Jesus Commanded

Chapter 2: Being in Christ
We keep our focus on the flesh but the flesh is never going to be perfect, which is why the Scripture says that we don’t know one another after the flesh anymore, but that we know one another after the Spirit (2 Cor 5:16). So I don’t know you after the flesh, I know you after the Spirit. The flesh is always going to disappoint. The devil always tries to keep our relationships in the flesh because the flesh will never measure up. That’s why we have divorce, that’s why we have separation, and that’s why we have division—because I’m
Religion tries to keep our relationships in the flesh—Do this, do that, don’t do this, don’t do that.
never going to please your
flesh and you can’t please
mine, either. I can’t even
please my own flesh! How
can I then please yours?
Religion tries to keep our
relationships in the flesh—do this, do that, don’t do this, don’t do that.
But we’re spirit beings walking together in the Spirit. Our fellowship is in the Spirit of the Lord, not in the flesh of man. We’re not children of the Law, but children of the promise! John 1:17 says, “the law was given through Moses; grace and truth

were realized through Jesus Christ.” Galatians 4:31 tells us that “we are not children of a bondwoman, but of the free woman.”
Who are we? We’re children of God, and Jesus paid the price that we couldn’t pay! He fulfilled what God required. I couldn’t keep what God required. You couldn’t keep what God required. But Jesus could and did!
Jesus fulfilled all the requirements of the Father! Now when the Father looks at us, He sees us in Christ—He sees who we are in Christ. He doesn’t see us in the Law; He sees us in Christ. Aren’t you glad?
Our Freedom in Christ
“Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.” (2 Cor 3:17)
Paul was constantly reminding his friends of their freedom in Christ. He wrote to the Galatians, “You foolish Galatians…Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the

You’re going to keep the spirit of the Law, because Christ…is in you. you’re not going to murder or do other things the law forbids because those actions violate who you are.
flesh?” (3:1-3). And again, “It was for freedom that Christ set us free. Do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery” (5:1). Paul understood that the yoke of slavery is the Law. As we’ve seen in the last chapters, you’re not children of the Law, you’re children of the Spirit in Christ. As children of the Spirit, you’re going to keep the spirit of the Law because Christ, the fulfiller of the Law, is in you. You’re not going to murder or do other things the Law forbids because those actions violate who you are.
However, you don’t measure yourself by the Law; you measure yourself by Christ. You don’t measure yourself by me; you measure yourself by Christ.
Our Example and future is Christ
Jesus is our example. He is our model. Paul told the Corinthians to imitate his faith as he imitated, or followed, Christ. So he’s teaching us how to be sons—how to walk in the Spirit—and he learned these ways from imitating Jesus. In other words, Paul tells all of us how to be what God has called us to be. He essentially says, “Watch what I do and do it.”
If you look at what Paul teaches, they are not traditions. Paul wrote, “I press on in order that I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus…forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead” (Philippians 3:

12-13). We cannot forget what lies behind and reach forward to what lies ahead while we keep hanging onto traditions of men! Everything that lies ahead is new in Christ. Each one of you was called with a purpose that no one else can accomplish. You have a job to do and it lies ahead of you, not behind you.

Jesus Commanded

Chapter 1: The Great Commandment in the Law
“If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish,
and it shall be done for you. By this is My Father glorified, that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be My disciples. Just as the Father has loved Me, I have also loved you; abide in My love. If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love; just as I have kept My Father’s commandments, and abide in His love.”
—John 15:7-10
Jesus didn’t say, “If you keep My Father’s commandments, you will abide in My love.” He said, “If you keep My commandments you will abide in My love, just like I’ve kept the Father’s commandment and abided in His love.” So Jesus makes a differentiation here—a differentiation between what the Father commanded Him and what Jesus commands us.
Let me ask you a question, and it’s a trick question: What are the two greatest commandments that Jesus gave us in the New Testament? Most people would say to love the Lord your God with all your heart and all your soul, and to love your neighbor as yourself.
But Jesus didn’t command that.

Let’s take a look at Matthew 22:34-39—“And one of them, a lawyer, asked Him a question, testing Him, ‘Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?’ And He said to him, ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the great and foremost commandment. The second is like it, You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’”
Notice what the lawyer asked: “Which is the great commandment in the Law.” Jesus answered the question that the lawyer asked. He answered with the great commandment in the Law. How many people can keep the Law? When I ask people what Jesus’ greatest commandment was, most quote the Law that they can’t keep. Do you see the trap?
Jesus Fulfills the Law

Jesus came to fulfill the
commandments that God
gave. Jesus kept the Law,
and He fulfilled the Law. As
a result, when God looks at
us, He doesn’t see us
through the Law—He sees us through Christ. If we don’t believe that, we have to get our minds renewed. We have to believe that Jesus fulfilled the commandments of God. We must believe in Him. Unfortunately, when we continue to think in old ways, we revert to the Law because religion dictates—and we’ve been taught—the Law. But we’re no longer children of the Law— we’re children of the Spirit! When Jesus fulfilled the Law He gave us access to the Father. So now, we no longer live according to the Law, we live according to Christ. We live in Christ and He says to us, “Now, go obey the things I’ve commanded you” (Matthew 28:20, my paraphrase).
When Jesus has another conversation in Mark 12 about the greatest commandment, one of the scribes jumps into the discussion with what Jesus describes as an “intelligent reply,” and then Jesus says to him, “You’re not far from the kingdom of God.”

