The moment we turn God’s free grace into law-keeping and check-listing our works, we die. We may love the Old Testament; it gets us ready for Jesus’ obedience and grace, but the moment we adopt or adapt some sort of law and make that a mark of success or failure, grace gets unplugged.
The lights go out, and we lose our sense of free and direct access to God’s Throne of Grace. We haven’t lost our salvation but we lode the gracious joy of that salvation.
The Good News is: We have no righteousness of my own. What a relief! We can be a mess and still be righteous before God through Jesus. He is our righteousness and we are complete in him. Again, what a relief!
Now, this annoys our old flesh which loves to be seen, to shine, to receive praise, and to feel successful. Our old Gollumesque-self loves having “the ring” and that kind of specialness: “My Precious.” (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gollum)
But, God loves us too much to let us alone about that. After all, we are his kids, his royal children. God doesn’t want us to fear and strive and beg and grovel and be under anyone’s judgment or condemnation—including our own.
“For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, while we wait for the blessed hope—the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ…” (Titus 2:11–13, TNIV)
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I have really missed out not reading these. This was so good! Thanks John!
Great to hear from you, Kristina! Thanks for sharing. Encouraging! – John