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You can’t win a fight against God. You are bound to lose and when you do you will lose everything. Jesus Christ already lost that fight for you. On the cross He lost the fight against God. He became God’s enemy in your place so that He could lose for you.

from The Righteous Will Live by Faith

Some Thoughts on Galatians

The Righteous Will Live by Faith – Understanding Paul’s Argument in Galatians

Compartmentalizing or minimizing the place of Christ in the universe is the first step toward drifting away from the faith. How you conceive of Jesus Christ’s role in the universe will also determine His role in your life.

from Exalted above the Heavens

Why You Need a Positive and Distinct Vision of Personal Holiness

Because Hebrews 12:14 tells us to pursue holiness, and it’s hard to pursue what you can’t see.

Because temptations to sin are always clear and distinct, and a fuzzy concept of holiness won’t offer you a compelling alternative in times of temptation.

Because when all is said and done, you always do what you want. And the beauty of holiness is such that if you see it, you’ll want it.

Because you need will-power to live a holy life, and will-power has been defined as “the ability to keep a remote desire so vividly in mind that immediate desires which interfere with it are not gratified.”

If that’s really what will-power is, and if you desire to enjoy a holy life, then you need a clear and distinct vision of personal holiness. There will be times when that goal seems remote compared to the nearness of sin and temptation. In those times, the beauty of holiness, if kept vividly in mind, will empower you to overcome the snares and temptations of this world.

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The more you exalt Christ in your thinking, the easier it is to picture yourself like Him.

The greater your esteem for His freedom and the more you stand in awe of it, the easier it will be to consider yourself free from sin and alive to God in the same manner.

The more you magnify Christ in relation to sin and death and the universe, the more accurate your vision of Him will be, and also your vision of yourself.

It is easy to see yourself as free from unrighteous behavior in the light of His glory. The greater He is to you, the greater is His power to make you like Him.

from The Reign of Grace and the End of Sin in Your Life

Two Ways to Be Human

To be human is to be a sinner.

To err is human, and so is to sin.

That’s how we often see things, anyway. But, in fact, humanity was not created to sin, and sin is not part of our original design.

Therefore, if someone were to live a life completely free of sin, they would be acting in a more human way than the rest of us.

This is what Jesus did.

Jesus lived a sinless life and He is ready to help you to overcome sin because He overcame sin perfectly.

So what did this life look like?

Here is where it gets interesting. If Jesus hadn’t started preaching the kingdom of God and doing miracles, He would not have been recognized as a unique man of God.

He started His ministry when He was about thirty years old. By that time, He had been living a sinless life for thirty years and yet nobody seemed to have noticed. In fact, the people who knew Him best, the people of Nazareth and even members of His own family, rejected His ministry. They knew Him so well, they were convinced that He was a normal guy, not a great prophet.

Sinless humanity is normal humanity. It is the natural way to be human. In this sense, Jesus was more normal than we sinners are. It is sin that is unnatural and even anti-human.

Yet it seems so easy and natural for us to sin.

This is because we have it backwards. Jesus set it straight.

If we want to overcome sin and live the lives that we were meant to live, we will have to re-learn everything we thought we knew about humanity from the greatest human who ever lived.

In other words, we will have learn to be human from God, for Jesus is also God just as He is fully human.

Jesus said to His disciples, “He who has seen Me has seen the Father” (John 14:9).

You and I may never be able to comprehend exactly how Jesus could be God and man at the same time, but here He assures us, as He assured His disciples, that His humanity didn’t conceal His divinity from us, it revealed it.

For Jesus, being human wasn’t incompatible with being God. For you, being human isn’t incompatible with being holy.

You were created to be holy as certainly as you were created human.

Learn from Jesus how to be human, and you will find that He has also made you holy.

This has been a summary of chapter one of A Life Has Been Lived for You.

Read a summary of chapter two.

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Learning Christ – The Joy of Being Renewed in His Image

Character building has gotten a bad reputation. In reality, it’s about following Jesus, and it’s the adventure of a lifetime.

Learn from the Great Teacher:

  • never lose your original passion
  • never waver in your pursuit of spiritual maturity
  • be corrected without being offended
  • be humble without being insecure
  • be confident without being arrogant

It’s not about balance, it’s about fullness.

It’s about more than principles, it’s about a Person.

Don’t miss it for a day. Experience the joy of being renewed in His image.

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The gospel changes us by not changing, and not waiting for us to change. It helps us to live in this world by not conforming itself to this world—by giving us a message from outside of this world and insisting that this ever-changing world in which we live and grow has ended, and that our lives in it have ended as well.

As for the fact that we are clearly not dead, the gospel gives us a new world to live in, a world governed by—in fact, created by—God’s once-and-for-all decree that we are righteous in Christ. To live under that decree is to live in the Spirit, and to live in the Spirit is to live the life of the new creation.

from A Sinner’s Guide to Holiness