Truth Matters Newsletter Sept 2013 Extra Article

8 10 2013

Measles Outbreak in Copeland’s Congregation. How Can These Things Be?
By the Rev. Robert S. Liichow
Heresy Hunter, Master Sniper First Class
Dr. of Doctrine, Founder of The I.O.H.H.
Grand Pooh-bah, Humble Slave
Forgiven Sinner

Measles Cases Put Texas Megachurch Under the Microscope http://www.stltoday.com/news/national/measles-cases-put-texas-megachurch-under-scrutiny/image_8cba3753-386f-5843-92b9-47b745014c5f.html

This Aug. 27, 2013, photo shows a sign at the entrance of the Kenneth Copeland Ministries Eagle Mountain Church, in Newark, Texas. The Texas megachurch is linked to at least 21 cases of measles and has been trying to contain the outbreak by hosting vaccination clinics, officials said. (AP Photo/LM Otero): The teachings of televangelist Kenneth Copeland and his family focusing on the virtues of trusting God to keep healthy are under scrutiny after a cluster of measles cases linked to his family’s North Texas megachurch revealed many congregants hadn’t been vaccinated against this highly contagious disease. (1)

On September 3, 2013 I was honored to speak on the nationally syndicated radio program Issues, Etc. regarding the very recent outbreak of the highly contagious disease, measles in the pseudo-Church called “Eagle Mountain.”

In the Word of Faith (WOF) cult, the worldview they present is MECHANISTIC —- the universe operates on SPIRITUAL LAWS. If one understands these spiritual laws and principles, then one can live a life of health, financial prosperity and victory. In the past I have personally heard Mr. Copeland say “if you play the game right you win” —- this was in reference to properly working the spiritual laws that govern this life. Obviously, with over twenty people sick with the measles Copeland’s people are not “winning” the battle over disease.

According to their doctrine sickness is a result of the curse that came upon the earth due to Adam’s sin. Jesus came and destroyed the curse of the law (Gal. 3:13) and thus they believe it is the will of God that all of His children walk free from the ravages of the curse in this life. This freedom is not ours automatically upon regeneration; we have been given the spiritual force
of faith which is the “key” to unlock the treasures of heaven, to move mountains, to literally create reality.

Sickness is not viewed as a result of simply living in a fallen world due to sin. Everything we experience is more or less “causative” in nature. All good and evil experienced (blessing or curse) has a reason or cause for being, either God, man or the devil. Marilyn Hickey, the aging WOF docent of deceivers taught us in Robert Tilton’s Satellite Bible School in the 1980’s a “bedrock” Bible text proving what I have just restated:

As the bird by wandering, as the swallow by flying, So the curse causeless shall not come. Proverbs 26:2

There is always a cause for a curse and sickness is a curse, therefore there must be: (1) a cause and (2) a solution. The Bible tells us that we are not to give the devil any place (see Eph. 4:27). Satan cannot simply come into our lives and “do” things to us; we must give him the permission to do so. Copeland and the others of his ilk teach that we give the devil permission either through passive acceptance of whatever comes our way or through speaking the wrong negative words.

Here are some of the usual reasons cited for “faith failures” and all of these reasons can be equally applied to any area in which faith was exercised and the desired result was not obtained.

Shots Are For the Weak in Faith

Vaccinated? According to the article many people at Copeland’s church had never been vaccinated at all and the reason why is because their leader, Mr. Copeland is on record as being against getting vaccinated. Why? The WOF cult teaches that people get vaccinated out of fear. Those who get the shots do so because (1) they have been misinformed so they passively do whatever they are told to do and (2) others are afraid of getting whatever the disease the shot(s) is created to resist.

Fear is the direct opposite force from faith. Fear, doubt and unbelief unleash Satan and his demons and our lack of faith is like a huge “come and dine” sign over our heads somehow in the spirit realm. Getting a shot is tantamount to saying “I don’t trust God to keep me safe from the measles.” Getting a shot is saying “I am afraid.” We all know what happened to Job, right?

