"Invading Through Reigning" - 9th March 2008.
"Romans chapter 5. One of the things I was having to talk a lot about down in Australia is that it is not just a matter of someone laying hands on you and praying a little prayer and all your problems go away. Because even if they did, it wouldn't help you much because they would soon come back. The real victory in life is that you get equipped and trained on how to live personally in freedom in Christ Jesus. That takes (I am sorry to say) a little bit more time to sit down and give yourself throughily to the teaching of the Word of God. Jesus said in John 8; "If you continue in My Word, you shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free". There are millions of Christians today that are not free in any way whatsoever and there are others that are primarily free but live with dysfunction, with guilt, with inferiority complexes, and with very low self esteem. That is simply because they have not given themselves to the time to listen to the clear teaching of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the freedom we have in Christ Jesus.
There is nothing you can do to help them. They will come and ask you to pray for them and you say; "Just come to church regularly and get trained in freedom" - they don't have time for that. They are too busy. They have got time to go to a doctor's when their health breaks down, they have got time to go to a psychiatrist when their mental health breaks down but they haven't got time to come to God and sit under the teaching of His Word. The medicine cabinet at home looks like a pharmacy because the first person they go to when they are in trouble is not Jesus or the Word of God. You hear Christians say "I am so sick now - I really need prayer" and other Christians say; "Oh has it come to that?! Has it got so bad that you have tried every alternative to Jesus - every medical practice, every medicine, every psychiatrist, everything and all of those options have run out. Now what a terrible state you are in! You actually are forced to go the Great Physician - the Healer of your soul, your body, your mind and your emotions". Folks, that is what the Bible calls "foolishness".
That Jesus is the last resort or help. And when Jesus is the last resort, they have had 20 years of making wrong decisions and unwise decisions and they are now in a position of 20 years having made wrong decisions and they now want the preacher or the Christian to lay hands on them and 20 years of bad decisions will go away just like that and then they can go on avoiding church and the Word of God and Jesus and life will be great. I wish it worked like that! But actually God has set it up so it doesn't work like that and He wants us to walk with Him and know Him and to know His Word and "you shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free". So you are sitting under something that is not upto me - I am preaching stuff that does work. I want to get into this deeper in my life. I am a student and I am learning. There are levels of freedom that are available and I want to get in deeper but this stuff works in Glenda and my life! We have been married 20 years and we are still in love, we are not cynical or skeptical.
We get flu now and again but that is because we do stupid things like go for a run when I am feeling that my body is struggling! If I was wise and didn't go for a run then my body wouldn't have got the flu! I go for a run and so that is my fault that I have the flu - but we don't have chronic patterns of poverty, sickness and depression and defeat in our lives. Not because we are strong people - we are actually weak people - but because this Gospel and the truth that you know sets you free. The truth that you don't know cannot set you free! If you don't know truth then you are subject to lies and deception and bondage and then the devil says;
"Yes you must suffer in this life and you are meant to go through life sick with disease, with poverty and not paying your bills on time. Because you see when you get to heaven it will all be worth it". That is a lie! Jesus said; "Father let Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven!". You don't have to wait to go to heaven - Heaven can't wait to come to you while you are on earth and you go to heaven in a bubble of heaven from earth!
Many Christians live like they are in hell - but it is not the will of God! That is the will of the devil! The will of God is that you live in joy and peace and victory in positive hope, expectation and you believe in influence, power and faith and favour! I am coming to a place where I am just going to preach the Word and if people cannot accept it then so be it! Those that want to receive it - let them receive it but I am not bailing them out! If they reject the Word of God and want me to pray an abracadabra prayer - I am not a magician and I am not going to pull a rabbit out of a hat! "Abracadabra" is magician demonic language by the way. There are no "abracadabra" prayers in the Kingdom. There is only, I just continue in the Word of truth and the truth will set me free! Let me read you a few testimonies from people who have been getting set free from our website here;
This is Roy - he says; "Dear Rob and Glenda - where do I start?! Listening to your series 'Invading the Impossible" and what can I say?! Also have gone right back to 2004 and am growing in my understanding of this wonderful faith that only Jesus could have authored and only He can perfect". Now I got his permission to read this because I emailed him (well I didn't - Glenda did because I can't email). Yet. I mailed you last year and mentioned that I had got plucked out of a life of homosexuality and drugs plus every other confused hedonistic mindset you can imagine - don't try. "Your teaching on grace has set me free from crippling condemnation - I am again in secure in the extravagant love of my heavenly Father. When I first got saved I experienced the grace and anointing of God in powerful ways but unfortunately Church got a hold of them and put the law on them. After a period of time through the counsel of misguided but well-meaning people I fell radically from grace to the point of wanting to commit suicide. Feeling that I would never ever make it either here or in heaven. I had lost all hope - prayed like a victim and even lost the ability to pray in the Spirit. A friend mailed me a link to your website and the rest is history. The lights are on and I am at home!". Delivered from drugs, from a lifestyle of homosexuality (doesn't practice it anymore) and all the other stuff.
I want to say to all those people from around the world that believe this message of grace gives people a license to become more sinful. No it doesn't! It delivers people from sinful patterns because condemnation is what cripples people and brings them into the power of sin but grace liberates people to have victory over sin!
