CONFESSION AND REPENTANCE FOR PRACTICING AND PARTICIPATING IN THE GOSPELS OF GUILT, GOOD WORKS AND MIXING THEM WITH THE GOSPEL OF GRACE (Rom. 11:1-10)
The bottom line: There is no way that God could use the law as the means to bring about our salvation because if He did, it would cancel out the validity of and need for Jesus Christ shedding His Blood on the Cross. If Satan can get us to agree with any other means of salvation than the gospel of Jesus Christ, which is a gospel of grace and good news, he has caught us in his snare of “never enough’ and “not worthy”. The gospel of “be good”, “try harder”, “measure up”, and “it’s your fault” all generate fear and guilt and ultimately reduce down into an agreement with failure which comes from HELL.
In adopting the gospel of spiritual completion and perfection based on good works, the Enemy has gotten us to agree that the gospel and mission of Jesus Christ was to get us to deal with our SIN when in truth God’s desire is to make the gospel of Jesus Christ all about Him dealing with our sin through His SON. The Gospel of Jesus Christ is all about the goodness and forgiveness of God. When the gospel, as we practice it, is all about me getting rid of “my sin”, it is all about ME! When the gospel is all about Jesus coming to earth to purchase us back from the Kingdom of Darkness and pay the price demanded by the Devil for our souls, the gospel is all about HIM!
When we believe the dictates and doctrines of the counterfeit gospels or mix the gospel of law and good works with the gospel of grace we are in essence saying that what Jesus did on the Cross was not quite enough and that we must add our penance, will-power and good deeds to His to complete the act of appeasement and atonement. Indeed, it is true that our sacrifice, suffering and the surrendering of our will and life to the direction of the Holy Spirit is a daily part of the life of all who would follow Jesus, but, these efforts come out of our desire to trust and abide in HIM, not out of a need to earn our salvation.
To believe that our good works and sinless behavior is the prerequisite to salvation or the means of it is like trying to earn it ourselves. In that way of thinking, God owes us salvation. He has become indebted to pay us for our good deeds and is obligated to let us get into heaven on our own merit.
God wants us to get to heaven, but does not want us to be fooled by the Enemy’s clever lies to get us to believe that we can earn or deserve it by “doing it ourselves”. Grace is not about deserving or earning. It is just the opposite. Grace says “there are not enough good deeds or money, or earnest effort in all the world to pay for even one man’s salvation”. Therefore, God made it available to any who would simply ask Him for it. How easy and available is that? Anyone can have it, rich and poor alike. “All have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” “There is none righteous, no not one.” Rom.3:23 & 10
The only remedy for sin acceptable to both God and the Devil is the Blood of Jesus, the Lamb of God Who takes away the sins of the world. The Devil knows all the counterfeit substitutions he has made available to any who reject the Blood of Jesus Christ, and that those substitutions will fail to deliver them from his hand on the final Day of Reckoning. One of the Enemy’s greatest schemes from the beginning has been to hide the truth of God’s Word and His promises among a million look-like options and counterfeit gospels in his sinister effort to promote his, “all roads lead to heaven” approach to salvation. And, by-the-way, the Devil is totally okay with us making a mistake in falling for the lie. He loves it!
Grace is a free gift freely given but it was never cheap. Salvation is the manifestation of God’s grace and good will toward wayward mankind. With the law came wrath and transgression, “because the law brings about wrath, for where there is no law there is not transgression” (Rom. 4:15). Conversely, then, where there is law, there is transgression.
The question then becomes, which kingdom profits from the transgression of mankind, God’s or the Devil’s? Obviously, Hell’s kingdom builds a strong case against us by using our sins and transgressions to accuse us before God in the Court of Heaven. He uses them as evidence, proof that his accusations against us are well founded and we are guilty. He uses our transgressions and unconfessed sins as part of his argument to petition for permission to bring his demonic judgments for down upon us as punishment for our disobedience to God.
This clever set up allows the Enemy to use our sin and the agreement that we are guilty and deserve to be punished, to bring down troubling consequences upon us. We believe God is punishing us because He is mad at us for breaking His law and that because we have been bad, we deserve His judgment. This is exactly what Job’s comforters tried to get Job to agree to, that God was punishing him for being bad and harboring some secret sin.