For the thing which I greatly feared is come upon me, And that which I was afraid of is come unto me. Job 3:25

The result of his fear was that the very thing he was afraid of came upon him. Thus (implied without having to actually say it) if one, say gets a shot, then the odds are pretty good they might get sick. (2) How is that for cultic logic?

The end result is a congregation filled tightly with people who have never been vaccinated at all and others who’ve let their booster shots lapse. To those of us who live in “Realville” (a little Rush Limbaugh lingo) this would seem to be the optimal place for an outbreak to occur!

Without knowing any of the sick people involved I can assure you how this outbreak took place. First “Patient Zero” (could be an adult or child) begins by feeling some of the symptoms of being sick (in this case with the measles). In the WOF when you do not feel something is right REBUKE IT immediately in Jesus name. As a child of God, a member of the Kingdom of God, priest and a king sickness has no place in you.

As to the symptoms, why “dad” Hagin told us many times that “the shadow of a dog never bit anyone,” this was in reference to his having had “symptoms” of a headache but had not had an actual headache in over thirty years. The point is simply this — having the symptoms of an illness ARE NOT the same as having the illness itself in their thinking. Thus just feeling sick and having some symptoms are no reason to stay home, in fact, which is what the devil wants you to do, stay away from church!

Patient Zero rebukes the symptoms, is unmoved by the way he or she feels and bless God goes to church. Patient Zero is unconcerned about hugging a bunch of folks because he is the “healed” whom Satan is trying to convince is sick. Over the next few hours Patient Zero sits tightly packed with a multitude of others like a sardine and afterwards maybe share a crumpet and coffee in the fellowship room. Is there really any mystery how 21 people came down with measles?

Know Your Limitations

Faith grows as it is used. How does a person of faith get sick? We were taught that faith was like a muscle; it develops and grows stronger through use. This is why the first thing people learn to do in WOF circles is to speak only positive “faith-filled” words over every circumstance in life. You begin by confessing for a “good day” or a “parking space” in the mall and as you receive the result(s) of your free exercise of your faith your faith grows stronger. In the gym you do not begin by bench pressing 300 pounds, you begin with a 5 lb. dumb bell and grow to where you can easily lift the 300 pound weights. Even so with the force of faith. Their view is NO DIFFERENT than young Luke Skywalker starting by lifting a small rock and then after some additional Jedi training Luke is able to lift his entire fighter out of the primordial goo! Thus if a WOF’er has not been faithfully expressing their faith in words and corresponding actions they will be unable to “lift” the weight of the illness attacking them. If you do not know how to get “victory” over a headache, then forget battling measles or cancer!

It’s All in Your Head

Head knowledge will not get one healed. Obviously (to the WOF adept, such as myself) these people got measles because they possessed only a head knowledge regarding divine healing, divine health and divine life. This is a bit confusing so stick with me here — we must renews our minds (Rom. 12:1-3) but in the WOF cult, this is but a part of the process. WOF’ cultists all begin by “faking it till they make it.” Everyone begins by feeding new biblical data into their brains. This is done by hearing the Word taught and by confessing it ourselves. From our minds the Word eventually makes its way down (up?) into our re-born spirits. Then when it is confessed from our spirits NOT our minds it comes out with divine power and produces the result confessed. How does the person know if they have a genuine spiritual revelation or merely a head-knowledge? The proof is in the pudding, i.e. results demonstrate the validity of the faith confessed. One person confesses divine healing and is healed — he had the revelation, the person next to him confesses the same thing and remains sick — she had only head knowledge. The formula for success is really very simple: (1) Confess what you want, (2) speak to the mountain, (3) doubt not and (4) believe that you have received what you confessed and you shall have it (assuming you do not violate any of the spiritual laws I am writing about in their article) and this dogma comes via Mark 11:24.

Sickness a Result of Personal Sin

Unconfessed sin in the life of a believer will immediately STOP the power of God from flowing.

