Which side of the Cross are you living on?

StandingatCross_sm

photo source: wallpoper.com

You can tell when Christians are living on the wrong side of the Cross by their language.

“God, will You forgive me?”
“I’m just a sinner saved by grace…”
“My heart is deceitfully wicked…”
“After all, I’m only human”
“God is angry with me”
“I have to fight my old nature…”
“Someday I will be dead to sin…”
“God, if it would be Your will, please heal…” (fill in the blank)  
“No eye has seen, nor ear heard…the things God has prepared for us” (meaning, when we get to heaven)
“I’m concerned that if (fill in name) keeps doing that (behavior), he/she will end up in hell.”
“You must get right before you go to God”
“If you do that (habit, lifestyle), you’re not a Christian.”
“Please don’t take your Holy Spirit from me…”
“God, rend the heavens and come down!”
“God will not share His glory with another!”
“God, please visit us…send revival!”
“God is judging… (America, etc.)”

These are just a few that I hear from well-meaning Christians. I fully realize that I’m challenging some assumptions and even poking at some evangelical “sacred cows.” You might even be surprised that some of these are quotes from Scripture…but I can assure you, they’ve often been wrongly applied to us.

Living on the wrong side of the Cross is when we are either praying prayers that are already answered under the New Covenant or we’re believing things about ourselves that are no longer true. And even though these sentiments may have been true before the Cross, and about our life before coming to Christ, they are not true now.

And the truth will make you free. 🙂

The confusing mixture

Unfortunately, much of what passes as Christian teaching in our evangelical circles is a confusing “foolish Galatian” mixture of the Old and New Covenant. The truth is, you cannot have both. They are mutually exclusive. Paul called doing this preaching “another gospel.” (Gal.1:6-9)

We get confused about the purpose of Jesus’ teachings. As Andrew Farley has pointed out, Jesus had a two-fold mission. To absolutely bury us under the old in order to establish the new. In other words, to annihilate the absurd notion of being right with God by following the Law in order to establish our new identity as adopted sons under the New Covenant with His death, burial and resurrection.

Using the Law lawfully

We fail to realize that our relationship with God radically changed with Jesus. He would say, “You have heard it said, but I say….” (Mt.5:27-43) Of course, they had heard those things said in the Mosaic Law!

Furthermore, Paul said that the Law was added in order to prove that we needed to be a new creation (Gal.3:19; 6:15). It was never meant to make us righteous by our behavior. It was only meant to expose our unrighteousness.

Paul called the Ten Commandments a “ministry of death, engraved on stones” (2 Cor.3:7). So we cannot rightfully say that the ceremonial Law was done away with but we still have to follow the moral Law. It was the moral Law that was written by God on the stones!

Does that prospect disturb you? Welcome to the undiluted, uncensored, outrageous, scandalous, radical, over-the-top Good News that brings great joy! God calls this freedom.

And if it sounds too good to be true, it’s probably God.

You see, Christ actually came to bring freedom from religion, not to put us under the yoke of a new one. (Gal.5:1)

Why is this so? The Old Covenant saints did not have the resident Holy Spirit, which is why this moral restraint was necessary. Under the Mosaic Law, God had made a covenant with fallen man. But this is not true of you in Christ.

If you are in Christ, you are a new creation and have the Holy Spirit to manage you from the inside out. You are now an adopted son instead of a religious orphan (Jn.14:18; Rom.8:15). You are free (Mt.17:26; Gal.4:6-7).

Paul said that the Law is only good when used lawfully (1 Tim.1:8-9), which means it only applies to those who are NOT a new creation (2 Cor.5:17; Gal.6:15).

Paul chastised the Corinthians because they were acting like “mere men!” (1 Cor.3:3). You do realize that you cannot say you’re “only human” anymore, right?

For you are a NEW CREATION, a son and co-heir with Christ in heavenly places. There has never been a species in creation like you before. You are God-inhabited flesh, You are His conduit from heaven, His holy Temple on the earth (1 Cor.6:19; 2 Cor.3:18-4:1; 5:16-21; Gal.4:6-7)

“As Jesus IS, so are YOU on this earth right now” (1 Jn.4:17). This is the “real” you. What is true about Jesus is true about you in Him. You are not to consider yourself, or other believers, in any other way (2 Cor.5:16).

To say anything less about yourself is believing a religious lie and living in bondage on the wrong side of the Cross.

