I believe that what I believe is what makes me who I am. I did not make it, no, it is making me. It is the very truth of God and not the invention of any man…” Lyrics from “Creed” by Rich Mullins
WBVN began broadcasting the Gospel of Christ the afternoon of January 8th, 1990. That’s considered the “starting point” of this ministry. However, the real beginning is really associated with a message rather than a date. That message started with the simple truth we had learned years before 1990, a decision to depend on Christ as the only source of Life as the Father would have it for us. Christ is everything concerning the Gospel. He stands alone as the central figure in the Gospel message, sharing the stage with no other performer. Christ should be the captain of our Faith and He should be more than doctrine or denomination, Christ must be the focus of our daily Christian expression. We cannot look right or left, but we have to look inside our hearts for the purpose and the will of God. He alone has been made to us Wisdom, Righteousness, Sanctification, and Redemption (1 Cor. 1:30). For that statement to be true, it’s our contention that the Law had a limited purpose, while Christ’s ministry is “limitless” and now stands alone as the object of our Faith.
Paul taught that prior generations had been spoken to by Moses and the Prophets “in many portions and many ways”, but in these days He has spoken to us in “His Son”. (Hebrews 1:1,2) Simple behavior modification based on Law will not produce the Power of God; the Power we all need to have in our lives to change our lives found in the knowledge of Christ Jesus! Romans 1:16-17 teaches us that a revelation of the Righteousness of God, imparted to us as a free gift, is the knowledge that will empower us. The Law had two revelations: (1) you don’t measure up and (2) no one else measures up either. John 5:45 shows Jesus accusing the hearers of trusting in the Law of Moses, setting their hope on ordinances rather than a “Faith” such as Abraham’s. That kind of thinking was a mistake for believers then and it’s a mistake for us today!
The Law teaches that if we do well enough, we’ll succeed. Grace says, “receive” Mercy and Peace and you will do well enough! Paul instructed that the teaching of the Law was “the ministry of death and condemnation” (2 Cor. 3:7,9), contrasting it with the “ministry of reconciliation”, which teaches “…that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto Himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and has committed unto us the word of reconciliation”. (2 Cor. 5:18-19) “Wherefore brethren, you are dead to the Law by the body of Christ; that you should be married to another, even to him who is raised from the dead…for when we were in the flesh (under the Law) the motions of sins, which were by the Law…. but now we are delivered from the Law, that (it) being dead wherein we were held; that we should serve in newness of spirit, and not in the oldness of the letter (Law).” “…Not being under the Law, but under Grace.” (Rom. 6:14) “For the Law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the Law of sin and death.” “For as many as are lead by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. For you have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but you have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry Abba (Daddy), Father.” (Rom. 8:14-15) “…The Gentiles which followed not after righteousness, have attained righteousness, even the righteousness which is by Faith (faith that it is a free gift). But Israel, which followed after the Law of righteousness, hath not attained to the Law of righteousness…Because they sought it not by Faith, but as it were by the works of the Law. For they stumbled at that stumbling stone (Jesus).” (Rom. 9:30-32) “For with the heart (with the heart! with the heart!) man believeth unto righteousness…”(Rom. 10:10) That’s our Creed at this ministry, that’s ‘the word of Faith’ that we preach. The change agent in our lives is the knowledge of the Love of Christ, so that we might know the “breadth, the length, the depth and the height of God, that we might be filled with the fullness of God. (Eph. 3: 18-19)
Our obligation is for this ministry to continue in the same way we started this “Faith-walk”. “As you have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him. …for in Him dwells all the fullness …you are complete in Him. You are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands…blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us (Law).” The devil wants us under the Law, for under the obligations of the Law we will always be succeeding at one part, but always failing at another. We therefore live in ‘self-condemnation’ as well as the condemnation of those around us. We’ll eventually have to come to the fact that it’s ‘nothing but the blood of Jesus’-that no other shedding of blood or sacrifice will be enough. “Man is not justified by the works of the Law, but by the Faith of Jesus Christ… by no works of the Law shall any flesh be justified…. I do not frustrate the Grace of God, for if righteousness came by the Law, then Christ is dead in vain.” (Gal. 2:16,21) “…the just shall live by Faith and the Law is not of Faith, but that man that does them shall live in them. Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the Law, being made a curse for us…that the blessings of Abraham (all of them) might come upon the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through Faith…. For if the inheritance be of the Law, it is no more a promise: but God gave it to Abraham (and us) by a promise…for if there had been a Law given which could have given life, verily righteousness should have been by the Law…the Law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by Faith, but after that Faith is come we are no longer under a schoolmaster.” (Gal 3:11-25) “Tell me, you that desire to be under the Law, do you hear the Law? For it is written that Abraham had two sons, the one by a bondmaid and the other by a freewoman. But he was of the bondwoman was born after the flesh; but he of the freewoman was by promise…these are two covenants…now we brethren, as Isaac was, are the children of promise. But as then, he that was born after the flesh persecuted him that was born after the Spirit, even so it is now…cast out the bondwoman for the son of the bondwoman shall not be heir with the son of the freewoman. Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherein Christ has made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage. (this is Paul’s comparison between the two covenants) Christ is of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the Law, you are fallen from Grace. For a little leaven leavens the whole lump.” (Gal. 4:21 thru 5:9)
