TGP Volume 11
(January/February/March 2011)

Secondary Legalism: Set for Heaven but Missing God’s Provisions for Health and Happiness

Everyone of my Baptist friends, I am certain, would insist their hope of eternal life is through faith alone in the blood of Christ, that no amount of good works could save them from the judgment of God which separates the world from him. They would quickly identify anyone who sought to earn their eternal salvation through the performance of good deeds in order to win God’s favor as a legalist.

Yet, almost everyone of them, it seems to me sometimes, insists that their hope for experiencing God’s blessings (usually understood by them as health and wealth) is based upon the success of their efforts to perform according to rules/consistent with a standard of behavior by which all good Christians should strive to live - for example, to love and forgive others, also give to (pay/repay) God. Otherwise, they ask, how could they expect him to love, forgive, and give to them!

I call this secondary or religious legalism. It disregards that
  • God values us unconditionally, based upon who he is and not upon anything meritorious about us, and that
  • his blessings (grace provisions to heal and enable us for Christian living and service to others), beginning with and especially the provision of his Son (his Blood and Life, flow freely into all the world to every person, and effectually into our lives when we open the doors of our lives (body and soul) to receive them.
Secondary legalists also miss understanding that they have no more reason to hope for health and happiness in this life based upon heroic efforts to please God than they do to hope for eternal life based upon their good works.

Don Loy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 11C31

1 John 3:9

especially as the KJV renders it,

“Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God”

is used sometimes as a proof text that
  • a state of sinless perfection is possible, or
  • a gross act of sin puts us at risk for eternal loss, or
  • if we fall into habitual sin, it is evidence that we have not been born again.
But I don't see any room for considering that viewpoint based on the following:

1) The word “sin” in the first instance, hamartia, is the “element” of sin – i.e., the sin nature. (The second, hamartano, is the “act” of sin.) Maybe a good paraphrase would be,

“Whoever is born again is no longer subject to the control of his sinful nature.”

2) Also, “commit” is the word poieo and, according to the Greek language scholars, has a wide range of meanings, including to “indulge” or “practice.” This is consistent with the NIV translations:

“No one who is born of God will continue to sin (indulge the sin nature)..."

3) "...because God's seed (Life) remains in him."

The word "remains" is meno, the same as in John 15:1-7 where Christ says that our fruitfulness is supported/made possible only by our connection to remain in him for the flow of his Life into us for our renewal. So, it is absolutely possible for a born again person to live in habitual sin, if he does not give opportunity for God's Life to be renewed in his heart through quiet-time worship. 

4) “…he can not go on sinning, because he has been born of God.”

Interestingly, “can” is the word dunatai (power) from the root dunamia or dynamia (root of transliterations, dynamic and dynamite). I think this means,

“a born again person (in whom the Life of Christ is constant through renewal) cannot go on sinning because the power of his sinning (the sinful nature) has been broken by the seed of God’s life within him.”

5) No, John 15:2

"He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit" 

is not a proof text that we can lose our eternal salvation. In context with 15:4 (which identifies the condition for bearing no fruit), it means

"Every branch that does not remain connected to the Vine through Christ is cut off from the flow of God's Life to support fruitfulness."  

6) Whatever the meaning of any part of Scripture, it must be understood in the light of the whole of Scripture.

Don Loy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 11C30

Giving God Opportunity to Get With It

The young lady wept bitterly that, despite all her trying, she still might not be worthy of a good husband. It was consistent with her religious view that we must perform to win God’s favor.

But we are not called to prove ourselves good enough for God. Instead, he calls us to give him opportunity to prove himself good enough for us. He is quite acceptable, you know, for us to have that disposition toward him. It models his redemptive plan for our relationship to resources - that is, for us to closely evaluate those who offer their support, and then, on the basis of our confidence in their performance to faithfully live out their commitments, to solemnly enter into covenant relationship with them as recipients of their love and care.

Don Loy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 11C29

Teaching the Cold Text of the Written Word: A Failing Strategy for Pulpit Ministry

The well-known, west coast pastor insists his preaching and teaching duty is to teach the content of the Scripture (called expository preaching), that pulpit ministry focused on addressing the life issues of human experience (called topical preaching) would leave his church unsupported for living the Christian life.

However, if learning the cold letter of the Scripture met our support needs, Bible colleges and seminaries could replace the church. But the reality is, interestingly enough, Bible colleges and seminaries are notorious for “good places to fall away from God.”

To the other extreme, if teaching to address the counseling needs of hurting people is not rooted in The Scripture, it is only the opinion of man which seems right to human wisdom, but leads to death.

Grace ministry considers that God calls the minister to experience Christ through
  • Scripture reading (not foremost for the study of a textbook, but) in order to hear the Holy Spirit communicate Truth concerning who God is,
  • confession of our brokenness and need for him, and
  • quiet-time worship.
It is out of this experience that the minister is enabled for competent ministry and effectual teaching and preaching to those he serves. Without it, his knowledge of the written letter will not produce life in himself or those to whom he preaches and teaches.

Don Loy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 11C28

Making No Sense, Struggling to Explain an Experience We Have Not Had

Apparently, it is difficult to consistently discuss with accuracy the meaning of an experience which we have not had. Maybe that is the challenge Bible teachers sometimes seem to have when attempting to explain God’s enablement (grace) for living the Christian life. I call it “looping.” They seem to be all over the subject, sometimes providing wonderful explanation of God’s provisions to support us, but then swerving away to say the opposite (it seems to me) – for example, to suggest we must perform to prove ourselves worthy of that support.

Absolutely, God’s provisions for our healing and enablement flow into our lives through our obedience. But it is not obedience to go and give (essential for happiness); rather, it is obedience to come and receive.

The whole of the grace message, I think, may turn on this concept. And unless we have taken time daily to experience God’s provisions, especially of Christ, we who teach may be attempting to explain the opinion of another who also has not experienced the explanation.

