Blew Past the Doorway of Forgiveness in a Blazing Whirlwind

Imagine Jackie (a very important person) invited me over for dinner tonight. However, when I arrived at 7pm–as I enter through the doorway—I was so superly humbled that I parked myself in the doorway and admired that it is so amazing I was invited. After some time being irritated at me, Jackie and the other guests had dinner without me, as I admired them from the doorway. “The steak and wine are wonderful,” the guests proclaimed, as they partook. Unfortunately, I was caught up examining the paint on the door frame. However, Jackie was nice enough to give me some leftover crumbs, as one would do with a dog, when the guests had finished eating.

“… There are teachings that focus on repentance in a way and in a proportion that ironically make it into a meritorious thing. An improper emphasis on repentance is destructive, because it is in fact unbelief toward the blood of Christ. If you have repented, you are forgiven through Christ. You can march into the throne of grace without fear and without shame, not to beg like one without a covenant, but to talk and ask like one who belongs there – like a son, like a prince….”
[Vincent Cheung. Depression: P is for Pervert].

An improper emphasis on repentance is a sign of weak faith. It is like the story above. They emphasis not because they believe, but because they do not believe. They are like the prophets of Baal trying to get fire to come down from heaven; their repetition is empty and vain.

Some are too humble (or rather prideful) and filled with to too much unbelief to accept the Master’s invitation of forgiveness and good things through Christ.

Humbleness not to partake at the Master’s table, because it seems too wonderful—when He invited you—is not humbleness. It would be wicked irreverence and unbelief. Imagine Mephibosheth being invited to eat at King David’s table (which he was) but when arriving, he stayed at the doorway. Even if he gave platitudes of self-debasing statements of unworthiness for why he could not eat at David’s invited table, the reality is the opposite. He would be stuffed with arrogance and unbelief. It would be an insult and dishonor to his benefactor.

Here were the two sides. They had the same divine promises, and faced the same circumstances. One side walked by sight and gave a bad report. Even though God promised the land to them, because they saw the strong warriors and fortified cities, they said, “No, we cannot take it.” The other side walked by faith and gave a good report. Since God promised the land to them, even though they saw the same strong warriors and fortified cities, they said, “Yes, we can take it.” Faith always has a good report, because faith does not walk by sight. Faith always speaks and behaves according to the promises of God, and from the viewpoint of power and victory. Faith always has a shout of triumph.[1]

Today, hear your Master’s Word. The children of Israel stood before the doorway to the promise land, yet they were filled with rebellion and unbelief. They confessed—with their own lips—the Promise Land was good. However, they also said people of the land were too strong and big relative to them. Joshua had the same promises as the others had. By faith in God’s promise he said they could and will take it. Joshua after speaking these words did enter in the doorway, and then also went in taking the land, sitting himself at the Master’s table. God also heard the super humble words spoken by the other leaders and replied, “As surely as I live, declares the LORD, I will do to you the very things I heard you say.” (Numbers 14:28, 34). That is, they will be too weak and the people will be too strong for them, just as their mouths had spoken.

In the face of the Master’s command and revelation some say, “It is hard to believe I am actually forgiven.” or, “It is hard to believe God is so good that even right after I ask forgiveness, that  I can ask for healing, miracles, blessings and prosperity, and God will give it to me!”  Is God’s truth to be so easily trampled under the feet of wicked unbelief? Is God’s word not enough? Therefore, Jesus at times marveled at faith in the N.T., because it is so rare. Yet there is no excuse for it, as can be seen in Jesus’ often harsh rebukes for unbelief for healings and supernatural deliverance. If God’s Word, is truly one’s starting point for knowledge, rather than human observations and speculations, then one would understand that God’s word is the most perfect, faithful and invisible truth. It is the easiest thing to believe what God has revealed, because God is faithful, powerful, compassionate and reliable. Even with promises of great goodies like healings, deliverances and blessings, God is the same faithful, powerful, compassionate and reliable God. If you ask in faith, the same sovereign God who promised forgiveness of sins shall give forgiveness of sins, and He will give healing for healing, and blessing for blessings, (Psalm 103, James 5, Luke 11:11).

However, some are stuck admiring the doorpost of forgiveness, while being in rebellion against the one they say they love. They do this by not entering in. They cast aside bearing fruit for God as a small thing—even the fruit of getting the same thing they ask for in faith (John 14:13,14 and John 15:7, 8). Some of these might get into heaven by the skin of their teeth. That is, they took one foot into the kingdom of God and sat down, thinking the table is too great a thing for them. And so, God will give these just that. They will be barely forgiven, if even that. This will be the end and extent of their reward, the end of all the gold, silver and precious tones. They will receive what their hearts have spoken.

What does it mean to enter in? Faith is not standing at the doorway, but entering in. It is assenting to the revealed truth you are a son of God, so that to sit at the table of King of Kings is not asking too much, but is proper and appropriate. Maturity is taking all the promises of God with a resounding Yes, to the glory of God: all the help, deliverances, healings, miracles, powers, love, truth and prophecies.

