Dan A. Rodriguez Articles and Podcasts

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July 26, 2018  

Faith in Jesus, or is it Faith in Something else? Part 4

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Are you righteous in Christ no matter how much you sin? Some would stand firm by the assertion that no matter how much sin permeates your life after conversion, that once you receive righteousness, you are always and forever righteous. Of course, they have reason to believe that way based on some very important verses. Here are some of them:

Whom God put forward [before the eyes of all] as a mercy seat and propitiation by His blood [the cleansing and life-giving sacrifice of atonement and reconciliation, to be received] through faith. This was to show God’s righteousness, because in His divine forbearance He had passed over and ignored former sins without punishment.It was to demonstrate and prove at the present time (in the now season) that He Himself is righteous and that He justifies and accepts as righteous him who has [true] faith in Jesus (Romans 3:24, 25 Amplified Bible).

For if because of one man’s trespass (lapse, offense) death reigned through that one, much more surely will those who receive [God’s] overflowing grace (unmerited favor) and the free gift of righteousness [putting them into right standing with Himself] reign as kings in life through the one Man Jesus Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One)(Romans 5:17 Amplified Bible).

For our sake He made Christ [virtually] to be sin Who knew no sin, so that in and through Him we might become [endued with, viewed as being in, and examples of] the righteousness of God [what we ought to be, approved and acceptable and in right relationship with Him, by His goodness] (2 Corinthians 5:21 Amplified Bible). 

When we come to Jesus, make Him our Lord, and are born again, we are made pure and righteousness from all our past sins. We begin the Christian life with a clean slate! The Lord “passed over and ignored former sins without punishment.” Glory to God! Clean, sanctified, and made righteous in the blood! That is the truth about being born again!

Here is a question for you. Though that is the absolute truth, does that mean that you can practice sin like the world as a Christian and continue to be righteous before God? If it’s true that regardless of your sins you continue in righteousness, then what do you do with the following verses?

Little children, let no one deceive you: The one who practices righteousness is righteous, just as Jesus is righteous. The one who practices sin is of the devil, because the devil has been sinning from the beginning(1 John 3:7, 8 NET).

If you know that He is righteous, you also know that everyone who practices righteousness has been fathered by Him (1 John 2:29 NET). 

But if we confess our sins, he is faithful and righteous, forgiving us our sins and cleansing us from all unrighteousness(1 John 1:9 NET).  

If once you are righteous you can never step out of that righteousness through sin, then why must you confess your sins if you commit them? Why must the one who commits sin be cleansed from unrighteousness if once righteous always righteous? 

Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived! The sexually immoral, idolaters, adulterers, passive homosexual partners, practicing homosexuals, thieves, the greedy, drunkards, the verbally abusive, and swindlers will not inherit the kingdom of God (1 Corinthians 6:9, 10 NET). 

If a Christian practices unrighteousness and does not repent and confess their sins, will he or she inherit the kingdom of God? Did you know Paul refers to things that will disqualify a person from their inheritance in the kingdom of God? 

That is the other side of the righteousness theme in the Bible. Did you note that I haven’t quoted one verse from the Old Testament yet? This is NEW Testament, but it is also found throughout the Old Testament.

Can your spirit be contaminated by sin AFTER you become a follower of Jesus? Some believe that if you sin it is only the “flesh” and that it does not pollute the spirit. If that were true, then why did Paul say the following to the Corinthian church and include Himself in the equation?

Therefore, since we have these promises, dear friends, let us cleanse ourselves from everything that could defile the body and the spirit, and thus accomplish holiness out of reverence for God(2 Corinthians 7:1 NET). 

These are truths generally denied or overlooked by many in evangelical Christianity.

Here is the truth. When you come to Jesus, you were made righteous by His blood. After you are a believer, if you sin and do not repent and confess your sins to God, then your righteous standing with God is interrupted UNTIL you act on 1 John 1:9. Doing First John 1:9 is how you are cleansed from all the unrighteousness you did and then your righteousness is restored. 

