THOUGHTS FOR LIFE January 24 (Extracts from Francois du Toit’s book, ‘God Believes in You′)
To discover yourself in the mirror reflection of your origin and salvation in Him is the key that unlocks the door to divine encounter. Tangible beyond touch our genesis and substance are unveiled. Our most intimate and urgent quest becomes satisfied when we discover our true origin and identity reflected and redeemed in Him. ‘And we all, with new understanding, see ourselves in Him as in a mirror; thus we are changed from an inferior mindset to the revealed opinion of our true Origin.‘ 2 Cor. 3:18.
THOUGHTS FOR LIFE January 25 (Extracts from Francois du Toit’s book, ‘God Believes in You′)
As much as the world of science depends upon the senses to perceive, measure and calculate the facts and then to form reliable conclusion, faith perceives the reality of God and extends the evidence to reason. Faith is to the spirit what your senses are to your body. Faith is not airy-fairy; Jesus Christ is the substance of faith; He is both the author and conclusion of our faith. He is the accurate measure of the blueprint of our design, the image and likeness of God in human form. Eph.4:7 The gift of Christ gives dimension to grace and defines our individual value. (Grace was given to each one of us according to the measure of the gift of Christ.)
Anticipate the revelation of Christ within you.
As we see in the above extracts, the gospel of Jesus Christ is the revelation of humankind’s true origin and identity reflected and redeemed in Him. This gospel is the power of God to save (heal, make whole, prosper, preserve, deliver) everyone who believes that he or she is the righteousness of God in Christ. (Romans 1:16-17) The gospel is not about the sins of man being revealed. Therefore, any teaching that focuses on sins or preaches do’s and don’ts (for example, “touch not, taste not, handle not” – Colossians 2:21) is only going to strengthen the power of sin (which is ignorance of one’s true identity) in a person’s life. This in turn will produce the works of the flesh (self-efforts or religion), such as adultery, idolatry, hatred, contentions, jealousies, etc. (Galatians 5:19-21)
On a similar note, I was revisiting the writings of Carlton Pearson in his book God Is Not a Christian, Nor a Jew, Muslim, Hindu…: God Dwells with Us, in Us, Around Us, as Us where he wrote about Sodom and Gomorrah – “Sodom in particular was a smug, pious, religious town filled with arrogance, exclusion, pride, self-sufficiency, and self-righteousness. The people there were known to be inhospitable and intolerant of other religions. It was a hateful place that bears a strong resemblance to today’s most delusional, exclusionary, bigoted Christian communities. So Sodom has far less to do with homosexuality, or even sex per se. It was actually a place of deep intolerance, religious bigotry, and anger. But in our Christian obsession with all things sexual, we have made it a symbol of what we see as homosexual perversion and sexual corruption. As always, we look in the mirror and see the demons we have created the fear the most.”
I tend to agree with Carlton Pearson’s interpretation that Sodom’s downfall was caused by their religiosity and self-righteousness rather than homosexuality. Evangelical preachers, on the other hand, often make a big deal about the homosexuality aspects of Sodom, and missed the whole point. This makes me think that these evangelical preachers probably have sexual hangups and frustrations and struggles in their own private life, hence they are preaching against sexual immorality (such as pornography) to other people. I like what Carlton Pearson wrote, “Generally the ones who scream the loudest have the most pronounced issues with the thing they are denouncing so vociferously.”
When people have a revelation of who they really are, made in God’s glorious image, they will see themselves and others in a way that honours God. They will simply find the old desires fading away, just as the old leaves on a tree will spontaneously fall off when the life of Jesus flows through the branches, and new leaves begin to sprout. Our part as ministers of the gospel is not to preach do’s and don’ts, which is based on the law or the tree of knowledge of good and evil. Our part is simply to preach or proclaim or share the good news of Jesus Christ that brings to remembrance our true identity as righteous and beloved children of God, and the washing of water by the Word will wash away all sense of guilt, shame and condemnation from people’s consciousness, presenting all of us a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing. (Ephesians 5:26-27)
Someone said, “Jesus did not come to make bad people good; Jesus came to make dead people live.” I agree with this statement. How did Jesus make dead people come alive? I believe life begins when we realise who we are in Christ. When the prodigal son finally returned home, his father ran to welcome him back and exclaimed, “For this my son was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.” (Luke 15:24) I believe the son became alive the moment he accepted (or received a revelation of) his true identity as a beloved son of the father, not a servant nor an outcast.