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Wonderful News Day 4…

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Day Four…

We had 17 adults (give or take one or two either way – counting is difficult while preaching) and it was a glorious service.  We had a lady who used to be in the youth group I led many years ago come and lead worship and it was absolutely beautiful.

The presence of the Lord filled the room, and people were getting touched by the Lord before I even opened my mouth.

I preached on the Holy Spirit and how important it is to know him as a person.  Message is available here.

There was a Muslim gentleman turned up aged 85 looking for healing.  He hobbled in and asked for prayer for his skin, I prayed for all of him and the pain left him completely.  I am going to meet him for a coffee next week.

The Christians in the room responded well to the message and God’s goodness was evident.  Many people said they had never heard the things I have said before.

Think – every night a non-Christian has heard the gospel, every night someone has been touched by God and every night people have been encouraged, blessed and inspired.

Now remember, the crusade is over but we are not.  Every Thursday we are in the library, every Sunday in our house.  Increase and increase, glory and blessing,

Glory and freedom,
Benjamin

Wonderful News Healing Crusade – evening ONE

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Hi gang,

What a wonderful night tonight was. All three people who reponded to the call for healing were healed. One lady of a congenital problem who kept saying “all the pain is gone, all the pain is gone”.   I think we had about 20-25 people present in the room, I forgot to count.

They were a lovely family who had travelled for an hour to come to the meeting after reading about it on the internet.  We had people from Clayhall, from Dagenham, from Barking, from Barkingside and it was wonderful.

Another lady saw our newspaper advert and came, her friend was healed of a headache and someone else was healed of leg pain.

We saw people come we had never met, and I think there were 20-25 people in the room (I was so excited I never even did a head count! – I will tomorrow I promise. All the feedback was positive, even though I think I preached one of the most meandering directionles sermons I have ever preached!!)  I think we had more people than we ever had last year after months of meetings – God has given us increase and it is VERY GOOD!   We already know that we have more people coming tomorrow because they have phoned us and spoken to us.

Poonam in our church came alive tonight – praying for everyone, sharing her testimony and was just on fire.  That was wonderful to see because it means our church is not just growing in numbers, but in spiritual depth.
Anyway, you can hear the sermon for yourself. My wife said it was very powerful, and I always consider her a good judge. So many people came because we spoke to them at bus stops – not having a car has proved such a blessing in our evangelism!! The whole atmosphere tonight was powerful, we have such a good God. He is so faithful to His Word, so good to all of us.
One family (mother and daughter) came from Buckinghamshire and I know they were very blessed. In fact, the daughter the day before was believing for a copy of BLESSING OR CURSE: You can choose by Derek Prince, and we were giving them away for free at the meeting!

Here is to night two, which will only be increase!

Glory and freedom,
Benjamin

10 Reasons God Wants YOU Well…

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10.  The Bible says that His Name is Healer (Exodus 15.26) – it is important to God that He is always faithful to His name.

9. Jesus wants us to enjoy life in abundance, and if you are sick you cannot be living life to the full. (John 10.10)

8. God created Adam sickness free and declared that it was good that man was healthy (Genesis 1.26ff)

7. In heaven there is no sickness (Revelation 21.4), and we are told to pray for God’s will to be done on earth as it is in heaven (Matt. 7)

6. In Deuteronomy 28, sickness is a curse and health is a blessing and Galatians 3.13-14 says we are totally set free from the curse and we have the blessing.  Sickness has not suddenly moved to the blessing side!

5. Jesus said healing is the children’s bread (Matt. 15.22-28), and we are the children of God (John 1.12)

4. Jesus went around healing the sick and doing good (Acts 10.38) and Jesus has not changed (Hebrews 13.8)

3. Jesus Christ carried our sicknesses and our diseases on the cross (Matt. 8.16-17) and we should not carry something that He carried for us.

