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!

Advertisements

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!

THE WAY OF ESCAPE

Escape from what? Take heed and praise God that He has given us a way of escape!

[SW113] 10/27/2013 message notes by Rev. Susan J. Wynn ©2013
“The Way of Escape”

The scripture: 1 Corinthians 10:1-16

The context:

Corinth, the cosmopolitan city

Sin among the believers

Self-discipline (Spirit-control) so they are not disqualified in running the race (1 Corinthians 9:27)

The warnings:

— The Corinthians can see the Lord’s miracles, as the fathers did (verse 1)
(see Exodus 7:14 and forward, and Exodus 14:22)

— They can be baptized into Him, as the fathers were (verse 2)
(see Exodus 14:22)

— They can eat His spiritual food, as the fathers did (verse 3),
that is, the manna from heaven (see Exodus 16:4)

— They can drink His spiritual drink, as the fathers did (verse 4),
that is, the water from the Rock which is Christ (see Exodus 17:6)

AND YET not please God,
even to the point of their death (verse 5),
IF:

— They crave (lust after) evil things as some of the fathers did (verse 6),
that is, what they had in Egypt — meat, fish, veggies, appetizing food —
and spurn what the Lord provides.

— They make idols in their hearts (“I am god in my life”) or worship idols,
as the some of the fathers did (verse 7)
and as a result, eat, drink and play, as they did
(becoming their own idols, living selfishly)
and the rebellious were separated and killed.
(see Exodus 32:6, 26-28)

— They bow down to Baal, a god of fertility and sensuality (verse 8),
as some of the fathers did
for that is spiritual adultery against God
and a plague killed them (see Numbers 25).

— They try the Lord (verse 9) as some of the fathers did,
loathing “this miserable food” —
food that the Lord provided (manna and water from the rock) —
and fiery serpents destroyed them (see Numbers 21:5-6).

— They complain that God is unfair in His dealings with rebellion (verse 10),     (when the earth opened up, swallowing Korah and his followers),
as some of the fathers did,
and a plague struck them (see Numbers 16:41, 49)

These are good “bad examples” for the church at Corinth,
and they are also for you and me (verses 6 and 11).
These things do not please God.

1Corinthians 10:6   Now these things happened as  examples for us . . .

1Corinthians 10:11 Now these things happened to them as an  example, and  they were written for our instruction, upon whom  the ends of the ages have come.
Paul loves the church at Corinth,
thought they don’t like him very much (2 Corinthians 6:11-13).

Because he loves them, he warns them:

1Corinthians 10:12 Therefore let him who  thinks he stands take heed that he does not fall.

Some of the fathers thought they stood,
thought they were the Lord’s.
But many fell (1 Corinthians 10:5).

O Christian, O Church!

Even though we see His miracles
even though we are His,
and eat His food and drink,
we must take heed that we do not fall.

To take heed is to beware,
be careful, consider,
be on guard.

Temptation will come!
But God is faithful —
He has given us the way of escape.

1Corinthians 10:13 No temptation has overtaken you [gotten hold of you] but such as is common to man; and  God is faithful, who will not allow you to be  tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it [bear up under it].

God is faithful!
He won’t let you be tempted beyond what you can stand.
and gives you a way to escape it.

Trials and temptations are not in themselves sinful.
God will provide a way out, in life’s unavoidable temptations,
so you can stand firm under it.

What is this “way of escape?”

The Holy Spirit!

When you are filled with the Spirit,
you no longer rebel against God.
He breaks the power of sin,
so we are no longer slaves to it.

By the refining fire of the Holy Spirit,
our selfish desires are destroyed,
and our desires become the Lord’s desires.

BUT . . .  some of the Corinthians were filled with the Spirit.
And so was Paul, yet he exercised Spirit control so he himself
would not be disqualified from the race for the prize
of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.

Did they also need to watch for temptation?
Did they also need a way of escape?