Sometimes rightly dividing the Word is rightly separating the old covenant and the new. Hebrews, Romans, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, and Timothy are all comparative books; the comparisons being made are between two covenants, Law and Grace, one the old system of relating to God and the other a new way to live the “God Life”. Every Law added to the Gospel message diminishes the Cross and resurrection of Christ. Paul writes in 2 Cor. 3:5, “not that we are sufficient of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God; who has made us able ministers of the new testament; not of the letter (Law), but of the spirit: for the letter kills, but the spirit gives Life…for even unto this day, when Moses is read (Law) the veil is upon our hearts, nevertheless, when it shall turn to the Lord, the veil shall be taken away. Now the Lord is the Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty…(and as we see the glory of the Lord in this revelation of liberty) we all are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord, therefore seeing we have this ministry, as we have received mercy…” “…Beware of the concision (law givers) for we are the circumcision which worship God in the spirit and rejoice in Christ Jesus and have no confidence in the flesh (Law)…though I might also have confidence in the flesh. Circumcised on the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; as touching the Law, a Pharisee; concerning zeal, persecuting the church, touching the righteousness which is in the law, blameless. But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ…I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord; for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them as dung that I may win Christ. And be found in him, not having a righteousness which is of the Law, but that which is through Faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by Faith.” (Phil. 3: 2-9) “…By the deeds of the Law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight. For by the Law is the knowledge of sin, but not that righteousness of God without the Law is manifest …the righteousness of God which is by Faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe…being justified freely by his Grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus…therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith with the deeds of the Law.”(Rom 3:20-28)
We are continually confronted with whom or what we put our trust in. We are always trying to find the right way to “do” the Gospel. The Believer’s challenge is to remember that the right way is not a thing, but a person. Christ is the way, the truth and the life. All the fullness of the Godhead is in Him. “For the Law made nothing perfect (complete), but the bringing in of a better hope did.” (Heb. 7:19) “But now hath he obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also he is a better mediator of a better covenant, which was established on better promises. For if the first covenant had been faultless, then should no place have been sought for the second. For finding fault with them (people) he said, Behold the days come says the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah: Not according to the covenant in the day when I took them by the hand and lead them out of the land of Egypt; because they continued not in my covenant…for this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord, I will put my laws into their mind and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people: and they shall not teach every man his neighbor and every man his brother, saying Know the Lord: for all shall know me, from the least to the greatest. For I will have Mercy to their unrighteousness and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more. In that He says, a new covenant he hath made the first old. Now that which is decays and waxes old is ready to vanish.” (Heb. 8:6-13) “For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins. Wherefore when he comes into the world (Jesus), he said, Sacrifice and offerings thou wouldest not, but a body hast thou prepared me: In burnt offerings and sacrifice for sin thou hast no pleasure…which are offered by the Law. Then said He, I come to do thy will, O God. He taketh away the first, that he may establish the second. By which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once and for all.” (Heb. 10:4-10) Jesus taught the Law in a way that ‘raised the bar’ each time he spoke of it. Each time they thought they had him ‘checkmated’ about meeting the obligation of the Law he simply took the obligation a step further. Finally, he raised the bar so high that no one could get over it; indicating that even to think of the deed was the same as performing the deed. To break the Law in any one part meant we broke the Law in every part. It is simply impossible to satisfy the Law. It can’t be done. We are left with only one remedy: Jesus Christ. He “fulfilled the Law on our behalf and set us free from the Law of Sin and Death.” (Rom. 8:2)
We’re taught in Hebrews 4 about entering into His Rest. He compares that Rest to the Israelites coming out of Egypt, ‘but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with Faith in them that heard it’; they did not enter into His Rest because of ‘unbelief’. There ‘is a rest to the people of God’, “for he that is entered into His Rest, he also has ceased from his works…let us labor therefore to enter into that Rest…”(Heb. 4:9-11), working with God, not working for God. Jesus taught that his yoke is easy and his burden is light. That yoke and burden is to stand in the liberty that he alone has provided. Paul’s letter to the Galatian church describes people that came “to spy out our liberty which we have in Christ Jesus, that they might bring us into bondage.” The disciples asked Jesus, “What shall we do, that we might work the works of God?” Jesus answered and said, “This is the work of God, that you believe on whom he hath sent.” (John 6:27-29) It’s a full time job to believe in Jesus. We’re “in the day that God shall judge the secrets of men by (through) Jesus Christ.” (Rom. 2:16) “God, who in sundry times and in diverse manners spoke unto the fathers by the prophets, hath in these last days spoken unto us by His Son…who being the brightness of His Glory and expressed image of His person…. had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high.” (Heb. 1:2-3) Something will always challenge that ‘work’. It seems that we are having to ‘work’ at being at Rest.
Our role is to stay strong, rooted and grounded in His love. Not to be moved away from the ‘full Gospel of Christ’. This is our Creed. It’s who we are. It’s where we stay. It’s what we share. Because we’ve seen the ‘mystery hidden in Christ’ we cannot help but speak. Jesus is our Passover, the fulfillment of the Law, it is finished, Jesus is our Jubilee: “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, to preach the acceptable year of the Lord.” (Isa. 61, Luke 4) It’s a finished work. WBVN’s desire to always remember that for our lives but just as importantly encourage our listeners enter into the Rest of God as well!