2. Six one syllable words that it would take someone to help you misunderstand and misinterpret their plain and simple meaning: By His Stripes, We Were Healed (1 Peter 2.24)

1. The number one reason I know God wants you well is that you are beloved of the Father, and if you ask your Father for bread He will not give you a stone (Luke 11.11).  It is that simple: God loves you as a Father and every Father would want their child to be well.  That is just a fraction of how much God wants you to be well.

All you have to do is believe and receive (Mark 11.23-24) and you can enjoy divine health for the rest of your life.

Glory and freedom,

Benjamin

Galatians 3 (KJV)

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1 O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you? 2 This only would I learn of you, Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? 3 Are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh? 4 Have ye suffered so many things in vain? if it be yet in vain. 5 He therefore that ministereth to you the Spirit, and worketh miracles among you, doeth he it by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?

6 Even as Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness. 7 Know ye therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham. 8 And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all nations be blessed. 9 So then they which be of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham.

10 For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them. 11 But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just shall live by faith. 12 And the law is not of faith: but, The man that doeth them shall live in them. 13 Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree: 14 That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.

15 Brethren, I speak after the manner of men; Though it be but a man’s covenant, yet if it be confirmed, no man disannulleth, or addeth thereto. 16 Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ. 17 And this I say, that the covenant, that was confirmed before of God in Christ, the law, which was four hundred and thirty years after, cannot disannul, that it should make the promise of none effect. 18 For if the inheritance be of the law, it is no more of promise: but God gave it to Abraham by promise.

19 Wherefore then serveth the law? It was added because of transgressions, till the seed should come to whom the promise was made; and it was ordained by angels in the hand of a mediator. 20 Now a mediator is not a mediator of one, but God is one. 21 Is the law then against the promises of God? God forbid: for if there had been a law given which could have given life, verily righteousness should have been by the law. 22 But the scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe.

23 But before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed. 24 Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. 25 But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster. 26 For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. 27 For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. 29 And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.

Poverty is A Curse (Bob Yandian)

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I. Prosperity is a Blessing
The first mention of prosperity in the Word was when God blessed Abraham. God blessed Abraham because He knew Abraham would be a blessing. Abraham’s first priority was other people, but by the time he entered into the Promised Land, he was one of the wealthiest men on the earth.

We often think God’s riches are limited. How can God continue to give? His riches in glory are inexhaustible. We can give to missions, evangelists, and other ministries, and still have more than enough for ourselves because we seek first His kingdom and God wants to bless us.

3 John 2

Beloved, I wish above all things thou mayest prosper and be in health as thy soul prospers.

Three types of prosperity are mentioned in this verse: prosperity in our natural life, physical healing, and prosperity in our spiritual life. The Greek word for prosper means to have a good journey, or a good trip. It refers to starting from one place and going to a final destination. Prosperity is a trip, a journey. When we embark upon a trip to an unknown place, we pull out a map to guide our way. That is exactly what the Word of God is — a map to help guide us to that destination.

Prosperity doesn’t come overnight. As we learn and continue in the Word of God, it begins to take root and to grow and build inside of us, line upon line and precept upon precept. Mark 4 says when the seed is sown, first comes the blade, then the ear, then the full corn in the ear. Prosperity comes a little at a time, but God wants to bless us throughout our entire lifetime. Satan will send persecution, but God’s blessings are always greater than any attack or persecution the enemy may bring.

Not everyone understands that prosperity is a blessing and poverty is a curse. Religion has taught us that there is no Satan or that Satan is nothing more than our own conscious thoughts about evil. Religion also teaches that God controls all good and evil, and good and evil are simply the two sides of God. In other words, God can bless us at one moment and curse us another. That is completely contrary to the Word of God.

