AndRest 07-06-055


Experience Life with Jesus



Neil T. Anderson

e3 Resources, 2007, 166 pp., ISBN 978-193338339-2


Neil Anderson is Founder and President Emeritus of Freedom in Christ Ministries and the author of many books on Christ-centered living, including Victory Over the Darkness and The Bondage Breaker.  Along similar lines, this one provides a series of steps and prayers to be released from and to overcome false guidance, deception, bitterness, rebellion, pride, habitual sin, and ancestral sins.


One: Redemption History

The first chapter is an overview of redemption history.  "Knowing who you are as a child of God is critical for your growth in Christ and in becoming the person God intends you to be.  No person can consistently behave in a way that is inconsistent with what they believe about themselves." (19)  A number of Scriptures are cited to show that in Christ, we are accepted, secure, and significant. (20-21)


"Because of our union with God, we have the authority and the power to do God's will."  (24)  "We are saved by the grace of God through faith in the finished work of Christ, but if we want to experience our new life and freedom in Christ and grow by the grace of God, we must repent of our sins.  The rest of this book will lead you through a repentance process.  If you are completely honest with God during the process, you will sense His presence in your life when you are finished…." (25-6)


Two: Overcoming False Guidance

"If you really want to experience your freedom in Christ, the first step is to renounce previous or current involvement with any activity of group that denies Jesus Christ, offers guidance through sources contrary of the Word of God, or requires secret ceremonies or covenants."  "Repentance literally means a change of mind, but it is much more comprehensive in its application." (27) 


"To be free from the past, it is necessary to specifically renounce every false religion, false teacher, false practice, and every means of false guidance you have participated in.  Many people come to Christ and make a profession of faith, but continue in their old ways of seeking guidance and in participation in false religious practices." (28)


Find a quiet place where you can pray each prayer out loud and verbally process each step. (35)


Three: Overcoming Deception

"Knowing the truth is our first line of defense against the father of lies."  "God's truth must penetrate the heart, the very core of our beings.  Only then will His truth bring freedom and lasting change in the inner person." (48-9)


"We have been called to speak the truth in love and walk in the light which means that our lives should be transparent before God and others.  Anything less and we are living a lie." (49)  "The first step in recovery is to get out of denial and face the truth."  "Truth is never the enemy; it is always a liberating friend." (49)


"Satan keeps people in bondage by deceiving them and by blinding the minds of the unbelieving.  The power of Satan is in the lie, and the battle is for the mind."  "When the lies are exposed, Satan's power over the believer is broken." (50)


"The way we overcome the father of lies is by choosing the truth." (52)


Some ways you can be deceived by the world: (54,55)

- Believing that acquiring money and things will bring lasting happiness

- Believing that an attractive body and personality will get me what I need

- Believing that I need more than what God has given me in Christ

- Believing that I can read, see, or listen to anything and not be corrupted


Four: Overcoming the Bondage of Bitterness

"Unforgiveness by Christians affords Satan his greatest access to the Church, and many believers are bound to the past because they have failed to forgive others as Christ has forgiven them." (67)


Some "believe it is a sign of weakness, a continuation of the sickening saga of codependency.  On the contrary, forgiveness is a courageous act that reflects the grace of God.  Forgiveness is not tolerating sin.  God forgives, but He doesn't tolerate sin." (68)


"Seeking revenge is letting the devil set the agenda."  "Hanging on to bitterness only sickens the soul." (68) 


"The vast majority of the victimizers will never come back and ask for forgiveness.  They won't even acknowledge they did anything wrong.  That makes forgiveness harder…."  (69). 


"When you forgive, you set the captive free, only to realize that you were the captive." (71)


"The concept of 'letting go' of anger, guilt, and condemnation toward self is something many have never considered.  Those feelings are rooted in our failure to understand God's cleansing and forgiveness.  Only God can forgive our sins, which separate us from Him, and He has.  But we need to forgive ourselves for our failures, for letting God down, and for hurting others.  Otherwise we believe the subtle deception that we must atone for our own sins." (72)  "Forgiving ourselves is saying in effect, 'Lord, I believe that You have forgiven me and cleansed me of my sins.'" (73)


"People don't always forgive others because of what others did to them; people forgive others for what they think others have done to them.  Bitterness isn't always rooted in reality."  (74)


"Forgiving others is not a self-righteous activity nor a blaming exercise.  It is a humbling and healing experience that faces the hurt and the hate, and then chooses the way of the Cross." (75)  "Forgiveness is an act of the will whereby we give up our claim to seek revenge for an offense against us." (76) 


"He paid the penalty for my sins, your sins, and all the sins committed by others against all the people of this world.  The victim cries out, 'where is the justice?'  It's in the Cross." (77)


