Pastor Jim Hammond | July 4, 2021
Look back through history and you’ll see that with every season of life, God continues to unveil truth to His people. He is drawing people to Him, teaching them about faith, healing, prosperity, and love. Through all these seasons, we need to become more and more concerned about what God is doing rather than what we are doing. It’s easy to focus on what we are doing. Whether it’s our sin we are trying to get rid of or the good works we want to do for God’s kingdom, let’s become less occupied with us and more occupied with Jesus Christ and the standing of righteousness that God has given to us.
Look through the past 120 years of God at work, and you’ll see a progression. You’ll see that God has planned various seasons of ministry through which He is teaching His bride the pathway He wants them to walk.
We are in a season where we are focusing in on the forgiveness we have received from God. It is not conditional, and it includes cancelation of the penalty for sin. To understand God’s mercy which enables this forgiveness of sin, we also have to understand the severity and real justice of God.
Without God, we are nothing. We are stuck operating under the law, attempting to following all the laws exactly as we ought. With God, however, we can look at our lives differently. We can view ourselves as righteousness and stand before God without a sense of guilt or inferiority, all because of Jesus.
You see, as Christ is, so are we in this world. That first part is key. This is all through Christ. When we focus on our own self—whether our abilities or our sins—we trust in our own selves and miss what God has already done for us. When we trust in Jesus and the work He did for us, we are not as easily disappointed for we know the work that Jesus did was complete. We begin to be occupied with Christ rather than occupied with self.
Ecclesiastes 3:1 Amp.
“To everything there is a season, and a time for every matter or purpose under heaven:”
Acts 20:7-12 Amp.
“And on the first day of the week, when we were assembled together to break bread [the Lord’s Supper], Paul discoursed with them, intending to leave the next morning; and he kept on with his message until midnight. Now there were numerous lights in the upper room where we were assembled, and there was a young man named Eutychus sitting in the window. He was borne down with deep sleep as Paul kept on talking still longer, and [finally] completely overcome by sleep, he fell down from the third story and was picked up dead. But Paul went down and bent over him and embraced him, saying, Make no ado; his life is within him. When Paul had gone back upstairs and had broken bread and eaten [with them], and after he had talked confidentially and communed with them for a considerable time—until daybreak [in fact]—he departed. They took the youth home alive, and were not a little comforted and cheered and refreshed and encouraged.”
Acts 10:43-46 Amp.
“To Him all the prophets testify (bear witness) that everyone who believes in Him [who adheres to, trusts in, and relies on Him, giving himself up to Him] receives forgiveness of sins through His name. While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit fell on all who were listening to the message. And the believers from among the circumcised [the Jews] who came with Peter were surprised and amazed, because the free gift of the Holy Spirit had been bestowed and poured out largely even on the Gentiles. For they heard them talking in [unknown] tongues (languages) and extolling and magnifying God.”
Hebrews 10:18 Amp.
Now where there is absolute remission (forgiveness and cancellation of the penalty) of these [sins and lawbreaking], there is no longer any offering made to atone for sin.
Deuteronomy 21:22 Amp.
And if a man has committed a sin worthy of death and he is put to death and [afterward] you hang him on a tree,
1 Peter 2:24 Amp.
He personally bore our sins in His [own] body on the tree [as on an altar and offered Himself on it], that we might die (cease to exist) to sin and live to righteousness. By His wounds you have been healed.
Romans 7:18 KJV
For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not.
Romans 7:18 TCNT
I know that there is nothing good in me – I mean in my earthly nature.
Romans 7:18 Weymouth
I know that in me, that is in my lower self, nothing good as it’s home.
Romans 7:18 Knox
the Apostle Paul, of this I am certain that no principle of good dwells in me, that is, in my natural self.
Romans 7:18 Taylor
I know I am rotten through and through so far as my old sinful nature is concerned.
Romans 7:18 Godsend
I can will, but I cannot do what is right.
Romans 7:18 Taylor
No matter which way I turn I cannot make myself do right, I want to but I can’t.
Romans 7:24-25 Amp.
O unhappy and pitiable and wretched man that I am! Who will release and deliver me from [the shackles of] this body of death? O thank God! [He will!] through Jesus Christ (the Anointed One) our Lord! So then indeed I, of myself with the mind and heart, serve the Law of God, but with the flesh the law of sin.
Romans 8:1 Amp.
Therefore, [there is] now no condemnation (no adjudging guilty of wrong) for those who are in Christ Jesus, who live [and] walk not after the dictates of the flesh, but after the dictates of the Spirit.
Galatians 3:5-14 KJV
He therefore that ministereth to you the Spirit, and worketh miracles among you, doeth he it by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? Even as Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness. Know ye therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham. And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all nations be blessed. So then they which be of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham. For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them. But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just shall live by faith. And the law is not of faith: but, The man that doeth them shall live in them. Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree: that the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.
2 Corinthians 5:21 Amp.
For our sake He made Christ [virtually] to be sin Who knew no sin, so that in and through Him we might become [endued with, viewed as being in, and examples of] the righteousness of God [what we ought to be, approved and acceptable and in right relationship with Him, by His goodness].
1. What season of life do you find yourself in right now?
2. What happens when you focus on your works rather than Jesus?
3. Is Jesus acceptable to God? How does focusing on that truth remind you that we have been made acceptable to God just like Jesus?
4. What can you do today to focus more on Jesus’ work and less on your works?
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