If every good and perfect gift comes from above from the Father of life, then we can turn that verse around and say that every wicked, perverted, and stupid thing comes from below from the father of darkness. Satan always lies, he is always shifty, and he never keeps his word. We have to acknowledge the fact that the true and living God from heaven and the one who would be god on this earth are opposed to one another. The war going on between them was won at the Cross, but that victory will ultimately be established once and for all at the Second Coming of the Lord Jesus Christ. In the meantime, the victory of the Cross has been given to the Church so we can enforce Satan’s defeat as we tread on serpents and scorpions, over all the works of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt us. (Luke 10:19) We will go through hard times, but Jesus promised we would always come out victorious on the other side. Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of them all. (Psalm 34:19)


II. Blessed in the City and in the Field

Deuteronomy 28:1

And it shall come to pass; if thou shalt hearken diligently unto the voice of the Lord thy God, to observe and to do all his commandments which I command thee this day, that the Lord thy God will set thee on high above all nations of the earth:
And all these blessings shall come on thee, and overtake thee, if thou shalt hearken unto the voice of the Lord thy God.

Notice there is a blessing that comes upon you, and there is a blessing that overtakes you. The blessing that comes upon you comes directly from God. God wants to pour out blessings on us, but there are blessings that God wants to have come upon us and overtake us. We do not need to pursue blessings. We pursue God and blessings pursue us. We are not to chase after finances. We pursue God. We get to know Him. When we draw close to His heart and obey His commandments, blessings will pursue us.

An old expression says, “If you chase after a butterfly, you’ll never catch it. But if you stand still, the butterfly will come to you.” When we stand still and obey God’s commandments, we will watch the deliverance of the Lord in our behalf and His blessings will come upon us and overtake us.

Deuteronomy 28:1

Blessed shalt thou be in the city, and blessed shalt thou be in the field.
Many have said we need to go where the prosperity is, but this verse says you will be blessed no matter where you are. This isn’t just a North American gospel that works only in the United States. This is the gospel that works in the city and in the field.

Some are called to go into small communities because of their job, or to pastor small churches. Often they think they are leaving a place of prosperity to go to a place where there isn’t much available. The Scripture says prosperity will chase you down when you follow after God.

God told Abraham to leave a rich country and go to the land God would give him and his children. When he entered the Promised Land, it was in the midst of a drought. This was not a land flowing with milk and honey; it was a land of poverty and desert. Abraham trusted God. God blessed him and made him one of the richest men in the world. God can bless you in the desert and in the city.

III. Blessings Follow Obedience to God’s Word
Deuteronomy 28:8

The Lord shall command the blessing upon thee in thy storehouses, and in all that thou settest thine hand unto; and he shall bless thee in the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee.

Notice the word storehouses is plural. Throughout the Old and New Testaments, farmers had storehouses for their grain. First, the storehouses represented blessings for their family. Secondly, it represented next year’s crop because they would plant from the storehouse. Thirdly, it represented profit because they could sell what was in the storehouses. The storehouses in your life represent so many wonderful things, including blessings on your bank account, your job, and your future.

Notice it says, in all that thou settest thine hand unto. It does not say all you do while you idly sit. God will bless you when you follow His Word and whatever you begin to set your hand to will prosper. When God begins to pour out blessings on your work, you can do a little work and God will do a lot of work with you. There is a great blessing when you begin to work according to what God instructs you to do.


Deuteronomy 28:15, 38-39

But it shall come to pass, if thou wilt not hearken unto the voice of the Lord thy God, to observe to do all his commandments and his statues which I command thee this day; that all these curses shall come upon thee, and overtake thee:

Thou shalt carry much seed out into the field, and shalt gather but little in; for the locust shall consume it.

Thou shalt plant vineyards, and dress them, but shalt neither drink of the wine, nor gather the grapes; for the worms shall eat them.

Thou shalt have olive trees throughout all thy coasts, but thou shalt not anoint thyself with the oil; for thine olive shall cast his fruit.
When your outgo exceeds your income, you are headed down the wrong path. Verse 14 tells us we will sow a few seeds and come back with a multitude of seeds. However, if you don’t hearken unto the voice of the Lord your God, you can take the whole storehouse out there and come back with very little.