Don Loy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 11C25

Suffering Mental Fatique: Missing Supplement Support for Memory Function

I have reason to think Vinpocetin (vin-po-ce-tin) is a wonderful support for memory function. Some studies are reporting that 30 mgs a day is beneficial to reverse brain fatigue, also signs of age-related dementia. I have been including the herb in my supplementation regimen for about a year. Recently, however, I used up my supply, then delayed for several weeks to reorder. When I finally got to my neighborhood Vitamin Shoppe, I walked around the store in confusion feeling mentally drained. “Can I help you?” the young man asked. “Yes,” I answered, “I am looking for your Valparaiso.”  

Don Loy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 11C24

Experiencing Christ Far Exceeding Our Need to Know About Nathaniel

I could probably name the 39 books of the Old Testament and 27 books of the New Testament. Same also the twelve tribes of Israel and the twelve Disciples. But if not, I can quote John 3:16, Romans 8:28, 2 Corinthians 9:8, 2 Peter 1:3, 2 Timothy 1:12, Matthew 6:33, and maybe also several hundred other verses of The Scripture, some as large portions of thirty or so chapters and psalms. Most importantly, however, I know the nine fruits of the Holy Spirit (the manifestation of “who Christ is” within us). I think that’s because I never had the need to know or experience one of the Disciples, but I do have a desperate need to experience Christ.

Don Loy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 11C23

Law and Grace Formulas for Effectual Leadership

I have read with benefit some of the leading textbooks on leadership (corporate, community, civic, and church), including the required ones for my formal seminary training. But I have not had confidence in leadership formulas which are not clearly rooted in the concepts of grace (God’s provisions for our healing and usefulness in service to others – i.e., growth and productivity).

Consider the following which has been increased in my understanding through the years during my quiet time.

1. The grace formula for giving effectual leadership in the home and church is different from the government formula for giving effectual leadership in the marketplace or community. The one is organic relationships supported by love focused on covenant investment for personal growth and productivity, the other is  organizational rules supported by law focused on contractual enforcement for performance growth and profit.

2. But a measure of each exists appropriately in both, perhaps in a one to four ratio (not scientific or demonstrated through research, but as an expression to make a point) – that is:
  • grace leadership in the home and church to support personal growth is minimal/maximal 75% organic/25% organizational, and
  • government leadership in the marketplace to support performance growth is maximal/minimal 75% organization/25% organic.
3. Organizational leadership in the home and church is limited but essential to support performance growth. Organic leadership in the marketplace is limited but essential to support personal growth.



Home and Church/Corporate, Civic (also, Marketplace, Military)
Energizing Relationships/Exhausting Rules
Covenant Resources/Contractual Requirements
Supported by love (the law of)/Supported by law (the love of)
New Testament Grace/Old Testament Law
Personal growth and productivity/Performance growth and profit
Essential organizational support (25%)/Essential organic support (25%)

Don Loy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 11C22 

“Turn at next light!” A Call to Confusion

A beloved pastor speaks regularly to a world-wide tv and radio audience and also to large crowds gathering in the church’s beautiful 10,000 seat auditorium. In one recent sermon, he called Christians to surrender their lives to Christ and used the illustration of handing over the reins for a team of horses to a more capable driver.

The message was true and well received. I have heard it with appreciation for over 60 years. Often I have left from hearing such a sermon with deep conviction for my need to more fully surrender my life to Christ. However, it was without instructions to define the choices which guided and supported me for doing that – the same (it seemed to my need-to-know, analytical mind) as calling me to health, or to a location, but without providing the essential information which supported me for making the appropriate choices leading to that outcome. His sermon reminded me of a sign I once saw which read, “Turn at next light!" or another one which read, "Obey this sign!”

Don Loy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 11C21


Seven words represent the support God gives us for Christian living and service to others (including parenting and pastoring).

1. Explanation

This is teaching. God teaches Truth by the Holy Spirit through his Word. He also calls and prepares us as vessels to teach those we serve.

“When the Holy Spirit has come, he will teach you all things.” - See John 14:26; 1 John 2:27

2. Exhortation

This is preaching. Preaching proclaims the Gospel (the good news of God’s provisions), and then calls us to receive it for our healing.

“Go into all the world and preach the gospel.” – Mark 16:15

3. Enrollment

This is the opportunity Christ gives us to enter into a formal covenant with him. The covenant is based on his promise to support us (the proposal) and on our willingness to receive that support (the “I do!”).

“Come to me and I will heal and support you.” – See Matthew 11:28-30

“He gave support to as many as received him.” – See John 1:12

4. Encouragement

The encouragement God’s Word gives us is not that “we can do it” but that God loves (values) us unconditionally, he is passionately committed to meeting every need of our lives, and his provisions are powerful and faithful to support us.

“My provisions of love are powerful to support you. I will never leave you or fail you.” See 2 Corinthians 12:9 and Hebrews 13:5

5. Evidence

Our experience of increased health and happiness is powerful evidence to us and others that God’s law of “sowing and reaping” is certain and that his provisions are faithful to always accomplish the redemptive (healing) purpose for which he gave them.

“(John the Baptist) came as a personal witness to provide evidence concerning the power of God's Light.” – See John 1:6

“Taste and (you will) see that the Lord is good (his provisions are redemptive).” – Psalm 34:8

6. Experience

God imparts his Life into us so that, more than reading or hearing about his power, we have opportunity to experience it (essentially, the fruits of the Spirit – Galatians 5:22-23).

“God’s divine nature gives us everything we need for life and godliness through our experience of Christ.” – See 2 Peter 1:3

“God works in us through Christ everything we need for doing his will.” – See Hebrews 13:20-21

“Anyone who connects to me so that I can live in him will bear much fruit.” – See John 15:1-8

"For our benefit, God has united us with Christ Jesus through whom he has given us wisdom, eternal life, holiness, and freedom.” – See 1 Corinthians 1:30

7. Enforcement

God’s enforcement is gentle through discipline (training with a view of health), provided through his resources, not through beatings for punishment.

