I am reading a book by D.R. Silva called How to Overcome Sin: A Practical Guide to Freedom. It is a must read and I highly recommend it. Here is his web site if you want to read his posts (very good as well) http://saintsnotsinners.org/.
In this book I saw something as I have never seen it before. I want to share a little insight. Actually it is a blinding light of revelation if you want to receive it. Check out this passage in 2 Corinthians. As a back drop remember Paul is talking about how we are no longer under the law but under Grace. He is comparing the glory of Moses and the veil that he wore to hide his glowing face to the much greater glory of the new covenant in Christ. God uses some pretty strong language like this:
2 Co 7 Now if the ministry of death, carved in letters on stone, came with such glory that the Israelites could not gaze at Moses’ face because of its glory, which was being brought to an end, 8 will not the ministry of the Spirit have even more glory?
At the end of the passage Paul writes this:
2 Co 3:14 But their minds were hardened. For to this day, when they read the old covenant, that same veil remains unlifted, because only through Christ is it taken away. 15 Yes, to this day whenever Moses is read a veil lies over their hearts. 16 But when one turns to the Lord, the veil is removed. 17 Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. 18 And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit. (ESVST)
I had never seen it this way before. “To this day…whenever Moses (law) is read a veil lies over their hearts.” Wow! When we even read the law, make reference to the law, try to add the law to what Jesus has done…we are blinded. Check it out in the AMP:
2 Corinthians 3:14-18 AMP In fact, their minds were grown hard and calloused [they had become dull and had lost the power understanding]; for until this present day, when the Old Testament (the old covenant) is being read, that same veil still lies [on their hearts], not being lifted [to reveal] that in Christ it is made void and done away. Yes, down to this [very] day whenever Moses is read, a veil lies upon their minds and hearts. But whenever a person turns [in repentance] to the Lord, the veil is stripped off and taken away. Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty (emancipation from bondage, freedom). And all of us, as with unveiled face, [because we] continued to behold [in the Word of God] as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are constantly being transfigured into His very own image in ever increasing splendor and from one degree of glory to another; [for this comes] from the Lord [Who is] the Spirit.
I really like how the Message reads for the solution to calloused hearts:
2 Corinthians 3:18 MSG Whenever, though, they turn to face God as Moses did, God removes the veil and there they are—face-to-face! They suddenly recognize that God is a living, personal presence, not a piece of chiseled stone. And when God is personally present, a living Spirit, that old, constricting legislation is recognized as obsolete. We’re free of it! All of us! Nothing between us and God, our faces shining with the brightness of his face. And so we are transfigured much like the Messiah, our lives gradually becoming brighter and more beautiful as God enters our lives and we become like him.
When we add law to Grace we are falling from Grace (check out this post). We come outside the covering He has for us. Our favor is stifled. Our blessing is self-generated not God provided. We become hopeful of eternal destination but aren’t living in salvation. When we add law to Grace are hearts are “calloused” to the truth of the finished work of Jesus. We must repent. We must change our way of thinking. Our old way is law. Our new way is Grace. You can say “it is all about Jesus” but the moment you add a “but” the veil drops over your eyes again.
It is not OK to sin but not for the reasons we have been taught. If you sin or not your relationship with God is unaffected, period. Your relationship with God is based on your identity. Your relationship with God is founded in Jesus. Your relationship with God is because of Jesus. Jesus is God. Your relationship with God is all about God and nothing about you. Can you believe that? If so then welcome to the family. Sin has been removed from your nature. Your nature has been reformed, renewed, restored, reconciled. Your heart is new. You are a new creation. The old is passed away. Your old man died on the cross. All things have been made new. You are in Christ not in Adam. You are born again.
In this state your new self has divine desires. Your new self has the mind of Christ. Your new self is free of sin, condemnation and death. Your new master is righteousness. You see you are righteous and unrighteous lies and deceptions no longer apply. You are submitting to God, to righteous standing and the devil flees. He has no place to grab you. He says you are still a sinner and you ignore him because you know better. You don’t listen to his stupid lies anymore. You don’t need law to tell you how bad you are because you are perfect. You are in Christ. You are being conformed to His image. You have the mind of Christ.
As soon as you add law to the mix, boom! devil foothold. Soon as you feel condemnation from the enemy, pow! identity crisis. As soon as you add sin management to your portfolio, bam! Sin is back in the center of your life. Repentance requires trust, belief, faith. To repent from the mixture lifestyle, the lukewarm motivation, the “Grace but” or the “Grace and” thinking, you have to trust what God has said. You can no longer trust your experience. You can no longer trust your logic and your reasoning. Those self-derived understandings are from a fallen influence. You are no longer of the Adams family so stop thinking like one.
It stretches you, no doubt. It was a potter’s wheel experience for me. It was a new birth with birthing pains. I constantly ran into every kind of “but what about” lie and deception. The enemy does not want us to get this. He disguises himself as logic and reason and religion. His lies are so ingrained in our thinking that it is everywhere you turn. Sometimes it sounds like your mom who says “I am worried about you and all this Grace stuff.” VEIL! Declare who You are. Declare who Jesus made you.
Love those who oppose you. Ignore the enemy who lies to You. Trust your loving Abba who is changing you from the inside out. You have been delivered. You must believe it! You are a new creation, agree with it. When you feel beat down and are unsure of your thinking ask for more faith. When you aren’t sure you believe it all, ask for more belief. He is that good. He loves you that much.
Repent from mixture thinking. Repent from “Grace and law” believing!!!!
If you do, you will be amazed! It is like stepping into heaven itself. The joy and confidence you have becomes power and boldness to share with others. You live in a constant encounter with Jesus. You feel and know you are so close to God that your thoughts become His thoughts. Your dreams become His dreams. His dreams become your dreams. Life becomes eternal. Every day is an opportunity. You get to speak life into others. You get to breath resurrection-life power over everyone you meet.
No more veils. No more lies. No more deception. No more bondage. FREEDOM!