Dying to self

“I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.

Galatians 2:20

To live you must die. To be born again you must allow your flesh to die.

To be alive in Christ you must be dead to your self.

Byron Frank

Why Suffering?

“More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.”

Romans 5:3-5

Reason and Reality: belief, dogma, truth and your created value

God made us: invented us as a man invents an engine. A car is made to run on petrol, and it would not run properly on anything else. Now God designed the human machine to run on Himself. He Himself is the fuel our spirits were designed to burn, or the food our spirits were designed to feed on. There is no other. That is why it is just no good asking God to make us happy in our own way without bothering about religion (faith). God cannot give us a happiness and peace apart from Himself, because it is not there.”

-C.S Lewis

I often hear the word “dogmatic” being thrown out.

This word is used in a negative sense by people meaning to dominate another person with religious doctrines or belief. People often accuse others of being “dogmatic” when they are simply being upfront and honest.

It’s easy to dismiss someone you disagree with by calling them dogmatic rather than listening to what they are trying to express to you.

We all have free will and can make a choice what to believe.

The Bible is very clear that we can all choose Jesus or reject Him. It is also very clear that our choices have consequences. The principle of “what you sow you reap.” Your current decisions will affect your future reality.

Inaction also has consequences. What we refuse to accept; the truths we reject will alter our future.

Truth is unaffected by your willingness to accept it.

When one speaks it boldly this does not make him dogmatic it makes him honest. Truth is truth!

In this culture of subjective truth how can we say there is black and white truth?

Jesus said “I am the truth”

He came to Earth to make “truth” flesh and blood. Truth was no longer etched in stone but came in the form of a man. Jesus embodied truth in physical form. When Jesus died and was resurrected He gave man the gift of the Holy Spirit so these truths could be carved in our hearts and minds and become part of us.

If there is a “grey” area it is because Jesus is relational.


Truth cannot be watered down or subverted. Jesus never undermines His standard of truth. However Jesus is gracious and patient with us to work out truth in our individual lives through relationship with Him. He is gracious with each man and women to “guide you into all truth” (John 16:13)

There are true forces at work in this world! Forces of light and forces of darkness.

We often choose to forget that there is a spiritual realm. Just because we choose to forget it does not make it any less real.

God made each person unique and special. He created a masterpiece in man.

Think about your ability to love others and receive love. Think about when your heart breaks because of injustice in the world. Those attributes are God-given and part of the divine nature.

When we choose to live as we are created to be then we function how we are designed.

We cannot function as we are designed without being in right relationship with Christ Jesus.

He knows how He made us and how we are to function. When we act and function outside of how we were created we choose dysfunction. When we choose to listen to what others say about us rather than who Jesus says we are, we choose to listen to a foreign voice. A voice that never made us, doesn’t know how we are to function and whose goal is to destroy us.

Satan can not touch God because Christ has already won the victory. So he tries to destroy what God created. He works hard to destroy God’s master piece.

This is how we allow the demonic to get into our lives. Living demonically is simply living, acting and believing something that is outside of our God-given identity. It’s acting outside of our created purpose.

A automobile doesn’t make a very good rolling pin. You could slap some dough outside on the road and drive over it a couple times but those cookies will not taste very good because you are using a car instead of a rolling pin.

The issue is not with the vehicle but with how it is being used. It’s being operated outsides it’s designed function.

It’s the same with us when we operate outside the perimeters of our created purpose.

We can go our own way and listen to the enemy’s voice but in the end we will be a mangled mess just like that dough on the highway. We will be left with a gritty gross taste in our mouths.

Jesus loves you! You are His master piece. He is not against you. He doesn’t want to bring you pain or suffering. Rather He wants to bring you a future and hope (Jeremiah 29:11). He doesn’t want to rain on your parade or suppress you. He is for you and wants what is truly best for your life. You just have to take Him at His word.

Use critical thinking when addressing these truths.

But not the logic of mere man but the logic divinely given by God.

I cannot convince anyone of anything with mere logic but present the truth and trust the Holy Spirit will bring revelation to minds and hearts.

“We are human, but we don’t wage war as humans do. We use God’s mighty weapons, not worldly weapons, to knock down the strongholds of human reasoning and to destroy false arguments. We destroy every proud obstacle that keeps people from knowing God. We capture their rebellious thoughts and teach them to obey Christ. (2 Corinthians 10:3-5)

We can fool ourselves into thinking all kinds of nonsense but the quicker we gather the facts and face the truth the sooner we move on.

Accusing people who have the heart of Christ as being “dogmatic” will not change the truth. It will merely suppress the truth in your own heart and mind.

Truth is truth no matter how much you deny it.

Reject God if you would like but know the full scope of what you are rejecting.

Jesus is Lord and God! He laid down His heavenly rights to humble Himself to live as man. He died a criminals death on the cross to pay the price for all sin. To restore us back to who He created us to be in the beginning. To bring us back to who He designed us to be.

Jesus rose from the dead, beating death! His power releasing us from dead works that keep up in a cycle of slavery and malfunction. His Spirit released to give us the power to be who we were created to be and to walk like He walked!

May the Spirits wind words bring revelation of these truth!

May you make the choice to follow the Way, the Truth, and the Life (John 14:6). The very Word that fashioned, formed and moulded all life into existence: Jesus Christ!

(Read John Chapter 1!)

You are loved and made for a purpose!

Blessings in the mighty name of Jesus!

“How well I have learned that there is no fence to sit on between heaven and hell. There is a deep, wide gulf, a chasm, and in that chasm is no place for any man.”

