Monday, May 18, 2009

Good works vs works

“Good Works” vs “Works”
Wayne Duncan

The bible talks about works in a positive and a negative light.
How do we know which is which.
Ephesians 2 :10
10For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.
Isaiah 64:6:All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags; we all shrivel up like a leaf, and like the wind our sins sweep us away.
So what are the works that are useless filthy rags, and which acts (works), are "good works"?
So there are good works and dead works. Now good is good and dead is dead. Dead things produce no life and no fruit.
If Christ has good works prepared for me, to walk in, then the new nature that resides in me wants to walk in those good works.
God has prepared things for me to do, to see, to taste and to feel. I want to walk in them.
Even that desire to do good works is as a result of grace, which is God working in me. It’s God Himself working in me. The transformed spirit working with the power of the living residing Holy Spirit

Phil 2:13
13for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure ESV
13for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose NIV

There is a natural desire in the hearts and spirits of born again believers. We became new creation upon conversion, that new creation loves God. That new creation loves to serve God, to be obedient to God, to do for God, to will and to act.
Four points from Phil 2:13
1) The work in us is a work of grace. It’s God working in us. We can claim nothing of ourselves. Any desire or work we have is as a result of His work in us. That’s why we’re His workmanship.
2) We will. We desire. We want. What do we will and desire and want? We want to do His will. He creates that will.
3) We want to work for God. He creates that work in and through us.
4) The will and work that is present, and that results is pleasurable to God.

Titus 2
11For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, 12training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age, 13waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, 14who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works. ESV

14who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good NIV

Grace is a powerful force, it teaches us.
Jesus has purified us, now zeal rises up to do what he wants us to do. It’s because were pure that desire is birthed!
I want to say that this is a very powerful force with in us. It’s the type of dealing in our hearts and spirits that can cause some real substance within us. It could look like radical obedience. It could produce faithfulness. It could release a commitment to a cause that is staggering. What makes a person lay down their lives for an act of obedience? When the motive is pure, the work is good.

So why the bad rap?

Works has become a swearword in the church today. And for good reason.
Here are some of the reasons:
It’s got to do with earning.
Legalism teaches that if I do these works, then God will love me more. The truth is that there is nothing that I can do to make god love me more or less.
Legalism teaches that the more works I do the more mature I am. The truth is maturity comes with an understanding about the gift of righteousness, and exposure to others gifts, and by the ministry of the spirit.
Legalism teaches that if I do works, I can earn favor with God.
Legalism teaches that if I do works I can manipulate God into blessing me or answering my prayers.
Legalism says…you must work. Take must pleasure…have to be zealous…be eager, do do do.
Legalism says “where are your works, are you doing enough, you must do more”
Any attempt to earn Gods favor, a reward, a blessing, love, acceptance, reputation, self righteousness etc will make the work a “work” instead of a “good work”.
Isaiah 64:6:All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags; we all shrivel up like a leaf, and like the wind our sins sweep us away.
When we work for righteousness it is a dead work, or a work that is a filthy rag of it denies the work of Christ, the only legal claim to righteousness.
Can you see the difference? “Good works” flow from a healthy desire to do what you feel you want to do. That want comes from heaven. It’s who you are, expressing it’s self. It’s what gives you the deep conviction to carry on even when it gets tough. It’s what empowers and inspires you to keep on until the “good work” is finished.
Who I am as a result of His powerful work in me, as a result of His divine workmanship, says..
I take pleasure, I want to, I am passionate, I am zealous and I am eager.
Look at what Paul said about His driving passion that helped Him endure persecution and torture, stoning and whipping
1 Cor 15:10
10But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace toward me was not in vain. On the contrary, I worked harder than any of them, though it was not I, but the grace of God that is with me.
Ephesians 2 :10
10For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.
God has prepared things for every one of us to do. Even if you think you’re doing nothing, that’s fine, for your still loved, accepted, and righteous. BUT know this you’re being prepared, you have been prepared! “Good works” are part of who you are.
There is a God given grace inside you just busting to get out! How beautiful it will be, it will be a God pleasing “Good work”.

Friday, March 6, 2009

What is church about?

Matthew 16:16-18(ESV)
“Simon Peter replied, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God." 17And Jesus answered him, "Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven. 18And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church,”

Friends I cannot tell you how significant this scripture is. Here Jesus talks about the church. It’s the only time Jesus ever mentions the church.
Here Jesus says that the church is built on the revelation from the Father, that Jesus is the Christ. There is a declaration from heaven, the father has released a powerful revelation, and all who hear it will be blessed. Jesus is the Christ.
The primary purpose of the church therefore is to co-operate with the father in the earth today as he reveals Jesus. The revelation of Jesus is the show piece of the church. This revelation is what the church is about, and what the church exists for. It’s about Jesus.
Everything else is secondary to this one thing, Jesus, who He is, and what he has done!
What does Jesus birth, life, obedience, death, resurrection and current position mean for every believer that makes up the church?
He has positioned His bride with great power and favour to reveal His glory.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

A Normal Church?!

We are a growing community of passionate believers who have a desire to see the climate of Heaven invade earth. Were contending for "Normal Church". A normal church with power, signs, wonders and miracles happening daily. Where every believer carries an anointing to effect and infect their every environment with the goodness of God. Where daily a hurting world is impacted by His love.
We contend for each other to be full of God, full of His wonderful liberating presence and contend for freedom.
We believe that the rock upon which the church is built, is the revelation that Jesus is the Christ. The father is revealing Jesus in the world today, Jesus is building the church. We get to touch it and be in it.
Liberated by the grace of Jesus we realise that every believer's inheritance is to touch, do, and see things we don't deserve, through the promises and finished work of Jesus.