The Difference Between The Old Self and The New Self!

“That, however, is not the way of life you learned, when you heard about Christ and were taught in accordance with the truth that is in Jesus. You were taught with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.” (Ephesians 4:20-24 NIV)

Once again, we see in The Word, those who are speaking to the Believer–not the ones who never believed, but those who have come to learn that Jesus is the only way to the Father.

I hesitate to say that The Word was written for Christians since the term “Christian/Christianity” has taken on new connotations since those who refuse to obey The Word in its totality are still calling themselves, Christians. So, I use the term Believers–those who have a relationship with God through Jesus Christ and live according to The Word and its truth. I claim that this is an unequivocal truth since unbelievers will not read The Word and certainly won’t obey it.

When I see what is going on in some churches, I wonder if those attending the buildings have ever read The Word for themselves since they are always defeated by every little thing that happens in their lives. Some are quick to resort to cussing people out when they can’t have their way or in spreading rumors about things that have nothing to do with them or out of envy and jealousy. They are hard-hearted and think of no one but themselves and what they want to see happening in the building, for they do not realize it is the Body of Believers who are the True Church.

Most of what Paul writes is about how we ought to conduct ourselves as a Body of Believers–especially when we claim to be followers of Christ. He writes instructions on how to behave in our places of worship, gives instructions about those who have been gifted in various offices–apostle, prophet, evangelist, pastor and teacher and all the helps ministries in the church. He gives us instructions on how to be parents and good husbands and wives. And in all of the instructions, if we read carefully, we see and understand how his experience with Jesus changed his life–from being a member of religious sect to being a Believer of Christ Jesus.

This is what truly believing and following Jesus means or should mean–we put off/set aside our old ways of doing things, cloaked in darkness, hiding our sins, and put on/drape ourselves in the newness of Christ Jesus. When we discover the new covering is so much better than the old, we should walk in the newness of life and light of love bestowed upon us.

We have rules for everything–especially in the church buildings–but if all those coming into the building, were walking as new selves in Jesus Christ, we would have no need for rules for we would all be submitted to Holy Spirit and we would allow Him to do His job–in the building and when we’re not in the building.

If we have any love in us for God, we would listen to His voice and obey in all things, so when others see us or hear us, they would know–we belong to Jesus and our new selves will not continue to wear the old cloak of darkness–attempting to hide our sins.

Any Way You Praise Him!

“Let them praise His name with the dance; Let them sing praises to Him with the timbrel and harp” (Psalm 149:3 NKJV).

There are so many protocols observed by so many people in how to praise God. When people understand that when you’re in a relationship with God, it does not matter how you praise Him, just as long as you praise Him!

Here the psalmist states to: praise His name with the dance–so this diffuses the thought that we should not dance in the churches. But let’s get real–a dance in praise of God should not look like the dance in the club or party. There is a difference–one is lead by Holy Spirit, the other by another spirit that is certainly not holy.

Sing His praises with timbrel and harp. There are a number of people who believe that any instrument used in a church is ungodly; some who believe that only the instruments mentioned in the Bible are allowed, and some who think only the songs in Psalms should be sung. Well, if that’s true–then why are we instructed to “sing a new song,” unto the Lord?

Here’s a tip–for all who know The Word and The Lord–praise Him any way you want to do it and He will receive the praise!

It is time for many to wake up and shed their religious, pious attitudes and get into relationship with God and seek Him in how to praise Him. As long as what we do is sincere acknowledgment and honoring to God–He is not going to dismiss our praise because we did not have the right instrumental accompaniment. He doesn’t even care whether we can sing or not (that’s people who care) when we lift our voices to magnify Him the sound becomes a sweet melody to Him.

As a lyricist, I’ve written many songs of praise to Him–to accompany sermons–out of daily experiences and a number of people have sang my songs–with the accompaniment of instruments and without the accompaniment of instruments. Children and adults sang from their hearts and I know that God was glorified in the midst of their singing.

Too often–we allow what others think, stop us from doing what God has put in our hearts to do. Don’t allow a religious spirit to keep you from praising God–any way you want to praise Him. If your church thinks instruments are the devil’s tool, you might want to re-think where you worship. Find a place of worship where God is glorified and magnified and it’s all about Him–not the people in the building.

And while you’re thinking about what I just said, give Him a praise–right where you are–and watch how He honors your sincere praise–any way you praise Him!

 

Religious Piety Is Not Holiness!

“But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy. (I Peter 1:15, 16)

With all the rules and regulations, doctrines and dogma that guide some in “religiosity”, we have confused holiness with religious piety–the observance of “religious principles”. One of the reasons we often get confused about how to conduct ourselves is because of the leadership in various denominations who have convoluted the teaching of holiness and confused it with piety. Holiness is not a look or an act–it is a lifestyle based upon relationship with God.

If church leadership would get a revelation and teach with a goal towards getting everyone into right relationship with God rather than obedience to them, we would see a marked difference in behaviors and attitudes world-wide. Unfortunately, too many of our church leaders today are like the Pharisees who only wanted to control the people, not allow them the freedom to understand God and live for Him, but for them.

When a person is in relationship with another, they seek to please that person, not control them. When we’re relationship with God, we can hear Him and govern ourselves accordingly because we make wise decisions because we operate with the mind of Christ. If Holy Spirit is guiding everything we do--we have no need for a mere mortal to guide us in anything pertaining to how to act or dress or think.

Religious piety–governs how a person dresses in a building, how a person talks in a building, how a person praises God in a building, what songs can be sung in a building, how much to give in a building, how to snub others who don’t worship as they do, how to isolate one from family, and the list could go on and on.

Holiness–allows Holy Spirit to control tongue, attitude, and behavior at all times–not just in a building. Holy Spirit bonds the relationship between us and God and corrects us when we are going astray and reminds us of God’s love, grace, and mercy.

Notice, that there is nothing in The Word that talks about Jesus being religious, but being holy. The reason for that is simply that He was not and is not a religious person for had He been religious, we would all still need an annual sacrifice for sin. No, Jesus was never religious because of His relationship with the Father, He had no need to be pious–demanding strict adherence to man’s rules and in fact, broke most of the religious leaders rules which is why they sought to kill Him. He was interfering with their ability to control the people.

Today, conduct serious introspection about self and what is done to represent a relationship with Christ Jesus. Are you pious or are you in relationship with God? Do you worship out of piety or out of relationship and holiness? The only person who can answer these questions, is you! Piety or Holiness? Religion or Relationship? Choose this day where you stand with the understanding that God knows and we can’t fool Him!

Father, in the name of Jesus, give us a heart to recognize the work You are doing in our lives, cutting away all that is not of You and filling us with all we need to be holy in Your sight and accomplish all You would have us to do.

 

For more on this subject of Holiness–check out my book  http://www.amazon.com/Holiness–Not-Look-Lifestyle-Living-Life-ebook/dp/B00CQPB87G/ref=la_B00BAW31CQ_1_10?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1394971472&sr=1-10