What is mature doctrine for mature saints?

1 Corinth. 3:6,9, 12″We Speak wisdom among those who are MATURE….[Paul goes off point then comes back quoting O.T.]….the things which God has prepared for those who love Him….[and so Paul concludes wisdom for the mature is that they]…might know the things that have been freely given to us by God.”- [in context of healings, miracles, prophecies and powers in the Corinthians church.]

Take a moment and think about that.

Paul is speaking to the Corinthians, who are abusing the abundance of spiritual gifts and playing favorites among leadership and who were allowing a man to sleep with this stepmother. In this context how does Paul describe maturity? Was it self-abasing, or self-sacrifice? Paul says that wisdom for the mature is having a soul able to understand and receive the unmeasurable goodies God is giving them. The issue of saying “I am of Paul, or I am of Apollos,”(in addition to being petty and argumentative) is that their desire for greatness and blessings was to small. Paul turns around and says the whole world, past present and future belong to you in Christ, (2 Corinthians 3). That is, Paul and Apollos are already yours; yet, so is the world, and so is the gifts of the Spirit. All the mighty promises of God are yours for the taking, by faith in Christ.

As Paul said, “However, we do speak a message of wisdom among the mature…what God has prepared for those who love him…that we may understand what God has freely given us” (1 Corinthians 2:6, 9, 12). What is mature doctrine? It is not what we do for God, but what God does for us (1 John 4:10).

Jesus said that a person cannot be his disciple unless he first counts the cost, and then renounces everyone and everything to follow him (Luke 14:26-33). This is not the pinnacle of spiritual maturity, but it is the beginning. This is what spiritual infants do. We repent of our transgressions and reorient our lives on Jesus Christ. We become God-centered. We maintain this condition as we continue, but as we walk with God and mature in spirit, we come to the realization that God is not in fact served by human hands, as if he needs anyone (Acts 17:25). Even our service comes from him (2 Corinthians 3:5-6, Colossians 1:29). Although the gospel demands total commitment, since the beginning it is not about what we do for God, but what God does for us, in all areas of our lives, by Jesus Christ (Romans 8:31-32). We truly come to know him as the Father that Jesus talked about, the one who is greater than all (John 10:29), the one who supplies everything (Psalm 103:2-5, Matthew 7:32-33, Philippians 4:19).

Therefore, spiritual maturity must entail learning more about the benefits that God has given us in Christ, and then receiving and experiencing them (1 Corinthians 2:12). [2]

Wise and Mature doctrine is not referred to what one does for their neighbor or God; rather, what God does for you—about all the good things God is freely giving you in Christ. God created you. He created the world for you. He saved you. He gave you His only Son. If He gave you His Son, will not also freely give you all things? He gives you the abundance of His Spirit. He heals your body and soul. He crowns you with loving kindness. He prepares a bed of rest for you every night.

But when the Son of Man returns, how many will he find on the earth who have faith?” (Luke 18:8 NLT).

Why else do you think someone like Samson is mentioned alongside people like Moses, Abraham and David as a man of faith–of whom the World was not worthy to have known? He had an authentic maturity to freely receive strength from God–believing in God’s promise to him—even when surrounded by an abyss of 3,000 unbelievers of Judah. Yes, even when he was punished, and his eyes poked out. Do you have such a faith?

Samson blew past the doorway of forgiveness in a blazing whirlwind, and then while deep in the Kingdom of the Son of God’s love, sitting at the table of His Master, Samson grabbed mighty promises of God, and God freely let Samson have them. Today we have the knowledge of Christ, and so, how much more bread of the covenant ought we freely take from our Master’s table?

God’s Word destroys doubt and fear. It imparts a joyful courage for the future. Immediately after Jesus told Peter he would deny him 3 times, (people have forfeited their souls for less) Jesus said, “Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many mansions… I go and prepare a place for you,” (NKJV John 14:1-3). Jesus commanded His disciple not to be troubled in his heart, right after telling him about his sin. But then goes on to say I am preparing a place for you in God’s awesome House. That is, not only is Peter commanded not to worry about his trail of sin, but he is commanded to look forward to victory over the trail, even victory that leads to spoils. Yes, even commanded to think it is not too great for him to dwell in Yahweh’s house, who is the Lord of angel armies! Peter ran to the Master’s table and partook of its feast.  How many good sermons did Peter proclaim, and how many demons did Peter cast out and healings did he do?

 

Maturity is having the strength of soul, to not merely leave the pig pin and go ask forgiveness; but rather, by God’s Spirit, to have the power of mind to receive the signet ring, and receive the BEST robe, and receive the sandals from the Father, and then march into the house with joy, with your head held high, because you belong there like a son, like a prince (Luke 15:22-23).

 

———-End Notes———

[1] Vincent Cheung. The Edge of Glory.  Found it Sermonettes Vol. IX. Chapter 19. 2016. Pg, 86.

[2] Vincent Cheung. “What is Mature Doctrine?” From, Fulcrum. 2017. Chapter 69. Pg 69.