Throughout the Old Testament, and especially in Deuteronomy, it seems to imply that God is taking blessings from you. However, the Hebrew text implies that God does give, but if your heart is not right, God will permit Satan to steal from you. It is much like having your house unprotected. If you forget to set your house alarm and a thief breaks in, you can blame the alarm company all you want, but it is ultimately your fault for not setting the alarm. In our Christian lives, we leave the door unlocked through our own disobedience and when Satan comes in and steals from us, we blame God. But when God gave us His Word and His Spirit, He gave us every provision. When we leave the door standing wide open for Satan to rob us, we can’t blame God, only ourselves.

Throughout the Book of Job, it looks as though God is giving Job something one minute and taking it away the next. But in the opening of the book, we find that Satan was stealing from Job. God was pouring great blessings on Job’s life, yet Job left the door standing wide open.


Job 1:4-5, 10

And his sons went and feasted in their houses, every one his day; and sent and called for their three sisters to eat and to drink with them.
And it was so, when the days of their feasting were gone about, that Job sent and sanctified them, and rose up early in the morning, and offered burnt offerings according to the number of them all: for Job said, It may be that my sons have sinned, and cursed God in their hearts. Thus did Job continually.

Hast not thou made an hedge about him, and about his house, and about all that he hath on every side? Thou hast blessed the work of his hands, and his substance is increased in the land.

Job 3:25

For the thing which I greatly feared is come upon me, and that which I was afraid of is come unto me.
It was the fear for his children that opened the door for Satan to enter. However, when Job got rid of the fear and operated in forgiveness, his latter end was greater than his beginning.

IV. Redeemed From the Curse of the Law
Galatians 3:13 says Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us for it is written, “Cursed is everyone that hangs on a tree.” Verse 14 tells us that the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith. There has been much debate about this because the word curse is singular. We know there are curses in the law, but that verse says Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law. The curse of the law was, simply, that we were incapable of keeping the law. Through the new birth, God has enabled us to keep the law through the daily operation of the Holy Spirit in us. The Holy Spirit has made us free from the curse of the law. It is not a matter of trying to keep the law. If we walk in the Spirit, we will not fulfill the lusts of the flesh.

The curses found in the Old Testament are wrapped up in this one word, curse, in the New Testament. Rather than delineate all the curses found in the Old Testament under the law, they are simply incorporated into one word. Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law.

The curse of the law can be found under three categories:

1. Sin: When Jesus went to the cross and died, He redeemed us from the curse of sin. He who knew no sin was made to be sin for us that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him. (2 Corinthians 5:21) He gave us His righteousness by becoming our sin. By becoming our sin, He can remove it and redeem us from it. This is something we couldn’t do for ourselves. I call it the divine swap.

2. Sickness: Jesus took our infirmities and bore our sicknesses. (Isaiah 53:5) By His stripes we were healed. (1 Peter 2:24) Through the work of Jesus on the cross, we can become the very health and healing of God the Father.

3. Poverty: Deuteronomy 28 says poverty is a curse, but Galatians 3:13 says Christ redeemed us from the curse. Jesus went to the cross to redeem us spiritually and naturally. Though He was rich, for our sakes He became poor, that through His poverty, we might be rich. (2 Corinthians 8:9)

Jesus became sin so we could be righteous. He became sickness so we could have His healing. He became poor that we through his poverty might be rich. That is speaking of the three-fold curses we find in the Old Testament, but wrapped up in that one word, curse, in Galatians 3:13.


III. What Happened When You Became Born Again

If you are born again, you are not a sinner trying to get saved, you are already saved. Therefore, you are already righteous. We are righteous people resisting the temptations of sin. The moment we became born again, we became righteous. Many Christians think they are still sinners. They say, “I’m a sinner just saved by grace.” No! You are saved by grace, you are the righteousness of God, and you have the right to resist sin.

If you are born again, you are healed. You are not a sick person trying to get healed. The moment you were born again, you were healed. You are a healed person resisting symptoms of disease and sickness that try to attach themselves to you. When you are walking in communion and fellowship with God, sickness and disease are like water off a duck’s back.