But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear. Isa. 59:2

I remember getting food poisoning while a student at the University of Michigan, at the time I was attending a small Pentecostal Church of God in Ann Arbor. The pastor’s son, Timmy, used to pick me up for church and that morning I told him I was sick as a dog. His first question was “is there any sin in your life?” I thought about it for a moment, but realizing that now I am “the righteousness of God in Christ” (see 2 Cor. 5:21) and that I used to be a sinner, but now I am saved, thus sin could only be a remote possibility. So I told Timmy “no” not to my knowledge, and he dragged me off to worship service.

This is an area that is very lightly considered, because WOF people do not see themselves as sinners any longer. Sin is in the past, they are children of God now period. When a WOF’er falls into sin it is because of a lack of mental renewal in that specific area (more data will usually correct the problem) versus something inherent within them, i.e. the old man. For the WOF devotee to confess that they are “sinful and unclean” is an impossibility. They simply do not believe this to be true of a Christian.

I See You Devil

Satanic attack by the devil himself or his demons is a very real possibility. What was very sad in looking back was how we in the SINistry viewed the congregant’s sickness as evidence of the above causes (I could have thrown in lack of tithing on the gross too) but any attack on SINisters was viewed as a demonic assault. When leaders got sick it was due to them being highly anointed and pivotal soldiers in God’s army. When leaders got attacked the entire congregation would fast, pray (sometimes this same care was shown towards others in distress, but always for the leaders) and rebuke the enemy. Any problems in the lives of our leaders were a sign that the followers had wittingly or unwittingly let down the hedge of protection (a little Job 3:23 lingo) around this valuable spiritual commodity.

These are some of the usually responses trotted out by the various sign-gift enthusiasts to help explain away the obvious “faith-failures.” In the case of Mr. Copeland, we simply see what happens when a large group of people ignore common sense. Why not get vaccinated and trust the Lord to keep you safe from anything harmful in the vaccine? I can assure you that those people who did get sick took medicine; some went to the hospitals for treatment and now clinics are being held in the Eagle Mountain facility (I cannot call it a church in good conscience) which has to be an affront to Mr. Copeland’s great faith. Please remember the people involved in this incident. I know that many of them have had their understanding of faith, divine healing, and themselves rocked by this outbreak (thanks be to God) let us pray that our Lord uses this to wake up His people to the error of their ways.

Why didn’t Kenneth Copeland heal those sickened in his midst? He stated on television 9/8/13 that “we are as much like God as Jesus is,” the Jesus I serve healed them all (Luke 4:40; 4:19) and Mr. Copeland has healed no one ever. Frankly, I seriously doubt Mr. Copeland laid hands on any of the infected, and if he did where are the results?

Thankfully only 21 people were infected and none of them has died as a result of their lack of wisdom. Time does not permit me to share the many reports of people who DIED because they “stood in faith” trusting a manmade doctrine regarding their healing, a doctrine God did not and does not honor. I personally hope that our Lord uses this “chastisement” of the flesh to cause those in error to turn back to the ancient and narrow road of orthodox Christianity.

ENDNOTES:
1. Obtained from http://www.stltoday.com/news/national/measles-cases-put-texas-megachurch-under-scrutiny/image_8cba3753-386f-5843-92b9-47b745014c5f.html
2. Here is the cold reality. If one is consistent in practicing the WOF doctrine regarding divine healing then one would not have any health insurance, no medicines of any variety in their homes and they would have their children at home as well. 99% of most divine healing professors are not really “trusting God” as they proclaim to others because they do use doctors, do take medicine and generally have their children in hospitals. I know of only a few sign-gift groups that are truly considered “full-faith” (as my wife and I were for a time) and what became known as “hyper-faith” by the detractors
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Truth Matters Newsletter August 2013

7 10 2013

Who We Are and What We Have In Him – Part Three
By Rev. Robert S. Liichow

Three months ago we began considering the three basic manners in which we are to relate to our Lord. We looked at “Christ In Us” in the May issue of Truth Matters. Next we pondered the greater reality of “Christ For Us” in June and now we bring this to conclusion by looking at “Us In Christ.”