The exact opposite was the case. As we read in the beginning of the discussion, God is describing Job as His “righteous servant”. Satan was the one who sought to differ with God and get permission to test his theory. He believed that if he could put enough pressure on Job he could expose Job’s true motives for serving God. The Devil also wanted Job to believe that God was mad at him and that God was the one who had “done this” to him.
God is not the One calling for our judgment. He knows we have been tricked into making a choice and that, like with Eve, the Enemy had set the whole thing up to corrupt the relationship God wants to have with us. By getting us to judge ourselves as “bad” or believe that God is “mad” at us or that we are mad at God for punishing us by letting all this bad stuff happen to us, we are being tempted to doubt God’s love for us or our love for Him.
This temptation is the Devil’s insidious, master-plan designed to break the relationship between us and God. The Devil wants to prove to God that He is a fool for loving us by getting us to believing lies about God. If Satan can keep us from knowing the truth, we will ever respond to God’s love. If we do not acknowledge God in His love for us, God will never be vindicated in His love for us, and the Devil wins! God has failed to convince us of His love. We believed the Enemy’s lies about God and love for us. Love has lost, defeated by fear and the lie.
This makes the law an essential part of the Enemy’s plan in shooting down the love of God in the hearts of the humans. The sinner, (one who believes the lie and acts on it) is pushed into a place of condemnation where he is then tempted to judge God. This is like killing two birds with one stone for the Enemy who has set us up to judge God at the same time he sets God up to tempt Him to move against us.
When Jesus was confronted by the Devil in the Wilderness, one of His responses was, “Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God” (Mt. 4:7). He was speaking at that moment, to the Devil about using Him (Jesus) to sin against His Father’s love and put God in a hard place, much like when a loving parent must discipline their child for disobeying and take the risk of being misunderstood by their child.
When we reject grace and make the law the determining factor of salvation we are also putting God in a hard place. When we are tempted to insult the work of God’s grace in the liberation of our souls through the shed Blood of Jesus by offering Him a fruit basket of our handpicked good deeds we are doing the same thing Cain did. We are in essence telling God the work of His Son was not sufficient to satisfy the demands of sin and death made by the Devil.
If Satan can get us to embrace the law as a means or part of the means of salvation and atonement, he, in essence, has gotten us to reject the completed and finished work of Jesus. We have agreed with the Devil that we are guilty and deserve to be punished because we are guilty! We, in essence, come into agreement with the prosecution’s argument, when we are the defendant! What is the Just Judge of all the Earth supposed to do when we agree that we deserve to be punished? And how weird is that when the Judge Himself has already paid in full, the penalty demanded by Enemy for our crime?
One of the Enemy’s objections that can be heard resounding in the Court of Heaven is, “But it was their choice!” The only correct response to that is the one Eve made when God questioned her when ate the forbidden fruit. “The Serpent DECEIVED me, she said. We must understand the order of events. First the Enemy tempts us, deceived us into believing his idea is our idea. Out of that deception, we make a choice. We get tricked, just like the hungry, little fish that bites into the hook of the fisherman believing he sees lunch. In his search for lunch, the little fish becomes lunch! Is the fish guilty for getting tricked? Is he in trouble? Does he need help or a scolding? And would it be right for the fisherman who set the hook, to also demand that the fish wash the frying pan that was used to fry him in, in order to pay for his sin of being caught?
One of the most powerful, if not THE most powerful argument the Devil, the Accuser of the Brethren, uses against us is our sin the violation of the Law that measures it. Using the law to determine the measure of our guilt for violating the law may mistakenly cause us to conclude that God uses our keeping of the law to determine our worthiness, or not, as candidates for salvation and deliverance.
The Word of God is very clear that the Law cannot justify or save anyone. “…knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law but by faith (of) – KJV, Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Christ Jesus that we might be justified by faith (of ) – KJV, Christ and not by the works of the law; for by the works of the law no flesh shall be justified.” Gal. 2:16
All the law and its demands were satisfied in the coming of the second Adam, Jesus Christ, Who successfully repaired the damage done by and to the first Adam and his children. For us to go back and reinstate the law as the legitimate means for cleansing us from sin is like using the mirror to wash the smudges off our face instead of the water. The Law can only point out the sin; it cannot wash its stains off of the soul.