“He who withholds his rod (rules, schedule, or structure, not given for punishment, but to protect or barricade children from evil elements, especially the fallen human nature) hates his son: but he that loves him disciplines him betimes (diligently in the morning of infancy).” – Proverbs 13:24

“Take my yoke (way of life) upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble.” – Matthew 11:28-30

“We were gentle among you, like a mother caring for her little children.” – 1 Thessalonians 2:7

“And the Lord's servant must not quarrel; instead, he must be kind (gentle) to everyone, able to teach, patient.” – 2 Timothy 2:24

Don Loy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 11C18

Grace Leadership: Follow Up and Review

Good afternoon, gentlemen!

This is to follow up on some of the concepts we talked about last night:

1) I wonder if I might sound a little overly-pious sometimes when I assert that the concepts I share with you are from my quiet time and not from books or sermons. But mostly I am rejoicing (and want you to know) that our faith (beliefs) can be rooted in the Truth God teaches us by the Holy Spirit through his Word as we sit quietly before him each day with an open Bible.

2) The outline I gave last night concerning the meaning of “according to your Word” is:
  • According to Truth (which sets us free)
  • By reason of your Power (making him the explanation for the outcome
  • Consistent with your redemptive plan (sowing and reaping)
3) The work of God in our lives to transform us and also our homes is powerful and real. This is the Truth that I wanted to illustrate by telling you of the accidental recording of Carole’s and my private life. I would not want my life to be fully exposed to people on earth for 24 hours of every day, but Carole and I are mostly what you see. Also, I know Heaven sees our lives, and I welcome it. I suspect they grimace at times, laugh at others, but mostly smile.

4) Thanks, David, for the tour, and for providing us such a nice place to meet.

Don Loy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 11C17

22798 and Counting: Learning and Living Out Lifestyle Choices for Health and Happiness and Longevity is at Journey Notes

Don Loy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 11C08

Jim Valvano: I Laugh, I Think, I Cry

On March 4, 1993, eighteen years ago today, and two months before he died, former NC State basketball coach, Jim Valvano,  gave this speech. I laughed, I thought, and I cried. I first became a fan when he ran around on the court looking for someone to hug in the moments after NC State won the 1983 NCCA Championship. He is one of my all-time favorite personalities, and I continue to be inspired by him.

Don Loy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 11C04

Grace Leadership: Follow Up and Review

Good morning, gentlemen!

This is to follow up on some of the concepts we talked about last night:

1) Evangelism focuses on the unsaved to call them to trust Christ (his death on the cross for us) for eternal salvation (justification, reconciliation). Renewal ministry focuses on the saved to call them to trust Christ (his resurrected Life in us) for sanctification (holiness and healing).

2) A strong immune system is the best support for good health, so we take care to make the best choices for our diets. Refined sugar spikes blood insulin which is responsible for metabolizing carbohydrates, but at the same time, it signals the body to store fat instead of burning it for energy. We don’t say a lot about food choices to avoid, but refined sugar feeds bacteria and is cancer’s favorite food, is highly addictive like a drug, and can shut down the immune system for an extend time. It would be stunning to know how many sicknesses we get just after eating sweets.

3) Even traditional doctors agree that Vitamin C is an infection fighter. Studies show that the blood at any given time has only about 400 mgs. This means, if we take more than that, it gets flushed out since it is water soluble. I take 1000 mgs 5-6 times throughout the day, but would do better to take smaller amounts every few hours. Also, I think we build a dependence on Vitamin C, which means, when we start taking it, we should continue.

4) I don’t always think to discuss this, but I believe our bodies have different nutritional needs based upon heredity, past lifestyles, and current health. David is a Health Minister certified by Hallelujah Acres ( which is the leading program especially for addressing health problems. Rubin Jordan, “The Maker’s Diet” ( and Dr. Joseph Mercola ( are also good resources, as is Dr. George Mataljan (rhymes with Italian) (

5) Good outcomes for our health and in our homes are the result of our investments. This means, the daily choices we make will be different if our goal is minimal health (the absence of sickness and weakness) than they will be if our goal is maximum health (the presence of health and strength). The same is true regarding the health of our marriages and homes.

Tare care!

See Follow Up and Review

Don Loy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 11C03

Grace Leadership: Follow Up and Review (Competent Husbands Giving Godly Leadership in the Home: God's Plan A for Happiness) 

Good afternoon, Gentlemen!

This is to follow-up on one of the important concepts we talked about last night.

1) Women tend to be security driven in their decision making (the same as Israel, the wife of God, spied out the Promised Land and cried out, “There are giants in the land, and we seem as grasshoppers before them” – Numbers 13:33).

2) Women also seem, like Eve, to be more at risk for deception. I think that is the reason the serpent approached her instead of Adam.

3) I think women can also be a little dingy. For example, a woman recently told me that when the stars twinkle, she knows it is her dear departed husband winking at her from Heaven. I think this is a gender-specific tendency because men don't tend to talk like that.

4) Even so, our wives often have understanding and insight in some matters better than we do. This might be by virtue of their experience, education, intellect, or common sense (temperament).

5) For that reason, husbands do well to hear the concerns of their wives, the same as wise leaders value the expertise of their cabinet of counselors or advisory boards and would not move forward with a project or policy without the help of their advice or support.

6) Still, God calls the husband to serve as the head of the home (the support vine in his relationship to his wife). His experience of God during his quiet time makes him competent to serve in that role. Mostly, I think, the Holy Spirit gives him understanding of God’s way. The husband then teaches that way to his family, first through modeling, and then through message.

7) The Apostle Paul instructed women not to teach or take authority in the church, but to be silent (that is, to not contend with men during public discussion), and if they desire to learn, to ask their husbands at home (1 Corinthians 14:34-35). This assumes, of course, that her husband has been made competent by God for his service to her. If not, it would have been best had she not married him.

8) When husbands have not experienced God’s enablement to live out their calling in the home, and particularly, if they submit to follow the whims of their wives, the concept of organic leadership is turned on its head. Such marriages can survive and sometimes do okay, but only equal to the outcomes that any Plan B (as in pharmaceutical) can produce (the same as Israel did in the wilderness when they missed God’s plan for them to cross over into the Promised Land). But they can only experience the full measure of his provisions for their health and happiness when they "walk according to the law of the Lord" (Psalm 119:1).