The New Covenant lens

Any time we point to the Old Testament scripture without interpreting it through the New Covenant lens, we are doing so illegally.

Do you realize that whenever Paul would quote an Old Covenant passage, he would continue with a “but…”, meaning that something had changed. Let’s take a quote I already alluded to from First Corinthians…

“But as it is written: “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him.” (Quoting Isa.64:4) 10 But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit.” (1 Cor.2:9-10 NKJV)

So, it’s scripturally illegal for us to say that we cannot know what God has prepared for us because He has given us His Spirit. And His Spirit searches the “deep things of God” and we now “have the mind of Christ.” (1 Cor.2:10, 16)

Also, as Bill Johnson has correctly pointed out, while it’s scripturally true under the Old Covenant that God will not share His glory with another (Isa.48:8,11), you are not another!” For Christ is in you!

Comparing yourself to Adam, Job, Noah, Moses, Elijah, David, Solomon, John the Baptist, or anyone else under the Old Covenant is living on the wrong side of the Cross. Our only standard for Christian living is Christ.

Are we crucified with Christ or not?

Paul told the Corinthians that he was “determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified.” (1 Cor.2:2) What does that mean? It means that we should see ourselves already dead to sin and crucified with Christ (Rom.6:6; Gal.2:20; Col.3:3).

So, trying to “kill our flesh” is like trying to kill a corpse. There is no satisfaction in that because you’re already dead! Trying to crucify what God has already crucified is an exercise in futility and unbelief.

Our problem is not that our flesh is not dead yet, it’s that we still believe it’s alive.

Our problem is not that we don’t understand Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection. It’s that we don’t see ourselves dead, buried, and resurrected with Him.

As Dan McCollam has said, Christians are still trying to commit suicide when it was a mass murder 2,000 years ago on the Cross.

Paul said that our old nature was nailed to the cross, so to say we have two-natures is to say we are schizophrenic, which is a mental disease! That is not a normal Christian.

This is an identification problem, not a sin problem. We are identifying ourselves on the wrong side of the Cross.

Is God judging now?

Jesus said that He didn’t come to judge or condemn the world but to save it (Jn.3:17; 12:47). So why do so many Christians seem to think it’s right to spend most of their time doing both? Shouldn’t we be on the same mission as Jesus?

Consider that Jesus spent NO time whatsoever trying to make the Roman Empire behave itself. Actually, He never rebuked sinners, only religious people. And He rebuked them because they were distorting the goodness of God and keeping people from Him with their religious traditions.

Jesus spent all of His time interfacing with sinners by telling them about the Kingdom of His Father and showing this orphan world what His Father was like.

Sinners loved Jesus because He loved them. They didn’t like religious people because they didn’t love them.

So, why are we trying to make our world behave instead of loving them and showing them what the Father is like?

We’re called to be their liberators, not their judges.

Paul went further and said,  “judge nothing before the time, until the Lord comes” (1 Cor.4:5). So, has the Lord returned? Did I miss something? Then why are we so bent on judging sinners “before the time?”

And can I just tell you, God is not judging nations right now. Jesus said that God makes the sun rise and sends His rain on the just and the unjust (Mt.5:45). Didn’t we get that memo?

And since when were we supposed to compare America (or any other country for that matter) to Israel under the Old Covenant?

The only two nations God has ever been in covenant with, or ever will be in covenant with,  was Israel under the old and His “holy nation” in Christ under the new (1 Pet.2:9).

So when we’re saying things like “God is judging” America, New Orleans, or any other place in the world where there have been disasters, we are misguided and living on the wrong side of the Cross.

Praying our prayers of unbelief

Whenever we pray something that God has already answered, we will end up frustrated because God already answered them!

For instance, Peter tells us that, besides being dead to sin and our old nature crucified, our healing came when Jesus was beaten on the whipping post (1 Pet.2:24) . Peter was quoting Isaiah 53:5, but looking back to the Cross when he said,by His stripes you were healed.”

And under Divine inspiration, Matthew interpreted Isaiah 53:5 as physical healing from sickness and disease and deliverance from demonic oppression (Mt.8:16-17).

Let’s look at this. When were your sins forgiven? 2,o00 years ago. When was your old nature nailed to the Cross? 2,000 years ago. And when were you healed by His stripes? 2,000 years ago. They are all appropriated the same way–by faith.

