Day 27 ~ The Purpose Driven Life ~ Defeating Temptation.
Christ is our High Priest.
“Therefore, since we have such a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to what we profess. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathise with our weaknesses, but we have one who was tempted in every way that we are, yet was without sin. Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.” Hebrews 4:14-16 (BSB)
Rick in his book in the chapter under the heading Day 27 says, “God says it is the only way you’re going to break free: “Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed.”” (PDL – Rick ©) The text was taken from James 5:16 in the NIV.
Sorry Rick but you have it wrong! God does not say that the only way is by confessing our sins one to another. That is what the NIV says. That is possibly what the Temple model says. If you read this text in its context it says it points to this confession as a tool to help break a possible stronghold. The original translation of this text by Tyndale read; “Acknowledge your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed” James 5:16 (1599 Geneva Bible)
Francios du Toit in the Mirror Bible translating from the original greek, “if you have wronged someone talk to him about it; pray for each other to maintain a healthy fellowship. Righteousness is the fuel of effective prayer.” James 5:16 (Mirror Bible)
We as Christ-Walkers must continually keep each other in step and not be afraid or take offence when our brothers point out faults or help us keep to the path. We must never become arrogant or self-righteous. We must humble ourselves. (Ephesians 4:2) (Philippians 2:3) (Romans 12:16)(James 4:10) (1 Peter 5:6) There are many verses on humility.
James in his Epistle, nowhere says that God said, “the only way to deal with sin or temptation is by sharing this in a group or with fellow Christians”. This is not biblical. I do not deny that it is very helpful sometimes to use this method. My high priest has always been Christ. The sins of my life are such that I would not want to burden anyone else with them apart from Christ. I really do not want to sound arrogant, but my refuge has always been Christ and it is only in Him that I will and can find forgiveness (1 John 1:9). Christ has re-aligned me and changed my heart and mind in miraculous ways. (Jeremiah 31:33)(Hebrews 10:16) Christ is our only intercessor with God. (1 Timothy 2:5)(Hebrews 8:1)(James 3:13)
This promise of my inclusion “Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your filthiness and from all your idols.
Moreover, I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.
I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will be careful to observe My ordinances.” Ezequiel 36:25–27 (NASB) is a testimony of my life.
Our declaration and recognition of sin is manifested in us by the Holy Spirit “for those who are in Christ”. We are not called to align ourselves or realign ourselves, with any other person who has walked this earth apart from the Nazarene. We as Christ-walkers are commanded, directed, pointed etc.. To adorn our hearts minds and bodies with Christ.
Christ came and spent His blood on the cross to break us free of the Mosaic Law and the Temple model. The curtain was torn from the Top Down in the temple in Jerusalem revealing the Holy of Holies. Note; not from the Bottom up. God put his finger into the curtain and split it asunder as one would do when cutting butter. From the Top Down! God came down on the curtain that had separated us from him. We must not rebuild these temples from the old Testament. Our triune God did not intend us to return to having intercessors. Jesus Christ is the only intercessor or representative of God. And that is the absolute end of it all.
“When Jesus had cried out again in a loud voice, He yielded up His spirit. At that moment the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth quaked and the rocks were split.” Matthew 27:50-51 (BSB)
“And the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom.” Mark 15:38 (BSB)
At that moment we entered a new error which was sealed by the unleashing of the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 1:13)(Ephesians 2:18) you are now the Holiest place there is for God to dwell.
As God would have it I received this by email from Ann Voskamp this morning;
In my early attempts at writing, I used exclamation points like condiments, sprinkling them all over the page.
My poor readers! Exhausted by the end of the first paragraph! Whew!
I’ve since learned to dial things down, but I do get excited when I find an exclamation point in the Bible:
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!” (2 Corinthians 5:17)
It’s all I can do not to stand up and shout, “Ta-da!”
Therefore,… 2 Corinthians 5:17
Therefore is a summary word, taking into account all that came before it. This portion of the letter to the church at Corinth is about reconciliation. About being Christ’s ambassadors. About looking at our sisters and brothers of the faith through a new lens.
Therefore says, “Because of all Christ did for us, consider this.”
…if… 2 Corinthians 5:17
If is an open door, revealing endless possibilities and overflowing with hope. Jesus often used this word in His teaching: “if you have faith” and “if you knew the gift of God” and “if you remain in me.”
If makes us stop and ask, Who is this verse meant for? Am I invited?
…anyone… 2 Corinthians 5:17
Ah. Anyone definitely includes you. Whether we’re talking “any man” (ASV) or “any person” (AMPC), the pathway to eternal life is clearly lit, and the Lord Himself beckons us forward.
…is… 2 Corinthians 5:17
I know, I know. “Is, Liz? You’re focusing on the word is?” Absolutely. It’s the pivotal word in this verse. Either a person isor is not a follower of Christ. Though we are always growing in our faith, each of us has a defining moment.
That moment is defined by God, not by us.
When Jesus asked Peter, “Who do you say I am?” and Peter responded, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God,” the Lord didn’t congratulate Peter for being wise or clever. Instead, Jesus told him, “This was not revealed to you by flesh and blood, but by my Father in heaven.” (Matthew 16:17) Peter made his confession of faith by God’s power alone.
I AM declares that I am. Not the other way around.
…in Christ,… 2 Corinthians 5:17
Some translations give the little word in a bit more muscle—“belongs to” (CEV), “united with” (CJB), “joined to” (GNT). The One in whom we live and move and have our being is what matters, which is why the word in cannot stand alone.
When we are in Christ, and He is in us, we are transformed.
…the new creation has come:… 2 Corinthians 5:17
God doesn’t just clean us up, fix us up, straighten us up. He recreates us in the image of His Son. He starts from scratch. He makes us new. In Christ we become “a new being” (GNT), “a new person” (NLT), “a new creature altogether” (AMPC). In Christ we get “a fresh start” (MSG).
What does that look like in real life? There are as many answers as there are people.
For me, a changed life decades ago looked like this:
I stopped drinking alcohol and started going to church.
Through it all God loved me. That was the realization that undid me, in the best sense of the word. It shattered my misconceptions. It trampled my pride.
God didn’t just rock my world. God blew my world apart and then rebuilt it from the ground up.
…The old has gone,… 2 Corinthians 5:17
First, the icky stuff from our old lives must be pried from our stubborn hands and cast aside. Old habits, old ideas, old lies.My inclination is to tuck such things into the deep recesses of a drawer. Just in case I need them later. Just in case I miss them.
God has a better plan. He makes certain those old things have truly “gone away” (CEB) and “the past is forgotten” (CEV). Gone means gone. History. Out of sight, out of mind, out of reach.
Gone means good riddance. Really good.
…the new is here! 2 Corinthians 5:17
See how the zippy exclamation point grabs our attention? The Greek word here is also rendered “behold” (ASV), “see” (NRSV), and my favorite, “Lo!” (WYC). Getting rid of the old would be exciting enough, yet God also brings in the new. A new gift, a new talent, a new calling.
Is it time to put aside something old, beloved?
To let go, to walk away, to start over?
Even now He is bringing new life to your doorstep.
Make Him welcome.
Let Him in.
In you through Christ is the answer. Others, fellow brothers and sisters who are children of the triune God, may help you discover that. But it all starts with Christ and ends with Jesus!!