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I predominately loved myself more than God. I did love God and was thankful for and devoted to all Jesus Christ, my Lord and Savior, sacrificed for me. However, I would have sometimes denied this fact through my words and behavior, showing myself as a hypocrite. My resistance to dying to myself resulted in me resisting the Spirit, Who is the Lord (2 Corinthians 3:18).

My immature beliefs in God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit and misunderstanding of the Holy Spirit’s gracious work to make me a new creature in Christ, coupled with my resistance to dying to my old self, ensured that my old self predominated, keeping me infancy in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:14-18). My spiritual immaturity (I had elementary beliefs in Christ) nullified the grace of God. So, after being saved by the Spirit of grace, I tried to prove God made the right choice, so I tried to live by faith in God and myself. After being saved, I made every human effort to please God! Because of my immaturity in Christ trying to please God, being a Christian was not easy and created a heavy burden on my life.

“O foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you? Before your very eyes Jesus Christ was clearly portrayed as crucified. I would like to learn just one thing from you: Did you receive the Spirit by works of the law, or by hearing with faith? Are you so foolish? After starting in the Spirit, are you now finishing in the flesh [human effort]? Have you suffered so much for nothing, if it really was for nothing? Does God lavish His Spirit on you and work miracles among you because you practice the law, or because you hear and believe?” Galatians 3:1-5 BSB

During my infantile, licentious years in Christ, my sin and the sin of others had far-reaching detrimental impacts on our lives. I have been married three times. In 2014, I married my third trustworthy and beautiful wife. Our marriage is held together through our enduring loving and hard work, but we trust the Spirit of grace, Who loves us, to hold our marriage together in peace, unity, and love!

“But by the grace of God I am what I am [a new creature in Christ], and His grace to me was not in vain [I believed the New Covenant promises of God the Father, knew I was radically a new person being one with the Spirit of Christ yet my old self of sin remained, and that I died by Christ Jesus lived in me]. No, I worked harder than all of them [humbly the Spirit led and I choose to follow in love]—yet not I, but the grace of God [Spirit of grace] that was with me.” 1 Corinthians 15:10 BSB

Since 2014, through many painful experiences used by the Spirit of sanctification to teach me the difference between good and evil and to accept I died in Christ, my old ways began to die quickly in Christ. Instead of asking the Spirit to give me help and power to please God, I now believe that the Holy Spirit caused me to be born again, the same person, yet a new person in Christ in union with Him so as God, He is always in control of the new me, my new nature.

The Spirit of consuming fire disciplines, corrects, rebukes, and possibly kills me if I decide to continue to let my old self that remained in my flesh have its way, or the Spirit would continue to transform me from an infant in Christ to a maturing adult in Christ if I lovingly and humbly submit myself to the will of God my Father through His Son Jesus Christ by His Spirit. So, I stopped trying to imitate Christ through any effort, including trusting in my love, thankfulness, commitment, abilities, or strength: instead, I imitated Paul, and he imitated Christ, which was by faith in the Spirit, my Lord!

“But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace to me was not in vain. No, I worked harder than all of them—yet not I, but the grace of God that was with me.” 1 Corinthians 15:10 BSB

So, what I have to say about infancy in Christ flows from my love and compassion for those who may be stuck inappropriately immature in Christ, as I was and still need to mature in Christ increasingly!
As I learned to die to and not trust myself by trusting in the gracious work of the Holy Spirit to put my old self to death, God the Father began showing me the breadth and depth of His New Covenant promises. I now know that God the Father sent the Spirit of God in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ to save, eternally live in, and to enable me to walk in step with the Spirit of God, for us to enjoy a loving relationship, and for the Spirit of God to love others through me.

“And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified, in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.” 1 Corinthians 6:11 BSB
I came to believe that God the Father purposely titled the New Covenant, the New Covenant of the Spirit for very good reasons and that I had to become qualified as a New Covenant Pastor!
“It is clear that you are a letter from Christ, the result of our ministry, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts [new heart and new spirit in union with the Holy Spirit (Ezekiel 36:25-27).

Such confidence before God is ours through Christ. Not that we are competent in ourselves to claim that anything comes from us, but our competence comes from God. And He has qualified us as ministers of a new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.” 1 Corinthians 3:3-4 BSB

My work now by the Spirit is to share God the Father’s New Covenant promises, plans, and provision of His Son as Lord and Savior and His Spirit as Lord and Savior, too!

“Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.” 2 Corinthians 3:17 BSB

As we come to believe that the Spirit is our Lord and Savior (Spirit gives eternal life) too, then we will experience the freedom we have in Christ to choose to love others as God loves in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of Christ our Lord!

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