Thursday, September 18, 2008

Return To Normalcy

Jesus came to return us to normalcy because what we experience on this earth is not normal. It may seem normal to us because this is all that we have ever known, but it is not normal at all.

The condition of the earth and the condition of our lives are not what God had intended and are not “normal.” What I mean is that because of sin, the earth as we know it now, (and the condition of humanity) is in a fallen state and is in a defective condition from God’s original creation. And it is God’s original creation that is normal.

It’s hard for me to describe what original creation was like because it is hard for me to imagine. The bible however states that God originally placed man in the Garden of Eden. The Hebrew word for Eden is delight. God placed Adam and Eve in a Garden of Delight! We could call it a paradise; But probably a paradise beyond even in our grandest dreams. It was like a heavenly paradise. (It was in fact a replica of heaven that God was giving man to live in. He wanted us to have a place of our own that was just like his). And in it, there was nothing but delight. There was absolutely nothing imperfect, flawed, deficient or harmful in any way. There was no death, no suffering, no sickness, no pain, no war, no destructive weather and no lack of any kind... just delight. Hard to imagine! But that was God’s creation and his perfect will for man and was to be our normal experience forever.

But as most know, the bible tells us of the sin and fall of Adam and Eve, and how death entered our perfect realm of existence. But this death was not only physical death nor was it just the cessation of life. This death included every kind of suffering imaginable and penetrated every area of our lives. A clear picture of what this death entailed is to say that anything not found in God’s original creation is a part of the death that came upon man. So, since all that was in God's original creation was a delight, we can say that anything we experience that is not a delight is part of this death.

But God is a good God and was not willing that man suffer from his mistake. So he promised to send a redeemer to bear the punishment of our sin and to restore mankind and the earth to the pristine “normal” condition he had originally intended. And that is exactly what Jesus did. He came to earth; he bore our sin, and to all who receive him as their savior, restored what God had always wanted for man.

But you say; I don’t see everything restored! Everything continues as it always has. Don’t worry; if you have accepted Jesus as your savior, you will in due time see the full restoration of all things. The bible states that the earth’s restoration is delayed because God is “longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” What God is doing right now is giving mankind time to find out about and accept Jesus as savior so that as many as can enter the “new heavens and new earth” will have that opportunity. But eventually time will “run out,” Jesus will return, judgment day will come and all things will be restored to “normalcy” and it will be for eternity for all those who have accepted Christ. (2Pet. 3:9)

Nonetheless, we do not have to wait until Christ’s return to enjoy “normalcy” and a restoration to our personal lives. What I mean is this. Jesus came to restore God’s life to man both in eternity AND in the present. (Jn. 10:10) And to make a long story short, it is through the example of Christ’s perosnal life on earth that we can see what is available to us as well. And what we see in Christ's life, (before he chose to go to the cross), was that he had a life free of all harm, despite the presence of evil and evil men. The life he lived was one of “normalcy” and health and wisdom and protection and abundant provision even though he dealt with sin and death and harm and destruction just like we do. And this is the kind of life that we too can experience. In fact that is the very kind of life that Christians have already inherited. Paul said in the book of Romans that if we are children of God through faith in Jesus Christ then we are … “heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ…” Everything that God is and has and all that Jesus had and all he earned is our inheritance. And we inherit them for the here and now because benefactors inherit the benefits of a will when the testator dies, not when they die. (Rom. 8:17)

If we have accepted Jesus as our savior, we have been made to be exactly like him and given the same authority over evil and protection from it that he had. And all the provision and power and grace that Jesus had is ours too. Think about it. We can be living “above” the natural as Jesus did, experiencing the supernatural as a “normal” thing. But what many Christians think is that we must wait to get to heaven to experience this kind of freedom from harm, and some even think that suffering and harm is all part of God’s will for man. Well, suffering never was God’s will for man and it still isn’t. God and God’s ways do not change. (Jas. 1:17, Heb. 13:5) So what God has done is to provide a way for us to appropriate the same kind of life Jesus experienced, and he did it through his promises. We can have eternal life in heaven AND we can ALSO have a protected, abundant, supernatural life here on earth by believing God's promises to us.

