The core of the Christian life doesn’t revolve around doing, but is grounded in being. The Christian life is the life of Christ. Our focus is a person, not the performance of religious activities. As we experience the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus, godly action is the consequence of His life flowing from us. It is not the result of dedicated effort on our part. The Amplified Bible puts it this way:
Let me ask you this one question: Did you receive the Holy Spirit as the result of obeying the Law and doing its works, or was it by hearing the message of the Gospel and believing it? Was it from observing a law of rituals or from a message of faith? Are you so foolish and so senseless and so silly? Having begun your new life spiritually with the Holy Spirit, are you now reaching perfection by dependence on the flesh? (Galatians 3:2-3)
Good question! The only thing we did to enter into the Christian life was to trust Christ. Does God require something different now that we have become Christians? Is it possible that, while obeying certain rules had nothing to do with being saved, it becomes very important to God after we are saved? Of course not! Then why do so many Christians believe that they must repeatedly rededicate themselves to follow God’s rules? It is because Satan knows that the best way to defeat Christians is make them believe that obeying the law is the pathway to victory.
It is impossible for you to fulfill the law. If you really want to live a godly lifestyle, the focus of your life must be Him. Not church, not religious activity, not a moral lifestyle, not obeying His commands. Just Him! The only one who can live the Christ-life is Christ. You can rededicate yourself again and again, but at the bottom of it all, you still have self trying to live for God. Self-effort is the essence of legalism. It is pointless to pray for God to help you to live for Him. That may be your goal, but it isn’t His. He wants to live His live through you….
Maybe it seems strange to you that the focus of your life shouldn’t be on obedience to God’s laws. Yet when you live each day allowing Christ to express Himself as your life, your lifestyle will be godly. Jesus didn’t break the law when He was here 2,000 years ago. He fulfilled it then, and He will do it again today when you allow Him to live His life through you.
Have you spent your Christian life trying to obey God? How well have you done with your efforts? (If you think you’re doing well, you had better reexamine the righteous standard that God requires.) If you have focused on the law as a means of victory, you have experienced considerable frustration in your Christian life. That is exactly what the law is supposed to do to you. You might be wondering if anyone can really live it. Well, Someone can. And He will, when you finally give up your efforts and let Him do it through you.
~Steve McVey, Grace Walk