Really Long Post – But I Had To

This is the most complete, accurate statement of what I’ve experienced.  It was written in a blog by someone else.  Grace-revelation.com is where you can find more of this.  

 

No Condemnation – The Answer To Mental Health Issues, Stress, Addictions and all of the Related Effects

POSTED BY  ⋅ MARCH 16, 2013 ⋅ 6 COMMENTS

phoca_thumb_l_nature17(3)We are living in a generation where the attack on the mind is at an all-time high and rising.  Mental illness costs the Canadian economy $51 billion a year and the American economy over $300 billion per year (2002). Mental illness is the number one cause of disability in developed countries and accounts for nearly 30 percent of disability claims. Mental health claims (especially depression) have overtaken heart disease as the fastest growing category of disability costs in Canada and the US.  People are more stressed out today than three decades ago, the first historical analysis of stress over time has found.  Researchers from Carnegie Mellon University analyzed data from 1983, 2006 and 2009, and found people’s self-reported stress levels have increased 10-30% in the last three decades. High stress has been linked to a range of health conditions including high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity and diabetes, according to the Mayo Clinic.  And the overall burden of mental illness is more than 1.5 times that of all cancers and seven times that of all infectious diseases, according to a report from the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences (ICES) and Public Heath Ontario. The researchers measured the burden of mental illness the same way as they did other diseases — by looking at how many new cases appear each year, how long the disease lasts, how it affects a person’s life and how often it contributes to an early death. They found mental illness is very widespread and people tend to develop it at a young age and suffer from it for a long time.

The world is looking for answers, but they can’t get rid of it, all they can do is find ways to cope with the stresses in life. But even the coping is not keeping up. The affects of this stress on the mind are widespread, from substance abuse and addictions to all kinds of sins (murder, abuse…) including divorce. The end result is shortened lifespans.  Suicide rates are at an all time high.   The root of all of this is guilt and condemnation and the root of guilt and condemnation is the law (the knowledge of good and evil). When Adam and Eve ate of the tree and disobeyed the Lord they fell from having their identify in the Lord to having self identity in their flesh. Their faith that was always meant to point to the Lord fell to unclean believing that no longer pointed to the Lord. They were now full of disgrace, shame and dishonor.  And God told Adam “Cursed is the ground for your sake; In toil you shall eat of it all the days of your life. 18 Both thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you, And you shall eat the herb of the field. 19 In the sweat of your face you shall eat bread Till you return to the ground, For out of it you were taken; For dust you are, And to dust you shall return.” – Genesis 3:17-19  God was telling Adam that the ground (his heart/conscious mind) would now bring forth thorns and thistles (guilt and condemnation).  By disobeying, Adam and Eve chose self righteousness over His gift of righteousness. And as we saw in the story of Cain and Abel, self righteousness leads to guilt and condemnation and guilt and condemnation leads to more sin.  As God told Cain “And if you do not do well, sin lies at the door. And its desire is for you, but you should rule over it.” – Genesis 4:7.  The next thing Cain did was to kill his brother Abel. The law (knowledge of good and evil) only points to us, it forces us to be self righteous.  The world calls it self esteem or self confidence.  But we know that under this self focus the minute we fail, guilt and condemnation sets in.  And we always fail, in fact we are all born into a fallen (failing) world. We are born into sin and sin brings disgrace, shame and dishonor. It is the guilt and condemnation that is in the world that attacks our hearts/conscious minds. We live in a time where the advancements in technology point us to be more self focused.  We all carry devices in our pockets that are constantly connected to the internet and that we constantly rely on.  All of these devices make us more self focused. Now I’m not against these technological advances, that is not the problem.  These technological advances only accentuate the guilt and condemnation that is the world because of sin and the knowledge of good and evil (the law).  Every circumstance in our lives adds stress because everything points to us. That is why we see this rise in mental health issues (stress, depression, addictions, …).  And the more guilt and condemnation the more sin (abuse, murders, suicide…) reveals itself in our lives.

The only answer to what we all are born into and suffer from is the removal of guilt and condemnation.  In Romans 7:13-25 Paul puts it this way 13 Has then what is good become death to me? Certainly not! But sin, that it might appear sin, was producing death in me through what is good, so that sin through the commandment might become exceedingly sinful. 14 For we know that the law is spiritual, but I am carnal, sold under sin. 15 For what I am doing, I do not understand. For what I will to do, that I do not practice; but what I hate, that I do. 16 If, then, I do what I will not to do, I agree with the law that it is good. 17 But now, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me. 18 For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) nothing good dwells; for to will is present with me, but how to perform what is good I do not find. 19 For the good that I will to do, I do not do; but the evil I will not to do, that I practice. 20 Now if I do what I will not to do, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me.21 I find then a law, that evil is present with me, the one who wills to do good. 22 For I delight in the law of God according to the inward man. 23 But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. 24 O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? 25 I thank God—through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, with the mind I myself serve the law of God, but with the flesh the law of sin.  Here Paul is saying that the problem is not what is good (the law/knowledge of good and evil).  The problem is our flesh that was sold under sin, and nothing good dwells in it.  But the answer is Jesus Christ our Lord!  Paul then continues in Romans 8 by saying There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. 2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death. 3 For what the law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh, God did by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, on account of sin: He condemned sin in the flesh, 4 that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. 5 For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. 6 For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. 7 Because the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be. 8 So then, those who are in the flesh cannot please God.  9 But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His. 10 And if Christ is in you, the body is dead because of sin, but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. 11 But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.