But the bible says that God’s people are “…destroyed for a lack of knowledge.” The problem is that Christians do not know that this kind of life is available to them or they do not know how to get it, or they don’t believe it is theirs when told about it. It is no different than salvation and eternal life... Many people do not have the forgiveness and eternal life available in Christ because they do not know about it or do not know how to get it or they do not believe in it when told. (Hos. 3:6, Rom. 10:13-17) But we don’t have to be like that. We can believe and we can receive and we can enjoy ALL that Jesus came to give us. First, we can receive Jesus as savior and the eternal life he offers AND secondly, we can receive the protected, fulfilled and abundant life that comes with it. Our lives can be filled with the delight that God originally intended, being delivered from evil as Jesus was. But it is all up to us what we have. It is not up to God. If it were up to God, we have already seen through his original creation what he would give us. But because we have a free will what we have in life is our choice.

Jesus said that he came “that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.” (Jn. 10:10) And in all future articles that I write I will continue to build your faith in this “good news.” And the good news is that God loves you, wants to return delight to your life and has done so through Jesus Christ. Along with that, I will also teach you how to obtain that abundant life for yourself. First, I would recommend that you read my book, "Suffering (God’s Will?)". This book is a vital biblical foundation of God’s will of delight for you, and will clarify many passages of scripture that have been traditionally misunderstood and been misleading. I explain in my book how the enemy has used certain scripture to “twist” our thinking to erroneously believe that evil is at times good and is God’s will for our lives, and that God sometimes purposely uses evil as a tool. This the enemy has done just so he can hurt us. And then I suggest that you be ready for the publishing of my upcoming book, “Suffering, Unanswered Prayer and How to Fix the Whole Thing.” This book will explain to you how prayer works and how it involves more than you may have thought. It will reveal to you why people don’t always get the prayer results that are promised in the bible and will show you how to get results for yourselves. In it I share how I applied biblical prayer to obtain results in my life, including healing from an illness that was medically documented as permanent.

God spoke in the Old Testament saying, “I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live.” (Deut. 30:19) Both death and life are available to us, and God commands us to choose life. It is up to “us” as to what we choose and it is up to “us” to learn how to get the life that is promised. We don’t have to choose death, poverty, sickness, or affliction. We can resist death and all of its destruction and we can obtain the abundant life that Jesus came to bring. It won't be easy however. There are many obstacles and trials and tribulations that will hinder you. Like Jesus said, “the kingdom of heaven suffers violence and the violent take it by force.” (Mt. 11:12) Because of the fall of man, the good things in heaven that God wants us to have are surrounded by obstacles, hindrances, and barriers, but like Jesus said, we can take them and we must at times do it by force. And if Jesus did it, so can we.

Some of the reasons that Jesus came to earth were to show us what a “normal” life was, to make a way for us to have it, and to teach us how to obtain it. So let’s choose that life and let’s find out how to acquire it for ourselves and for those around us.

Submitted by John B. Agati
Author of : “Suffering (God’s Will?)”

More information about this and an upcoming book “Suffering, Unanswered Prayer, (And How to Fix the Whole Thing),” along with a short bio may be found at: www.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Redeemed From The Curse

The bible says that “Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, for it is written, Cursed is every one who is hung on a tree.” (Gal. 3:13)

This scripture is simply saying that Jesus bore any and all punishment for our sin when he died on the cross. This he did so we wouldn’t have to.

Sin can be described as breaking the law of God, and all sin carries a penalty. This is the “curse of the law” that the bible is talking about or better said, the “curse of breaking the law.”

Listen to this. If we look in (Deut. 28:15-68), we will see that there are over 100 curses for breaking any part of God’s law. These curses include all the components of spiritual, physical, and emotional death. This passage says that those who do not keep ALL of God’s law will be cursed in the city, in the field, in their basket and store, cursed in their body, land, and increase of their family, flocks, and sheep. They will be cursed when they come in and cursed when they go out. They will be cursed with sickness, crop failure, war, captivity, business failure, poverty, defeat, insanity, slavery, cannibalism, etc. and etc.. This obviously is bad news because we have all broken God’s law in one way or another.