And one final thought on the bottom line in discerning any counterfeit is to remember what Jesus told us; “by their fruits you will know them” (Mt. 7:20). The bottom line in practicing and participating in the counterfeit gospels of be good and do it right is frustration and failure. We draw a wrong conclusion that I cannot be that good and that, “that Jesus stuff” doesn’t work for me, based upon the assumption that the gospel we heard preached in church was the correct gospel, when it was not. Then we get mad, give up and go away, which is simply, more evil fruit from the Kingdom of Hell.
If, however, we opt to stay in a church that preaches the works of the law, Gal. 1:6-9, presented as the “be good” gospel, we miss the whole point of following Jesus. We begin to gossip and compare ourselves with ourselves and judge everyone else to make ourselves feel better. We console ourselves that at least we are not like the wretched sinner that sits in the back of the church barely able to lift his head he feels so ashamed. Sounds like another “holier than thou” story like the one Jesus told us in Lu.18:9-13.
For more detail on the Gospels of guilt and good works and the curses that come upon those who mix them with the Gospel of Jesus Christ which is the Gospel of Grace, see the book, “Cravings, Why Do I Do What I Don’t Want To Do?” or the manual, “Diagnosing Your Family Tree”, both available in the Life Recovery Store .
One of Satan’s most undetected strategies and unconfessed sins that he uses to build his case against us in the Court of Heaven is to keep us from discerning the difficulties that come upon us by practicing and embracing the counterfeit gospel(s). Not only is this idolatry in the worship of false truth, but the source and force behind many of the patterns of dysfunction, disease, and loss that have come down our bloodlines.
Not resting in the final and finished work of Jesus Christ sets us up for anxiety, guilt and fear, it blinds us to the activity of the familiar spirits and patterns of demonic judgment that descend upon us. We never see them as anything unusual because we are so used to hearing their internal self-talk as it comes through our minds as reasoning and religion. They use the gospel of works that we have already been primed to believe as true to get us to accept the charges guilt has pressed against us. We then come into agreement with the condemnation of the Accuser of the Brethren that we had it coming. We embrace the lie that God is mad at us, never suspecting we have swallowed the bait of sin and guilt set by the Devil’s hook.
To walk in the freedom of the truth and the peace it brings we offer you the following prayers of confession as a pattern or outline for your consideration and use. First, we specifically identify our own family’s personal practices of religion and perfectionism that have violated the grace and truth of Jesus Christ. Second, we cancel out our agreement with those beliefs and replace those professions with a declaration of the truth of what God says. The more specific we are in the identification, the more effective will our release be in setting us free from the grip of the Evil One.
THE PRAYERS FOR MIXING THE GOSPEL OF JESUS CHRIST WITH THE COUNTERFEITS
Dear Lord Jesus, Son of the Living God, I confess as sin and an abomination, and repent for the practice of mixing law with grace and for adding to and subtracting from Your finished work on the Cross,
I repent and confess as sin and iniquity, the substituting of law for grace, and living in the confusion of mixing the truth of Your Holy Word with Satan’s counterfeit remedies for sin, forgive me for making salvation about something I can earn and You owe me.
I confess as sin and an abomination, and repent for the exalting of my family’s traditions, (Mk. 7:13), above Your Word, and for givingYou lip service. I ask You to forgive me for substituting duty for devotion, and for going through the motions in practicing a “form of godliness” instead of knowing the power of Your love, (II Tim. 3:5).
I confess and repent for my hardness of heart toward You, and the vain disputes and debates and idle words I have used in the midst of my family and the congregation and ask You to forgive me for sowing discord and confusion among the brethren by preaching the false gospel, (II Tim. 2:16).
I repent and confess as sin, my living in the “flesh” and being anxious and afraid and for not recognizing these things as alien and unwelcome in my life and forgive me for listening to the lies of fear born of the Devil instead of Your truth.