The best way to convey this marvelous reality is to think of a swimming pool and we jump off into the deep end of the pool and we become enveloped totally by the water, we are submerged, we are truly “in” the water. Acts 17:28 says —

For in him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also his offspring. Acts 17:28

Prior to our conversion we were essentially “in ourselves” we looked to ourselves as the source for our direction and the decisions we made. Now that we have been immersed into His Body, the Church, we no longer ought to look to ourselves, but to the One into whom we have been placed. Now that we are in Him
He has become our source of life, His Word now our direction, His very body and blood our food along the journey of life and our hope in every need.

How Did We End Up In Him?

Every person who is a Christian became such a one through nothing less than the sovereign will of God. We did not choose Him, He most assuredly chose us (see John 6:44; 15:9). I like the way Dr. Luther states this in our Small Catechism, the Third Article of the Creed:

I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy Christian church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen. What does this mean? I believe that I cannot by my own reason or strength believe in Jesus Christ, my Lord, or come to Him; but the Holy Spirit has called me by the Gospel, enlightened me with His gifts, sanctified and kept me in the true faith. In the same way He calls, gathers, enlightens, and sanctifies the whole Christian church on earth, and keeps it with Jesus Christ in the one true faith. In this Christian church He daily and richly forgives all my sins and the sins of all believers. On the Last Day He will raise me and all the dead, and give eternal life to me and all believers in Christ. This is most certainly true.

Normally, this placing us into Christ occurs when we were baptized.

Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?
    Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection: Knowing this, that our old man is crucified
with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. Romans 6:3-6

And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power: In whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ: Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead. And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses; Col. 2:10-14

When the Holy Spirit immerses us into Christ this is synonymous to being placed “in the Church.” The Church, visible and invisible is nothing less than the Body of Christ (see Eph. 1:23-23; Col. 1:16-20). As we begin to consider just a few of the texts illuminating who and what we have “in Christ” let us remember not to create some artificial division between the Person of Jesus Christ and His Body, the Church; what we have “in Christ” is found in His Body and not separate from her.

The world clamors that we MUST HAVE the next thing and upon gaining this new thing we will be complete. Whenever the world system tries to tell us we are incomplete and lacking remember what God’s Word has said — we are complete
IN HIM there is absolutely nothing lacking that we need (a big difference from what we want).

Today many Christians suffer from an incorrect view of themselves. We tend to vacillate between the poles of pride and despair. Pride, when we think “we” are doing just fine, great in fact until we stumble, as we inevitably do. The fall from the high imagined perch of perfection lands one into the ‘slough of despond” (a little John Bunyan lingo). The Bible calls us to have a correct biblical perception of ourselves:

For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith. Rom. 12:3

Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ; 1 Peter 1:3

All of us have to deal with our own misconceptions about who we are; these misconceptions often stem from seeing ourselves apart from Christ and not who we are in Him. We also have to face the lies and accusations from the devil and his demons, he is not called “the accuser of the brethren” for nothing (Rev. 12:10). Not only does he accuse us before God, but he also works on our fallen mind and attempts to use the conditions around us as indicators of God’s favor or displeasure with us. On top of this we have to deal with our fallen flesh which cries out in hatred against God, His Word and holiness. Our flesh (well mine at least at times) screams out “give up, what’s the use, yield to me and this struggle will cease.” (1) As Christians it is important to remember that now in Christ we are to view this life through the lens of scripture. “As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye
in him

(Col. 2:6).

The only way to combat these accusations, even when they are true at times is in the exact same manner in which our Lord Jesus Christ dealt with them:

And when the tempter came to him, he said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread. But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God. Matthew 4:3-4

Who Are We in Christ?

It is vital for us to see ourselves through the lens of the scripture in order to properly relate to our God and our neighbors. It is only through the scriptures that we can begin to understand what has been accomplished in us at conversion by our Lord.