This same Roy says; "This grace message is spreading like wildfire here with astounding effect. Church leaders are asking for MP3 downloads". Then he says; "Please keep Port Alfred in prayer - revival is NOW! We are hosting a conference here on the 7-11th April - Wayne Duncan is the main speaker! We trust God for phenomenal things". Now Wayne Duncan is the main speaker was a pastor who led a very legalistic church. Well not very legalistic - but it was legalistic with very little light. He came to the "Glory and Grace Conference" and got totally turned around and went back to his church, the fire of God fell, gold dust broke out, oil started flowing - they saw healing miracles and people just packing into the church! So we are having a multiple effect in different parts of the world through the preaching of grace.
Here's Roy again - he couldn't stop! He sent us 3 emails in 2 days. "You will be interested to know that I joined a church law-based, blessings and curses, exhaustive intercession, shouting - you get the picture 3 months ago. They are now perfectly positioned for a transition into pure grace. All in leadership are listening to your stuff - I am also feeding them a balanced diet of Terry Virgo, Bill Johnson and Patricia King and Joshua Mills!". That's not balanced! We're all preaching the same thing! "My CD burner has been working overtime. Last week the guy who planted the church 19 years ago led us in communion saying; 'We cannot continue preaching a mixture of law and grace - it is an offence to the cross'. Man I nearly exploded! This is one of many testimonies as to how you are preaching to people here. Rob thanks so much for not backing down and inspiring and encouraging so many. Together we are headed for glory. Much love Roy Smith".
Just one or two more - I have got heaps here. This is a guy and his name is Frank. He is living in the UK and understands this thing. Now Frank understands that if you know the truth - the truth will set you free. If you lay hands on the sick and the sick don't know the truth, they will get sick again.
Truth takes hours listening to it and studying it and being under the influence of it. F W Bosworth says; "Most Christians are so weak because they eat 3 physical meals a day but they take one cold spiritual snack a weak. If you fed your body only one small snack a week - just think how weak your body would be. No wonder your spirit is so weak because you are not listening to tapes, videos and DVDs on a daily basis - feeding your spirit the Word of God so you can handle these things".
I was sleeping on average 1-2 hours this week in Australia because we were up all hours of the night but when I came home I slept 10 hours last night. This is what Frank says;
"Hi Rob, words cannot begin to explain how freeing it is to listen to your messages every day. I spend on average some days up to 4 hours listening to your teaching and taking notes. I feel like the chains have come off and I am flying in God's grace. Your teachings (which are really not mine - they are Jesus' teaching) have helped me break new territory and I am now invading the impossible. I am ready now not just to evangelise but to humbly pray for the sick and trust that Jesus will bring a revival to the people of the United Kingdom and into Europe".
Glenda and I are going to go and preach to 1, 000 leaders in Europe in May this year. So let me read you one more here;
"Dear Rob, Glenda and City Church International" - So this is written to you guys - "God bless you in the work you are busy with which I heard properly after many years as a Christian at the end of last year. I am indebted to you and committed to spreading the message. The world is listening, the message is spreading and lives are being changed. Much love Stef from New Generation Church International, Somerset West, Western Cape, South Africa".
One more from a guy who's a dear brother because he says thank you to you. His name is Dan. He's got a blog - a website - up in the UK for me! He just transcribes everything I preach on a Sunday into written form and puts it up on the website so people can download who haven't got time to listen to the tape or the CD - they can download it and read it for free. He does that for me! Just a very, very dear brother - he came to "Glory and Grace" and his life was turned around. And he says this;
"So I send all these attachments with my deepest love and respect for you all and City Church International. When I walked through the fire tunnel at the Grace and Glory Conference, what I couldn't get over was the utter non-judgemental, unjudgemental love that came from the City Church members. That they didn't know me but were praying for me and prophesying words over me that hit me like an Exocet missile. Again and again! The fire tunnel was the first time in my 20 years as a Christian that I have really, really felt the Father's love for me. Thanks so much. Much love in our awesome God, Dan".
We are in what you might call a "Grace Revolution" and the controlling governments of religion are coming down. Let's get into this truth - "Invading the Impossible". Today is called; "Invading by Reigning". Reigning refers to royalty. Kings and queens reign as royal kings and queens.
You are looking at his Royal Highness Rob Rufus this morning!
I am looking at his Royal Highness Johnny and his Royal Highness Sam and her Royal Highness Tessa and Glenda. I am looking at a whole line of royalty this morning because royalty reigns. Invading through reigning! How do you enter into royalty to reign? I am not talking about the British Queen or King because they are just constituational monarchs. They don't have authority! We don't know what reigning is unless we know the Bible and history and what kings and queens of old what they did. They had absolute reigning authority and they were not subject to anything. They were sovereign! They lifted their scepter and that was it. Under the Old Covenant if you went into the presence of a king with an unhappy face you would be put to death. They wouldn't have unhappy people in their presence! If you came into the king's presence you came in humility and got the scepter pointed at you, you would be okay. But if you didn't get the scepter pointed at you then you were taken out and executed.
Now we don't do that to people these days but we reign in life over principalities and powers and demons and issues because we are reigning. Through reigning we are invading the impossible!
How do you enter into reigning to invade the impossible? By resting in the gift of God's righteousness. How do you rest in the gift? By developing your faith more and more and more in the fact that you are currently, right now, irreversibly, perfectly the righteousness of God!
Today the Holy Spirit is going to show you how to develop your faith in the fact that you are righteous.
The more your faith in this righteousness grows, the more you rest and the more you enter into rest, the more and more you enter into reigning. And the more you reign, the more you invade the impossible and the more you invade the impossible, the more the Lord is glorified and the more exciting and fulfilling your life becomes.
The more your faith grows that you are righteous, the more you enter into rest. No longer striving, but rest! The more you enter into rest, the more you enter into reigning and ruling and into governing peace. The more you enter into governing peace and rest, the more you invade the impossible and the more you invade the impossible the more joyful and happy and the more God is glorified and you are blessed.