So let’s not forget all His benefits (Ps.103:2-5). Doing so makes us ignorant volunteers in Satan’s prison camp.

Furthermore, Jesus never asked His Father to heal anyone, and He never told us to ask God to heal anyone. Jesus rebuked sickness and demons, and He told us to exercise the same authority we’ve been given through the Holy Spirit (Mt.10:7-8; 28:18-20; Lk.10:17; Mk.16:17-18).

So, to ask God to heal someone instead of receiving the healing that He has already paid for is an illegal prayer of unbelief and living on the wrong side of the Cross.

Revival?

Finally, let’s talk about revival and asking God to “rend the heavens.”

Didn’t Jesus tell Nathanael that “from hereafter” we would see the heavens open? (Jn.1:51). I think living under an open heaven is better, don’t you?

And where do you see revival being sought in the New Testament? Right, you don’t.

What you see are believers turning the world upside-down by living a lifestyle of revival everyday. To be a “normal” Christian is have Christ’s life, and He’s always in revival.

Only religious orphans wait for revival. Sons live in a constant and ever-increasing state of revival in the Father’s embrace.

Okay, that’s probably enough for now. If you’ve been stretched by this post, welcome to “growing up into Christ! (Eph.4:15).

As it’s been said, if we aren’t growing, we’re dying, so that’s a good thing.

My sincere prayer (me included) is that we will leave all our religious baggage behind and start believing what God believes about us and live on the right side of the Cross.

It’s actually pretty amazing.

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About Mel Wild

God's favorite (and so are you), a son and a father, happily married to the same beautiful woman for 36 years. We have three incredible adult children. My passion is pursuing the Father's heart in Christ and giving it away to others. My favorite pastime is being iconoclastic and trailblazing the depths of God's grace. I'm also senior pastor of Cornerstone Church in Wisconsin.
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34 Responses to Which side of the Cross are you living on?

  1. I’ll say it before, and I’ll continue to say it…”Preach it, brother Mel!” I love the way you write clearly and truthfully about our freedom in Christ! I will be quoting you a lot this week in my blog, and leading readers here! Bless you and your calling.

    • melwild says:

      Thanks much. I appreciate your encouragement and support.This post was a long one because it’s probably a summation of several posts all rolled up into one. But these are issues I run into all the time and felt they need to be addressed in this venue.

      And I think the “clarity” is in the good news! It’s pretty simple and clear when you read what God actually says. It takes preachers to complicate it and change it into something else. But, praise God, He’s been un-complicating me for some time now… 🙂

      • I don’t know if I’ve taken the time to tell you why I appreciate you so much. I’m really a new believer – even though I’m an old broad (just turned 63 last month), I only came to the Lord in 2006. (Long story, it’s on my About Pages, Parts 1-3).

        The first couple of years, I heard so many versions of the Good News, I didn’t know what to believe – mostly legalism – yet I hung in there because the Holy Spirit was working on my heart. As I finally began to separate the wheat from the chaff, I’ve begun – and only begun -to figure out the true Gospel – and I always come back to exactly what you write.

        Thankfully, I’ve found a wonderful church that believes the same, and I’ve taken classes for the past year in Bible interpretation from a “real” teacher – a PhD who is led by the Spirit and makes the Bible come alive. He puts nothing on it, but brings forth the words of Jesus, and it’s amazing in the simplicity and purity of what is already there, underneath all the nonsense that others try to put on top of it.

        So again, thank you for unearthing that same clarity that has been there all along, and helping me to grow in my faith.

        • melwild says:

          You jumped right to the head of the class in understanding the Gospel. That’s awesome. It took me over 30 years to get here. 🙂 I’m so glad you have found a “safe place” (local church) to grow and thrive.

          And there’s no such thing as “old” when you’re caught up in the Father’s embrace. He makes us younger and wiser.

          Thanks again for your encouraging comments. Always a blessing.