I repent for offering you vain worship and teaching as doctrine the commandments of men, I repent the volumes of systematic theology and self-help books that I have studied and substituted for your Word. Forgive me for taking heed to the works of men rather than the Word of God.
I repent for making judgments based upon assumption, presumption and appearance and drawing wrong conclusions, for refusing correction and for defending my opinions rather that receive correction.
I repent for being afraid to leave and come out from among those who preach a false gospel and practice spiritual abuse or allow the spirit of Jezebel to operate unchecked within the midst of the congregation.
I repent of the fear of man in not standing up for the truth, knowing that we are called to worship God in spirit and truth.
I repent for refusing the love of the truth and for embracing the deception that the Enemy would want to put on me as a result of my passive agreement with wrong doctrine and manipulation of the scriptures for greedy gain and personal ambition that has promoted confusion among the weaker members.
I confess as an abomination my participation in the Devil’s attempts to create a false unity and social conformity through a global gospel of good works, at the expense of the truth, and for being afraid to suffer reproach for Jesus, (I Tim. 4:10). Forgive me, Lord, for being ashamed of the Gospel of Christ, (Ro. 1:16).
I confess as sin and repent and ask You to forgive me for clinging to a denomination distinctions, and using your Word to discourage and judge weaker believers, (Col. 2:16).
I repent and ask You to forgive me for not sharing the Gospel of the Good News with those lost who are still held under the sway of the Evil One for fear of persecution.
I confess as sin the neglect of the gifts that you have placed within me and for not following the lead of the Holy Spirit Who has been sent to lead me into all truth and triumph. I ask You to forgive me for not meditating on Your Word, neglecting the gift You have placed within me, and burying it in the sand.
I repent for seeking wisdom, peace and comfort from the false gods and gurus, whatever they may be, for yielding myself to their spirits through the practice of yoga, meditation, offerings, pilgrimages, penance, rituals, etc.
I repent and ask You to forgive me for being discontent, (I Tim. 6:6), and being covetous and bitter of the blessings of others.
I ask You to forgive me for “doing my life myself” and resisting and grieving the counsel of the Holy Spirit sent to dwell within me. Forgive me for not dealing with and resisting the lies of the Devil, (Rom. 1: 18-32) and for living in passive agreement with the Enemy. (Matt. 12:30).
Forgive me for not submitting to You and for not resisting the Devil. I repent for not believing in the spiritual war between God and Satan that permeates every fiber of our existence upon this planet.
I confess as idolatry the “love of the world”. Forgive me for not casting off the vanity of this world, and even the things I counted “dear” to myself, to be more like You. (Phil. 3:3-10).
I ask you to forgive me for leaving my first love and ask You to remove from me the hardness of heart and the spiritual blindness in not knowing that I am “poor and wretched and blind” without You and Your truth as given to me through Your Gospel.
I confess that anything, person, place, thing or concept I place between me and You is idolatry. Forgive my people for allowing fear to control us and all of these things that have operated as idols in our lives to remain and for teaching these things to our children.
I confess my (our) disobedience, as sin and iniquity, and remind You of what You said, that if we will “confess our iniquity and the iniquity of our fathers which is “with us” then you would restore the covenant. (Lev. 26: 39-40).
I repent and ask You to forgive me for seeking after signs, because You said an “evil and adulterous generation seeks after a sign”, and for relegating to coincidence the many specific and daily blessings and interventions You have bestowed upon me and my family. (Mt. 12:39)
I ask you to forgive me for murmuring and complaining and rehearsing over and over in my soul, the words of Your Enemy who desires to separate me from Your love. I declare, I am your workmanship, created in Christ Jesus, (Eph.2:8-10) and You are committed to finish the work You began in me.
I ask You to deliver me from the religious bondages that have controlled my life and set me free with Your truth, to be free to do Your will to my fullest ability.
I ask You, to give me a deeper revelation of Jesus Christ, and a hunger for Your Word as I endeavor, by the Grace and Mercy You have bestowed upon me through your Holy Spirit, to follow You, and become a fellow laborer together with you. I declare “to live is Christ” and “in Him I live and move and have my being”. Amen and Amen!