Temptations will always come.
Our hearts are God’s,
they are pure, no more mixture.
But we will be tempted.

So we do what Jesus did when He walked the earth:

We take authority over temptation (Luke 10:19),
for temptation comes from Satan, and Christ has defeated him.
We use the Word of God,
just as Christ did in the wilderness when Satan tempted him.
The Word of God drives Satan away.

And sometimes we must simply leave a situation where temptation has come.

God will not allow us to be tempted beyond what we are able.
but with the temptation — each individual temptation —
He gives the way out.

The Holy Spirit takes the sin nature, willful disobedience against God,
and afterwards, warns us of “surprise” temptations that come along —
the “knee jerk” responses I talked about last week.
Praise God that the blood of Christ covers us,
when we miss it, and respond to provocations.

Are you willfully disobeying God today?

Ask God to cleanse you by filling you with the Holy Spirit!

Many say it is impossible to escape willful disobedience against God. But that goes against Galatians 5:24. As Oswald Chambers says in My Utmost for His Highest:

“If you are in debate as to whether God can deliver from sin, either let Him do it, or tell Him He cannot. Do not quote this and that person. Try Matthew 11:28 — “Come unto Me.” Come, if you are weary and heavy laden; ask, if you know you are evil (Luke 11:13).”

TO BE LIKE HIM

Jesus says it is enough to be like Him. What does He mean? May this message encourage you and challenge you to press on with Him!

[SW112] 10/19/2013 message notes by Rev. Susan J. Wynn ©2013
“To Be Like Him”

Matthew 10:24   “ A  disciple is not above his teacher, nor a slave above his master. 25 “It is enough for the disciple that he become like his teacher, and the slave like his master.   If they have called the head of the house   Beelzebul, how much more will they malign the members of his household!”

Those who love Jesus want to be like Him.
It’s our only desire!
We want all of His qualities,
not so we can admire our own goodness,
but so that His goodness comes from us more and more!

The context of this passage is persecution, but the Lord spoke to my heart:

A disciple is not above his teacher, nor is a slave above his master.

It is enough for the disciple that he become like his teacher, and the slave like his master.

But He also says in Matthew 5:48, “Be perfect as your Father in heaven is perfect.”

So does Jesus contradict Himself? May it never be!

When I described the perfection He commands, in last week’s message,
I said that is God’s perfect love in our hearts,
His selflessness, His self-giving, and self-sacrificing love.
We have offered ourselves to Him fully, per Romans 12:1.
This is heart purity!
No more serving two masters — He is our Master!

And we no longer willfully disobey God —
all rebellion against Him and His commands is gone.
The sin nature is crucified! (Galatians 5:24)

It is a glorious thing, something from which He obtains glory,
for there is no way we could do this, in ourselves.

Yet those who have had their hearts filled with the perfect love of God
are not above Him —
that is, we are not greater than Him
or over Him when compared with Him.
We are not beyond Him or more than Him.

We servants are not greater than our Master.
We  are His doulos, His bond-servants,
serving Him out of the very love of God that has filled our hearts!

We are His servants, obedient to Him,
ministering to Him continually.

But only He was persecuted yet did not strike back
nor even have a thought of it.

He did not sin by reacting to continual provocation
by the Jewish religious leaders,
though He responded to them with truth
and with holy indignation at their spiritual blindness.

But we still react to these things.
We have unintentionally sinned —
we have not rebelled against God, for that is intentional sin,
but we are taken by surprise.

We do not plan to sin, nor do we oppose God,
but an ember of irritation or impatience glows,
when we are taken by surprise.

We sense when we have unintentionally sinned,
because we are sensitive to the Holy Spirit.

We immediately stop,
take authority over Satan who has tempted us,
we rebuke him in Jesus’ name,
and ask Jesus Christ to cleanse us.

It is enough for the disciple to become like his teacher, and the slave like his master.