But you see faith has to grow and how does faith grow? Does faith grow by someone laying their hands on you? Not at all. I wish it did. I would ask the greatest men and women of faith to put their hands on my head and then I could walk in faith. No faith is not given that way. Romans 10:17 says; "Now faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God". So there is something you can do about little faith. You can hear and hear about the gift of righteousness and the more you hear the gift of righteousness, the more your faith increases! When faith in righteousness increases, the more peace and rest increases and the more they increase, the more reigning and ruling increases and invading the impossible increases!
So faith comes by hearing the Word of God - but faith goes by hearing the word of law, rules and religion. Faith goes by just watching TV or hearing bad news. Faith goes by listening to backslidden Christians who are bitter and twisted and cynical and unimpressed and oppressed.
I like listening to people who are impressed with the Gospel and righteousness and listening to Jesus!
Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God. Any person on the planet who is walking with faith - you know they are listening to CD's, that someone is listening to tapes and DVD's on a regular basis - because faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God. Faith goes by not hearing and hearing the wrong things. Faith is like Vitamin C - you cannot store it for long. You take it today and you are going to need to take it tomorrow because you don't store it for long. Faith can be used today but it will need to be replenished by hearing and the hearing of the word of righteousness.
Because when you use your faith to see a miracle happen, you use your faith for a marriage problem or for a demand or a challenge, then that faith is depleted. And you know that if you keep drawing out of your bank account without putting back in then the day will come when they will say if you keep drawing out of your bank account then you will go to jail. Do you know what a nervous breakdown is? A nervous breakdown is a sign that you are in a faith overdraft and there is nothing left in their account because they have not put faith back in. Faith comes by daily hearing the Word of God.
There are days that I can take time to listen to the Word of God and listen and listen and I come out of that time ready to face anything. But I know when I am praying for people and ministering week after week in these conferences when we travel - man at the end of that time I am a pushover to the devil. That is the time I am most subject to sickness, depression, discouragement, to lies and deception. But when faith increases and rises then you come out ruling and reigning in life! It is all about how faith comes! Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God. Write it down! Romans 10:17. That is how faith comes. When faith goes from ministry, you need to replenish that faith.
If your outflow of faith exceeds your income of faith - then your upkeep is going to be your downfall.
You will hear about righteousness for some time now! Don't be discouraged by that - be encouraged because you will hear so much about faith and righteousness that your faith is going to grow this morning. But you know we are going to need to hear more on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. We have got people downloading all around the world on our website and getting stronger and stronger. Let's be the strongest in faith because we are right here at the source - this is the fountain of City Church International! I am so grateful for the miracles happening out there through our website - but folks, something is wrong if they are getting further down the road than we are in here. They are not - and I am carnal and competitive enough to say; "No way - I would not rather be anywhere in the world than City Church International!".
How do you reign in life? Through having faith in the gift of righteousness. Romans 5:17 - "For if by the tresspass of the one man Adam, death reigned through the one man how much more will those who receive God's abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man Jesus Christ". So here is the biggest contradiction to the brainwashing of the religious community in the world. The religious world says if you want to reign and rule in life and have success in life then you have got to do a whole lot of things, perform, keep laws and rules and regulations - you have got to live holy and act righteous all the time. The Bible contradicts that in the New Testament. It says if you want to reign in life, it is not through what you do but through what you receive. You receive the abundant provision of grace as a gift of righteousness. A gift is something you don't pay for.
Now if someone gives you a gift and tells you it is free but a week later they invite you to do something with them and you say no I haven't got time and they say; "Yes but I was generous to you last week" - then it was not a gift - it was a setup! It was a demonic ambush to manipulate you with guilt to do something for them. Now that is why when we hear that God gives righteousness as a gift, we struggle to believe that because we think He is like a human being giving you something that is not really free but is obligating you to do something for Him. But this is a gift from a God who is absolutely pure, holy and righteous and would never manipulate you. He means it is a GIFT and when you get this GIFT you are not obligated to do ANYTHING for God! It is a gift of righteousness and righteousness means "right standing with God!".
It means that God looks at you in exactly the same way as He looks at Jesus! All the time - every second of every moment of all day! It is a gift and you reign in life through receiving this gift and raising your faith by the hearing about this gift to higher levels!
You see Jesus Christ's perfect faith before the Father is what causes you to stand in righteousness before the Father. So you don't even need perfect faith! Your imperfect faith is represented by Jesus's perfect faith before the Father so that all the time you are righteous even when your faith is very weak. But here's the deal. The benefits here on the earth go up as your faith increases. In other words in heaven, you are righteous all the time but if your faith in His gift of righteousness is at a very low level and you walk around going; "Oh I am so unworthy, I am so guilty, I am so condemned" but in heaven, all heaven is saying; "No you are not! You are worthy! You are the righteousness of God - perfect faith in heaven!".
But you see if your faith is low then you don't walk in the reality and experience of the fact. We are positioned in Christ Jesus in heaven in righteousness but how we live it out in experience and enjoy the benefits of that is according to the level of faith that we are the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus.
So the reason why some people struggle to that we are the righteousness of God is simply because their faith in that gift is low. But the more your faith grows that you are righteous, the more authority in your life, the more victory over sin, the more joy and the more blessings - which we are going to see in a moment. But let's say God we need a fool-proof righteousness because we act like a fool sometimes. We need a devil-proof righteousness because we hear about this and then the devil comes along and says; "Yes but you have sinned so you are not righteousness anymore". We need a failure-proof righteousness because none of us are walking perfectly in this life ... yet.