See Follow Up and Review

Don Loy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 11B24

Support Against Adversity: Confessing Brokenness, Dependence on God

Not anyone of us is incapable of a lapse in good judgment, even though we may assert otherwise, or not want it to be true.

(I have said often that I don't think too highly of anyone, including myself. That's why I don't encourage anyone to trust me, but to trust only in the healing power of God's provisions which we include in our lives daily.)

This understanding supports us so that, when Satan, religious types, or even friends identify to us our failures, or even wrongly accuse us, we do not react defensively like we had been hit by a rock.

It supports us also to say straight up to everyone what we need to say without too much timidity or worry about offending - that is, as long as we are not out to get anyone, at least in our better moments.

I can recall being accused of wrongdoing. At the very beginning of my ministry almost 45 years ago, I was out of breath in pursuit of winning the lost (said of D. L. Moody). When the accusation was made from a church member that I was using the church van for personal use, I remember thinking, maybe for the first time, that I rejoiced in the opportunity to suffer persecution for the cause of Christ. Years later when I was in sales, I broke a rule and was accused of being up to no good. Actually, I was being stupid, but not up to no good, so after a moment of hurt and aggravation, I continued to be their top producer. Years ago, when I was providing counseling to a hurting wife in Atlanta, I was stunned when her abusive husband emailed to tell me that I was a false prophet and that I needed to stop pursuing his wife. The accusation grieved me, but I understood adversity, so did not miss a step to continue doing what I do.

Don Loy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 11B21

Taught by the Holy Spirit While Reflecting the Language and Expression Values of Our Resources

Jesus said that we do not need for any man to teach us because the Holy Spirit will lead us into all Truth. However, we understand that the Holy Spirit, consistent with God's redemptive plan, and in an appropriate and secondary way, sometimes teaches us through vessels he calls and prepares. Otherwise, resources in the home and church would not be necessary.

This means that, sometimes (actually almost always), we ministers will bear a resemblance to the seed that has been sown in us – maybe illustrated by the way “each brought forth after its own kind” in creation. It means also that we can expect our teaching to sometimes reflect not only the concepts of the human vessels which the Holy Spirit uses to teach us, but also some of their language and expression values. At least I have found this to be true of my own ministry and speaking. Maybe not so much anymore, but in times past when I spoke, I have been conscious of the influence of my mentors. And I rejoiced in it. But I recall a pastor who, for whatever reason, did not have that appreciation. I said to his church once when he was away that his speaking bore the influence of another man. He heard about it, and the next time he preached, he insisted he was not copying anyone. But, of course, “copying” was not my point.

Don Loy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 11B18

Expressing Support for Soul-Winning, Even Social Ministries, but Also Concern for Their Missed Experience of Christ

We appreciate and support those ministries whose mission is to win the lost, feed the hungry, or help the homeless. Some one needs to do that, you know. My concern, however, continues to be the underappreciation, if not total disregard, those ministries sometime seem to have for our critical need to give God opportunity each day to invest in us during our quiet-time worship so that our investment in others will be effectual. I worry their success rate in terms of lasting, ongoing recovery is at best about 30% - the same as some studies have reported for secular addiction recovery programs.

Don Loy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 11B17

The George Mateljan Foundation

I am enthusiastic about The George Mateljan Foundation because of the helpful information it provides, and also because it is a non-profit foundation with no commercial interests or advertising. The following two links are a good introduction.
Don Loy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 11B16

Knowing About Christ: A Failing Hope for Holiness

One of the most influential and enjoyable national ministers almost got it right. Well, who am I to say? Consider for yourself. In his latest radio message, he said that Christians sometime falsely think we can deal with our fallen human nature like a lion tamer with a whip. I nodded my head and smiled. He said that victory over our sinful nature does not come from without, but from within, through intimacy with Christ. I said “amen!” Then he said this intimacy with Christ comes through knowing Christ. I grimaced. I had heard this “knowing Christ” spoken of many times before and knew it was usually defined in a way that missed "the message of grace in all its truth."

And once again it did. Knowing Christ, he explained, meant essentially to know about Christ in the sense we can grow to know a friend by spending time to learn about him or her. It sorely missed understanding that knowing Christ means to experience him, in the same way, for example, that we can experience food, water, oxygen, and sunshine – which far exceeds just knowing about them.

Again, we can study at the university to earn an advanced science degree in Water, also learn to appreciate its benefits, but be limited in our experience of its power. And we can study at the seminary to earn a doctorate in Christology, but not experience the reality of his presence renewed within us daily by the Holy Spirit during our quiet-time worship so that we can be increased in "who he is" - that is, in his
  • love (unconditional value for ourselves, others, and God's provisions), joy, and peace,
  • longsuffering, gentleness, and goodness (benevolence),
  • faith (confidence concerning God's provisions), meekness (humble disposition to receive God's provisions), and temperance (support for making wise choices).
This is the reason Paul wrote:

"I pray that out of his glorious riches (grace provisions) he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith... that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God." - from Ephesians 3:16-19 (NIV) 

Don Loy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 11B15

“I Can!” A 100% Chance to Accomplish Nothing

I Can looks in the mirror and asserts, "I can (yes I can) do anything!" But confidence in self is a failing stategy. Its hope is rooted in the weakness of our fallen human nature, and therefore has a zero chance to accomplish anything of eternal value.

That's a 100% success rate for attaining a worthless goal.

Humility, rooted in faith and repentance, confesses, "I can't (no I really can't), so I am going to stop striving to perform and, instead, connect to live and serve solely out of the strength which flows into me from the Vine."

Dependence upon "who Christ is" within us is a powerful strategy and has never (not ever at no time) failed to accomplish God's goal for our health and happiness and usefulness in service to others.