There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.  I love that verse!  Christ fulfilled the righteous requirement of the law, He has removed our guilt and condemnation.  We are no longer under the law but under grace. Before He was crucified “the soldiers twisted a crown of thorns and put it on His head,” – John 19:2.  Thorns represents condemnation, He wore a crown of thorns as the guilt and condemnation that rightfully belonged to us because of sin came on Him.  He was God’s perfect sacrifice and has washed us clean from our sins and removed our guilt and condemnation.  That is why sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under law but under grace. – Romans 6:14 The perfect finished work of Jesus moved us from the covenant of the law to the covenant of grace (God’s unmerited, undeserved, unearned favor).  Christ has freed us from the yoke of slavery, the law. (Galatians 5:1).  We were once slaves of sin, but now are slaves of righteousness (Romans 6).  We cannot escape our right standing with God.  We are the righteousness of God in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:21). Every which way you turn and look at yourself you are covered in His righteousness (represented by gold in the tabernacle) and your foundation is in His redemption (represented by silver in the tabernacle).

It is important for us to understand that guilt and condemnation is not from God! It never has been.  Guilt and condemnation is a result of sin, Adam and Eve ate of the fruit of the knowledge of good and evil.  The world fell into a state of self righteousness, trying to justify their right standing with God by their works but always falling short because of sin in their weak flesh.  Trying to remove the disgrace, shame and dishonor that sin brings and trying to remove their guilt and condemnation that traps them into more sin.  And all the Law did was accentuate this truth, the law given on Mount Sinai (Sinai means thorns) made the knowledge of good and evil that God never wanted for man even greater. Our weak flesh full of sin cannot be obedient. We were lost unable to get back into right standing with God, our fleshly works could never get us back to His righteousness. The law became the strength of sin (1 Corinthians 15:56), the more knowledge of good and evil the more sin. We needed to be saved, to be redeemed.  Thank God for His perfect salvation, His perfect and whole redemption through His Son Jesus Christ.  When Paul pleaded with God to remove his thorn in the flesh God answered him with the following “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” – 2 Corinthians 12:7-10.  God gave us the fullness of His Son, His grace upon grace (John 1:16).  The answer to removing our guilt and condemnation is receiving the fullness of Jesus, His grace upon grace.  It is only under His pure grace that there is now no condemnation. 

For far too long the enemy has deceived the church, neutralizing the finished work of Jesus by mixing in the law into His covenant of grace. But thank God that we are the generation that receives the fullness of Jesus, the 5 talent generation, the Benjamin generation of His pure grace.  Grace always points to Jesus and His finished work.  If what is being taught points to you and your habits (fleshly works) then it is not grace.  The enemy has deceived the church and brought in the law in disguise. Teachings like ‘Change your habits, change your life’, ’10 commandments to purity in your marriage’, ‘sowing and reaping your works and money’. These all point to you and self righteousness.  The church has mixed covenants (saved by grace, living by the law) not knowing that the strength of sin is the law.  Even one ounce of law (leaven) corrupts the whole Gospel of Grace. The church has taught the law in habit modification as though Jesus Christ came to empower our flesh. But He came that with Him we would be crucified in the flesh. Galatians 2:20 20 I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me. 21 I do not set aside the grace of God; for if righteousness comes through the law, then Christ died in vain.”

The minute you accept Jesus Christ into your life you die with Him on the cross and are risen with Him (Colossians 2:12).  2 Corinthians 5:17 17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. We are called to live in the newness of spirit and not the old corrupt flesh.  But if you mix covenants and allow any law into your life you are living in the flesh, trying to be self righteous. Christ becomes of no effect to you who try to be justified by the law (Galatians 5:4).  You end up living a life of guilt and condemnation that points to you and your weak flesh, to your disgrace and shame. Not knowing that in Christ there is no more condemnation, He has removed the thorns.

