, a weapon, armor.

We are weapons against the Enemy of our souls — Satan —
and doing damage to his kingdom
by bringing souls to Christ,
baptizing in water for repentance,
and the Holy Spirit to free them from slavery to sin!

Thanks be to God!
We were slaves of the sin nature in us,
we have become obedient FROM THE HEART —
our hearts have been changed! (verse 17)

We are freed from sin,
and slaves to righteousness (verse 18).
Slaves?
Didn’t I say we are “No Longer Slaves?”

Paul speaks in human terms, as a man (verse 19),
to help the church that is in Rome understand.
In being slaves to righteousness,
we are not slaves by the human definition!
We are doulous, bond-servants,
our debt paid,
serving out of love —
God’s actual love in our hearts!
When we are baptized with the Holy Spirit and fire,
when we present ourselves to God and cry, “Clean me up,”
Jesus does become our Master, our Lord,
and the result is sanctification.

What is sanctification?

Hagiasmos (38) — purification, the state of purity, holiness!
No longer slaves to sin!

Beloved, when you were slaves to sin,
you were NOT controlled by the Holy Spirit.

When you first came to believe into Jesus Christ,
He began to show you that you had something in you
that drove you to disobey God.
I speak from my own experience.
The outcome of those things is death (verse 21).

But when you are freed from sin,
when you are baptized into Jesus’ baptism,
the Holy Spirit and fire,
that slavery to sin goes,
and you are set free, your heart made pure and clean!
The outcome of that is eternal life,
starting here and now.

The wages of sin is death.
If you continue to let that sin nature live in you,
even though God has given you Jesus Christ,
the Way to escape its chains,
you are still rebelling against God.
Your payment? Death.

But the FREE GIFT of God
is eternal life,
starting here and now!
His eternal life in you,
His Spirit empowering,
Christ your loving Master,
the Father, Son and Spirit
ruling and reigning!