  2. Thank you for a fine, meaningful article. Peace be unto you!

  3. A lot in this article, think I might have to read again when I am a little less tired ha ha. Blessings

  4. Jesus still said that we should take up our own cross and follow Him. Many are teaching a cross-less Christianity these days from ivory towers and church “leaders” are no different. I have yet to find any church leader that can lead me anywhere nearer to Christ for who He actually is. They all cherry pick their own versions of truth and borrow off one another. Why does anyone need Bill Johnsons view on anything? Who is he? Is he somehow got some new revelation? Closer to God than the rest of us!? No. I do not think so. What is taught today is self indulgent and cross less Christianity by comfortable folks with comfortable lives. Grace overload. Blessing overload. It’s funny how we are all capable of fashioning our own lenses with which we view the Word. There is no real humility because everyone is avoiding the wilderness processes and the deep refining of being a disciple. It’s Christianity-Lite. Like a beer that the majority in the US of A are drinking. This is cheating folks with a false Gospel. Those who have to experience real life outside the church bubbles that church “leaders” fashion for themselves. It’s all making out that God requires nothing from us. Soak up all the blessings of the new covenant. I have no doubt that God is seeking fully rounded sons. He did not plan on adopting ones that are going to allow themselves to become bloated and spiritually deformed by revelling in only certain facets of their sonship. Jesus was a fully rounded son. Whatever happened to “if He suffered then so will we” teaching. No one wants to hear it or teach it. The problem is that our identity in Christ as “saints” has made the church fat and immature. It thinks it’s moved beyond thinking that it needs to repent of anything. It’s one thing to teach folks their new identity in Christ and the freedoms of being adopted but to then leave it at half truths without the full Gospel and setting out the full terms of being a disciple of Christ is another. Everyone’s seeking that blessed life within the cultural Christianity of the US of A. I spend my time praying for the true church to come forth. The Bridegroom is getting increasingly tired if all the shel indulgent stuff and the lack of any focus on consecration. He wants a purer and spotless Bride and nit an immature, over indulged one which is actually filled with rhetoric and more rhetoric. He’s heard it all before. It’s time to ask what He is requiring of us. What idols need to come down in our lives and hearts. All the talk is meaningless to Him coming from a pseudo-church intoxicatedcwithnBabylon. Paul warned about syncretism and worldly philosophies invading the church of Jesus Christ. The “feel good” Gospel peppered with self advancement language is just the starting point of the problem. He’s tearing down the false church systems and ripping up their foundations. He’s tired of waiting for the Bride who should be busy submitting to making herself ready in holiness and humility with the aim of reflecting the fullness if the stature of Christ instead of going around distracted by the deceptions of dominion theology as taught in error by the Bethel crowd and others.

    • melwild says:

      Wow. I’m not sure if you’re responding to what I actually said or reacting to what you think Bill Johnson believes. You certainly are quick to judge. Of course, that’s your prerogative.

      And I’m sure I agree with you on needing the Cross. Actually, I am fully convinced that I was crucified on it with Christ. I died and my life is Christ’s life. I don’t know how that’s “self-indulgent” or “cherry picking.” That’s pretty much the heart of the gospel. And that was the point of this post. And I don’t think you can possibly exaggerate God’s goodness or His grace either. Frankly, I think we’re more likely to do the opposite. And grace is the power of the Spirit to live a godly life, not an excuse to sin. So the idea that grace overload is a bad thing is beyond me. Give me grace overload! And repentance means renewing my mind and believing what God believes. I’m repenting all the time.

      And I really do “feel good” about the gospel so I readily admit to that. After all, it means news that brings great joy. And in God’s presence is fullness of joy. So I don’t apologize for having joy, and that’s regardless of the circumstances around me. Maybe you should try it.

      You sound like you’re sincerely following God but come across like you have some trust issues here. I would really pray about your attitude here. I wish you God’s best.

