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Archive for October, 2014

Growing up in the institutional church and modern Christianity, my wife and I were taught that we are saved by grace but live by law. This seems to be a fairly common way of life for the modern-day believer.

Over the past couple years, we’ve come to see that the Bible mentions that those of us who are saved by grace are now free from the old covenant law. If we still try to live by the commands of the old covenant, we are actually living under a curse. ‘For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them’. (Galatians 3:10 KJV).

Why is it that we can’t accept the free gift provided by the cross and forget the performance based way of trying to please God. ‘For if you are trying to make yourselves right with God by keeping the law, you have been cut off from Christ. You have fallen away from God’s grace’. (Galatians 5:4  NLT).

We now live for God because of love, not out of obligation, not trying to do more and earn our salvation.

It’s time we realize God, out of His love for us, has provided all we need; He has done away with our old sinful nature. We are forgiven of all our sins by His grace. We can now enter into his rest and rely on what He has done. We no longer have to strive to keep all the rules and constantly try to do more and more to earn a relationship with Him. ‘We have been released from the law so that we serve in the new way of the Spirit, and not in the old way of the written code’. (Romans 7:6).

Rest in Him, rely on the Spirit to teach you and guide you, through love. There are plenty of things to do, but we do them when we are led by the Spirit, and we do them through love and His strength.

Now, am I saying because we are free of the law that we can just do whatever we want? Eat, drink and be merry? No, not at all. Even though we are free from the law, and even though by keeping our eyes on Christ we have the ability through him not to sin, we are still living in a fallen world. There will be times when we take our eyes off him and commit sins. Although in Christ our sins are already forgiven and there is no longer punishment for them, there are still consequences in this world when we do wrong.

The thing is, by trying to keep the law, we are led into death. ‘The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law’. (I Corinthians 15:56 NASB). The old way of doing things was only a temporary thing. The law showed us that we were completely powerless to live up to God’s standards. It was a tutor for us until Christ came and took our sinful nature to the cross. ‘Therefore the Law has become our tutor to lead us to Christ, so that we may be justified by faith. But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor. For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus’. (Galatians 3:24-26 NASB).

For so long we were taught that we needed to do more and more for God. We were taught to try to keep the commandments and strive to be ‘good christians’. Fortunately the Spirit has been guiding us into the reality that we cannot keep the commands. We, in ourselves, are powerless to do so, and so are you. Christ came to fulfill the law and provide freedom to all of us. We are now free to live out of love for Him and free from trying to live by the law. When Jesus said ‘it is finished’, he was saying the old covenant, the old way of trying to live by the law, was finished. He accomplished what we could not do. When he was resurrected, a new way of life started.

Cross

The new covenant, living in love through grace became the way we can live as children of God. He has put His spirit within us to walk with us daily.

When we are in love with God, we do not need rules to tell us what to do. We do what is pleasing to Him because we love Him. Laws can’t make us love, but love will let us do what pleases Him.

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Is it me, or do you find that it can be very frustrating coming to realize that the teachings we have grown up with in modern day religion may be wrong? Be it by way of simple misinterpretation or by people purposefully trying to force others into accepting Christ by scaring them.

Do you ever grow tired of reading all the different views and opinions, interpretations and doctrines? Do you get aggravated when people argue over their beliefs, yet God has told us to love one another?

It can get pretty discouraging seeing all the postings on Facebook and other sites where people argue, and sometimes heatedly, over their views and interpretations. Sometimes they are basic views we have grown up accepting as gospel truth, yet now we question whether they are gospel or man’s wrong interpretation.

No matter how you interpret the scriptures, no matter how much you believe your way of thinking on spiritual matters, someone else will have a completely different view. Even those who are followers of Christ can’t agree on everything. We all have a different view on the bible.

I wonder why we can’t accept each other, no matter what our interpretation. Truthfully, none of us can prove most of what we believe, be it faith in God, heaven, hell, satan and a number of other topics. It is all by faith that we believe what we believe. We can’t prove or disprove anything.

I think we should ask our Father daily for His guidance into truth. Hold to what you believe, but be open enough to change when God (not some other person) gives a clearer view of the truth. When someone has a different way of looking at things, accept them. You don’t have to agree with them. Who knows, they might be right.

I don’t think any of us can say without a doubt who is completely right or wrong in our interpretations. We should seek God for truth through the Spirit, and let everyone have their right to do the same. Quit fighting and arguing over who is right and who is wrong.

One thought comes to mind in all this, ‘Jesus loves me this I know, for the Bible tells me so’. The most basic and simple thing we learned long ago seems to be the only consistent thing we can all agree on.

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