"Forgiveness is a hard choice, which includes: (1) allowing God to surface the names of every offending person and painful memory; (2) agreeing to live with the consequences of the other person's sin without seeking revenge; and (3) letting God deal with the offending person in His way and in His time."  "Christ paid the price for our sins, and we pay the price for those who sinned against us."  (81)


"Bitterness is like swallowing poison and hoping the other person will die.  It is to the soul what cancer is to the body." (84)


"The primary objective is to face the truth, acknowledge the pain, forgive the offenders and move on." (88)


"To forgive others, you only need to go to God.  Don't confuse the issue of forgiving others with the need to ask for forgiveness…."  "The important thing to remember is that if we have hurt someone else, we need to go to that person first before we go to church.  But if we have been hurt by others, we need to forgive them by going first to God.  Forgiveness must precede reconciliation."  "Reconciliation may come, but only if the abusers will own up to their abusive ways and honestly seek forgiveness." (92)


Five: Overcoming Rebellion

"Saying no to ourselves and yes to God is the ultimate struggle in life."  "Trying to be or play God is the biggest mistake we can make." (96)  "The only real control we have is deciding whom we will serve.  Paradoxically, only when we surrender completely to God do we have self-control." (98)


"Satan was the originator of rebellion, so when we rebel, we are following his lead.  If people truly understood the reality of the spiritual world and the choice they are making, they would immediately renounce any rebellion and submit to God." (99)


"We surrender our right to rule and trust God to work through His established lines of authority for our good.  It is a great act of faith to trust God to work through less than perfect people." (100)


"One of Satan's more potent strategies is to discredit spiritual leaders." (102)


"Identity determines significance.  The world says you are nothing; therefore, you better scheme, achieve, and get ahead, which leads to malice, guile, hypocrisy, envy, and slander.  The Bible tells us that we are something; therefore we should be submissive."  "The biblical formula reads: our position in Christ and our identities as children of God equals significance." (109-110)


Six: Overcoming Pride

"Pride says, 'It was my idea, and I can do it by my strength and resources.'  Pride is the origin of evil." (114)


"God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble." (James 4:6) 


"Pride says, 'I think I can get out of this by myself.'"  "Fallen humanity is on a sinking ship that is going nowhere without God." (116)


"The more we are able to accomplish, the more susceptible we are to pride.  More than one Christian leader has fallen when he started receiving glowing accolades for his work." (116)


"Humility is not saying God is everything and we are nothing."  "Humility is confidence properly placed."  "We are what we are by the grace of God!  To deny that would be to discredit the work that Christ accomplished on the cross."  "Pride says, 'I did it.'  True humility says, 'I did it by the grace of God.'"  (118)


"The only way we can glorify God in our bodies is to live victorious lives and bear much fruit.  And the only way we can live victorious lives and bear much fruit is to abide in Christ." (118)


"The whole aim of Satan is to get self-interest recognized as the chief end of man." (119)  "All temptation is an attempt to get us to live our lives independently of God."  "Though the immediate evidence of pride is self-centeredness, the root of pride is self-exaltation." (120)


"A proper sense of worth comes from recognizing and appropriating the biblical fact that we are loved and valued by our heavenly Father.  Our value is not based on our own merit but on the fact that we are His precious children for whom Christ was willing to die." (121)


"The problem is not that we don't have tremendous riches in Christ; the problem is we don't see them."  "By exposing and confessing pride, we are acknowledging our desire to be free from a self-centered and a self-sufficient life." (122)


Some evidences of pride:

- Having a stronger desire to do my will than God's will

- Relying on my own strengths and resources…

- Being too busy doing 'important' and selfish things rather than seeking and doing God's will

- Finding it hard to admit I am wrong

- Being driven to obtain recognition  (123-24)


Seven: Overcoming Habitual Sin

"Complete repentance means to submit to God, resist the devil, and close the door to future temptations."  (130)


"People caught in addictive and immoral patterns of behavior are subjected to some of the cruelest harassment of the enemy.  First, Satan tempts them to sin, then he mercilessly condemns them for sinning, and then he attacks their sense of worth." (130)


Recommended book for struggles with habitual sin: Overcoming Addictive Behavior (Regal Books, 2003) (133)


"There is a big difference between an unresolved conflict from our past and only the memory of the conflict.  On the basis of Scripture, what you have done in going through the Steps is to reduce those experiences to memories.  You are now free from the past and the sin that entangled you.  It no longer has any hold on you, and God will never use it against you now or in the future." (142)


Eight: Overcoming Ancestral Sins

These are sins that are passed on from one generation to another, common especially as a result of dysfunctional families or those involved in cults or the occult. 


"Unless we make concerted efforts to do otherwise, we will perpetuate the habits, customs, and traditions passed on in our families for generations." (143)


Once free in Christ, you must maintain your freedom.  "You have won an important battle, but the war goes on.  To maintain your freedom in Christ and grow in the grace of God, you must continue renewing your mind to the truth of God's word." (148)



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