What is Aspiration?
Think of faith as a mirror, as Apostle Paul instructed, “But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass (mirror) the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.” (2 Corinthians 3:18)
A mirror is reflective. When you stand in front of the mirror you will either see the image of Christ looking back at you or the image of your aspiration looking back at you.
Let’s talk about the mirror of aspiration for a moment. You want to see yourself portrayed in a certain way: I am successful, I am kind and generous, I am powerful, etc. The nature of man is inclined to want to reflect an image of themselves to others to be seen in a certain light for validation.
This is why God gave us faith that is restricted to Jesus Christ (His knowledge and spiritual tools). When we look into the mirror we should see the image of Christ looking back at us. That is what true grace does, it reveals Christ. And this is why faith pleases God, it reflects Jesus. How simple.
Let’s look at the self image again. In that self image is caught up these things: your talents, signature skills, moral code/center, the drive of the God-Code, which your imagination works with.
Here we can see the arrows of aspiration that we are talking about in this article: I want the world to view the church as something to be reckoned with, I want to be a voice that counts, I want to act out and play out the powerful stories I read about in the Bible.
We are called to daily die to the projection of the self image so that the image of Christ might be seen. The power for this divine work of regeneration is grace. Grace that is joined to the other 11 elements of the gospel to work in synergy with them.
Substitutionism: The Root of False Grace
The protest against hyper-grace is in part a protest against the idea that God has forgiven all sins past, present, and future. The point being that a person does not have to do anything to remain in this “state of grace”. So then, once you are saved, you cannot be unsaved.
When God restored the church to apostolic governance the church then learned that the root of this pseudo state of grace was substitutionism. The Lord exposed the leprous doctrine of substitutionism and how all that touched it became unclean.
Under the guise of substitutionism, the devil taught the church that Jesus became literal sin to trade places with us. He became the sinner and we became the righteous ones. This summary trade removed the terms, tools, and commandments of the new covenant. There were no works of the covenant assigned to faith to express and reflect Christ and therefore with no covenant and no works of faith, the soul fell asleep again.
The once powerful grace that awakened the soul to faith for salvation had completed its course. Once a person is in covenant, grace is designed by God to be activated daily as a believer serves God with the knowledge and tools of the new covenant.
But no covenant knowledge or tools or priesthood = no works of faith = no grace = no growth. The result is that Christ is not seen amongst those who claim His name. That is the anti-christ spirit and why Apostle John warned the church against it. (1 John 4:3)
Mixing Works = A Defiled Conscience
The Spirit brings out through Apostle James that “even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone..” (James 2:17). What kind of works is the Spirit of God speaking of?
• The works of Moses?
• The works of the flesh?
• The works of the Jesus’ covenant?
If you’re mixing covenants, you’re mixing works. What I mean is that you’re talking about Jesus’ shed blood, but trying to please God by observing the commandments given through Moses while at the same time drawing upon your signature talents, skills, and moral code.
Do you see the problem? God said plainly that Jesus pleases Him. The people present at Jesus’ baptism heard the voice of the Father’s confirmation upon His Son saying, “You are my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” (Mark 1:11).
Faith can only please God when the WORKS of FAITH are JOINED to Jesus’ covenant, not Moses’ covenant…not the flesh. Faith is JOINED to the 9 spiritual tools God sanctified by sprinkling the blood of Jesus upon them, thus showing us that His Spirit inhabits Jesus’ tools only.
Faith was given sacrifices, tokens, commandments, and priesthood through Moses to represent Christ until He came. These tokens, though preaching Christ in types and shadows, could not purge the conscience of sin and therefore were designed to bring sin to remembrance.
“But in those sacrifices there is a remembrance again made of sins every year.” (Hebrews 10:3)
Once Christ came to shed His own blood once and for all for the sins of the world, God gave us a token of Himself. The covenant transitioned from Moses to Jesus and all the tokens of Moses, which preached of Christ’s coming were now carried out in their fulness through Jesus’ new covenant sacrifice, commandments, tokens, and priesthood.
For example, the Law of Moses specified a day in the week called the Sabbath Day in which man was to rest from the toil of this dimension, thus preaching that when Christ comes He will give us Himself as our rest. God first preached this to us in the book of Genesis where He worked for 6 days to create all things and rested the 7th, thus showing us that He put the pattern of our rest in Himself, not in time (a day of the week).
We now therefore observe the rest in the Sabbath Man, Jesus Christ. The Law of Moses is made complete in Jesus Christ. To continue now to observe a day of the week rather than observe the Sabbath Man after God gave us a token of Himself, is the same as refusing God’s token.
Continuing to use the tokens of Moses once Christ came to give us a token of Himself is the same as saying that Christ didn’t come, that His blood was not sufficient in that you still desire the old wine, which you’re saying is better. What you’re saying is that God’s word became a tradition of comfort and confidence for the flesh that you don’t want to part with.
Can you see how God tests faith? To continue in those things which God has not sanctified is not a sign of true faith. When a person continues in old practices, they are doing that for themselves, not for God. When a person has true faith he’s able to transition because He sees Christ, not Himself.
“Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace?” (Hebrews 10:29)
We’ve repeated throughout this lesson that faith is the power to reflect Jesus Christ. Faith functions to reflect and express Him perfectly because Jesus pleases the Father.
If faith is not joined to the works of Jesus’ covenant it is dead because it does not reflect Him. And because it does not reflect Him the Spirit does not enter into it to empower it. So, faith is “dead, being alone”, not joined to the tools that tether you to God, not empowered by the Spirit. God meant to empower faith by joining it to the commandments, spiritual tools, and priesthood of Jesus Christ.
Grace Ruled Conscience or Sin Ruled Conscience
When grace is isolated from the new covenant, believers suffer an identity crisis. They speak about themselves as sinners saved by grace. In other words, they can’t identify with Christ yet and still speak from the defiled conscience as all sinners do.
The purpose of God transitioning faith from the covenant of Moses to the covenant of Jesus Christ was to change our testimony. You can tell when a person is still governed by the law of sin and death. It’s in his testimony. He is still confessing and repenting of sin. His confession follows his priesthood.
When grace rules the conscience the work of the Spirit is to confirm Christ to cleanse the conscience of sin. This is why the tools of the covenant keep Christ in remembrance, not sin.
The priesthood of Jesus Christ is another huge transition for the church. Now that the Christian priesthood has been restored, the face of Christianity has changed. The face of Christ is now clearly seen in the faith of the people.