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places
in Christ: Eph. 1:3

Now that we are in Christ Jesus we have been (past tense) blessed with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places. Every spiritual blessing is already ours in Christ Jesus! You and I are not working on earth to be blessed in heaven. The Father has freely given to us the totality of spiritual blessing(s) in His Son, they are ours already.

According as he hath chosen us
in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: Eph. 1:4

Every believer has been hand-picked by the Father and given as a gift to His Son (John 6:37) and this He did before the foundation of the world (Eph. 1:4). In Him we have been chosen and by the marvelous power of His Spirit we walk in the good works prepared for us (Eph. 2:10).

To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted
in the beloved. In whom
we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace; Eph. 1:6-7

We are accepted in the Beloved Son. What a tremendous foundational BOULDER to build your spiritual life one! Accepted is a ‘full’ word in the Greek:

88.66
χαριτόω; χάριςa, ιτος: to show kindness to someone, with the implication of graciousness on the part of the one showing such kindness—’to show kindness, to manifest graciousness toward, kindness, graciousness, grace.’ χαριτόω: κεχαριτωμένη, ὁ κύριος μετὰ σοῦ ‘the Lord is with you, you to whom (the Lord) has shown kindness’ Lk 1:28; ἧς ἐχαρίτωσεν ἡμᾶς ἐν τῷ ἠγαπημένῳ ‘which he has graciously shown us in the one he loves’ Eph 1:6.χάριςa: ἐξῆλθεν παραδοθεὶς τῇ χάριτι τοῦ κυρίου ὑπὸ τῶν ἀδελφῶν ‘he left, being commended by the brothers to the kindness of the Lord’ Ac 15:40. (2)

 

Everybody wants to be accepted by someone. Youths join gangs to be “accepted,” men and women enter into toxic relationships simply to be “accepted.” People over the ages have done terribly evil things in order to be accepted by their peers. The driving force behind peer
pressure is acceptance.

This world system hates us (because we are now in Him, see John 15:18) and it will not accept us, unless we conform to its dictates. Sadly, many believers yield to this worldly pressure and compromise their Christian virtues. Yet, when people are established on the fact that we are accepted IN the beloved that is all the approval we need and we become free from striving after the acceptance of fallen man.

The reason that our holy God does accept us is always because of His Son and not anything we have done in and of ourselves. The Father accepts us because in His Son we have redemption the forgiveness of all our sins by His blood.

In whom
we have boldness and access with confidence by the faith of him. Eph. 3:12

Another way to translate the above text is to say “because of him we have boldness to address him with confidence.
(3) Now because we have been redeemed we are God’s own dear children. As His children we have the familial right to come into His presence confidently.

Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need. Hebrews 4:16

We do not come before our Father rudely nor do we dare approach Him in ourselves (see Lev. 10:1). We come humbly without fear or hesitancy in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ seeking what we cannot earn nor deserve —- mercy and grace to help in the time of need.

A Few of the Riches that Belong to Us in His Son

We are blessed with every spiritual blessing

We are chosen by God

We are accepted by the Father

We have redemption through the blood of Christ

We have bold confident access to the Father

 

There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. Romans 8:1

Satan accuses us before God (Job 2:1-3; Rev. 12:10) and he condemns our consciences and robs of us peace. I find it interesting that Satan only tells Christians they are “going to hell” or that the believer has somehow committed the “unforgivable” sin. When those accusations arise I simply tell the devil in no uncertain terms that all of my hope is in Christ’s righteousness and perfection and in NONE of my own (it’s good to remind yourself of this fact too). Christ Jesus has borne the penalty for all my sins on the cross FOR ME and I now am IN HIM and thus there is no condemnation coming from heaven against me —- 1 Thess. 1:10 tells us that we have been delivered by God’s Son from the wrath to come. Knowing who I am in Christ sets me free from the condemning voices of the world, flesh and devil.

The Lord delivered Tracy and I from a vicious and endless cycle of works trying to “live holy” and walk a sanctified life. It was very mechanical, just the outward form and the lacking ingredient was the dynamic power to give life to our efforts.

