Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Liar! Liar! Your Pants on Fire ...

We were born liars. Lying is something that comes natural to us, whether they are big lies or little lies, they are all still lies. Lying is a natural part of sin and sin originated from the Father of lies. It started in the garden with the blame game and was handed down to the sons as Cain lied about the death of his brother. So it should not surprise us that the Father of lies has been lying to the world about Jesus since the day of the resurrection:

While the women were on their way, some of the guards went into the city and reported to the chief priests everything that had happened. When the chief priests had met with the elders and devised a plan, they gave the soldiers a large sum of money, telling them, “You are to say, ‘His disciples came during the night and stole him away while we were asleep.’ If this report gets to the governor, we will satisfy him and keep you out of trouble.” So the soldiers took the money and did as they were instructed. And this story has been widely circulated among the Jews to this very day. (Matthew 27:11-15)

Some people may be surprised at this, thinking that this lie was some kind of recent conspiracy theory. Most people who still put it forward have never read the Bible but simply become disciples of people who teach it. In fact, it is crazy some of the ideas people come up with to deny the relevance of Jesus in their lives. Some people just completely deny the existence of God and the historical figure of Jesus. Others speak of this conspiracy of the disciples to perpetuate the teachings and reputation of Jesus. They may be willing to say that Jesus was a great teacher of love but far from perfect and far from any god. They say it was the disciples then that changed the story because they wanted Jesus to continue to be an influence so they could manipulate people. Another teaching is that it was when Christianity became the state religion in Rome that much of the New Testament was written and used to control the masses.

So many lies to try to rob the world of the fantastic news that Jesus Christ died for our sins, was raised from the dead on the third day destroying death, and has ascended to sit at the right hand of the Father as an advocate for us. Some people may ask how Matthew would have had this information about the bribing of the guards. Well, this incredible thing was happening in Jerusalem after the resurrection and the receiving of the Holy Spirit. God was reaching into the enemy's camp and taking back what belonged to him:

So the word of God spread. The number of disciples in Jerusalem increased rapidly, and a large number of priests became obedient to the faith. (Acts 6:7)

Not just a few but a large number and some of them would have had inside information as to what the chief priests had been up to. God has his way of revealing in his light what happens in the dark. But don't think because you accept Jesus that the enemy is finished with the lies. He continues to lie to you every day, hoping to separate you from the love of Jesus Christ.

The enemy of your soul has already been whispering to you this morning with one lie or another. Even before people get out of bed he starts in on them. He tries to convince us that we aren't forgiven or that we are useless to God. He comes up with a dozen reasons why God doesn't love us or why certain promises don't belong to us. He wants to destroy the image of mighty warriors and turn us into cowering wimps. He wants to strip us of our privileges as "sons" of God so that we will lose our courage to stand the ground we have been given. He wants to rob us of the confidence we have in Jesus Christ to share the good news with those who are lost in the darkness. He wants to weaken us so that we will allow fear, worry and bitterness to crowd into our heart, turning believers against each other. In such a weakened state it is easy for us to pick on each other, to criticize and attack, destroying the ties of love that bind us together and shredding our unity. All this from his little whispering lies before we get out of bed.

The truth is that Jesus has done an incredible work and the Holy Spirit continues that work in us. The truth is that we are possessed by the Spirit so that Christ in found in us and we are in him. The truth is that we are called "sons" of the LORD God Almighty, the living God, the Creator of all things and as such have been given privileges and promises that are ours today. Although we walk in humbleness it is the Father who lifts us up and clothes us in the righteousness of Jesus Christ. This is not from us but from our Father as a result of us calling on the name of Jesus. He has forgiven all our sins, our past has never existed because we are a new creation. I have only scratched the surface; it is all amazing stuff and it is all true, glory to God. You want the truth? Here is the truth:

Therefore, brothers, we have an obligation—but it is not to the sinful nature, to live according to it. For if you live according to the sinful nature, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live, because those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.” The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory. (Romans 8:12-17)

Co-heirs with Jesus! That is the truth and that is what the enemy wants to destroy in you. The Bible tells us that we ought not to think too highly of ourselves but neither are we to allow the enemy to lie us into think too lowly of ourselves. We are indeed a mighty people because of what Jesus Christ has done for us. He has done it and he is not a liar. It is exactly what Jesus Christ said it would be as he has grafted us into the vine. We have the resurrection power in us and we are a powerful nation. You are surrounded by liars but all lies originated from the Father of lies whose purpose is to destroy everything beautiful from our Father. People will lie to you today, they will say mean things, they may even call you ugly and stupid but these are all lies. You are the beautiful and intelligent child of God, mighty warrior, rich in grace and love. Walk in who you are and keep the enemy under your feet today. Jesus loves you!

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