What is the foundation for that? The basis of our righteousness has to be taken away from our performance and put on the performance of Someone who is always perfect. So here is the basis of a fool-proof, devil-proof, failure-proof righteousness that we have as a gift because it is not based on your obedience, but the obedience of the one Man Jesus Christ. For all human beings death reigned through Adam's disobedience now in Christ we all reign in life through one Man Jesus Christ and His obedience.
Let's look at verses 18 and 19; "Consequently just as a result of one trespass" (that was first Adam) was condemnation for all men, so also was also the result of one act of righteousness was justification that brings life for all men". This is available for ALL men! (v19); "For just as through the disobedience of the one man (not your disobedience but Adam's disobedience) the many were made sinners so also through the obedience of the one Man, the many (the Greek there is the many will be imputed with or given) the gift of righteousness".
Now I want you to turn back to Romans 1 - something very powerful and interesting here. Here is the great apostle in v16 and he says; "I am not ashamed of the gospel for it is the power of God unto salvation for everyone who believes first for the Jew and then for the Gentile". Now look up at me for a moment. Paul says "I am not ashamed of the gospel for it is the power". That is a wonderful word; "Power". There is a power of God for salvation for all who believe. That word "salvation" is the word "soterio" and the short version is "sozo". It means "wholeness, health and blessing and provision and protection". Some people think that salvation means only going to heaven. But folks, it doesn't speak about "heaven" here. This word is a reference to temporal or earthly wholeness, wellness, blessing, strength, victory and provision! So Paul says I am not ashamed of the Gospel for it is the power of God unto wholeness, protection, preservation, cleansing, power for provision for health, for wholeness for all who believe! How do you come to believe? Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God.
But he says I am not ashamed of this gospel! Why would he say I am not ashamed? Today when you hear people say; "I am not ashamed of this gospel" - they do not mean the same thing that Paul means. What they mean is that I am not ashamed to preach this gospel. That's not what Paul was saying. They will say I am not ashamed to stand at the traffic lights and and there's a lady with a baby and the veins in my neck will say you are going to hell and Jesus Christ died for you and I am not ashamed! You may not ashamed but your relatives are very ashamed of you! You have missed the whole point of what Paul is saying. Paul lived in a time that was dominated by Jewish legalistic thinking, the Old Covenant way of thinking - the law of Moses. The very idea that someone could be righteous apart from their work, performance or obedience was a shameful thing. They would kill you and stone you if you said you were the righteousness of God apart from your law, works or performance. They would have said you were crazy and would stone you.
Paul gets up and says I am not ashamed to say that the power that operates in you for wholeness, health, wellbeing, preservation and protection doesn't come from my works but it comes from a gift of righteousness that is God's gift to me. That is how I reign in life! Not through my works, not through how well I do, my obedience or my holiness - it comes from a gift of rightousness.
Many Christians and preachers are ashamed of this Gospel! They will not preach it fully - they will say, yes you are righteous through this gift but you have got to do a whole lot of things after you are saved to earn the blessing. Why are they ashamed? Because they think if they do not preach at least a bit of the law then people will go out and do a whole lot of sinning. So they put a whole lot of law in to try and curtail and cajole people not to sin and actually the more they preach a FALSE gospel, the more sin breaks out in the church and the more defeat and the more sickness and the more disease.
Every time you hear this message of grace and righteousness being preached in the earth, the red flags come up in the church world. This message that is bringing liberty and freedom and deliverance to homosexuals and drug addicts and alcoholics - this message of grace - red flags are coming up where-ever it is preached! Why? I would like to ask one question - why don't the red flags come up when people preach a mixture of law and grace? Why don't the red flags come up when people preach the law? The reason red flags come up is that people instinctively know that if I preach this great gospel without any shame then I lose control in my church over the people. If I can keep them under some guilt and control them then I have still got control. But if I set them free in the gospel then they may not listen to me and may not follow me. That's what it's all about friends - it is not about law and grace! It's about who's got control! The Church world has had control over people's lives for so long so this is a revolution that GOD is initiating not us! God is! To free the masses of God's people into liberty!
How does this great power flow? For centuries the Church has been preaching law and grace mixed together and you have got churches full of sickness and defeated people and passive people that lack PASSION! Here God shows us the way that salvation operates for "sozo" - for health, for healing, for wholeness, for preservation, for protection. The way it works - what is the cause of this power? What releases this power? A revelation that a righteousness from God has been given to you as a free gift. No obligation! Just believe it and you will see the outworking of it!
You should have seen the hope coming into people's eyes when I preached this Gospel in Australia! Every day witnessing to unsaved people! They said; "Rob I didn't know it was so good!". I believe that if most Australians heard the Gospel for the first time then most Australians would get saved on the spot! I believe that! They just haven't heard the Gospel once - they have only heard religion preached for centuries. Let's look at (v16) again and when we get to (v17) you will see where the power for salvation comes.
"for in the gospel a righteousness from God is revealed - a righteousness that is by faith from first to last. Just as it is written the righteous will live by faith".
What is the faith the righteous will live in? The faith that I AM the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus. This context that Paul is speaking about is in the context of the gospel, the power of salvation and that a righteousness from God is revealed. That is by faith from first to last and ever lasting. That is what your faith is. What is your faith as a Christian? You don't need faith for healing, blessing and prosperity, wholeness - what you need to develop your faith to higher and higher levels is that you have a gift of righteousness and you are the righteousness of God. THAT releases the power of "soza" - health, healing, protection. The Church is teaching people to have faith for healing, faith for blessing, for prosperity. You hear about "Five Steps for Faith for Healing", "Five Steps for Prosperity", "Five Steps for Protection". I am running out of steps - I can't remember what the first and second step was! That is exhausting and it doesn't even work!
