A Testimony of Abundant Grace
“My identity is in Christ and what he wants for my life.” - Kristy
Kristy and Dad
The Acts of the Apostles records (chapter 4), how God’s power was manifest through Peter and John after Pentecost and how the “rulers and elders and scribes were gathered together in Jerusalem…and all who were of high-priestly descent…they began to inquire, “By what power, or in what name, have you done this?...And with great power the apostles were giving testimony to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and abundant grace was upon them all.”
The following testimony is a personal account of the abundant grace of God manifest in May of 2015 at Portantorchas Bible School in Costa Rica where I was privileged to be the guest speaker and teach a class called, “Christ As Life.” What made this opportunity so very special is the fact that my youngest daughter Kristy was a student. It was a joyous reunion to see her and to experience this God-appointed time together.
Students and staff who attended class
Each of the bible school students was required to turn in a paper with their summation and insights regarding the class. The following is my daughter Kristy's paper. It brought tears of joy realizing how God had captured her heart and all that He is doing in her. It is shared to be of encouragement to you. –Don
Teacher: Don Burzynski
Course: Christ As Life 5/11-15/15 Portantorchas Bible School, Costa Rica
Christ As Life
I had the privilege to listen to my dad teach the Christ Life seminar and was amazed at all God had shown me. While listening to my dad teach, he said: “God’s purpose of our lives is for us to experience Him.” The main focus is God and what He has done in us and as we choose to agree with Him and what He will do through us. It’s not what we do for God but what we allow Him to do in us. In class he also discussed “Who is your point of reference?” The false premises of this would be “I am, because I do…” This is wrong. Why? Because “everything starts with who God is, and everything ends with who God is.” If we are to know God, we must know that God is the “point of reference” for everything! Our understanding must be derived “out of,” Gods own self-revelation. We must allow God to determine our understanding of Himself. The class also talks about God’s character, the flesh, sin, body/soul/spirit, and what it means to have Christ as your life.
Spiritual Principles Learned
1. God is only glorified by what God does: “Jesus… is the radiance of his (Father’s) glory and the exact representation of his nature…” Hebrews 1:2-3
2. God’s highest glory, according to God, is His son: “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me.”
3. Nothing good dwells in my flesh: “The acts of flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity, and debauchery…” Gal 5:19
4. We should remain in God: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me.”
5. No man has seen God at any time: “No one has ever seen God, but the one and only Son, who is Himself God and is in closest relationship with the Father, has made Him known.” John 1:18
6. God has revealed Himself in his natural creation: “For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities – His eternal power and divine nature- have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.” Rom 1:20
7. God is a personal God to his people: “God said to Moses, “I am who I am. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: ‘I am has sent me to you.”
8. God has revealed himself supernaturally in the incarnation of His son, Jesus Christ: “The word became flesh and made His dwelling among us. We have seen His glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.” John 1:14
“Nothing good dwells in my flesh” Rom. 7:18.
First let’s start off with what is the meaning of flesh? Your flesh is the way you have learned to manage and operate your life apart from God, under the deception of Satan, through his sinful character. Every human being has a body, soul and spirit. The flesh is a part of the soul. You can’t get rid of the flesh; it will always be there until the day you die. There are only two ways of living: by the flesh or by the spirit (See Romans chapter 8 and Galatians chapter 5). You can choose to participate with God or to participate with the desires of your flesh. Galatians 5:16 says: “So I say walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh.” As long as we keep our eyes on Christ and what He wants for our lives we won’t need to walk by the flesh. “Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires” (Gal 5:24). The flesh is always centered on self. What are my desires or what are my needs. Satan has deceived people into thinking that you do not need to be dependent on God, that you can live your life independently apart from God. Flesh is a learned independence. Independence is actually a delusion; God is the only independent being. But what we have done is brought this mindset and lifestyle developed apart from God and centered it on ourselves. Satan wants you to think that the flesh does something for you. Our flesh can hold us captive as a victim. The way he described it was with an image of an octopus. An octopus has eight legs, no spinal cord, and goes wherever the water takes it. On each of the legs of the octopus there can be “anger, lust, hatred, pride, bitterness and depression.” These are all our flesh patterns. As he continued explaining this illustration he said, “So what happens if you cut off one of the octopus legs?” It can grow another leg. You can’t get rid of one because you will still have 7 legs. So what he was basically saying is, the flesh is one problem with many symptoms and Satan doesn’t care which way he steals your life, as long as he keeps you distracted from your relationship with God. If we are focusing on our sins or on our fleshly desires all the time it is going to distract us from the most important person in our life—God. God never wanted man to be sin-conscience. So how can we then reform the flesh? We can’t, only God can. Your identity is in Christ not your flesh. Gal 5:25 “Since we live by the spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.”
God is only glorified by what God does (Isa. 42:8 & 48:11).
Many of us attempt to understand God by what God does but who God is has to do with His character. He is not who He is apart from His character. God acts out of His own being to express His exclusive character. It is not what man does for God but what God does in and through you. So many times Christians think they have to do all of these things for God: read the bible, go to church, pray etc. Thinking that it depends on our behavior or our actions but Christ is the Dynamic of His Own Demands and all imperatives of the New Covenant are fulfilled in Christ. I’m not saying don’t do those things but simply saying don’t let it become a “religious practice” that can take you away from your relationship with God. “The glory which thou hast given me I have given to them…” (John 17:22). Our identity should be found in Christ not what we do. His glory comes from God, through Christ, to us as a gift.
God is a personal God to his people
God’s purpose for our life is not a new teaching, or a sinless perfection, not a life of passivity, not a self-help teaching, not a second work of grace, not a formula for self to imitate Christ, and is not overlooking or approving sinful behavior. God’s main purpose for man is to have a relationship with us, you cannot study your way into a relationship. God is a personal God and wants us to participate with him. Man cannot be a man apart from God—as God intended man. Jesus Christ expressing His life in and through you is what gives God His greatest glory. Christianity is not what we do but is a Person. This Person is Jesus and it is no longer you that lives but Christ. “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me” (Gal 2:20).
Before my dad’s class I always thought that I was the problem because of my fleshly desires. But I realized that Satan wanted me to think I was the problem all this time. It was a major distraction and I was no longer focused on Christ but my sins that I had committed. I also learned that my flesh is not who I am. My identity is in Christ and what he wants for my life. I also have more confidence in myself that I never had before. I don’t have to believe the lies Satan was telling me anymore and can rest in the comfort of Christ. “Faith is the receptivity of God’s activity.”
I cannot think of a greater joy for a father than to be used of God as a vessel to minister to one of His children’s spiritual life. I do hope that by sharing this, you can share in my delight for what God is doing by His grace in my personal family and in the Family of God as a whole. -Don Burzynski www.cross-life.org
Friday, April 22, 2016