If you are born again, you are rich! You are not a poor person trying to get rich, you are a rich person resisting the poverty and lack that tries to come into your life. You are the prosperous. Quit seeing yourself as poor or as having lack. Quit seeing yourself as suffering the conditions of life. Instead, see yourself as an overcomer. You became an overcomer the minute you were born again; therefore, you can overcome.

If I am righteous, I can walk in righteousness. I can resist the temptations of sin. If I am healed, I can resist the sicknesses and diseases that try to come my way. Whenever lack tries to rear its ugly head, I can say, “No sir!. I am prosperous! By the stripes of Jesus Christ, He has made me to be rich in this earth the moment I accepted Jesus as my Lord and Savior.”

You are rich whether you ever walk in it or not. You are healed whether you ever walk in it or not. You are righteous whether you walk in it or not. It was all given to you the moment you accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior. Throughout Proverbs, the Bible says He’s made unto you wisdom whether you are ever wise or not. You can act dumb all you want, but He was made wisdom unto you.

V. Receiving the Blessings; Resisting the Cursings
How does all this fit into Deuteronomy? The Hebrew meaning for Deuteronomy is to say it again. The Book of Deuteronomy is a repeat of what is said in Exodus, Leviticus, and Numbers. What was quoted to the first generation has to be repeated to the second generation. Deuteronomy is saying the same thing to a brand-new generation who is about to step over the shores of the Jordan River and go into the Promised Land. It says we are to instruct our children in the Word of God when they rise in the morning, when they walk during the day, and when the sit around the dinner table. (Deuteronomy 6:7) It isn’t enough for us to simply know the Word; we are to pass it on. Knowledge doesn’t come by osmosis. A child has to be instructed and taught through the years, and they are to teach their children so it is passed on from generation to generation.

Deuteronomy 11:29

And it shall come to pass, when the Lord thy God hath brought thee in unto the land whither thou goest to possess it, that thou shalt put the blessing upon mount Gerizim, and the curse upon mount Ebal.
They were going to come into the land and stand between two mountains. One mountain would be the blessing mountain and the other would be the cursing mountain.

Deuteronomy 27:12-13

These shall stand upon mount Gerizim to bless the people, when ye are come over Jordan; Simeon, and Levi, and Judah, and Issachar, and Joseph, and Benjamin:

And these shall stand upon mount Ebal to curse; Reuben, Gad, and Asher, and Zebulun, Dan, and Naphtali.
Both of these mountains still stand in Israel today. Gerizim was the blessing mountain. It is a beautiful mountain, full of trees. Mount Ebal is a bare mountain with no trees, and was the cursing mountain.

Jacob had two wives and two handmaids. Those who were to stand on the blessing mountain are the sons of the wives. Those who were to stand upon mount Ebal to curse are the children of the handmaids. Although Reuben came through a wife, he was cursed later on because of sin in his life.

It took five chapters in Joshua for them to cross the Jordan River. In Joshua 6, they conquered the city of Jericho. In Joshua 7, they were conquered by the little city of Ai, then they had to go back and conquer the city again. After they conquered these cities, they came to this place between mount Gerizim and mount Ebal.

Joshua 8:30

Then Joshua built an altar unto the Lord God of Israel in mount Ebal.

Remember mount Ebal is the cursing mountain. Joshua didn’t put an altar on the blessing mountain; he put one on the cursing mountain because Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law. Jesus didn’t redeem us from the blessing! The blessing still stands intact.

Joshua 8:31

As Moses the servant of the Lord commanded the children of Israel, as it is written in the book of the law of Moses, an altar of whole stones, over which no man hath lift up any iron: and they offered thereon burnt offerings unto the Lord, and sacrificed peace offerings.

And he wrote there upon the stones a copy of the Law of Moses, which he wrote in the presence of the children of Israel.