The righteous - those who have a gift of righteousness - they live by faith! Faith in what? Faith that they are the righteousness of God from first to last! Now all over the world people are getting this message and lives are being changed as we read only a few of the reports back. Also around the world you have got people reacting to this message. That is encouraging because if no one is reacting then we are not preaching the Gospel that Paul preached! This Gospel Paul preached, people hated it and beat him and put him in prison! Today they just write negative emails about me! I will take that far more than what Paul got!
You get people say things to try and say something that I am not saying. This is what I heard this week in Australia; "Ah Rob is preaching a righteousness that gives you a right to go to heaven but he is not preaching the righteousness required for daily Christian living". That sounds holy. That's impressive.
Folks there is NO distinction between the righteousness to get you to heaven and the righteousness to get heaven to you.
There is not one distinct righteousness for salvation and another practical righteousness for Christian living. They don't exist! There is only one kind of righteousness! There is ONLY imputed righteousness! There is not imparted righteousness and impacting righteousness - there is only imputed righteousness! That is the only thing the Bible talks about! I want that point to settle in here. You see they patronise Rob and say; "Of course he is emphasising the gift of righteousness for salvation". I say; "Explain salvation to me - health, healing, wholeness, preservation, protection". "He is emphasising righteousness for salvation". Oh yes I am! Guilty as charged! "But you see of course, he is not emphasising the righteousness for daily Christian living. So you see listen to that if you want but you will only be hearing a righteousness for salvation and not a righteousness for daily Christian living".
Well friends there is no distinction between a righteousness for salvation and a righteousness to go to heaven and a righteousness for daily Christian living - because there is only ONE kind of righteousness and it is the gift of righteousness that you receive. There is no gift of righteousness and then a practical righteousness.
The gift of righteousness will eventually lead to practical outworking and living but they are not two distincts.
There is acceptance grace and empowering grace and I have always taught that they are the same thing but for clarity we seperate them only for clarity's sake. If people teach two kinds of righteousness - the gift of righteousness and for daily living and some kind of other righteousness who God alone knows what it is - some kind of other righteousness for daily living then;
They are NOT preaching the Gospel and that is why they are not seeing the power of transformation in people's lives. What they are preaching is self-righteousness.
If you do not preach the gift of righteousness as the only righteousness the Christian has - then you are preaching self-righteousness mixed up with the gift of righteousness and that is very, very dangerous. I want you to go to Romans 9. Yes they are saying there is another kind of righteousness for sanctification and Paul the apostle is saying they are wrong. Paul says there is only one kind of righteousness - the righteousness that saves you and salvation is preservation, wholeness, protection for time and eternity. If you add any kind of righteousness that is seperate to that - one that is for your sanctification then you are not preaching the righteousness of God, you are preaching self-righteousness. People say; "Yes you are saved by righteousness as a gift but then you have got to DO things in practical righteousness".
No if you do things in practical righteousness to earn the blessing of God then you have stepped into the danger zone of self-righteousness.
The Church world is pursuing self-righteousness! They are being taught that you have got to DO things to get the blessing. You have got to do things to get salvation - you have got to do things to get healing, provision, protection. I could take hours hear to teach the things they teach and I could teach the things they teach well because 10 years ago I was teaching them!
ALL YOU HAVE GOT TO DO IS BELIEVE!
Let me say again - this is the righteousness that is from "first to last". There is no other righteousness in between. This is the righteousness from God in the Gospel. There is not a righteousness from man - from the Law. "I am not ashamed of the Gospel for it is the power of God unto soterio for all who believe, first the Jews then the Gentiles for in the gospel a righteousness from God is revealed that is by faith from first to last and the righteous will live by faith". Faith in what?
Faith in this righteousness and the more your faith in this righteousness increases, the more the power of soterio operates in your life. The more faith in this righteousness decreases, less power of soterio in your life.
Let's just see what religion does - Romans 9 - and it is sad, it is really so sad. Romans 9:30-33;
"What shall we say then? That the Gentiles, which followed not after righteousness, have attained to righteousness, even the righteousness which is of faith. But Israel, which followed after the law of righteousness, hath not attained to the law of righteousness. Wherefore? Because [they sought it] not by faith, but as it were by the works of the law. For they stumbled at that stumblingstone; As it is written, Behold, I lay in Sion a stumblingstone and rock of offence: and whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed".
Now why do people stumble over this gift of righteousness rather than developing faith in God's righteousness? Because there is something arrogant in man that wants to establish their own righteousness. Look at chapter 10:2; "For I can testify about them that they are zealous for God". Folks, zeal for God is not enough. "But their zeal is not based on knowledge since they did not know the righteousness that comes from God and sought to establish their own, they did not submit to God's righteousness and God's gift of righteousness".
"Christ is the end of the Law".
I wish people would stop saying; "Yes but we are under the law". "Christ is the end of the law so that there may be righteousness for everyone who believes". Go to Matthew chapter 5.
This righteousness is very practical in it's outworking to be sure but it is not because you DO right - it is because you ARE right.
The Gospel is preached as right living. The Gospel is NOT right living - the Gospel is right BELIEVING.