I know this is a one-two punch against many erroneous and traditional ideas. I am happy to do it because these have been entrenched in our thinking for far too long. It has robbed many Christians from pursuing righteousness in all they do. That is another good point. Why pursue righteousness if you are already righteous forever with no possibility of messing it up through sin? Why did Paul tell Christians to pursue (run hard after) righteousness if righteousness can never be forfeited? See 1 Timothy 6:11; 2 Timothy 2:22. 

This podcast will begin to set the record straight in these areas.

Be blessed! 

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Get it as an ebook, softcover, or hardcover book from Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Christianbook, Westbow Press, or order it through your favorite bookstore.

From the Back Cover:

A Call to Return—Restoring the Roots of Our Relationship with Jesus explores the depths of the Scriptures to excavate, refine, and lift up its words of power, revealing deep truths that will radically change the lives of believers. By tapping into this rich vein of biblical insight, Dan Alan Rodriguez offers Christians the insights to enable them to set out upon paths of discipleship that follow Jesus closely and that lead to profound experiences of His presence and power.

Drawing upon the author’s study of first-century Judaism and Christianity and resting upon a diverse array of sources steeped in the foundational texts of these traditions, the twelve chapters of A Call to Return address a series of interlocking topics: a prophetic call to return; the revival of lawlessness; the revival, purpose, and preexistence of God’s commandments; the church’s commandments and their connections to faith, grace, and good works; the association of works of the law to Jewish tradition and ceremony; holiness; the fear of the Lord; each believer as a temple of the holy; and the meaning of loving the Lord Jesus.

If you have a sense that Jesus’s message and ministry are calling you to embark upon a walk with Him that might take you away from all in Christianity that requires no accountability or responsibility before God, then A Call to Return—Restoring the Roots of Our Relationship with Jesus is the right book for you to read. It will give you the keys for understanding and responding to the Lord’s call to return to Him and to follow where He leads.

“He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches” (Rev. 2:29 NASB).

The PDF of the entire book is free of charge! Use this link to go to the page and download it. Be mightily blessed!

 

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Documento portátil (PDF) es completamente gratis.

 
 
July 20, 2018  

Faith in Jesus, or is it Faith in Something else? Part 3

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Are you self-deceived? I hope that you are not. No, I did not ask you if you are deceived. I asked you about self-deception. It is one thing to be deceived by the enemy, and some are, but it is another thing to deceive your self!

Be doers of the word and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves (James 1:22 MEV).

Self-deception is the result of hearing the Word and not doing it. You heard a good Bible message, for example, concerning generosity and honoring God with the tithe, said amen and “glory hallelujah,” and then did nothing to obey the Scripture. That, my friend, is self-deception. You go to church, hear good Bible teaching, take reams of notes, and don’t do any of it. The next verses in James reveal that only the doers are blessed.

But whoever looks into the perfect law of liberty, and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this man will be blessed in his deeds (James 1:25 MEV).

What a great way to refer to God’s eternal Word: THE LAW OF LIBERTY! It works ALWAYS and for all because it is law that brings liberty to the doer of it. Wow!

Here is where I get back to our subject matter in these podcasts. 

Test yourselves to make sure you are solid in the faith. Don’t drift along taking everything for granted. Give yourselves regular checkups. You need firsthand evidence, not mere hearsay, that Jesus Christ is in you. Test it out. If you fail the test, do something about it (2 Corinthians 13:5 The Message). 

Self-examination or self-testing reveals where you stopped doing what God said in His Word. That is what is so critical about testing yourself to see whether you are in the faith. It brings conviction, exposition, reproving, and even rebuke so there can be correction to self-deception.

 I trust that this is a word from the Lord for you in due season. Be blessed with Part 3 of these messages.