"For what the law (its demands) was powerless to do because of the weakness of our sinful nature, God did by sending his Son..." - Romans 8:3a

"(Christ in us) is the power (dynamic) of God for the salvation (healing) of everyone who believes (receives it by faith)." (See Romans 1:16-17.)

"Humble yourselves, therefore, under God's mighty hand (submit to God's provisions for your health), and he will raise you up in due time." - 1 Peter 5:6

"Without me you can do nothing (of eternal value)." - John 15:5

"I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength." - Philippians 4:13

"Unless the Lord builds the house, the builders labor in vain." - Psalm 127:1

Don Loy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 11B14

Set Free From the Rule of Our Resources

“I will run (with diligence and purpose, not just walk) in the path of your commands, for you have set my heart (soul) free.” - Psalm 119:32

Our experience of God’s grace (his provisions for health) increasingly sets us free from brokenness so that we are incrementally enabled to make additional choices which further increase us in health.

Freedom is the goal of grace. This is the meaning of...

“It is for freedom that Christ has set us free” (Galatians 5:1a).

This is the reason we are not under God’s rule (an Old Testament concept defining the relationship of the nation Israel under the authority of God as King in a theocratic government); instead, in this Age of Grace, we are the recipients of his care and support.

Neither are we under the rule of our resources. This means:

1. Husbands do not have rule over their wives (Romans 7:1-3), and pastors do not have rule over the church.
(Note: Small children are under the rule of parents, the same as they are under school masters: But diminishing so, beginning when they grow out of childhood into maturity.)

“The rule of law is for children, also the foolish and uninformed.” (See Romans 2:20.)

“In fact, though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the elementary truths (first principles) of God's word all over again. You need milk, not solid food!” (Hebrews 5:12).

“So also, when we were children, we were in slavery under the basic principles of the world (of the Jewish religion)” (Galatians 4:3).

“But now that faith is come, we are no longer under a tutor” (Galatians 3:25).

2. We do not ask for or seek permission from our resources for the choices we make. (This is not the same as asking for information or even opinion based upon our confidence and trust in their wisdom.)

3. We have no obligation to give accountability to our resources for our choices, but only to connect to receive the support they offer.

4. “Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery” (Galatians 5:1b).

Don Loy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 11B11

Dying to Serve: The Worn Out Church

The reports continue to come. The performing members of another church succumb to burnout, although at the outset they were energized by the opportunity to serve others.

But no one served them. Neither were they taught how to experience Christ for daily renewal.

This meant their service to others was not supported; instead, it was a sacrifice. A sacrifice indeed, because now they are all half dead. They were stimulated, and then over-stimulated, until they had no life remaining. The minister is now also burned out. He over-exerted himself hyping the workers, and then after he drove them to exhaustion, he wore himself out trying to take up the slack.

“Come unto me all you who are burned up and worn out performing without my support to do good, and I will give you recovery.” – Matthew 11:28 (GracePoint Interpretive Paraphrase)

Don Loy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 11B10 

Supported for Health More by Inclusion of Good Than by Exclusion of Wrong

Absolutely there are choices we can make which will break our health, so we take care to exclude them from our lives, and also warn others about their danger. But mostly we take care to include in our lives the choices (nutritionally, educationally, etc.) which support our health. 

Understandably, when we have suffered the consequences of wrong choices, we tend to be more alert to them. Still, we take care not to be so guarded against choices to avoid that we miss giving appropriate attention to our essential needs.

Don Loy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 11B09

Experiencing Powerfully the Presence of Christ During Our Quiet Time

Our experience of God during our quiet time may occasionally be like drinking water – for example, we may not always be immediately aware of his presence within us to renew us, even though we know and trust that God's provisions are always faithful to do in us what they do.

Mostly, however, we will, in fact, be powerfully and wonderfully conscious of our experience of him. How could it be otherwise! Isaiah wrote (58:11), "You will be like a well-watered garden, and like a spring whose waters never fail." Jesus said, "Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him" (John 7:38).  

Again, just as it is possible for us to experience the benefits of sunshine (to use a different metaphor), but without warmth, we may also at times experience Christ in our quiet time without much consciousness of his presence.

But, if we are appropriately and timely postured before him so that our hearts are open to him for the flow of his Life into our minds and emotions, it will be the norm for us to be wonderfully conscious of “who he is” within us - that is, his love (for the Father, ourselves, and others), his grief (for the brokenness of mankind, especially ourselves and those we serve), his joy (manifesting as deep rejoicing for the hope we have, especially of Christ in us for our going to Heaven and also for our healing), his peace, and each of all the other fruits of the Spirit.

Don Loy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 11B08

Why We Wander: Coming Home to Grace, Finding Healing in Christ

We wander about seeking change mostly because we become bored and discontented with our fare. But when we experience God’s provisions for our health – for example,
  • food, water, and warmth to meet our physical needs, or
  • supportive relationship in the home and church to meet our psychological needs (the needs of our hearts), or especially
  • Christ for meeting our need to experience God,
we know almost immediately that we are at home and that the searching and wandering about can stop.

Don Loy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 11B07

Not by Chance, but by Choice: Considering the Cause of Sickness

My friend insists that we do not really have any control over sickness, that it comes into our lives the same as a tornado would - that is, if not a punishment from God, then mostly by chance. So he is not highly motivated to make choices for his life that support health according to the law of sowing and reaping. He is also reluctant to consider that, 1) while indeed we have no control over tornadoes, we do control our choices, or that 2) while God may impose control over the wind and water, birds and beasts, nations, and the Satanic domain, he does not impose control over our free wills to receive or reject his faithful provisions for our health - which flow abundantly and appropriately into our lives through creation (the soil and atmosphere), community (supportive relationships in the home and church), and especially Christ (his Blood and his Life).

Don Loy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 11B04

The Promised Land: Walking in a Good Place Living Out God’s Plan for Our Health and Happiness

We are each traveling on a road to somewhere – that is, we are making choices each day which will have an outcome of some sort according to the law of “sowing and reaping.”

For some, our travels are (metaphorically) in Egypt (where God’s people were in bondage for over 400 years during the time expanding from Joseph to Moses). This represents a Christian living the same as the world does, according to its culture.