If you believe right then right living will be a result but every time you see righteousness in the New Testament it is never right doing - it is right being. It is right standing with God. It is a gift of right standing. Any time in the New Testament you see righteousness, never think of it through an Old Testament lense! It is not righteousness through your doing of the law, it is righteousness as a gift from God by which you reign in life.
It is right BEING - not right DOING - but right BEING eventually ends up in right doing! But it is not your doing that earns the blessing of soterio - it is the righteousness of God revealed in the Gospel that releases the power of soterio in your life.
This righteousness will break the power of worry! We worry about children, this and that and when you stop worrying, you worry that you are not worrying. You feel somehow it is irresponsible and you have control freaks that let you know that you should not be so care-free from worry because there is a lot of reasons to be free from worry right now and they act like you are irresponsible. There was a symposium in the city of Liverpool where a professor wanted to establish the fact that people who had a lot of happiness had a disease. He said excessively happy people are not aware that they are being criticised and so they don't worry about people criticising them because they are excessively happy and it should be registered as a disease. But he said the problem with that they don't think they will have anyone coming forward to register their disease because they are so happy - they don't know they have got a disease!
Heathens and pagans are simply people that do not have a covenant of righteousness with God and all they have to do is step into the gift of righteousness with God and they are righteous in God's eyes.
But while you are outside this covenant, you are not believing in this covenant or if you are in this covenant but your faith is so low in the righteousness of God then worry will be the sign or the symptom that your faith in this righteousness is very low. Anxious about your future, your children, your retirement and having enough money when you die. That is for the pagans to worry about because they don't have the power of soterio to bring provision and protection! This sounds so irresponsible especially to Hong Kong people where everything is about your future and retiring and your children and in the Western world it is probably worse! We live all of our lives so that we can live 5 years in retirement!
And if you are in the covenant and your faith is so low in the righteousness of God then worry will be the sign or the symptom that your faith in this righteousness is very low.
We devote all of our savings and investments so that in our retirement we can live old and decrepid but at least we can live and have got money to pay for the hospital bills. I promise you that is worry and anxiety - all symptoms people who don't understand that the power of provision, protection, health and wellness is in the Gospel through a revelation of a righteousness of God revealed that is by faith from first to last - for the righteous will live by increasing faith in this thing from first to last. When your faith in this Gospel goes down then you are driven by practical, logical, planning of your life and preoccupied and obsessed with "will we have enough and will we make it?".
But if people spent all that worrying time listening to CD's and DVD's and tapes on righteousness and faith rising in righteousness - the higher your faith in righteousness rises, the higher the power of soterio - salvation manifests in your life and you end up with so much thinking; "Who shall I bless, who can I bless?! Instead of living like a worry-wart and a pagan!". That's what religion has done to people.
Matthew 6:24 - it is very good to see the verses I am reading. (v25): "Therefore I tell you (this is Jesus speaking) do not worry about your life". You don't know what you are talking about Jesus - you are only Master of the Universe. I need to worry Lord, someone needs to worry! My wife isn't a worrier. Normally it is Glenda asleep while I am walking the floorboards worrying about this church and what we are going to do and how we are going to help these people. But she's asleep! She trusts God! But then I find out that she is worrying while I sleep!
"Do not worry about what you will eat or drink or about your body what you will wear, is not life more important than food and the body more important than clothes. Look at the birds of the air - they do not sow or reap, or stow away in barns and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? Why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow - they do not labour yet I tell you even Solomon in all his splendour was not dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field which is here today and tomorrow is gone, how much more will He not clothe you of little faith (faith in what? Let's see what faith should be in) - so do not worry saying what shall we eat or drink or wear for the pagans run after all these things and your heavenly Father knows that you need them -
But seek first His Kingdom and His (whose righteousness? Not self-righteousness) righteousness and ALL these things will be given to you as well".
So our number one priority in life is not to develop enough faith to have money for clothes and housing and provision and protection - our number one priority is to seek first HIS righteousness - to develop our faith in His righteousness because when our faith grows in His righteousness then all of these things that pagans are running after and having nervous breakdowns about - those things that they run after, those things will start running after you as your faith - listen as your faith starts to get to a level then stuff starts running - provision, food, blessing, motor car, home - then as your faith continues to grow more things start coming and as it grows again more things start coming!
You become a magnet to blessings as your faith goes up and up in what? In seeking first the Kingdom and HIS righteousness - not your righteousness. HIS righteousness which is revealed in the Gospel.
We have got to seek the Kingdom first. What is the Kingdom? (Romans 14:17); "The Kingdom of God is not a matter of food and drink but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit". Now Paul has just written in Romans 1 that the power of salvation is through a revelation of God revealed that is by faith from first to last. When he is writing these passages later about the Kingdom of God, it is not food or drink but righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit - and he is talking about the GIFT of righteousness! That's what the Kingdom is! The revelation that you are righteous! Then joy and peace fill your life in the power of the Spirit and the power of salvation is in the power of the Gospel and in the revelation that you are righteous - so seek that first, pursue that, spend time listening to that - don't listen to websites or teaching that put you down and teach law, control, religion - you are mad if you do that! Listen to righteousness, seek first righteousness, seek the gift of righteousness and build your faith on righteousness - and worry and anxiety will disappear and God will add all these things to you!
Why do people think if I spend hours building my faith on righteousness then I am going to lose - God will subtract from me? No - God adds to you! When I am going through a period when there is lack in my life or problems in my life the first thing I should do is not run around trying to solve all those problems. The first thing I should do is put a CD on and listen to teaching on righteousness. Then stand up and say "Father in Jesus Name, I thank You that I am the righteousness of God - now give Me wisdom what to do and He will speak by His Spirit and say go and do this or that". But if you run out in your own wisdom and your own talents then you will administrate more problems to solve the problems you have got.
