How is it working for you?
Is Jesus not enough? Does what He accomplished on Calvary fall short? Can we add anything to our salvation? Can we study enough to figure a strategic path to wholeness? Does doctrinal purity overcome sin and fleshly appetites? Does the Magnificent Love of God fall short in wooing us into pure inner motives? Is the Great Grace of Jesus a ‘nice’ and ‘sweet’ ideology? God forbid!
“Because helping people control their flesh through human effort and adherence to rules is not only a thankless but never ending task, most leaders employ any strategy that promises even a measure of success. Guilt, shame, condemnation, and threats in God’s name are presented by the enemy as viable options. The church has swallowed this lie hook, line and sinker!” (Pg. 106 Pure Grace: The Life Changing Power of Uncontaminated Grace)
If helping people manage sin is the goal of our discipleship process, and it seems to be in many cases, we will employ almost any strategy to help accomplish the goal.
Instead of trusting the power of Christ to internally transform, we attempt to change behavior through external applications of law. Until one believes that Jesus’ work was finished and He is capable of thoroughly transforming human lives, the treadmill of performance is the only solution.
How are these religious strategies working for you? Would you like to get off the treadmill of correct and enough always falling short? Would you like to trade somehow ‘pleasing’ God in your own futile effort for walking by faith in ‘pure grace’?
Ephesians 2:1-6 Picture where God found us. We were in a death trap of an inferior lifestyle, constantly living below the 1blueprint measure of our lives. (1Sin is hamartia, which comes from ha + meros, meaning without form or without our allotted portion.) 2 We were all part of a common pattern, swept along under a powerful invisible influence, a spirit-energy that adopted us as sons to its dictate through unbelief. 3 Throughout that time every one of us were warped and corrupted in our conduct snared in a jumble of forbidden lusts, driven by the desires of the senses, totally engaged in an expression of a life ruled by mind games; it was as if a twisted passion parented a universal breed of people. 4 None of this could distract from the extravagant love of God; he continued to love us with the exact same intensity.
5 This is how grace rescued us: sin left us dead towards God, like spiritual corpses; yet in that state of deadness and indifference, God co-quickened us together with Christ. Sin proved how dead we were (the law confirmed it!) Grace reveals how alive we now are (the gospel announces it!) Before anyone but God believed it, he made us alive together with him and raised us up together with him. (We had no contribution to our salvation! God’s master-plan unfolded in the mystery of the gospel declaring our joint inclusion in Christ’s death and resurrection; God found us in Christ before he lost us in Adam! [Eph 1:4] In the economy of God, when Jesus died we died. God saw us in Christ, in his death and resurrection before we saw ourselves there! He declared our co-resurrection with Christ 800 BC “After two days he will revive us, on the third day he will restore us, that we may live in His presence.” [Hos 6:2]!)
6 (As much as we were co-included in his death,) we are co-included in his resurrection. We are also elevated in his ascension to be equally present in the throne room of the heavenly realm where we are co-seated with him in his executive authority. We are fully represented in Christ Jesus. (Our joint position in Christ defines us; this can never again be a distant goal to reach through religious devotion or striving, but our immediate reference).Mirror Bible, Francois Du Toit. (Kindle Locations 4077-4085).
Herein is the power and eternal hope of the Gospel! Tell me, what else is needed? You can walk in this power! It is more than enough! You can become an Overcomer in Christ! He and what he has done is always ours in faith!
Romans 8:33-39 God has identified us, who can disqualify us? No-one can point a finger; he has justified us. (He has placed us beyond the reach of blame and shame, guilt and gossip!) 34 What further ground can there possibly be to condemn man? In his death he faced our judgment; in his resurrection he declares our innocence; the implications cannot be undone! He now occupies the highest seat of authority as the executive of our redemption in the throne room of God. (See v 1, also Rom 4:25.) 35 What will it take to distance us from the love of Christ? You name any potential calamity: intense pressure of the worst possible kind, cluster-phobia, persecution, destitution, loneliness, extreme exposure, life-threatening danger, or war? 36 Let me quote scripture to remind you, “Yea, for thy sake are we killed all the day long; we are counted as sheep for the slaughter.” (Ps44:22) 37 On the contrary, in the thick of these things our triumph remains beyond dispute. His love has placed us above the reach of any onslaught. 38 This is my conviction, no threat whether it be in death or life; be it angelic beings, demon powers or political principalities, nothing known to us at this time, or even in the unknown future; 39 no dimension of any calculation in time or space, nor any device yet to be invented, has what it takes to separate us from the love of God demonstrated in Christ. Jesus is our ultimate authority. Mirror Bible, Francois Du Toit.
Become a Jesus person filled with His Holy Spirit!