 

July 18, 2018  

Faith in Jesus, or is it Faith in Something else? Part 2

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Put yourselves to the test to see if you are in the faith; examine yourselves! Or do you not recognize regarding yourselves that Jesus Christ is in you—unless, indeed, you fail the test!(2ndCorinthians 13:5 NET) 

Examining yourself under a spiritual magnifying glass may not be as fun as shouting and praising God, but it is absolutely necessary as part of the devoted Christian life. 

The test and examination of yourself is to clearly see if you are in the faith, genuinely (truthfully and honestly), and by fruit production. What does that mean?

What did Paul mean when he stated this examination was to be about whether or not we are in the faith of the Lord Jesus? The good news is we do not have to guess. 

But some days later Felix arrived with Drusilla, his wife who was a Jewess, and sent for Paul and heard him speak about faith in Christ Jesus.  But as he was discussing righteousness, self-control and the judgment to come, Felix became frightened and said, “Go away for the present, and when I find time I will summon you.”(Acts 24:24, 25 NASB)

Paul explained “faith in Christ” to Felix and Drusilla as: righteousness, self-control, and judgment to come. It made Felix shake and tremble. It’s time for people to shake and tremble by the power of the Holy Spirit as we minister faith in Christ Jesus as Paul did. 

Jesus said the Holy Spirit was sent to convict concerning those things.   

And when He has come, He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment (John 16:8).

We begin to look at these closely. These are powerful and revealing, and they are the very definition of faith in Christ. Faith in Christ is to include righteousness, self-control, and judgment to come, or it is something else. I don’t mean that every message preached or taught has to be specifically about these three subjects, but there needs to be an underlying current of truth in each message. We should never relegate to a backburner righteousness, self-control, or judgment to come. 

I understand how foreign that sounds to our ears today because much of the modern church has gone after fluff and cotton candy preaching that RARELY mentions or teaches anything concerning these subjects. Yet, it is precisely what the Holy Spirit was sent to minister through the Church.

I will tell you this in advance. Each of those three things mentioned by Paul are vast in scope. You could probably preach on each one until Jesus returns and never run out. For example, did you know righteousness includes ALL Jesus provided for you and me through His awesome and mighty sacrifice? Righteousness includes every benefit of redemption, but did you know it also includes our moral behavior?  

So, are you ready to be challenged and “rudely” interrupted from the traditions of men? Here is part 2!

 

July 10, 2018  

Faith in Jesus, or is it Faith in Something else? Part 1

 

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Here is a verse not mentioned often in Christian circles, yet it was penned by the Paul, the apostle, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit: 

Examine and test and evaluate your own selves to see whether you are holding to your faith and showing the proper fruits of it. Test and prove yourselves [[a]not Christ]. Do you not yourselves realize and know [thoroughly by an ever-increasing experience] that Jesus Christ is in you—unless you are [counterfeits] disapproved on trial and rejected?(2ndCorinthians 13:5 Amplified Bible)        

When was the last time you examined yourself? Did you run a test on yourself? What did the honest and brutal evaluation bring back? Was the evaluation, “I am holding firm to my faith in Christ Jesus, or am I slipping, need to repent, and get it right before God? Do you realize and know that Jesus is in you, or have you become a counterfeit Christian?

We have counterfeits today. They talk a good talk and have learned the language of faith. Others are impressed, but is God impressed? Is God actually pleased with your faith? (See Hebrews 11:6.)

Read it again from a more concise translation.

Put yourselves to the test to see if you are in the faith; examine yourselves! Or do you not recognize regarding yourselves that Jesus Christ is in you—unless, indeed, you fail the test! (2ndCorinthians 13:5 NET)

To get what Paul means by being “in the faith” we must see the context. 

Get ready for traditional ideas to be shattered. If you want to stay the same, and be the same as you have always been in dead religion, then don’t listen to these messages. Run! If you want more of God and His Spirit, then listen up, and get ready to be obedient to the Lord and His Word of life.

This is life-changing Word for you today. No fluff or cotton candy here! Just the meat of the Word!

 

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