Go to 2 Corinthians 5 - I would love to develop that more but I will get into that next week. I know some of you are going away next week but I am going to get into that much deeper next week. Make sure please that you are going to get the CD of next week. Let's go to 2 Corinthians 5. Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God. Why do you teach on righteousness so much? Surely once we have got the information then that is enough? Information won't help you. It is faith - faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God. Faith will increase when you hear this over and over again. I am going to read to you the most powerful blessed news you have ever heard. How many of you have done sins that you wish you had never done? How many of you that raised your hands find that sin still haunts you? God can deal with honest people but he can't deal with people that don't have integrity. He loves humble, honest real people and here is the good news;
God is never going to hold that against you! That will never be something of consquence that God will bring up and say; "Yes I saw you do that! That's why you are sick and I am not going to heal you - you will pay! That's why you have got curse in your geneology because you sinned and it will go down your generations!".
This gift of righteousness declares that God will NEVER count your sins against you! NEVER! You cannot be righteous and have sins counted against you at the same time! If God be for us - who can be against us?! It is God who justifies, who is it who accuses? Let me say that again - you cannot be the righteousness of God and have God counting your sins against you at the same time!
I am not brilliant at philosophy but there is a definite problem with logic there! But if you believe in practical righteousness as distinct from salvation righteousness then you are in deception to this problem. You will say; "Well I am righteousness enough to go to heaven but the things that I do wrong are no longer righteous". No this is a fool-proof righteousness! This is a failure-proof righteousness and a devil-proof righteousness because this isn't based on our obedience but the obedience of the ONE MAN and you are forever in the obedience of Jesus Christ and in the righteousness of God and He is not counting your sins against you!
It is right there that the red flags come up in the Church - "Don't preach that! They will all run out and sin!". I have got some bad news for those guys - because the people are already sinning under your law and control preaching! This is the only hope for them to get victory over sinning. When you begin to realise; "I am righteous - I am righteous!" - then you start to live out what you are!
But it is not when you live out what you are that it becomes, it became the moment you believed! It is not in the living out that you become it! It is in believing it that you are it! Some people say; "Well that guy is so holy - his prayers are more effective". We are affected by these lies! I have had people for 30 years come up to me and say; "God hears you better when you pray". I want to puke! All these years I have been preaching and you still don't understand! Yuck! I am the righteousness of God and so are you! I haven't been able to break some people out - because they have been so long in denominations and so long under a mixture of teaching and say; "No - red flags come up - it's too good. I know it is in the Bible but it is too good to be true". It's called the GOOD News!
It is so good and it is so true that so few embrace it with their total heart and that is why you have to sit under the teaching of this year after year after year so that your faith seeks first the Kingdom and His righteousness and all these things get added to you and the power of soterio gets released in your life and through your life to others.
Look at this 2 Corinthians 5:19 (this will heal marriages and all sorts of things);
"That God was reconciling the world to Himself in Christ, not counting men's sins against them and He has committed to us the message of reconciliation".
ou know that God is not counting men's sins against them? Do you know that your sins don't send you to hell?
If your sins sent you to hell then your righteousness will send you to heaven.
Let's get logical. I am sick and tired of people that don't even have basic philosophical logic in the church. If your sins send you to hell then the righteousness that you do in self-righteousness must send you to heaven. You know whose sin sends the world to hell? Adam. "Through the disobedience of one man, death reigned". And through the OBEDIENCE of the One Man - righteousness is given.
So people's sinning does not send them to hell - Adam's sin sends them to hell. People's righteous acts send them to heaven - Jesus's righteous acts send us to heaven.
When you were in first Adam all your righteous acts were like filthy rags. And when you were in last Adam all your mistakes are seen as righteous of God in Christ Jesus. (v21); "God made Him who had no sin to be sin for us so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God". NO SIN. TO BE SIN. FOR ME. IN HIM. Let me ask you three questions.
1. Did Jesus sin in order to be made sin?
2. How did Jesus become sin or be made sin? He received the free gift of our sin.
3. When Jesus received the free gift of our sin did He have to pray or ask for the wrath of God to come down? "God bring the curse of the law on Me?". No as soon as He was made sin - not through His sinning - but through the free gift of our sin then He immediately got the curse and the judgement and the wrath and rejection. Now conversely;
Are you declared righteous because you do righteous things? If you teach people that you are righteous because you do righteous things then I promise you, you SHOULD teach that Jesus became sin because He did sin. These people that preach two righteousnesses - one a free gift of salvation and another practical righteousness to get the blessings should then teach that Jesus became sin because He did sin! "No Rob! Blasphemy!". Well equally blasphemous against the Cross to preach that you are no longer righteous if you don't do righteous things.
How did you become righteous? By doing righteous things? No! But by a gift of righteousness! Now when you have got this gift of righteousness do you have to beg God to bless you? To pour out blessing on you? So why then is the Church begging with a victim mind-set? "Oh pleaseee! I need retirement money! Pleaseee!". No - because they have not sought first the Kingdom and HIS righteousness so as a result they are running after the things the pagans run after. Some of them didn't make it to Church because they are so exhausted by worry, meetings and pressure that they didn't even need to be at! For them the last thing would be to sit down and listen to CD's and tapes and DVD's about righteousness. That's the last thing I need - haven't got time for that! Yes but you have got time to run after the things the pagans run after!
Did God punish Jesus as if He had sinned? Yes.