It is enough — it is sufficient and satisfactory —
for us to become like Him,
to become one who lives according to Him,
living even as He lived when He was on the earth.

It is enough to live and walk in the same manner as He did:

1John 2:4 The one who says, “ I have come to  know Him,” and does not keep His commandments, is a  liar, and  the truth is not in him;  5 but whoever  keeps His word, in him the  love of God has truly been perfected.  By this we know that we are in Him:  6 the one who says he  abides in Him  ought himself to walk in the same manner as He walked.

If you are willfully disobeying God,
you do not know Him.

But if you obey God,
He has filled you with His perfect love,
His Spirit, His righteousness, His fruit.
And we walk in the same manner,
we walk like our Lord,
though not completely sinless as He was,
and it is enough.

Do not, dear ones, try to excuse willful rebellion against God
through what I am saying.
But unintentional sin CAN happen to us,
a surprise, a reaction, an ember glowing.

One of John Wesley’s veterans (those who preached with him)
called it, “an old bone.”

He reacted to persecution
by thinking he’d like to hog-tie his persecutor.
He did not do it, and he asked the Lord to deliver Him.

In that way, I have found I can do no more than be like Christ.

1John 4:17 By this,  love is perfected with us, so that we may have  confidence in  the day of judgment; because  as He is, so also are we in this world.

“Therefore, be perfect as your Father in heaven is perfect.” (Matthew 5:48)

Being perfect is walking like Christ
because we are filled with the perfect love of God (Romans 5:5)!
Our hearts are pure, no longer divided, but totally His!

He says it is enough to be like Him,
It is enough to be filled with God’s perfect love.

That is what makes us pliable and able to be entwined with Him,
and through that intimacy,
we become more and more like Him.

AND . . .  we are ever being changed into His likeness,
once our hearts are His:

2Corinthians 3:17 Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where  the Spirit of the Lord is,  there is liberty.  18 But we all, with unveiled face,  beholding as in a mirror the  glory of the Lord, are being  transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as from  the Lord, the Spirit.

When the Holy Spirit has filled us, there is liberty!
There is freedom from slavery to sin!
Our rebellious hearts have been plucked out,
and replaced with hearts that respond to God.

And as we behold the Lord,
with His glory shining from our faces,
we are made more and more like Him,
through the work of the Holy Spirit.

There is no end to this “being like Him!”

A wonderful man of God once said, “There is no such thing as a stationary Christian.”

Even after His Spirit has filled us
and His perfect love is in our hearts,
We must continue to grow more like Him.

We must press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus (Philippians 3:14).

And if God’s perfect love is in us, we yield to Him with great joy!

In 2 Peter 1:4-12, Peter expresses what happens
before and after God’s perfect love has filled us.

We apply all diligence (earnestness, effort, and haste). To do what?

To supply, to add to, to fully nourish our faith
by adding moral excellence to it,

And to that, intimate knowledge,
knowing our Lord intimately through the Holy Spirit

And to that, Spirit-control

At this point, I believe the Spirit fills our hearts with God’s love.

But to that, we add perseverance amidst persecution and temptation

And to that, godliness

And to that, brotherly kindness,

And to that, love — God’s love, revealed more and more in you and through you.

For beloved, if these qualities are in you and increasing,
you are useful and fruitful,
for it is the evidence
that you truly and intimately know the Father and the Son,
and your heart is full of His perfect love.

Image to image, glory to glory.
He will do it, if we apply all diligence —
earnestness, effort, and haste!

Are you increasing? If you are not, cry out!
For if you lack these qualities, you have become blind or short-sighted,
and have forgotten your purification from your former sins.

Are you still willfully disobeying God?
Then, beloved, I pray you come to the end of yourself,
just as I did 12 years ago.

If you confess your sin to Him,
and ask Him to forgive you
and make you right on the inside,
He will do it!

He’ll break the power of cancelled sin,
and set the prisoner free!