We have misrepresented Jesus to the world.  The church has tried to justify themselves by the law, living in self righteousness by mixing covenants. Now, the knowledge of good and evil is in every human being 14 for when Gentiles, who do not have the law, by nature do the things in the law, these, although not having the law, are a law to themselves, 15 who show the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and between themselves their thoughts accusing or else excusing them) – Romans 2:14-15 When the world looks at Christians they see boasters in the law, people who say that now that they have Jesus they are more obedient, that they are better people pointing to themselves and their self righteousness.  The world rejects God and His Son because of this.  23 You who make your boast in the law, do you dishonor God through breaking the law? 24 For “the name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you,”as it is written. – Romans 2:23-24 As we mix covenants and point to our flesh boasting as though we are able to keep the law we point people away from Jesus.  The world is in chaos living a life of guilt and condemnation.  Yet when they see mixed covenant Christianity they don’t see an answer, they see more guilt and condemnation as the covenant of the law is the ministry of condemnation.  But that is a lie, deception from the enemy.  Christianity is the Gospel of His pure grace (unmerited, undeserved, unearned favor), His grace is the only answer to removing the guilt and condemnation.  But it is only the true Christianity, the fullness of Jesus and His grace upon grace.  All of the ways of the Lord are grace and truth (Psalm 25:10).  We must live a life of resting in His finished work and constantly receiving His abundance of grace and gift of righteousness.  This is the only way to reign in life through Jesus Christ – Romans 5:17 The church needs the truth and most importantly the world needs the truth. The answer is His grace, everything must be covered in His grace.  We must grow in His grace and the knowledge of Jesus Christ. – 2 Peter 3:18

As I look at my life I can’t help but thank the Lord for His grace.  I am evidence of His grace removing my guilt and condemnation.  On one of my business trips back in 2010 I sat beside a woman on my way back from Chicago.  We started up a conversation and she ended up being a psychologist.  She mentioned “there is something different about you”.  I would say she was well qualified to make this type of statement after studying people and the mind all of her life.  So I took this opportunity to share my life with her. I told her how at 19 years old my girlfriend of 2 months became pregnant.  How we got married after only dating for 8 months and she was 6 months pregnant. How we both put aside what we thought were our careers to start a family.  How 3 weeks before my daughters 2nd birthday she died in a tragic accident at home.  Both my wife and I were 21 years old at the time. I asked her, based on her studies what she would say about this person.  What state of mind would they be in, what would their marriage be like.  She said that every event that I mentioned would be considered a tragic event, of high stress and trauma to the mind. That the compounding evidence would say that the chances of divorce would be very high if not guaranteed based on the amount of guilt and stress that would have built up.  That there is no way to get rid of the guilt and stress that would be in both of these people, only ways to cope with it. I found the following on the internet: “Experts say that parents typically never “get over” the loss of a child, but rather learn to adjust and to integrate the loss into their lives. Still, the death of a child remains one of the most stressful life events imaginable. One-fourth to one-third of parents who lose a child report that their marriage suffers strains that sometimes prove irreparable.”  Then I mentioned that both my wife and I never had any counselling, no therapy, no medication to cope.  She said that the chances of these individuals to suffer from some kind of addiction are very high.  I then told her how none of the effects of this guilt and stress were in our lives.  How we had been married for 12 years (15 years this coming June) and there was nothing but happiness in our lives. So she asked me, “why are you like this”.  I told her “because of Jesus Christ”.  She responded “I can see that, there is no other way”.  She was not a believer but she was able to acknowledge the truth.

It’s been three years since that conversation and 2010 was the year that the fullness of Jesus, His grace upon grace came into our lives.  Today I would say that our lives are immeasurably better then when I had that conversation. His grace and truth have transformed our lives to a life of completeness in Christ.  Our marriage is incomparable, there is complete removal of all of our guilt and condemnation.  We have moved away from self righteousness and we are the righteousness of God in Christ. As a man I am able to speak with my wife, something that I always had trouble with and I know most men do.  We can sit around and talk about all things including Jesus and His word.  Before His grace in my life I could never speak to my wife about the word thinking I knew more than she did and she wouldn’t understand.  Under this mixed covenants I lived boasting in the law.  But under grace, we are both led by the Spirit (Galatians 5:18) and His truth is alive in both of us.

Our lives are evidence that the answer for this world is no condemnation that only comes through receiving the fullness of Jesus Christ, His grace upon grace. It is not only the removal of our guilt and condemnation but His grace also gives us success in our marriage. There is no other answer.  Let’s only preach His grace upon grace, do not let any law into your churches and into your lives. Move away from mixed covenants and into a life of His pure grace. I see the world lining up to receive the Truth, there is no need to sell Jesus to the world with presentation and theatrics.  Only give them His grace that is the answer to all of their problems, that releases them from their prison of sin and places them in the prison of righteousness.

2 thoughts on “Really Long Post – But I Had To

  1. Hi Rick, thanks for posting this on your site. Just wanted to send you a quick note to let you know that I just replied to your last question. Take care.

  2. That was great! I like how you put it, that we act like Christ tried to empower our flesh. This is the most common error I run into and the trap I fall into myself. It leads to depression. Living under grace, however, leads to joy and peace and good deeds dome out of love. Thanks for this post!

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