And all Israel, and their elders, and officers, and their judges; stood on this side the ark and on that side before the priests the Levites, which bare the ark of the covenant of the Lord, as well the stranger, as he that was born among them; half of them over against mount Gerizim, and half of them over against mount Ebal; as Moses the servant of the Lord had commanded before, that they should bless the people of Israel.
After all this, Joshua read the blessings of the Law and everyone on mount Gerizim would shout, “Amen!” He would then read all the curses and all those on mount Ebal would shout, “Amen!” Can you imagine a million people on each mountain shouting in unison and Joshua and the high priest standing in the valley between with the Ark of the Covenant? After Joshua read all the blessings and cursings, they offered a sacrifice on the cursing mountain. This represented Christ redeeming us from the law.

The good news is that after Christ accomplished our redemption on the Cross, only the blessings stand. How do we receive the blessings? We receive them by faith. Faith is based upon the promises of God. The promises of God should become a part of your heart, your mind, and your lips. When you begin to speak the Word of God and believe the Word of God, whatever you put your hand to do will prosper greater than ever before. Where your hand used to produce little, it will now produce much. Where it once seemed like you spent more than you brought in, you will see God begin to bring in more than you can even imagine or think. Are you ready for some of those blessings which God promises exceedingly, abundantly above all you could ask or think? Get ready for the windows of heaven to open up in your life! It’s time!

Say this outloud!

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Through the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross,

I have passed out from under the curse and entered into the blessing of Abraham,

whom God blessed in all things.

(Based on Galatians 3:13-14 NKJ)

Run Through Romans (4.9-13)

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This is some beautiful teaching here from the apostle of grace, Paul:

9Cometh this blessedness then upon the circumcision only, or upon the uncircumcision also? for we say that faith was reckoned to Abraham for righteousness.

Paul is taking here about the blessedness of not having your sin held against you.  As I said in the last post, the is the most remarkable blessing.  Because of what Jesus did on the cross in becoming your sin, if you put your faith in him then you will never have your sin held against you.  God will treat you as if you never sinned.  I have heard people say it like this: justified means just-if-i’d never sinned, and that is 100% correct.  If you have your faith in Jesus, you can relate to God as if you never sinned.

Now Paul is asking the question: does a person have to be circumcised to have this blessing?  Some people, often called the Judaizers by scholars, were visiting the new churches that Paul was planting and telling people that they could never be right with God, never enter heaven and never enjoy heaven on earth until they were circumcised.

Now I have never in the 21st century heard someone make such a claim: that unless someone is circumcised that they cannot enter heaven when they die or enjoy heaven on earth.  However, I have heard many equivalent claims and so have you.

How about: “if you quit going to this church you will never succeed on earth”.  Anyone heard that?  It is a lie.  You are righteous by faith and you will succeed on earth because of what Jesus has done.  I was in a church once where people were told they were going to hell because they were wearing sleeveless tops.

What about you have to speak in tongues to go to heaven?  What about you have to not have a certain amount of money?  You have to wear certain clothes to fit into the church?  You have to do certain things on a Sunday, or not do other things?  I remember back when I was a brand new Christian, I went into a B&Q with a friend to buy a screwdriver for a model I was building.  I was only about 17, and it was a Sunday after church.

We were walking in the store chatting away when my friend suddenly grabbed my shoulder and pulled me behind the shelving and into the next aisle.  I was a little shocked to say the least.  When I demanded an explanation, he told me that he had just seen a deacon from our church walking down the aisle we were in.  We were absolutely not allowed to let him see us in the shop!

Even my teenage mind was lightning fast to realize that for him to tell the pastor we were in the shop that he would have had a very obvious question to answer himself, so  I really wasn’t concerned!  But that is the attitude of very many churches.  The fact is that being right with God, being accepted has nothing to do with our actions.

There is actually in several churches a movement to go back to the “Hebrew” roots of the church.  People are dressing in Jewish clothes, celebrating the passover, and adopting Jewish customs and practices.  This is absolutely unnecessary and can be spiritually very dangerous.