  5. You are right. I don’t trust you. Why should I trust your version? You are just a man and even if you think you are a teacher of Gods Word you still have the capacity to decide on your version. The Jews interpreted the laws in thousands of ways. Cheap grace works the same way. You said it yourself, you take it. I will take grace but I won’t stop there. I will go in for carrying my cross. Teach me martyrdom if you know how. All day long I face death and teachers spout warm words that reflect the path they have chosen. Middle America is not the best training ground for authentic Christianity. Still subject to the prevailing cultures. Notice you did not address the syncretism issue either. Just the usual patronising “this guy has bit heart issues, I’ll pray for you stuff”. Anyway, I can read the version Jesus spoke of and get it from Him. I trust Him and not you or any man. Of course you don’t think you are cherry picking. You have trained yourself with your answers. You are a professional at giving your responses. Like a politician. You’ve convinced yourself of your broad path version of following Christ. The “daddy loves me” version. It’s a half truth. Start teaching the full cross and not just one side of it. I notice you did not address the “pick up your cross and follow me”. God disciplines and He chastises and He thrashes the self life out of His sons if they have the stomach for it. Maybe you don’t and are not such a fully rounded son as you think. I’ll take the grace but I won’t fool myself with a half version of what being a son is. It’s all a feel good Gospel. Maybe you have chosen a broad path version in the main, that possibly touches on the narrow path now and then. Go and preach this stuff to the real church, the persecuted church. Turn up at their meetings where they are gathering in secret and the pastor has just been hacked to death in the street and preach your cosy Christianity. Not judgement just discernment. The Bride is nowhere near ready because of the light and fluffy stuff that’s being taught these days. What is God requiring of you? Not what has He given you. Not what He has blessed you with? Not what truths do you need to make you feel better about yourself. What is He actually requiring of you? Be broken. You will take the grace but are you going to take the breaking? Like Evan Roberts prayed “Bend me”. Choices. All the time we choose. Being humbled. Go through the reproofs of life and be moulded in to the full likeness of His son. Give us the whole truth. Make us disciples is the cry from some hearts. Only Jesus seems fully qualified to lead us in this way.

    • melwild says:

      Martin, you’ve made a lot of accusations here about me and what you think I’m preaching. But you don’t know me at all. And discernment is not necessarily the same thing as criticism. You are using your own “lens” to interpret what you think I’m saying. But to answer you, I don’t believe in “cheap grace.” Quite the opposite. Grace is the empowerment to live a godly life (Titus 2:11-12), so I hardly think it can be cheap. I don’t take it lightly. Jesus paid a horrible price so that we could obtain it and walk in it. But there isn’t grace plus something else. That’s what Paul was getting at with the Galatians. No amount of striving will make us more holy or righteous. And if we don’t operate out of love, we have nothing. The New Testament is pretty clear about that. And I have friends who are ministering in harm’s way everyday around the world, and it’s this grace that keeps them and reveals the Father’s love and penetrates the hearts of those who persecute them.

      I have taken up my cross to follow Him. I reaffirm it and give my heart and will to Jesus every day. That is not what my post was about. And there is also a difference between syncretism and loving people where they are at, no matter what they believe. I don’t have to condone what they do or believe to love them. Jesus is the only way to the Father. That revelation changed my life forever, which is why I focus on it here. I used to be very angry about a lot of things, about everything that’s wrong with the church and people, but God tenderized my heart. So there’s a difference between being “fluffy” and having a heart tenderized by the Father’s love. I hope you understand.

      Listen, we probably agree about a lot of things here. I really do wish you God’s best.

  6. Anyway, I don’t intend on this to and fro. All the best on the version of the path you have chosen. Most of my damage in life has come through churches. I take encouragement from zaphenath-paneah. No church was necessary for God in getting him to where he wanted him to be. The safe armour if Saul offered in the church systems is not the training ground. Life is. The prisons and the breaking. This is where the real equipping has come from. The rhetoric is going to be shown up for what it is in the day of persecution coming to the USA. We need the full Cross, not the bless me stuff all the time. I don’t need PhD teachers and Bible school grads to show me the way to the full truth. Humans have the innate capacity to chose the path of least resistance. Somehow I have more respect for the martyrs.

    • melwild says:

      Amen. Yes, we all have versions, there isn’t any believer who doesn’t. But that’s why we need each other and have been placed together in Christ. The Church is a body, the whole, not just individuals. We don’t need to be afraid of that. Yes, there are bad leaders, but there’s also good ones. And I have a great respect for the martyrs too. My prayer is that you will find a place in the body where you can thrive and find greater freedom and joy in the Father’s heart that will equip and empower you to fulfill your calling in Christ.

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  8. marklhen says:

    Love your heart, buddy. Keep on lovin’!

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  11. N. says:

    This seems a bit to good to be true, honestly…sir, how can you be so sure of this?