Johnny Cash

Identity Series

“But now, this is what the Lord says—
    He who created you, Jacob,
    He who formed you, Israel:
“Do not fear, for I have redeemed you;
    I have summoned you by name; you are mine.”

-Isaiah 43:1

He Created You

He Formed You

He Redeemed You

No Fear in Jesus Name

He Has Called You By Name!

These videos are geared towards Jr/Sr. Teens and were originally presented for Strasbourgh Bible Camp’s virtual camp 2020.

Raising The Standard

“But this is not the way of life that Christ has unfolded within you. If you have really experienced the Anointed One, and heard his truth, it will be seen in your life; for we know that the ultimate reality is embodied in Jesus!

And he has taught you to let go of the lifestyle of the ancient man, the old self – life, which was corrupted by sinful and deceitful desires that spring from delusions. Now it’s time to be made new by every revelation that’s been given to you.And to be transformed as you embrace the glorious Christ-within as your new life and live in union with him! For God has re-created you all over again in his perfect righteousness, and you now belong to him in the realm of true holiness.”

Ephesians 4:20-24

Open in New Window

Rest, Work and Being Rooted in Jesus

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.
  For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
– Matthew 11:28-30

 

Play on YouTube

 

The Emergent Conflict

But you, why do you criticize your brother? Or you, why do you look down on your brother? For we will all stand before the tribunal of God.” – Romans 14:4
For the last number of years, a group of conservative Christian  leaders have expressed  distain and animosity towards the emergent church.  I don’t believe this is fair or right. 

First of all, there is no official denomination or even an established faith tradition which is called “emergent”.

We have this word thrown around as some kind of accusation. As if it automatically  means that the church or leader is heretical or attempting to be divisive to the church of Christ.

The closest to a true definition we can have of “emergent” is: ” A church or body of believers which has emerged from a traditional church environment or from a mainline faith tradition which is rethinking and redefining the way to worship, serve and disciple in view of its faith in Christ and based on how it understands scripture.”

Those who then attack this movement as a whole are reacting more as did the Catholic church to Luther or  the Pharisees to Jesus.

 These insults and rebukes appear to be stemming from jealousy and the pride of position rather than from love and compassion for the global church, or for Christ.

This is how it appears to me and I am afraid it may appear this way to many outside the church as well. 

Non-believers  see Christians divided. The result of this  in-fighting is that they are turned away from Christ, because who would want to join a movement where leaders can’t even get along with one another?

We must be careful not to attack a whole movement based on what a few people preach, that we deem heretical.

If a leader is teaching falsely, then address that teaching. Do not attack a whole slew of others and bring division amongst believers.

Case in point: Rob Bell’s recent public statements referring to some New Testament scriptures as a bunch of old letters which we cannot use as the basis for our beliefs.
“I think culture is already there and the church will continue to be even more irrelevant when it quotes letters from 2,000 years ago as their best defense.”1 This is clearly wrong. 

But people were attacking this man from day one when he was very much orthodox and grouping him in with many others who were not.

Did these attacks help anyone?
No.

After years of faithfully and boldly contributing to the body of Christ, Rob has now essentially rejected the Bible.

Why was his ministry attacked in the first place?

He brought forth thought provoking works that urged the church to grow, urged us as individuals to grow in deeper faith in Christ. There was nothing contrary to scripture found in his earlier teachings.  

I think he was rejected because he was different and challenging. People often don’t like to be challenged. People often fight against change, even if it is a positive one.

Christianity is not a boys’ club in which we throw stones at those who may look different or act differently from us. All we are going to do is push people away from Christ. and, to the detriment of the church, we will push away good leaders in the faith.

In the case of Rob Bell,  he has indeed strayed from Biblical truth into the area of heretical ideas. He needs to be confronted and challenged in these areas so he may again become fruitful to the church.

I am not saying we just let anything go. What I am saying is it is not okay to cut off a large group of Bible believing, Spirit filled people in the process.

There are many leaders whom conservative Christianity have embraced that are in fact in need of criticism and challenging. But they are let to run rampant because, “hey, they fit in”.

I would never suggest we attack these mainline faith traditions,
but what is the reason we don’t? 

Why do we attack the emergent church, yet say nothing about the United Church or the Seventh Day Adventists  or even Baptists, Free Methodists or Lutherans who teach things that are a little to the left of orthodox?

Should we not address each  inaccurate and false teaching head on, with the very person who said it instead of inflicting a whole group with our preconceived ideas?

I say let the church emerge to where the Spirit leads. As long as Jesus is at the forefront.

And let us be weary of resembling religious hypocrites instead of little Christ’s. Let love guide our speech and actions instead of jealousy and pride.
Brothers, if someone is caught in any wrongdoing, you who are spiritual should restore such a person with a gentle spirit, watching out for yourselves so you also won’t be tempted. Carry one another’s burdens; in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ. For if anyone considers himself to be something when he is nothing, he deceives himself.  But each person should examine his own work, and then he will have a reason for boasting in himself alone, and not in respect to someone else. For each person will have to carry his own load.”
–  Galatians 6:1 -5

“Do not regard him as an enemy, but warn him as a brother.”- 2  Thessalonians 3:15
1. http://www.charismanews.com/opinion/in-the-line-of-fire/48383-rob-bell-trashes-the-bible-on-oprah

Byron Frank is an author, former radio host and evangelist. 
Contact with general comments and speaking requests at dead2myself@gmail.com