If all you are doing is keeping a passover to examine the typology of Jesus and marvel at how the Lord accurately portrayed the death of Jesus to the Jewish people hundreds of years before it happened, then that is fine and may actually be beneficial.  But the second you start to judge people on the days they keep, the festivals they are involved in, the second you think that these things contribute to your righteousness, you are stepping away from the truth of salvation by grace alone through faith alone.

10How was it then reckoned? when he was in circumcision, or in uncircumcision? Not in circumcision, but in uncircumcision.

Paul is pointing out that circumcision cannot possibly be necessary to be righteous because Abraham was declared righteous BEFORE he was circumcised.  This principle is an excellent principle if you want to know if I have to do something to be accepted by God.  All you have to do any time someone says you have to do A, B or C before you are right with God is ask yourself if Abraham did it before he was declared righteous.  If the answer is no, then you do not need to do it before God declares you righteous.

I was in one church that said if you did not read your Bible EVERY DAY, God would not accept you.  In other words, your righteousness was not dependant on the complete work of Jesus but on your ability to read.

Ask yourself the question: did Abraham read his Bible every day before he was declared righteous.  The answer is an obvious no because there was no Bible in Abraham’s day.

The fact is this: Abraham was declared righteous before he was circumcised, hundreds of years before there was a Bible, hundreds of years before the first church service (yes! you don’t have to go to church to be right with God!), before he tithed, before he saw a manifestation of God’s goodness, before he did anything.  All he did was believe.  It is that simple.  We overcomplicate it, and there are always people who will tell you that you have to pray this long, fast this long, read the Bible this much and go to church this many times to be right with God.

It is the same error Paul is dealing with in Romans.  You do not have to do anything to be right with God.  It is only by faith alone in grace alone.

11And he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the faith which he had yet being uncircumcised: that he might be the father of all them that believe, though they be not circumcised; that righteousness might be imputed unto them also:

Abraham’s circumcision only happened after he was declared righteous.  We like to put the cart before the horse.  We like to tell people: quit smoking and you will be right with God.  It’s nonsense – quitting smoking cannot make you right with God.  You will just smell a bit nicer and have a bit more money, but you won’t be righteous.

What we should tell people is: you are right with God.  They will then quit smoking.  They were only smoking because of fear and anxiety.  Now they know that they have peace with God and they are enjoying heaven on earth, they forget about the cigarettes.

(Obviously cigarettes is just an example, this works with every situation!)

12And the father of circumcision to them who are not of the circumcision only, but who also walk in the steps of that faith of our father Abraham, which he had being yet uncircumcised.

And to be like Abraham it is not the outward thing you need to do to be like Abraham, but the inward thing.  You don’t need to look like Abraham, be circumcised like Abraham, but you need to believe like Abraham.

We still copy the externals of people not their heart.  We miss it by so much.  Years ago I loved Derek Prince more than any other Bible teacher.  I listened to him every day.  I started to try and be like him in the pulpit, I would lecture and adopt his mannerisms and his phrases.  I even bought myself a three piece suit because that is what he always wore.

Now I realize I should have followed his faith: the fact that he always simply accepted the Word of God over any tradition and any circumstance, the fact that he was a man of humility and integrity.  I should still preach like me (if you have ever heard me preach, I am not like him in the pulpit at all… well, not in style, I hope in substance I am like him), should still dress like me, and still be me.

If you have spiritual heroes, and there is not a problem with that, we were designed to have heroes, don’t emulate their external behaviours but emulate their faith and their spirit.

13For the promise, that he should be the heir of the world, was not to Abraham, or to his seed, through the law, but through the righteousness of faith.

Abraham was told by God that he would inherit the world!  If you believe in Jesus, you are going to inherit the world.  Blessed are the meek, because they will inherit the earth.

If you realize that because of Jesus that you are going to inherit the earth, you are going to be promoted, you are going to prosper, you are going to be wealthy, and that your actions will not change your righteousness, that your sin is not and will never be held against you, then you will be a happy person!

Blessed are you forever,

Ben

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