As with all our spiritual life as Christians, the “dynamic” is found only IN Christ and what He has done and is currently doing. (4)

Unto the church of God which is at Corinth, to them that are sanctified
in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all that in every place call upon the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both theirs and ours: 1 Cor. 1:2

But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us
wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption: That, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord.

Sanctification is not about the mechanics but the dynamics —- our sanctification, our separation to the holy God for His purposes is found only in Christ Jesus. Many Christians spend much of their lives trying to sanctify their flesh. Our flesh will never become “holy” in this life. You cannot sanctify the flesh; you cannot tame it (see James 3:8)    and it cannot be converted. All attempts to sanctify our flesh are truly chasing after the wind which is nothing but vanity.

For this reason God sent Jesus Christ to do what we would and could not do. Jesus is made unto us our source of (1) wisdom, (2) righteousness and (3) sanctification and (4) redemption. Would you live a sanctified life? Then look unto Jesus who is our sanctification and so much more.

How do we “look” to Jesus? As we have written about in this series, it is not by turning within to find Jesus in our hearts somewhere. To travel that road is to spiral downwards into subjective mysticism.

Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds. Ye have not yet resisted unto blood, striving against sin. Hebrews 12:1-4

The force of the text seems to indicate that as we are looking to Jesus as our focus we lay aside the things weighing us down and run patiently, i.e. live our daily vocations. We “look” to Jesus by seeing Him in His Holy Word and as we freely receive His good gifts of life, forgiveness and salvation at His altar in the Divine Service. This life is very hard and we stand “contra mundi” against this world that hates us (John 17:14). If we get caught up in our own efforts to progress spiritually I can assure you that we WILL faint in our minds and end up in despair. Let us look unto our Lord Jesus Christ!

As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in himRooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving. Col. 2:6-7

We are rooted and built up
in Him (Matthew 7:26) and it is no one less than Christ Himself who establishes us in the faith (Heb. 12) —- How? Through hearing the proclamation of the Gospel and our hearing produces thanksgiving which we offered back to God for His unsearchable riches IN Christ Jesus (Eph. 3:8).

And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him. Col. 3:17

Our daily walk is to be lived through Christ Jesus (remember the analogy of being under water in the pool, if our eyes are open we see through the water). Everything we do in our daily life is to be done IN the name of our Lord. A simple discipline in practical experiential sanctification is simply to ask yourself this simple question: “can what I am about to (1) be saying or (2) what I am about to be doing —- be said or done IN then holy name of Jesus Christ our Lord? If the answer is “NO” then do not do or say it . . . this takes practice but will yield the
peaceable fruit of righteousness (Heb. 12:11). May God grant us all the grace to be saying “no” when we ought!

To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation. Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God.
For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God
in him.
We then, as workers together
with him, beseech you also that ye receive not the grace of God in vain. 2 Co 5:19–6:1

Note the beautiful interplay we read here. God was in Christ Jesus reconciling the world to Himself. Now as ambassadors for Christ and His kingdom — as it were God now beseechs people by (through) us! The Father placed our sins upon His Son and He bore our penalty on the cross. To what end? Now IN CHRIST we are clothed with His perfect righteousness purely as a gift not based on our working the law (Phil. 3:9). Now “in Him” we are laborers together with Him (1 Cor. 3:10) proclaiming His eternal Gospel to all who have ears to hear according to the grace He supplies (Eph. 3:7). God was in Christ Jesus, now He places us into Christ and sends us out as mobile temples of the Holy Spirit. At one time the Father had but One Son, now He has multitudes of sons that He has adopted into His family in Christ!

In the New Testament there are 70 verses which include the words “in Him,” there are 212 verses that state “in Whom” and over 560 verses citing “in Christ.” I could go on and mention the many texts using “of whom, from whom, with Him” which would add hundreds more verses. My point is simply this —- it is evident that our God would have His children understand very clearly (1) who they are and (2) what they have in His Son, our Lord God and Savior, Jesus Christ.

