Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Abiding in Christ Part Two

Please pray for eli

Is the Christian life living for God and trying to meet His expectations of what a good Christian should be? Living in fear of not hearing “Well done good and faithful servant”?

Galatians 2:17-21 says, “ But suppose we seek to be made right with God through faith in Christ (This is how I got saved! Not by works but by Salvation through faith in Jesus) and then we are found guilty because we have abandoned the law. (Stopped trying to follow the law or please God because I discovered I couldn’t) Would that mean Christ has led us into sin? Absolutely not! Rather I am a sinner if I rebuild the old system of law I already tore down. (Exactly what I was trying to do! I was trying to follow all of God’s laws and measure up) For when I tried to keep the law, it condemned me. (Definitely what I was feeling because I could never do it perfectly!) So I died to the law- I stopped trying to meet all its requirements-so that I might live for God. (We need to have a dying to our trying! The Christian life was never meant for us to produce good in ourselves. We couldn’t do it before we were saved, why do we think we can do it after?) My old self has been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. So I live in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. I do not treat the grace of God as meaningless. For if keeping the law could make us right with God, then there was no need for Christ to die.”

We need God to live through us instead of us trying to live for God. We need to stop trying to act like Jesus, talk like Jesus, think like Jesus because we stink at it! Only God is good at being God! When we try it treats the Grace of God as meaningless.

I know stopping sounds counter intuitive, but it’s actually the way you’ll find restful assurance that God accepts you and is working in your life. God hates our attempts because they deny the work of Jesus. Attempting to earn God’s favor will lead to weariness or fear, because no matter what we do, we will never measure up.  Nothing we do before or after we are saved is up to God’s standards.
Rom. 3:23 says ”Everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard.”

That’s why Christ not only died for us- he lived a perfect life for us as well. Jesus is the ONLY one who measures up.

I remember the struggle I had with this. “But Lord, stop trying? But I’m going to be an awful person! This will be so embarrassing! If I don’t try everyone will see all of my faults!” He asked me, “Do you trust me? Do you believe what I say is true?”  And do you know what happened? When I stopped trying I could actually see how God had already changed me and how He was continuing to change me. I could actually see God working! Before my vision was clouded by my own self-effort! Another benefit of letting God work instead of my own self-effort was that I didn’t go to bed every night in fear anymore. I knew God is the one that started the work in me and He was the ONLY One who could present me faultless to Himself. As it says in Jude 24 “Now all glory to God, who is able to keep you from falling away and bring you with great joy into his glorious presence without a single fault.” That’s amazing! We can come into God’s presence without a single fault! Only God is able to make that happen! Not any of us!

So if we are not supposed to try harder to be a better Christian what are we supposed to do? Does that mean we can do whatever we want? Treat people the way we want? And live for ourselves? No! God has so much planned for you! Salvation was so much more than getting a ticket to heaven. He wants to change you from the inside out! So how do we live for God without our own self-effort? 

To Be Continued on Wednesday...


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