“We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.”
2 Corinthians 4:8-9
There is a very well-known Christian teacher whom I love. This person has helped me tremendously over the years. However, as I go deeper into the knowledge of God’s grace–the New Covenant–there are some red flags the Holy Spirit throws up in regard to their teaching.
This morning I read something they wrote about God’s protection, our righteousness, obedience to Him, as well as spiritual fruit–and it did not set right with me. God takes us from glory to glory; that means our minds are constantly being renewed with His truth about our new identity as saints (see 2 Corinthians 3:18, Romans 12:2). Once we know who we are, everything changes. The Holy Spirit is trying to convince us of who we are every single day. Why? Because He knows once we actually believe it, we will live out our true selves!
However, if you’re still green to the good news of the New Covenant, which is the only Covenant available to anyone, some teachings can cause serious anxiety for you. Especially when the Old Covenant is mixed in with the New Covenant.
Remember, the Old Covenant deal is gone and the New Covenant is here to stay! (See Hebrews 7:22, 8:6,13, 9:15). Therefore, be sure to know this: it’s the same God of the Old Covenant, but a new contract with mankind based on Jesus’ perfect sacrifice at the Cross.
GOD IS SATISFIED IN FULL BECAUSE OF WHAT JESUS DID. OUR BEHAVIOR CANNOT MODIFY HIS APPEASEMENT–GOOD, BAD, OR INDIFFERENT.
When we make the mistake of mixing in Old Covenant teaching with the New Covenant–teaching that makes God seem not satisfied–confusion and angst is soon to come forth. The enemy loves when this happens and God does not (see Romans 8:15, 2 Timothy 1:7). For this reason, we must be clear as best we know how. So, the gist of this person’s teaching went as such:
God wants to protect you. However, He will not and cannot protect you if you are not obedient to Him. Neither will He protect you if you are not making good, healthy choices. You won’t have any righteousness, peace, and joy if you are not obedient to God.
Now, to give this person the benefit of the doubt, this could be some of their older writings which haven’t yet evolved or matured. True Christian theology gets worked out through the Holy Spirit’s guidance over time (see Philippians 1:6, 1 Corinthians 3:1-2, 13:11, Hebrews 5:12-14, 6:1). Some stuff is foggy, some stuff is strong. He teaches us gracefully what we need to know day by day. But for these statements, they were so off base I was tempted to get out a pen and scratch through it.
Friends, the truth is God protects us at all times no matter our behavior! All of our bad behavior was dealt with on Jesus’ bloody back! God’s plan to deal with our shortcomings through Jesus actually worked! He is not kinda satisfied with what Jesus did, but fully! (See Romans 3:25, 5:9).
This is what the New Covenant is all about! As God’s kids, through our faith in Jesus, His eternal protection will not change! Further, what kind of good father would not protect their child just because they’re making choices which are not up to par?
Secondly, our righteousness is a free gift that comes by way of our spiritual rebirth not by way of behavior. The opposite of that sentence is Old Covenant! The opposite is Judaism! Religious demons will try to convince you otherwise, but this is the truth. Our “good behavior” is a joke! God requires absolute perfection! (See Matthew 5:48).
The good news is, godly righteousness is only imparted to us by way of our sinful spirits dying and then being raised back to life infused with the Holy Spirit of Christ! This is the only way we are right with God which is complete identity change into spiritual perfection. That is, supernatural rebirth while still in these physical bodies by way of grace through our faith in the truth of Jesus’ forgiveness (see Romans 6:6-7, 2 Corinthians 5:17, Galatians 2:20, Ephesians 2:8-9).
And lastly, peace and joy is a fruit of the spirit, neither of which grows in our lives through obedience to God, but simply by being who we truly are as His children.
Let’s look at Scripture to back this stuff up:
A prayer for you: Heavenly Father, thank you for another day of life! It’s GOOD to be alive on planet earth! What a blessing! Right now, I lift up all who are reading this, directly to you. Today, I ask that you begin to reveal the truth of the gospel to them–the New Covenant. Teach them that you are completely satisfied with Jesus’ sacrifice at the Cross! Teach them our faith in that event causes us to always be protected by you! Our faith in that event causes you to use all things together for good, even our terrible mistakes! Our faith in that event has made us righteous forever! Our faith in that event has infused your Spirit in us, causing us to organically grow good spiritual fruit! Thank you so much for everything! We love you! Amen.
This devotional is from 60 Days for Jesus, Volume 3. Get your copy here!