And wisdom and knowledge shall be the stability of thy times, and strength of salvation: the fear of the LORD is his treasure.
Isa. 33:6

Stability in our daily walk is in large part a result of our hearing and doing what we’ve heard (James 1:22) taught to us.

אֱמוּנָה TWOT GK firmness, steadfastness, fidelity Ex 17:12 + 46 times; אֱמוּנוֹת Pr 28:20. 1. lit. firmness, steadiness: Ex 17:12 וַיְהִי יָדָיו א׳ his hands were steadiness (i.e. steady). 2. steadfastness, אֱמוּנַת עִתֶּיךָ steadfastness of thy times Is 33:6 (5)

Honestly I can tell you that people who attend church on a weekly basis INCLUDING Bible study (hopefully one is offered where you attend) and mull over (meditate) what they have been taught throughout the week are by FAR more spiritually stable Christians.

God’s Word is the objective anchor of our souls. Heaven and earth will pass away but the Word of Christ is eternal (1 Peter 1:25) and in this fallen life there is no more effective manner in which to both renew our minds (Romans 12:1-3) and still the mouth of the Avenger and Adversary (Psl. 8:2) than by ingraining within ourselves what Jesus has done FOR US and then who we NOW are IN CHRIST.

ENDNOTES:

(1) Satan is so crafty, he tempts us via the world and our flesh {our flesh consists of the lust of the eyes, the pride of life and lust for other things}. When we give into his temptation(s), he immediately switches gears and cries out “I thought you were a Christian, now look what you did.”

(2) Johannes P. Louw and Eugene Albert Nida, Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament: Based on Semantic Domains (New York: United Bible Societies, 1996), 748–749.

(3) Johannes P. Louw and Eugene Albert Nida, Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament: Based on Semantic Domains (New York: United Bib le Societies, 1996), 397.

(4) Many Christians somehow think that since His resurrection that our Lord Jesus Christ is basically sitting around on a throne in heaven “doing” nothing or very little. On the contrary He has an active and vital ongoing ministry from the throne through His Body today, but it is beyond the scope of this article to delve into this.

+prefixed, or added, or both, indicates ‘All passages cited.’

TWOT Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament.

GK Goodrick/Kohlenberger numbering system of the NIV Exhaustive Concordance.

+plus, denotes often that other passages, etc., might be cited. So also where the forms of verbs, nouns, and adjectives are illustrated by citations, near the beginning of articles; while ‘etc.’ in such connexions commonly indicates that other forms of the word occur, which it has not been thought worthwhile to cite.

(5) Francis Brown, Samuel Rolles Driver, and Charles Augustus Briggs, Enhanced Brown-Driver-Briggs Hebrew and English Lexicon (Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, 2000), 53

† prefixed, or added, or both, indicates ‘All passages cited.’

TWOT Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament.

GK Goodrick/Kohlenberger numbering system of the NIV Exhaustive Concordance.

+ plus, denotes often that other passages, etc., might be cited. So also where the forms of verbs, nouns, and adjectives are illustrated by citations, near the beginning of articles; while ‘etc.’ in such connexions commonly indicates that other forms of the word occur, which it has not been thought worthwhile to cite

Just A Thought

When I started on this article I was at my favorite Christian Thrift store and purchased a loose-leaf N.T. ($1.00) and I have begun to go through it and highlight all of the texts dealing with “In Christ, in Him, in Whom, of whom.” It is a great way to re-read, albeit somewhat quickly, the entire N.T.. I have done this in the past, but not recently. It is a good way to help renew my mind. I highly recommend highlighting and underlining in your Bibles. If your Bible is too “nice” to mark up, that’s fine, go and buy some inexpensive copies and mark them up! Use different colors (if you are that organized, I am not) and take as long as you like. When a text “hits” you, fine stop meditate on it, look it up in the original language. Make sure and read the verse (whole chapter really) prior and after the text you’re focused on [context is everything].