For others of us, our travels are in the wilderness (the place where God’s people stalled in disobedience on their journey out of Egypt.) This represents Christians who, having made a good beginning, do not follow through to make the choices that support them for maximum health and happiness. Instead, they live in much the same brokenness as they did in Egypt. 

Still others of us travel in the Promised Land which represents the abundant life Christ promised to those who connect each day to the flow of his provisions - in creation (the soil and atmosphere), community (supportive relationships in the home and church), and especially Christ through quiet-time worship.

Don Loy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 11B03

Well Known Minister Misses the Message of Grace

The nationally well-known pastor is wrong when he insists that Christians are slaves who are owned – which is the Old Testament meaning of the concept.

But in the organic context of the new covenant, we are not conquered and possessed slaves stripped of our dignity and free-will; rather we are cherished vessels called by God, and based upon our voluntary surrender to him, prepared and given opportunity by him for effectual ministry in redemptive service to others. This is the meaning of Paul’s confession,

“I thank Christ Jesus our Lord who has given me strength, that he considered me to be faithful, putting me into the ministry.” - 1 Timothy 1:12

Don Loy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 11B02

More Performance Preaching and Praying to Wear You Out: A Compassionate Critique

I continue to critique, but do so with compassion and concern. For example, it just breaks my heart to hear a leading minister pray: “Dear Lord, would you love us enough to wake us up in the middle of the night, even though our bodies are worn and tired, so that we can seek your forgiveness for our sinful lives?”

From the grace perspective, the prayer of faith is this: “Dear Lord, thank you for your love and provision of sleep. We trust you for good recovery tonight with the confidence that it will support us for making the wise choices tomorrow which will increase us in health and holiness.”

Don Loy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 11B01

The Law of Cause and Effect: Scientific Support for the Claims of Christianity

Scientists and others among the intellectual elite who reject Christianity do so, I suspect, because of the way it is presented to them. One among them stated that he rejected the claims of the church because he did not believe in “hocus-pocus” religion. He may have meant the prevailing message that blessings and judgment come upon us from God based upon our performance to please him, make him smile, and otherwise win his favor. It is a silly, stupid notion, I agree, which disregards the clear message of the Bible that blessings and judgment come into our lives as the result of our choices to receive or reject God’s provisions for our healing, and this according to the law of cause and effect (sowing and reaping) which God ordained in the beginning to govern his creation. That makes sense to even the most critical thinker.

Don Loy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 11A31

Stop Striving! The Message of Grace

Lady Televangelist Joyce Meyer insists we should not give up. “Don quit! Don’t quit!” she tells the large gathering. But that is exactly the message that increases rather than heals our brokenness and bondage.

Actually the message of grace is to “Give up!” and to “Stop it!” Jesus wept for those who insisted on working and striving to do God’s work and to live holy. “Come unto me,” he called to them, “and I will give you renewal” (Matthew 18:28-30).

Don Loy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 11A28

Experiencing God Daily: The Goal of Grace Teaching

I was wonderfully impacted by the revival atmosphere at the old Baptist Tabernacle during my first years of experiencing the renewal Christ gives. The music and preaching were powerfully moving. I left those services on two and three days each week filled with excitement and joy. But I did not receive instructions in those meetings for knowing how to experience Christ daily. So I struggled on most days. It was like drinking water only on three days each week - which meant I suffered dehydration most of the time. My understanding of that need now guides my present ministry to others. While I would still welcome the renewal experience in our church meetings, I would not substitute it for providing careful guidance and support for learning how we can be renewed by our experience of Christ daily.

Don Loy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 11A27

Carefully Considering Our Resources: Confidence in Dr. Mercola

I am careful about recommending, or even referencing, support resources because of the commitment I have to the grace perspective when considering God's redemptive plan. So my confidence in Dr. Joseph Mercola has come after a longtime review of his work. It is with this confidence that I encourage our counselees to consider the following information about him at and also his report on nutritional typing at I have this confidence also in Dr. Jordan Rubin, author of the "Maker's Diet." See video below.

Don Loy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 11A26

Debunking the Notion that Telling God How Great He Is Brings Healings

No, no, no, Mr. Televangelist, financial, physical, and relationship healing does not flow into our lives when we praise God (not in the sense “praising God” is commonly defined). Instead, healing flows into our lives as we make wise choices each day to include God's provisions in creation, community, and especially Christ which support that outcome.

I hate to get worked up and go on and on about this (or maybe not), but it is troubling to my soul to hear, literally almost every time I turn on Christian radio or tv, teaching that undermines the message of grace and further damns hurting people to the performance behavior that broke them in the first place.

The pseudo-grace message has an appearance of truth on the surface. That is how, riding on the back of truth, it finds entrance into our minds, or else we would not tolerate it.

Don Loy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 11A24

Guided in Ministry to the Hurting by God’s Divine Protocol for Healing

The Life of Christ flows sequentially, systematically, and synergistically into and through our spirits, souls, and bodies to accomplish our multidimensional (psychological, psychosocial, and physical) healing. This is God’s order and the reason we insist on calling hurting people first to intimacy with Christ, secondarily to home and church relationships, and then only appropriately and in time to diet and exercise.

Don Loy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 11A21

Clay Vessels Made Useful Through Confession of Need: A Leadership Paradox (edited)

We absolutely need our resources to manifest strength. Who would be comfortable with a pilot (or parent, teacher, or pastor) who did not give evidence of strength and competence?

But resources are made strong only through confession of their brokenness and dependence upon God for the renewal and healing he gives. This means their service to us is based in strength, not in weakness - that is, it is not just image, which may be hype, but substance and reality, which may not always be evident, in the same way the deep, undercurrent waters of the ocean are the quietest, but also the most powerful. So while they do not celebrate their weakness or give themselves a pass, neither are they in denial. Instead, they confess with Paul…

“God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before him.” – 1 Corinthians 1:27-29

“But we have this treasure in vessels of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.” – 2 Corinthians 4:7

Don Loy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 11A20

Focus on Bad Behavior and False Beliefs: A Missed Opportunity to Present Truth

I have a strong religious tendency to identify wrong. It may be that every person does, especially we melancholy types. We tend to write and say much to criticize, complain about, and condemn bad concepts and behaviors.

