Tree of Life Blog

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Monthly Archives: June 2013

Grace People or Gracious People?

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Kenneth Hagin said the derailing of the faith movement would happen if the people with strong faith did not love the people with weak faith. I believe the derailing of the grace movement will happen if grace people never become gracious people.

Grace can easily be just head knowledge to a series of doctrines, making you a policeman to those who you feel are too condemning and too judgmental, and blinding you to the condemnation you throw back at them, and the judgement you pronounce on them for not dotting their theological “i”s and crossing their ecclesiastical “t”s the way you do.

“I’m a grace person” can easily degenerate into our shibboleth, instead of being a foundation for which we build our lives and a way to learn how to love how we have been loved, it becomes a standard for deciding who is in our club and who is not in our club.  The very grace that should level us and bring unity is then used as a tool to divide!

People who are graciously serving the people of God, teaching, training, laying down their lives, are rejected and ignored because they don’t fit our image of grace.  Because they don’t do things the way we do, because they were too busy working for God to sit down and spend a year or two learning all your great revelations which you have kept to yourself or just shared with those you deem to be religious.

Healthy churches are rejected and criticized for not fitting the framework, while the grace people meet in their holy huddle, not even filling a living room because so few fit their rigid “grace” lens which doesn’t lead to loving the world, which doesn’t lead to serving and loving the church, which doesn’t lead to work of love and grace, but leads to a wicked judgmentalism and an arrogant us vs them mentality.

Grace is not supposed to be the mirror you hold up to the world to see if they are good enough to join your world.

It is supposed to be the mirror you hold up to your self to reveal your true identity and nature in Him. It is supposed to make you secure enough to take your place in the body of Christ – not leading for you to go through life not going to any church because “none of them are good enough for my high level of doctrinal purity” or rejecting people because they don’t look like us. It is supposed to be the mirror we gaze into to see His glory – His true glory is stepping into a broken, religious, hate-filled world and showing it love. His glory was never supposed to be kept hidden, never supposed to be shone onto the world exposing them for being outside of His pure, accurate doctrine of God and rejecting them for not grasping what He knew about His Father.

We are supposed to gaze into His glory – not just the friend of sinners, but the one who patiently endured Nicodemus’ ignorance, as the one who had a habit of going to synagogue even though they were mangling the book His Father penned to make points He never intended to make, as the one who even when the religious leaders nailed Him to a cross still died for them as well, crying “Father, forgive THEM for they know what they do”.

Then we are supposed to reflect His glory to the world. Is it your custom to be where the people of God are, even if they don’t get you or understand the true nature of your Father? Are you forgiving not just in word but in action, are you committed to His body on planet earth?

If not, get back to gazing at His glory. Stop using grace to divide and start being gracious.

Andrew Wommack’s view on Universalism.

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Andrew Wommack’s view on Universalism..

Romans 1.4

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If you have never read our verse by verse commentary on Romans you should have a check out of it now!

Benjamin Conway's blog

And declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead:  (Romans 1.4)

Jesus Christ was declared to be the Son of God with power. The Greek word for power in this instance is dunamis, a word that means miracle working power, or the power you have when you have greater resources than anyone else.  When God wants people to know that Jesus is the Son of God – He confirms His Word with POWER.  He shows how great His resources are!

Sometimes people say it means dynamite power, because the word dynamite comes from dunamis. Well, firstly it can’t really mean that because no-one knew what dynamite was when Romans was penned and secondly, dynamite is a tiny amount of power compared to the dunamis power of God.

The dunamis power of God raised Jesus from the dead…

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Popularity Doesn’t Matter

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Just as it is dangerous to follow a preacher or teacher because they are popular, it is equally dangerous to follow a preacher or teacher because they are unpopular.

I have been a follower of Andrew Wommack since 1998, when he rocked my world with a message called “Two Kinds of Righteousness”. Back then he wasn’t on TV in Europe, and nobody in the circles I moved in knew who he was.

Now Andrew is one of the leading TV ministers in this nation and his ministry has garnered a measure of success and his Bible Colleges are taking off and his conferences are growing, I actually know people who have stopped listening to his ministry, stopped going to his conferences, stopped being part of it all because “I’ve heard it all before”, “I’m on the new thing”, “I want to be on the fringe”.

Sometimes the fringe is exactly where it is happening. Sometimes it is just the lunatic fringe. Some people actually like being unpopular and being persecuted – sometimes they deliberately choose to go to a church that rejects tongues or healing or the grace message because they enjoy the feeling of being rejected and being persecuted. It makes them feel better than other people. Not being secure in their righteousness, they like being around people they feel superior to because that assuages their sense of guilt and inferiority.

Sometimes they come up with increasingly outlandish revelations in the name of grace most of which tend to universalism or a licentiousness which even our worst religious accusers wouldn’t dream we are capable of. Just to stay persecuted. Just to stay on that high of being on the “cutting edge”.

The fact is some days they will praise you, some days they will crucify you. Learn to live immune to both through faith in His work. Don’t let a need for popularity lead you to disobedience, and don’t let a need for unpopularity lead you to disobedience.

Find out where you fit into the body of Christ, get there and stay there.  People left Tree of Life Church because it was too unpopular, and people have left the church because it was too popular.  Being popular doesn’t mean anything – honouring God does.

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