    • Mel Wild says:

      Well, it’s called good news for a very good reason! Unfortunately, religious Christianity has turned into something else. I can be sure because it’s not about what I believe but about what God believes. And He believes in the finished work of Jesus. I can be sure because of what God’s Word actually says. I can be sure because faith has its anchor in the past. Christ died for me 2,000 years ago. I was placed there with Him then. It has been done, it will never change. My only part is to agree with God’s assessment of what Christ did.
      The New Covenant in Christ says I died with Christ and my new life is in Him. My old life is gone. But I have a choice in what I will empower in my life. Who I will believe. That’s faith. I choose to believe God. And to say anything else about me other than what God says is true is to put my opinion above His. So I choose His opinion.
      I can be sure because I have found that the Truth is a Person–Jesus Christ (Jn.14:6), and He lives in me. I can also be sure because of the power of the Holy Spirit that empowers me to live Christ’s life instead of trying to patch up the old me, which is death and futility. That’s actually what all religions do, including the religious version of Christianity. That is bondage. What I have found is true freedom. This is what Jesus paid for (Gal.5:1). And that’s where I put my faith.
      For, as Paul tried to teach the “foolish Galatians” (Gal.3:1) who tried to live on the wrong side of the Cross, our life in Christ is a life of faith. Everything in the Kingdom works by faith. You won’t see anything until you believe. But faith brings the truth of what God says into our experience. And that’s also how I know.
      So I have no doubts whatsoever about it. I hope this answers your question. I know it’s real. And I am growing in this truth everyday as I believe more of what God says about me. And that same invitation goes to you and everyone who will.
      Blessings to you. You are loved.

      • N. says:

        Thanks for the reply! I also believe that everything that needed to be done for me was done on that cross thousands of years ago. But theres a part of me that still feels like God has expectations of me, and I dont wanna let him down, ya know? I also have read a couple of posts describing the full immensity of His grace, and its astounding to me…like I cant believe it….

        • Mel Wild says:

          You’re welcome. I certainly understand it being so hard to believe. It was for me too. But then I learned that our life with God is more about receiving from Him first, and out of that love relationship being affirmed as a son or daughter, we do what we see our Father do. We express His heart from His love and embrace. That’s the difference between an orphan Christian and being a son or daughter. We live from the inside out, from acceptance, rather than for acceptance.

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  17. Jessica says:

    You know, I want to believe this. And, I do believe God heals when He wants to. He is in control. But, there are too many refrences to our partaking of Christ’s sufferings, Paul’s thorn in the flesh, Timothy’s many ailments, the book of Job…etc.

    When Paul wrote to Timothy, he mentioned Timothy’s sickness. Paul did not instruct Timothy to have more faith, pray harder, or look to the finished work of Christ. He told him to drink a bit of wine with his water. In modern terms…take a Tylenol.

    I do believe God is our Abba, and loves us dearly. And, I believe He is far less concerned with my temporary comfort, than He is with my completing His purpose for me here on earth, and where I spend eternity. Trials and tribulations are used for growth. Sometimes we have no answers.

    You see, this version of the gospel only makes sense in the Western world. There are many many believers starving all over the world, being persecuted in the Middle East, under oppressive governments….I could go on and on. Life is not easy. He does not promise us easy. He promises abundant life. This is the life that carries us through crisis. Sometimes, he removes the illness, situation, or trouble. And, sometimes He does not.

    I don’t pretend to have all of the answers. But, I believe if I spend less time seeking a perfect life, and seeking the Perfect One, that I don’t need all the answers.

    • Jessica says:

      To clarify…. I believe in grace. I absolutely do not believe in mixing the law with The Gospel. So, on that, we agree. 🙂

    • Mel Wild says:

      Thanks for your honest comments, Jessica. It would take a whole book to answer your questions properly. 🙂 I totally agree that we’re not to seek a perfectly comfortable life, and we are to overcome every trial in Christ (John 16:33). We seek the Kingdom first, but in the Kingdom is power to heal and set the captives free. Jesus certainly didn’t live a comfortable life but He did heal everyone He prayed for. He never once asked His Father if it was His will to do so. In Jesus, we see the Father’s will.

      We need to overcome the myths we’ve been taught about God. He never makes anyone sick, nor does He pick who will be sick and who will be healed. That would make Him a cruel father if he did so. He is no respecter of persons. Why people are not healed is because of a lot of other factors that go beyond commenting here. But one thing you can be certain of, it’s not God will that’s stopping it.

      If I need to, I will take a Tylenol for minor aches and pains. I’m not against that. But healing and miracles are not just to give us a pain-free life, but to show that the Kingdom of God has come to man (Luke 11:20), to demonstrate that we have a good Father who loves His children, and to show that disease and torment does not come from God but from the enemy.

