Grace Walk

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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

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4 responses »

  1. “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.”

    What you say agrees with my understanding of how a Christian should live. Your indwelling Holy Spirit is your guide in lfe.

    I also don’t believe in blind obediance to law. My standard is whether a law is just. My standard of justice is based on my experiences in life. Everything I have done, have had done to me, and everything I have read.

    “And He will, when you finally give up your efforts and let Him do it through you.”

    How do you do that?

    My understanding is that Christians don’t expect to have a perfect understanding of the guidance they receive from the Holy Spirit. It may not be that the laws, or rules, in the Bible must be followed, but that understanding how the prophets developed these rules, based on the guidance they believe they received from God, will help you to better understand the guidance you receive your self.

    The simplest guidance on living I know is from Jesus – live your life with love, and the Dalai Lama – My religion is kindness. If everbody lived with love and kindness the world would be closer to that paradise Christians believe they will find when they die.

    The only people I can think of live with complete love and kindness are the Jains, certainly not Atheist and Christians.

  2. How do we give up and let God do it through us?

    I believe it’s in the relationship, Ed. As I love Him more and more, I will go to Him for daily living. The internal dialogue of asking what He would have me do in any given situation. Crying out for help when I’m weak…which happens to be quite a lot! Learning more about His ways so that I will recognize His voice as He guides me. Letting the Spirit within speak, not quenching Him with my fleshly desires and not grieving Him with my fleshly decisions. Dying to self, living for Him…in a word: submission. Breathing in Him…allowing His Spirit (pneuma-breath) to move through me to others (and no, I don’t mean the breathing of TM).

    “Breath of Heaven, hold me together”…has become my earnest prayer. Without Him, I am undone.

    From the serenity prayer: Accepting hardship as a pathway to peace…He will make everything right as I surrender to His will…then I will be reasonably happy in this life and supremely happy with Him forever in the next.

    And yes, it’s ALL about Love. Agape (1 Cor. 13).

    I’ve only known two people who have followed Jainism. Both were wonderfully kind. But, I find it sad to reach for “Enlightenment” in self when the “Light of the World” is Christ. I don’t have confidence in self-effort (which, as I understand it, is the essence of Jainism). I need someone greater than me (Jesus) working through me to live in love toward others.

  3. I agree that Jainism, also Buddhism, and Atheism for that matter, are focused on self improvement. How to understand ourselves, and the world we live in, better. While with Christianity the object is to shift the focus from ourselves to God.

    Christianity I think may require more trust, because you are placing your fate in the hands of someone else.

    “then I will be reasonably happy in this life and supremely happy with Him forever in the next.”

    To me that may be the one of the most important aspects of becoming a Christ Follower. The promise isn’t for a better life in this world, although that is the result for many Christians, it’s the reward of everlasting, blissful, life in Heaven.

    That there is life after death is the most difficult part of the Christian Doctrine for me to believe.

  4. Yes, I can understand that life after death is not something we can “prove” although it is an enduring belief from the most ancient civilizations and the most primitive religions. Not that longevity of belief is a good reason. I looked to see if anything was “out there” that might give you another perspective you hadn’t already discovered. Somehow, I doubt it will be new to you, but there are a couple of things I found interesting. Of course, the foundation of the site is Christian, but the readings seem to be open to all thoughts, with explanations as to why God, the Father and Jesus, His Son are valid answers.

    Don’t know if it’ll be offensive or enlightening. Of course, I’m hoping for the latter.

    http://www.allaboutspirituality.org/life-after-death.htm
    http://www.allaboutscience.org/
    http://www.allaboutgod.com/

    Love you, Ed!

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