In my previous blog (Lies, Lies, and More Lies), the first part of this topic was covered, emphasizing that lies, believed and/or taught, knowingly or unknowingly, have caused serious damage to our world, to our relationships, and to ourselves. This blog will address some of those lies.
When Satan found that he could not defeat the work of Christ, he did the next best thing: he convinced the body of Christ to minimize the significance, importance, and effectiveness of Christ’s accomplishments. He accomplished this primarily through spreading his deceit within the body of Christ. This has many ramifications for the Christian, as I trust will be amply demonstrated.
1. The lie of counterfeit victory convinces Christians to fight sin (temptation), rather than believing and acting upon their death to sin. Thus countless numbers of Christians are fighting to overcome sin. Such theology is based on experience rather than on the word. (Rom. 6:2,7,18)
2. The lie of false perfection convinces Christians that they are saved by grace but perfected by works. This lie, first written in Scripture concerning the Galatians in chapter 3, is repeated with little notice today as the deceiver convinces many to try to become "good" Christians by changing their behaviors. Thus righteousness (perfection) is achieved, rather than received. (Gal. 3:1-5; Heb. 7:18-19)
3. The lie of false sanctification convinces Christians to change their life, rather than exchanging it. It is this lie that results from coming to Christ only for forgiveness, and not for transformation. Thus it is thought that Christ came to help us become like Him by imitating behavior, rather than being conformed through the renewal of the mind as we begin to understand the significance of our co-crucifixion, co-burial, co-resurrection, and co-ascension in Christ. (Rom. 12:1-2; Col. 3:1-4; Heb. 10:10, 14)
4. The lie of dual identity convinces Christians that they are not new creations, simply revitalized old creations. This lie comes from fuzzy thinking concerning the difference between the old man and the flesh. Because Christians can live according to the flesh, too many mistake such action for the continuing presence of the old man. Thus there is no possible way to be new; rather, we are always becoming new. This lie also comes from not accepting the three-part being of man. If man has only two parts, i.e. body and soul without a differentiation of spirit from soul, there is no possibility of our possessing the perfection given to us in Christ. We will always find our identity as the world does; that is, from what we do. For such people, identity is found in the soul, rather than in the spirit. (1 Cor. 6:17; 2 Cor. 5:17; 1 Thess. 5:23).
5. The lie of false motivation convinces Christians that they still need the law. However, the law is, and always was, powerless to change the heart. The Christian who believes this lie will always either glorify or else despise himself, based upon his behavior. Similarly, there will always be either guilt and condemnation, based on poor performance, or arrogance and pride, based on good performance. The ultimate result will be reactive behavior based on circumstances, instead of responsive behavior based on Spirit empowerment. Christians who disagree with Paul’s writings on this matter believe that the indwelling Christ, together with His love for us and ours for Him, is insufficient in prompting righteous behavior; they need the law as well. (Rom. 3:19-22; 8:3-4; 13:8; Gal. 3:11-13; 1 Tim. 1:8-10.)
6. The lie of false cause convinces Christians they have many problems, rather than many symptoms of one problem. For most (but not all) relational, behavioral, and psychological aberrations in life, there is one cause: flesh, or living according to the flesh. Dealing only with fleshly symptoms—anger, jealousy, depression, lovelessness, drug abuse, etc.—will only lead to false solutions. This then results in fighting works of the flesh, instead of walking in the Spirit. (Gal. 5:16-25)
7. The lie of temporary salvation is very prevalent within the body of Christ. Those who teach that the believer’s salvation can never be certain do teach that salvation is obtained by grace, but that it is maintained by works. The obvious result here is that those who believe this lie can never rest in Christ. They are trusting in their own works- righteousness, or lack of it, rather than in the righteousness of Christ that becomes ours by faith, and to which the believer is enslaved. (Rom. 6:18; 2 Cor. 5:21; Phil. 3:9; Heb. 7:25)
8. The lie of a false life convinces Christians that they have two lives: their own life, and Christ’s life. For anyone who is in Christ, however, there is only one life, because His life is my life. The deception that the believer has two lives is in part a definitional problem, and in part a result of not knowing the difference between real life in the spirit and the mere activities—behavior, thinking, feeling, choosing—of the body and soul that are mistaken for life. Life as God sees it flows from the spirit and is manifested through the soul and by the body. Life as natural man sees it is in the soul and body. (1 Cor. 2:14-16; 6:17; 2 Cor. 5:16-17; Col. 3:4)
There are many more lies and deceptions being practiced by the body of Christ. Note again that all the lies mentioned above result in minimizing (not believing in) the finished, complete work of Christ. Every lie above tries to combine our energies and behaviors with the finished work of Christ as though His work is incomplete, unfinished, insufficient, or incompetent. All of these lies result in ineffective Christianity, Christians who wear themselves out, Christians who always fall short, Christians who have little or no joy, peace, freedom, or victory.
Prayer: Oh Lord, my Lord, open my eyes so I will no longer insult the Christ by believing lies which minimize His work. It is my purpose to exalt Him, and maximize His provision and effectiveness in my life. Root out every lie. Replace lies with truth. Replace my darkness with Your light. For Jesus’ sake!