Let these words be a plumb line for you
as they have been for me this week.
And if you find you are not plumb,
go to the Lord and ask Him to do what only He can do.

The Holy Spirit will pour out God’s perfect love into your heart,
and you will find every rebellious bone gone,
and that you are able to be like Jesus!

RIGHT — ON THE INSIDE

What I am about to say is life-changing, heart-changing truth!

[SW111] 10/13/2013 message notes by Rev. Susan J. Wynn ©2013
“Right — On the Inside”

Oh, if the Lord would enable me to clearly express His heart for you today!

What I am about to say is life-changing, heart-changing truth!

To review:

In the first few verses of Matthew 5, Jesus told His disciples they mus
understand their spiritual poverty,
and when they mourn because of it, and are humble before the Lord,
when they are hungry and thirsty for righteousness,
He would fill them.
Then they would have His love,
His hesed, His mercy,
His purity in their hearts.

And they would be compelled by His love
to proclaim reconciliation between God and man
through Jesus Christ.
They would not be able to stop speaking
of what they had seen and heard (Acts 4:20)!

THAT’S WHAT IT IS TO BE RIGHT — ON THE INSIDE!

That said, Jesus goes on to explain the standards God sets,
so they may understand their spiritual state,
and the Way
and the Truth
and the Life
only He could give them.

Matthew 5:17-48

Verse 17  He did not come to abolish the Law or the Prophets. Why not?

— Because He is the fulfillment of prophecy,
the subject of most of the OT!
He is the Lord our Righteousness (Jeremiah 23:6, 33:15)
Whose goal is that you be
“clothed in His righteousness alone,”
on the inside,
filled with HIS righteousness!

–And He is the fulfillment of the Law. How?
The Law can only be followed if you are selfless, self-giving,
and self-sacrificing per Romans 12:1-2
(that is, offering all of yourself completely to Him).

–And only God can change our hearts so that you are those things.
The cost was His Son’s death on a cross.
The heart change came when His Son was glorified,
and the Holy Spirit filled the hearts of men and women.

IF you will agree with God about your spiritual state,
THEN He will change you
so you gladly and easily live by His standards (like breathing!)
because His love is in you.
And then His character will be revealed to and in you
more and more, as you walk with Him.

Obeying the Law is not external (do’s and don’ts)!
It is not being externally obedient,
but obedient from your heart
because He has filled you with His love, by His Holy Spirit!

Christ fulfills the Law
because He is the one and only Way
to forgiveness and fullness!

Verse 20 — Jesus continues:

— Do not annul the Law! Why?
It is a tutor to lead you to Christ (Galatians 3:24)!
It shows you your spiritual state,
so you mourn and are humbled
hunger and thirst and are filled,
and He makes you
RIGHT ON THE INSIDE.

— The scribes and Pharisees perfectly obeyed the law OUTWARDLY.
They took great pride in dotting every “i” and crossed every “t.”

— But Jesus says you must obey BETTER THAN THAT!
You must SURPASS that!
That word means SUPER-ABOUND, in quality and quantity!

The scribes and Pharisees were outwardly perfect,
but inwardly, Jesus says they were full of dead men’s bones,
and all uncleanness (Matthew 23:27).
It is the same for you, until God makes your heart pure,
and fills it with His love,
so you are RIGHT, ON THE INSIDE.

And you will not enter the kingdom of heaven,
unless your heart is changed.

Everything that Jesus teaches from this point
is to show you how un-right your hearts is, on the inside,
so you cry out to be cleansed and filled!

Verses 21-26

The Law says “do not murder.”
But that goes far beyond literally murdering someone.
You do the same thing when you are angry AND
when you hold a grudge.
These are also murder, in God’s eyes.

And if you do not agree with Jesus on your spiritual state,
if you insist on continuing to be angry and unforgiving,
you will indeed be delivered to the judge (He speaks to believers!)
and given over to the jailer, Satan, and sentenced to hell.