Error is upsetting to me. Heretical beliefs and wrong choices are indeed a problem and should appropriately be addressed. But at the root of it all is brokenness, and the solution to brokenness is not to bark at the bad behavior or to condemn wrong concepts; rather, it is to hold up the Truth of God’s love and care and provisions for our healing.

"Hold firmly to (gr. epecho, "give strong attention to and hold forth") the Word of Life (Christ)." - Philippians 2:16

Don Loy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 11A19

Over-Attention to Fighting Against Adversity: A False Hope for Health 

Strictly considered, your suffering is not the result of adversity, but of the choices you are making that disregard God’s provisions for your healing.

Satan, of course, is your enemy, but instead of attacking you in the sense that he is coming at you with a loaded gun to destroy you, he mostly, I suspect, tempts you away from God’s plan for your health and happiness, as he did Eve in the Garden of Eden. (The Bible warns us to beware of the wiles of Satan, who sometimes presents himself as an angel of light.)

He deceives us through our own fallen human nature (lust of the flesh, love for the world, and the pride of life). But he also deceives us through religion - which is a system of performing for God (going and giving), praying to him (in the sense prayer is commonly understood), and pious behavior in order to win God’s favor with the hopes he will intervene to provide pain relief.

Consider that God’s first goal for your life is not to relieve you from adversity but to increase you in his likeness. Your over-attention to warring against the enemy (Satan, your sinful nature, and the world system/culture) is a false hope for health and happiness and will wear you out.

Don Loy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 11A18

Rethinking Your Responsibility to Support Your Resources

It is not your role or responsibility to bear the weight for the brokenness (or recovery) of your resources, particularly your parents, husband, pastor, coach, teacher, or employer.

When I was 17, my dad suffered a stroke and died at the age of 62. He was too young. For many years I regretted that I did not support him to make choices that would have extended his life. Actually, I would not have known what choices to support, but still, I carried that burden of guilt.

Now I understand that his health was not my responsibility. He, not I, was the elder and parent and also pastor of his family and church. Considered from the organic perspective, the branches do not serve the vine. It was his role to support me.

This means, children are not called to serve their parents, or wives their husbands, or younger siblings their older siblings, or church members their pastors, or employees their employers. (Of course they do not set out to destroy them either!) Instead, they are to be supported, and then, in turn, out of the support they receive, to invest in the branches that extend from them. This is God’s redemptive plan.

Don Loy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 11A17

Fawning at God’s Feet to Win His Favor: A Failed Response Rooted in Feelings of Rejection

God's provisions establish us in health and make us competent in our service to others. We give thanks to him by opening wider the door of our hearts to receive his provisions in even greater measure.

This means it is not God’s expectation, want, or need for us to fawn at his feet (so to speak) in order to gain his favor or show appreciation.

Our counseling has discovered that 1) over-attention to please God is rooted in fear that he rejects us - also that, 2) in our pursuit to win his favor or to make him happy with us, we tend to miss giving appropriate attention to those he has called us to serve. (Church workers notoriously neglect their health and responsibilities to their family in pursuit of God’s favor.)

Nothing about us (except the Life which Christ produces) lights up God’s life. He calls us simply to receive his provisions for our lives, and then to attend to the needs of others.

Don Loy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 11A14

Saved in Service to Others by Inclusion, but Also Sometimes by Intervention

God ordained the law of sowing and reaping (cause and effect) to govern his creation. This means we have protection from disease, not by a sovereign miracle in answer to prayer in the way commonly understood, but through the choices we make to include God’s provisions in our lives which establish us in health.

The promises of Psalm 91, that God delivers us from adversities, are understood from this perspective. The raging storms and pestilences that come upon others do not come upon us because we are supported by his provisions in creation, community, and especially Christ, which we include daily in our lives. Through Christ, for example, he has made provision of his wisdom to guide us out of harms way. If we are weak so that we do not have his wisdom or willful so that we do not comply, we put ourselves at risk to the danger.

It is also from this perspective that we understand the promise that “when we are tried, God's provisions are faithful so that we are sustained. If the trial is beyond what we can bear (for example, a cobra, bear, lion, storm, or deadly pestilence), he will intervene to stop it” (1 Corinthians 10:13 GracePoint interpretive paraphrase).

This means, if we are exposed to danger as we are following along the path where God is leading us, we can trust that he will intervene according to his redemptive plan to protect us - even from the poisonous snake in our path, as he did Paul (Acts 28:3-7).

Consider that God gave dominion of the earth to man, but retains control over the wind and the water, and also over the beasts that roam the earth, and that he also controls the beast in man – that is, his animal instincts, so that we can trust in his care to protect us as we are useful vessels in redemptive service to others.

Don Loy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 11A13

It’s a Narrow Gate! Why God’s Provisions for Healing are Found by Few

When God began working the message of grace into my heart and understanding twenty-two years ago this month, I was so renewed by it that I was certain others would enthusiastically welcome and respond to it - especially those who had been broken by the performance message as I had. Some of course did, but not as many as I had anticipated. At first, I wondered, "Who would not welcome a message that our healing is the result of opening our hearts to receive God's provisions for our health and happiness, beginning with Christ who works in and for us, and not the result of our working on ourselves?" The one, I thought, is a message of grace and hope, the other of hard work and discouragement.

As it has turned out, I have learned that hurting people sometimes do not gravitate to the grace message because ...

1) They are in denial of their brokenness, so do not see their need for healing; instead, they insist the problem is the adverse people and circumstances in their lives.

2) They do not want to give up ownership for solutions or outcomes to God.

3) They are in addiction to quick-fix, feel-good solutions for superficial pain relief.

