Monday, April 12, 2010


Taken from a recent text message from Jammie Curtsinger

Our prayer is to be so full of God's spirit that other spirits are ashamed to be around us! And if are we not full of the Spirit, then we ought to be ashamed to be around others!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

God’s Righteousness

For they being ignorant of God's righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God.

Paul, in Romans 10:3

When you walk in the Spirit of Christ, you cannot believe a lie because the Spirit of Christ will not allow a lie to enter into your heart. Nobody could lie to Jesus because he walked in the Spirit, and he suffered and died so that we might also walk in it.

As a young man, after he was converted, my father was boasting one day to an elderly mother in Christ of his new way of living. The wise old saint listened patiently as the young convert told of how he used to tell lies, but did no more. Then she replied, “Oh, Brother Clark, there’s something better than not telling lies.”

“What’s that?”

“Not believing them..”

That mother in Christ was actually reproving my father for boasting in his righteousness rather than rejoicing in God’s. What we can do within our own strength and will is our righteousness; what we can only do by the power of God is His righteousness. We can make up our own minds to tell no lie, but no amount of will-power can save us from believing a lie. Only God’s power living within us can do that.

Paul said, “If any man boast, let it be in the Lord.” That means, if we are going to boast about being good, let it be a boast of the kind of goodness that only God can create in us. Sinners can make up their minds not to commit adultery, but they cannot purify their hearts from wicked lusts. They can, with their own will-power, decide not to murder, but they cannot fill their hearts with the love of God for others.

Christ came to make God’s righteousness available to us, through the Spirit. This is another reason why, without the Spirit, no man can please God and be saved in the end, or even belong to God’s family.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Lawlessness, Part 2: Forgiven

Blessed are they whose lawlessness is forgiven!

David, in Psalm 32:1, and Paul, in Romans 3:4

Moses told Israel that the law God was their life (Deut. 32:47). Later, David said, “The law is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.” Both these great men understood that God’s law is the light of our lives; that is, God’s law helps us to understand life and to live it as it should be lived. In the New Testament, the Spirit of God has replaced the Old Testament law written on paper. It is the same law, given from the same God, but it is in a different place – within us, rather than in a book that we must read in order to know it. The holy law which God gave to Israel is now written in our hearts by the Spirit, and we are liberated from ignorance of God by “the law of the spirit of life in Christ Jesus” which “has made us free from the law of sin and death.”

The apostle John, long after the law of Moses was fulfilled in Christ, still defined sin as “transgression of the law” (1Jn. 3:4). That is because the law that God has written in our hearts by the Spirit is the same law that He gave to Moses and Israel. The law of God given to Israel was not destroyed by Christ; it was fulfilled and confirmed by him! “Don’t suppose that I’ve come to destroy the Law or the prophets; I didn’t come to destroy but to fulfill” (Mt. 5:17).

When Jesus was here, he promised his disciples that he would make a way for them to walk in the “light of life”; that is, he would make a way for them to have God’s holy Spirit within them, guiding them through this life. In fact, that is the very thing that the Son of God came to earth to do. He said, “I am come that they might have life” (Jn. 10:10). He could just as well have said, “I am come that they might have the Spirit” because, as Paul said, “the Spirit is life” (Rom. 8:10).

Through the ancient prophets, God had promised that one day He would write His law on our hearts. That is, He would find a way to put His law within our hearts so that we would sense it when we were going in a wrong direction, or going in the right one, so that we would be able to recognize good thoughts from evil ones, or true words from false ones. And God did this so that He could rescue us from lawlessness, from not having God’s law governing our feelings, thoughts, words, and deeds. God loved us too much to leave us to ourselves to judge what is right and wrong. And He accomplished that great mercy when He sent His Son to die for our sins so that we could receive His Spirit and have His law within us, guiding us every day in every situation and letting us know every moment what is godly (i.e., lawful) behavior and what is lawlessness, or sin.

It is impossible for men without God’s Spirit to live according to God’s law because we are all born lawless, that is, we are born into this world without the Spirit of God within us. That is why Paul said, “The carnal mind is not subject to the law of God; neither indeed can it be.” No one without God’s Spirit can obey God’s law because the Spirit is the only thing that lets us know what God’s law is. We are born lawless and we will die lawless unless we are born again by the Spirit of God.

Paul quoted David in Romans 4:7, and said, “Blessed are they whose lawlessness is forgiven!” Amen to that! It is a precious opportunity that we are offered in Christ to be born anew, to have all our former lawless behavior forgiven, to be given a heart that discerns right from wrong, and to be brought under the perfect law of Christ.