–If you do not forgive,
you will not be forgiven by God. (Matthew 6:15).
You have not recognized how He has forgiven you,
if you continue in your anger and bitterness.

But when He makes you RIGHT ON THE INSIDE,
you no longer do those things.
You are set free from them,
and love with God’s love —
the kind that forgives,
from the depths of your changed heart.

Verses 27-30

It is the same with adultery.
It goes far beyond the actual act,
to the very condition of your heart,
in that you have lust deep in your heart,
even if you don’t act on that lust,
but just think lustfully.

But when God makes you RIGHT ON THE INSIDE,
lust is simply gone —
you no longer lust after things or people.
It has been cleansed from your heart forever!

Verses 31-32

It is the same with divorce.
It only happens when
the husband, the wife, or both.
are not filled with God’s actual love.

If both husband and wife are truly Christ’s
and have seen their spiritual state,
and have cried out to be filled,
His love will makes them selfless,
and they love each other with that love,
because He has made them
RIGHT ON THE INSIDE.

Verses 33-37

The scribes and Pharisees
split hairs to determine how closely associated
an oath was to YHWH’s name.
The closer the association by their judgment,
the more binding was the oath.
If a person wanted to break an oath,
they went to the hair-splitters,
so they could justify breaking it.

But God’s love was NOT in their hearts,
or they wouldn’t be making and breaking oaths.

And the scribes and Pharisees,
by their hair-splitting,
perverted the Law
so the breaking of an oath could be justified!

They wrote scads of interpretations in their mishnah,
and people ran to them
so they could gain permission and justification
to break oaths they had made.

SO . . . Jesus said,
“No more vows!”

When God makes you RIGHT ON THE INSIDE,
you do what you promise.
You have no need for oaths or to justify breaking them —
He has filled your heart with His love,
so your Yes is Yes, and your No is No,
and there is no need for an oath or vow.
Your word is good, like God’s,
because God is in you.

Verses 38-47

Again, it is the same for the “eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth.”
The scribes and Pharisees split hairs,
to determine when revenge was OK with God.

Your revenge-taking is NEVER OK with God.
He did not treat you that way (see Verse 45).

If He has made you RIGHT ON THE INSIDE,
you no longer seek revenge or to be justified for taking it.
You love those who hate you,
and you pray for them to know Christ.

Why? Because God has changed us,
filling us with His love,
so we show His hesed to them
just as He did to us.
Thus, we reveal we are sons of God.

Verse 48

Jesus shocks everyone! Be perfect as your Father in heaven is perfect.
(He speaks to believers, His disciples,
and to us who call ourselves His followers!!!)

IMPOSSIBLE!
So say many churches and many Christians.
You’re absolutely right,
unless He has made you RIGHT ON THE INSIDE.

You see, He never planned for you
to try to be RIGHT ON THE INSIDE on your own.

THIS IS THE MOST IMPORTANT TRUTH FOR YOU TODAY —
He Himself comes to dwell in you fully,
and it is His righteousness
that then emanates from you!

Do you see it? I teach the Law,
the Law of love,
the royal Law (James 2:8),
the one that the King of kings and Lord of lords
makes you able to obey,
when He makes you RIGHT ON THE INSIDE.

True Christianity is not “do’s and don’ts”
but a heart changed by God Himself
because you have realized your spiritual poverty,
have mourned and been comforted by the Comforter,
have humbled yourself before God,
have hungered and thirsted
for His righteousness
and have been filled!

Now you possess His mercy,
because His mercy, His hesed, is actually inside of you,
and you love with His love!

Your hearts are pure,
because His purity has filled you!

His message of reconciliation to Him
is on your lips!

He has made us RIGHT ON THE INSIDE,
and that is the perfection Jesus commands,
when He says:

Matthew 5:48 “Therefore   you are to be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.”