We know very well that we are not set right
with God by rule-keeping
but only through personal faith in Jesus Christ.
How do we know?
We tried it—and we had the best system of rules
the world has ever seen!
Convinced that no human being
can please God by self-improvement,
we believed in Jesus as the Messiah
so that we might be set right before God
by trusting in the Messiah,
not by trying to be good.
Being by nature a “rule keeper” it was very easy for me to adapt to following God’s rules when I became a Christian. My heart’s desire was to please God by following His rules. I actually believed that …
More right behavior + Less wrong behavior = Godliness
BY JOHN LYNCH, BRUCE MCNICHOL, BILL THRALL
I don’t know about you but this formula did not work for me. Unfortunately, I was frustrated time and time again because of my inability to achieve Godliness by my own efforts. That frustration only resulted in anger towards those I loved and especially myself. I did not realize that my self-effort was fruitless because …
If I was “trying to be good,”
I would be rebuilding the same old barn that I tore down.
I would be acting as a charlatan.
Oh I tried so hard to rebuild my old barn but finally, after years and years of failed attempts to be Godly only of late have I learned that …
We can never resolve our sin by working on it.
We may externally sublimate behavior but
we’re essentially repositioning the chairs a bit
on the deck of a sinking ship.
When we strive to sin less, we don’t.
THE CURE BY JOHN LYNCH, BRUCE MCNICHOL, BILL THRALL
WHAT A RELIEF! The truth I learned was that I would achieve His righteousness by trusting in God and knowing that I am set right before Him – not by what I have done or will do – but by what Christ has done for me in His death and resurrection. This truth has set me free from shame of my failed self-improvement project and allowed me to trust that it is only through Christ living in me that I will mature in Godliness.
So I quit being a “law man” so that I could be God’s man.
Christ’s life showed me how, and enabled me to do it.
I identified myself completely with him.
Indeed, I have been crucified with Christ.
… Christ lives in me.
The life you see me living is not “mine,”
but it is lived by faith in the Son of God,
who loved me and gave himself for me.
I am not going to go back on that.
Is it not clear to you that to go back
to that old rule-keeping, peer-pleasing religion
would be an abandonment of everything
personal and free in my relationship with God?
I refuse to do that, to repudiate God’s grace.
If a living relationship with God could come by rule-keeping,
then Christ died unnecessarily.
GALATIANS 2:19-21 (THE MESSAGE)
On the journey with you,