      I did an extensive study in the New Testament about suffering several years ago. There’s nothing that says we will avoid suffering persecution. But it never once attributes this suffering with sickness. Paul’s thorn in the flesh was persecution from either a person or perhaps an angelic being. He called it a messenger of Satan (Greek word: angelos) who was coming against him. It was not a sickness, contrary to popular Western teaching.

      There are many Christians in places in the world who are suffering under severe persecution, but those who know who they are in Christ are also healing the sick, casting out demons, raising the dead, seeing miracles. They don’t do it by asking for permission, but by using their authority in Christ. God didn’t put a condition on this. He said believers will lay hands on the sick and they will recover (Mark 16:18). He told us to do likewise. Jesus did it perfectly, while Paul, and we, have not done it perfectly. But not having perfect results does not change the truth. There’s too many passages that emphatically tell us to use the authority we’ve been given. And there are other factors that prevent God’s will for healing but go beyond commenting here.

      We also have to be careful we don’t read the Bible indiscriminately. In other words, not reading the Old Testament through the lens of the cross and New Covenant. We are under a very different covenant than Job. We have authority over spiritual powers that he did not have. We are seated with Christ in heavenly places, he was not. He was a victim of these powers, but Jesus gave us His authority so we don’t have to be a victim. But we do empower whatever we believe (Matt.8:13). While Job had great faith, he is not our example. Jesus is our example. And as He is, so are we supposed to be in this world (1 John 4:17).

      We, in the West, do need to change our perspective. We’ve abdicated our role as sons in God’s Kingdom on the earth. We’ve dumbed down what God says in His Word to our experience (people not getting healed, etc.) instead of bringing our experience up to what God says in His Word. We’re supposed to be doing what Jesus did and greater things (John 14:12). Either we believe Jesus or we believe what we’ve been taught by people who don’t believe this. And this is not for ourselves but to show God’s goodness. Jesus revealed the Father’s will by healing the sick. Paul said his preaching was not with words but by the power of the Spirit (1 Cor.2:2-4). We in the West do the opposite. This is what needs to change in our popular Christian paradigm.

      Again, you bring up important points that we should be wrestling with that cannot be adequately answered here. I hope what I’m trying to say makes sense. Blessings to you.

  18. Ben says:

    I totally understand the identifying with Jesus as already crucified with Him but what do you believe Romans 8:13 and Colossians 3:5 are trying to say in a practical day to day meaning? Because yeah it seems silly to daily try to kill something that’s dead but it says to do that in those verses. Maybe you could help me understand some of that? I’ve had some difficulty understanding these verses.

    • Mel Wild says:

      Thank you for you question, Ben. It’s really all about renewing our mind to not only believe in Jesus, but believe like Jesus. We walk in our new nature, seeing Christ and Him crucified in us (1 Cor.2:2). We actually believe that we died and our life is Christ’s life (Gal.2:20; Col.3:3). It’s an active daily decision to believe what we don’t see. This is our only life in Christ. We DECIDE to live by the power of the Spirit by faith, instead of living by our own power (flesh). This is why it requires renewing our mind. We’re used to eating from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil (flesh), now we’re learning to live by the Tree of Life (Jesus).

      To Paul, sin was a foreign body and totally alien to our new nature. It doesn’t belong to us anymore. In Romans 6:12, he says (CAPS added), “Therefore do not LET sin reign in your mortal body, that you should obey it in ITS lusts.” Obviously, he’s saying that sin is something foreign to us (its lusts) and that we have the choice to let in or not. It’s not by our willpower but by what we believe about ourselves in Christ.

      Think of sin like bad dog who’s barking outside your door and wants in, but every time you let him in, he makes a big mess of your house. What is the answer? It’s very simple. You don’t let him in! Let him bark. We know by faith that he does not have to come in, and he will go away when he gets the hint that we don’t believe he has control over us anymore. This is why we must understand Romans 6 before chapters 7 and 8. We consider (reckon) ourselves dead to sin and alive to Christ. It’s not by our power, but by our faith in the finished work of Christ on the cross. We abide in Christ’s life instead of powerless, victim-minded sin-consciousness, fear and shame.

      Therefore, what Romans 8:13 and Col.3:5 are talking about is living according to our new nature, according to the Spirit instead of going back to the old way, trying harder by self-effort. It’s not effort at all, it’s faith. And acknowledging Christ’s overcoming power in us is effectual (Philemon 1:6). Hope that makes sense. Blessings.

  19. Pingback: Did Paul consider himself a sinner? | In My Father's House

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