Did wrath come Jesus as if He had sinned? Yes.
Was He treated by God as if He was the world's worst, most vile sinner? Yes.
Did He suffer the consequences of sin? Yes.
Did He suffer the curse of sin? Yes.
Did He suffer the condemnation of sin? Yes.
Had He sinned? NO!
Did He suffer the curse of sin? Yes!
Why? Because He was given the gift of sin from us.
You and I in Christ have been given the gift of God's righteousness - go join the dots together and when you get them together you will never be the same again and no control freak will ever be able to talk you out of your inheritance in Christ Jesus!
Are we the righteousness of God because we do righteous things? No!
Does God treat us as if we are righteous all the time - even after we have sinned and messed up? Yes!
Does God pour out all kinds of blessing, left, right and centre because we are righteous? Yes!
Do we have to beg and ask Him to do it? No!
What do we have to do? Raise our faith, seek first His righteousness and the revelation of His righteousness!
We are going to see next week how the Holy Spirit was sent into the world to convict people of the sin of not believing on Jesus. There is no other passage in the entire New Testament that says the Holy Spirit convicts us of sinning. He convicts of our sin of unbelief in Jesus Christ. Convict means "convince". Then it goes on and says He will convict of righteousness and of judgement.
There you go Rob! He is going to convict us of judgement because we are not righteous enough! Read the next verse please! Keep reading! The next verse says; "Sin because they do not believe on Jesus, righteousness because I go to the Father". What did He go to the Father for? His blood was shed on the heavenly altar and the Father started the New Covenant and it broke out into the world on the Day of Pentecost and then the New Covenant started a righteousness from God was revealed that is by faith from first to last! So what does the Holy Spirit convict you of? That YOU ARE THE RIGHTEOUSNESS OF GOD! Well what about the judgement? It goes on and says; "The prince of the world" - refers to the devil - "has been judged" - where was he judged? - "At the Cross". The rules and regulations that stood opposed to you and condemned you were cancelled at the Cross and taken away and the powers and principalities were disarmed and trampled on at the Cross.
The devil was judged at the Cross and stripped of ALL his armour to condemn and judge a believer!
The Holy Spirit convicts unbelievers of not believing on Jesus Christ then He continues to convict of righteousness because Jesus Christ has gone to the Father and He continues to convince us that the devil has been judged!
What happens when you get into the Presence of Almighty Holy Spirit? You are CONVINCED that you are the righteousness of God! You are CONVINCED the accuser of the brethren has been defeated and disarmed! You as a new born believer do not need the Holy Spirit to convict you of sin. You have got a new nature on the inside - you have been born again. You know when you sin! When you sin, you don't need the Holy Spirit to tell you, you have sinned! You need the Holy Spirit to tell you that you are the righteousness of God and the devil has been judged and the accuser of the brethren is thrown down and has no power to condemn you anymore!
How we have taken these verses out of their context! I have heard people teach in mass rallys that the Holy Spirit convinces us of sin and of righteousness and of judgement and He is going to make you feel bad that you are not righteous enough and you are going to be judged! There are times when I sin and think "Oh God!". The Holy Spirit never has to tell me I have sinned! Not once! The only sin He convicts me about is unbelief in Jesus. I believe on Jesus! So that is a sin He can't convict me of and He doesn't convict me of any other sin! Never! I have never felt the Holy Spirit convict me of sin! You know what you feel when you think it is the Holy Spirit convicting you of sin? You know who that is? The devil! Because you don't understand truth and it is the truth you know that sets you free!
Now when I sin I know I have sinned.
Do you know that the Holy Spirit cannot convict me of sin because all He sees is righteousness? You know what He convicts me or convinces me of when I have sinned? That I am the righteousness of Christ Jesus and the prince of this world - the devil - has been judged!
Take that and you will never be miserable again! This Gospel makes you reign in life! Not reign after life! "Oh one day I will go to heaven and reign". Folks why do you need to reign there? There is no devil there! Reign IN life! IN Christ Jesus! Do you know why the devil doesn't want us teaching on prosperity, healing, marriage, provision, life skills - because we are not seeking first righteousness and when we are seeking first the revelation of righteousness then soterio keeps coming to you and through you. And the pressure of a pastor to teach on these subjects that the pagans teach on - lifeskills and what you are going to do. Now there is a place for that but the emphasis of the church is on those things! But Jesus said; "Seek first the Kingdom and all these other things will come to you!".
To teach anything else is just human effort trying to get life skills! Instead of revelation of righteousness - the power of salvation comes on your life and out of that wisdom, you get to move in things that are called life skills. People might write a book on you and say; "In the morning he does this and then that and that is the life skills we will copy". No don't copy someone else's life skills! Get the revelation of righteousness and the Spirit of God will add all these things and lead you differently to someone else's life skills because it is not "one size fits all". Different contexts - different issues - different people can't preach life skills to the church! You need to preach the revelation of the Gospel to the Church and when this comes what happens?
1. You will reign in life.
When your faith in righteousness increases you will reign in life above worry and anxiety.
2. The power of soterio - health, wholeness, healing, protection, provision - will increase as your faith increases.
3. All the things the pagans are running after and having nervous breakdowns after will start running after you and coming after you and gathering momentum after you as your faith increases.
4. You become heir of the world to the righteousness apart from the law - you become the seed of Abraham and have favour over the earth - you have global influence.
The fact that I preached to over 100 million people over God Channel has got nothing to do with my self-righteousness. It is because my faith is increasing in the revelation in the Gospel that I am the righteousness of God and you get global influence through this gospel.