Jesus fulfilled the Law. So when God looks at us, He doesn’t see us through the Law, He sees us in Christ.
Well, if intelligence gets you “not far” from the kingdom, then I don’t want to be intelligent. I want to be in the kingdom of God! Religion and the Law may get us close to the kingdom, but they don’t get us in the kingdom because we can never keep the rules.
You see, the devil is always judging you through the Law because
he knows you can’t keep it.
That’s why you’re always
battling condemnation. But the
Bible says, “There’s now no
condemnation for those who
are in Christ Jesus” (Romans
8:1). So if you’re battling
condemnation, the first thing
that tells me is that you’re not
abiding in Christ because in Christ, there is no condemnation.
The flesh is never going to be able to please God, so if you’re trying to please God in your flesh, just quit it. Die to your flesh. Walk in the Spirit because the only way you’re going to please God is in the Spirit: “Those who worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth” (John 4:24).

Back to Basics ebook release (and original recordings)

Back to Basics eBook Available!Hello, this is Tim Thornton, Doug’s web presence helper, and am excited to interrupt his sporadic blogging to tell you about two very exciting developments regarding what has become a favorite resource of many people and leaders I know.

First, the ebook of Back to Basics is officially out for the first time! 

Second, the much-requested original audio recordings are now available again for your listening pleasure.

Click over to the Back to Basics book page to access both of these great resources from Doug.

Be Inventive

Heb. 10:23-25

So, friends, we can now—without hesitation—walk right up to God, into “the Holy Place.” Jesus has cleared the way by the blood of his sacrifice, acting as our priest before God. The “curtain” into God’s presence is his body.

So let’s do it—full of belief, confident that we’re presentable inside and out. Let’s keep a firm grip on the promises that keep us going. He always keeps his word. Let’s see how inventive we can be in encouraging love and helping out, not avoiding worshiping together as some do but spurring each other on, especially as we see the big Day approaching.

Knowing what Jesus has done for us, walking in the fulness of who we are in Christ and fulfilling the works that the Father has called us to do.

What is the worse thing that can happen when you step out in Faith? nothing, so why not step out and see if the Father’s Kingdom will come, and change the place where you are at.

Grace and Wisdom on your journey.

Doug

The Father’s Plan

Ephesians 1:3-14:

How blessed is God! And what a blessing he is! He’s the Father of our
Master, Jesus Christ, and takes us to the high places of blessing in
him. Long before he laid down earth’s foundations, he had us in mind,
had settled on us as the focus of his love, to be made whole and holy
by his love.

He had us on his mind; he wanted us to be the focus of his love. He
choose us by his choosing. We are here for His purpose.

Long, long ago he decided to adopt us into his family through Jesus
Christ. (What pleasure he took in planning this!) He wanted us to
enter into the celebration of his lavish gift-giving by the hand of
his beloved Son.

He changed our name. He is our Father now and we are His sons here on
the earth to be His ambassadors of His kingdom.

Because of the sacrifice of the Messiah, his blood poured out on the
altar of the Cross, we’re a free people–free of penalties and
punishments chalked up by all our misdeeds. And not just barely free,
either. Abundantly free!

Old things have passed alway, and new things have come. We are not who
we were; He has made us alive in Christ. We are now the righteousness
of God in Christ, we are holy, blameless, complete. Lacking nothing.

He thought of everything, provided for everything we could possibly
need, letting us in on the plans he took such delight in making. He
set it all out before us in Christ, a long-range plan in which
everything would be brought together and summed up in him, everything
in deepest heaven, everything on planet earth. It’s in Christ that we
find out who we are and what we are living for.

When we find out who we are in Christ, our minds change. We begin to
understand the promises spoken about us who believe in Christ.

It is in Christ that we live and move and have our being. Our life in
hidden with Christ in God.

Long before we first heard of Christ and got our hopes up, he had his
eye on us, had designs on us for glorious living, part of the overall
purpose he is working out in everything and everyone. It’s in Christ
that you, once you heard the truth and believed it (this Message of
your salvation), found yourselves home free–signed, sealed, and
delivered by the Holy Spirit. This signet from God is the first
installment on what’s coming, a reminder that we’ll get everything God
has planned for us, a praising and glorious life.

Do we really believe what the Father has for us here on the earth? He has given us Jesus, faith and the Holy Spirit.

Let’s be the the generation that fulfills the Father’s plan on the earth.