We ended the message with, to say the least, a controversial scripture. Like before I needed more time. Attempting to preach against religious walls that people face we looked at 1 Timothy 4:1-3:
"The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons. 2 Such teachings come through hypocritical liars, whose consciences have been seared as with a hot iron. 3 They forbid people to marry and order them to abstain from certain foods, which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and who know the truth."
For years I had the understanding that this scripture referred to people who would ignore their conscience in order to continue a sinful lifestyle - hence their conscience would become as one seared with a hot iron. While it is true we need to have a good conscience concerning the faith, the scripture isn't teaching what I thought in the past. Its actually saying the direct opposite of what I thought.
The revelation is in the six words in bold from that verse (emphasis mine). Kausteriazo - the greek word used here means having a conscience branded with the marks of sin and to carry about a perpetual consciousness of sin. In other words, the actual meaning of scripture is that if you are perpetually conscious of sins, instead of conscious of what Jesus did with our sins on the cross, you are under a demonic teaching and doctrine.
This is diametrically opposed to what I had always believed. I thought that being a good christian was all about keeping all my sins confessed. To such a degree, that I felt if something traumatic were to ever happen to me bringing sudden death and I hadn't confessed my sins before I expired, I would go straight into hell. This is a big deal!
While I do believe that confessing my sin is a scriptural sound doctrine this verse opens up a whole lot of questions.
Where does the doctrine of "confessing our sins" come from?
1 John 1:9 tells us that if we confess our sins He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins. That is something I have been taught from day one. I still do confess my sin but the way I do it is with a totally different understanding than what I used to.
Taking that verse at face value seems like its saying what it says and has always been taught. The word confess in the greek is the word homologeo - literally meaning to say the same thing as.
To say the same thing as who? We are to say the same thing about our sin that God says about our sin in the Gospel. God says our sin has been judged once and for all on the cross and that Jesus became sin so that we might be made the righteousness of God. (Hebrews 9 & 10, 2 Corinthians 5:21)
If you put the two verses together it becomes clear that God, the Father, doesn't want us walking around worried about, thinking about all our sins.
Think about it: The scripture in Proverbs 23:7 says that "as you think in your heart so are you". In other words, if I only think sins, and my conscious is only filled with my sins or what I may have done in falling short of His glory, then sins is all I will ever produce.
You can't produce or become what you refuse to think. The key is to think what God thinks about you. So how does God think of us? God doesn't think of us still in sin or even struggling with sin. God sees us forgiven and washed by the blood of Jesus. God sees us in robes of righteousness.
So, how do you see you compared to how God sees you?
In Hebrews 10:2
"the worshiper once purged should have had no more consciousness of sins"
We see that through the offering of Jesus on the cross we aren't even to be conscious of sin. If we do then it is like going back to the old testament where their sins had to be forgiven by the work done at the altar each year through the High Priest. Hebrews is telling us we aren't under the old testament priesthood but under the New. The New testament High Priest Name is Jesus! He went into the true holy of holies and cleansed us of our sin with His Own Blood! Wow, shout thank you Jesus!
When you are cleansed with Jesus blood you are really clean!
It's very hard to be conscious of sin and be conscious of Jesus finished work at the same time. It's as if the scripture is telling us to "Pick one"! I choose Jesus!
It is a common belief among believers that it is their duty to do homage to God for the sins they commit. They only walk around with a perpetual consciousness of the sins they have committed never able to move beyond what they've done. This is unnecessary bondage for the believer!
There is the understanding that believers duty is to try and pay God back or do good works to keep God on their good side. Maybe it's not spoken from a loud speaker but its most definitely understood among believers. We're afraid that God will get angry with us and one day decide to visit us with sickness and disease or even wipe us out. This is the mindset that is un-scriptural and plagues the church. For these reasons believers aren't able to reach higher.
Because of this religious teaching Gods children are in bondage today. They seek the approval from the One of Whom they already have it. The reason is because the truth of the Gospel isn't taught.
Instead we, as people, resort to what we know of God from the TV we watch, the news we hear and our own futile human understanding of What and Who He really is.
We are still in need of the Truth of the Gospel teaching today!
Your sins have been forgiven you. Start believing that! Once you do I can promise you the Glory that God promised would envelope you through Jesus will.