But as we have read in the book of Galatians, Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, “becoming a curse for us.” What Jesus did for us was take the curse of the law upon him, so that we would not have to. And more than that, Jesus took our curse so we could enjoy the blessing of Abraham. The book of Galatians goes on to say this, “He redeemed us in order that the blessing given to Abraham might come to the Gentiles through Christ Jesus.” (Gal. 3:14 NIV)

So, going to (Deut. 28:1-14) we see what the blessing of Abraham includes. It includes being set high above all nations, being blessed in the city, in the field, in the fruit of our body, the fruit of the ground, the fruit of our cattle, the increase of our families, flocks and sheep; blessed in our basket and store, blessed when we come in and blessed when we go out; when our enemies rise up against us, they will be smitten before us, and our all of our storehouses will be blessed. All we set our hand to will be blessed. We will be blessed in the land that God gives us, and we will be an established, holy people, known to be the people of God and feared. We will be plenteous in goods, cattle, fruit of our bodies, and lands. God’s good treasure will be opened to us, we will have rain when needed, being lenders not borrowers, the head and not the tail, above only and not beneath… all the elements of life, health and prosperity. This is good news for all who have accepted Jesus as their savior.

Jesus bore the curse so we could have the blessing!

Let’s look at this as a big picture. Because Jesus bore all the sin of the world, he also bore every curse and affliction that sin could possibly cause. He did this so that if we accept him as our savior we could be free of sin and any of its consequences AND have all of the blessings of life and health while we are alive... as well as eternal life in heaven when we die.

The book of Matthew says this, “When the even was come, they brought unto him many that were possessed with devils: and he cast out the spirits with his word, and healed all that were sick; That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet, saying, Himself took our infirmities, and bare our sicknesses.” (Mt. 8:16-17) This scripture gives a fuller meaning to Jesus redeeming us from the curse of the law. It means that when Jesus bore our sins, he ALSO bore our sickness and infirmities.

So, in Christ, we are not subject to sin or the curses it brings. We can be free of ALL of sin’s consequences and the curse of breaking the law. And this means here and now. Just like we can experience forgiveness here and now, we can experience freedom from any of the curse here and now.

Did you ever notice that before Jesus went to the cross he never suffered any consequences of sin? He had never sinned so, he was never sick or had any infirmity or affliction or any lack of any kind. It’s not that he was never subject to attack by these things, (we are all subject to their attack while still on this earth) but he had authority over them and nothing or no one could ever harm him. He had perfect and total protection from the "curse of the law," and he was able to control all curses and all evil that came against him. In fact he could even deliver others from them. The point is that in Christ all of our sin is removed, making us as sinless as he is, and making into the "righteousness of God." So all the authority and protection Jesus had over evil is available to us as well. (2Cor. 5:21, 1Jn.4:17)

Well, you say, what about the sins I commit now. Isn’t there a consequence for them? The answer is no, the price has already been paid! Jesus died for all sin; past, present and future. If he did not die for our present and future sins as well as our past sins, there would be no forgiveness for them because Jesus is the only one God sent to pay that price for us. The book of Hebrews says, “For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified.” (Heb. 10:14) If you have accepted Jesus as your savior, all sin is forgiven; past, present and future. So, if we sin now, we simply need to receive forgiveness because forgiveness has been purchased and is available to us. It is there for the taking. The truth is that we are forgiven already so we just need to believe that and walk in forgiveness at all times. (2Cor. 5:17-19) And if we do, sin and the consequences it brings will have no power over us. We will have to believe and stand firm in faith, resisting evil in order to experience this blessing, but it is ours if we want it and if we know how to obtain it. (Mt. 11:12)

Even though we have to wait for heaven in order to enjoy these benefits without a fight, the victory is ours now and we can have the benefits of redemption here on earth. Jesus said that, “In the world ye shall have tribulation, but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” (Jn. 16:33) That means that Jesus has overcome and defeated anything evil or harmful so that through him we can enjoy the victory that he won in this world. And there should be no question as to whether or not these benefits are God’s will for our lives. As the bible shows us, they are all part of what Jesus died to purchase for us, and are all part of the salvation package. This Gospel is good news! In fact, it is The Good News! (Jn. 3:16)

So, when you receive your forgiveness, receive also your healing, and when you receive your healing, receive also your prosperity, and when you receive your prosperity, receive also your hope. And that is just for starters. These and ALL the blessings of Abraham are available to us through faith because we have been redeemed from the curse of the law… in order that the blessing of Abraham might come upon us through Christ Jesus.

Submitted by John B. Agati
Author of : “Suffering (God’s Will?)”

More information about this and an upcoming book “Suffering, Unanswered Prayer, (And How to Fix the Whole Thing),” along with a short bio may be found at: www.