This is exactly as Jesus said it would be:

“Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.” – Matthew 7:13-14

The narrow gate is not to Heaven, but to Health and Happiness (the Abundant Life). The few who pass through it find that God’s provisions for their healing are indeed faithful.

Don Loy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 11A12

Hearing God: The Most Critical Communication

God births in us his heart for the hurting needs of others and calls us to ministry to them, including to communicate to them the message he has given us to support them for the choices they must make which help establish them in health. So we are very enthusiastic in our communication to others.

But there is another communication that God calls us to: It is our communication to him which we do in our quiet time through confession of our brokenness and need for him.

But, by far, the most important communication to which the Holy Spirit calls us (and sometimes most sorely challenged - by the call of our fallen human nature, the world’s culture, and the demonic world) is God’s communication to us. It is in this way alone that we can have confidence concerning his love and care for us and also our need for him ("Faith comes by hearing the Holy Spirit communicate to us the Word of God" - Romans 10:17) which enables us to open the door of our hearts to him so that we can experience him and be renewed by his support in us for our ministry to others.

It is also in this way alone that we can have the mind of Christ for understanding God's counsel concerning his will for our lives.

Don Loy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 11A11

Conversational Speaking: A Communication Style Specific to Hurting Hearts Called to Healing

There is a style and skill which is necessary for speaking to those who, although they may be seekers, are not hurting, or at least have no confidence of a call to healing or to any particular resource. The challenge for the speaker is to gain attention and win a hearing.

But that challenge does not exist for us who speak to hurting hearts who have been called by the Holy Spirit through their suffering to connect to us as a resource for support. Our speaking does not need to be sensational, but can be relaxed and conversational. Again, that is possible only because God has not only given us a specific message, but has also given "ears to hear" (John 3:8; 10:4-5,16) to the specific ones for whom it is intended. This is the reason Jesus often concluded his message to the crowds by calling out, "He who has ears to hear, let him hear."

Don Loy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective/11A10

Willingness to Concede or Continue: The Confession of Certainty (Edited)

The message we present supports hurting people for making choices that establish and renew them in health. It does not support choices for managing symptoms (pain management) or superficial pain relief.

I am deeply persuaded concerning our message – mainly because I find support for it in the Scripture and also because it has worked for my own life. But I do not insist that it is right for anyone else. That's because I have learned the more confident we are of our beliefs, the less intolerant we are to being considered wrong. Confidence (faith), it seems, does not assert itself or have the same need as fear (doubt) to be right or to win.

But I trust that our message is helpful, and that those I counsel receive the support they need - which they may not have opportunity to receive otherwise.

Don Loy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 11A07

More Than Communicating Concepts, Our Ministry to Others Modeled by Christ

Those we serve need more than to just hear our words; they also need to experience our love and care and support for the choices they make which establish them in health. They need more than instructions; they also need intimacy. Otherwise, our relationship to them is just talk and only about rules and expectations which can lead to defeat, discouragement, disillusionment, and dissension. Someone has said, "Rules without Relationship leads to Rebellion." 

God's relationship to us models for us his redemptive plan for our relationship to others - to those we serve: Not only does he communicate to us his Word, but he also gives us opportunity through our quiet-time worship to experience him (the nine-fold fruit of the Spirit). And he is always available for extended personal time with us (even though he has a world to oversee).

Don Loy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 11A06 

Making Ministry About Me: The Default Disposition of Unmet Needs

It is in our quiet time worship that our deepest need is met to be who it is all about to someone so that in our relationship to those God has called us to serve, they can be who it is all about to us.

If that need is not met, we will make our relationship to those we serve, not about their needs, but about our own. We do not want it to be so, but it is the default disposition of our fallen human nature. We may self-talk and commit to ourselves in the morning that our service to others will be about their needs, not our own, but it does not help. We cannot give what we do not have.

Don Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 11A05

Plan B Plus: A Failing Foundation for Healing

The heroine in a recent early evening “family” tv program comforted her young associate to not worry that she was a virgin because her boyfriend would not mind. It made me mad. I grieve because of Satan’s subtle wiles to corrupt the moral values of young people.

I grieve almost as much about the pervasiveness in the Christian world of the Plan B message (fear/guilt/pride based performance to win God’s favor in hopes of a blessing or to stay out of trouble with him). It grows like a weed and covers the religious landscape.

Some of it sounds okay. But Plan B+ is still deadly. That's because it gives a pass to quiet-time worship to experience Christ.

There is not room for variance of opinion in theICU as there might be for treatment at home to remove a splinter. That is the reason I am intense about the message I communicate to those we serve and also sensitive to whatever else they may be listening to.

Although tempted, I am not going to engage here to identify all the offending messages. I have done that enough during the ten years I have written The Grace Perspective. It wears me out. Instead, I look to God for renewal to continue calling hurting people to intimacy with Christ as their only hope for holiness.

Don Loy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 11A04 

Obedience: The Basis of Our Hope for Both Health and Happiness (A New Year’s Day Message)

Obedience, from the grace perspective, is understood with respect to both health and happiness.

It is absolutely impossible for us to be happy apart from our obedience to live out God’s call (by the Holy Spirit through his Word) to “go and give” in behalf of redemptive service to others.

But it is also absolutely impossible for us to be healthy apart from our obedience to respond to God’s call to “come and receive” his provisions for healing and renewal - which we connect to by the choices we make each day for diet and exercise, and especially for Scripture reading (in order to hear God), confession (of who he is and our need for him), and extended quiet-time worship (in order to experience God).

Obedience with respect to health, however, is the most critical. 

That's because service to others which is not supported by health will not be effectual or have eternal value (1 Corinthians 3:11-15), and will, in time, result in increased broken health and unhappiness.

This is the meaning of

“Work hard to obey God's call (to go and give) with deep reverence and awe for his provisions which produce in you (as you remain connected to the resources through which they flow into your life) both the desire and the enablement to do what pleases him (makes you useful and effectual in service to others).” – Philippians 2:12-13 (GracePoint interpretive paraphrase)

Don Loy Whisnant/The Grace Perspective 11A03

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