Friends, how much do you know the laws of your land? Do you know your rights and responsibilities as a citizen? Have you ever violated any rule? To the offender, ignorance is not necessarily innocence when standing before the judge.
In the spiritual kingdom, there are also laws. Every person on the face of the earth right now is either living under the government of law or the government of grace. Understanding the meaning of the New Covenant will enable us to live a life of victory. There is a way of victory for the Christian, and it is by means of the cross.
“For I determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified” (1 Cor. 2:2).
“God forbid that I should boast, except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified to me, and I to the world” (Gal. 6:14).
Christianity is at the crossroads today. Churches are either too legalistic or too liberal. Like the Pharisees, some Christians are so religious that they get into the works of the law, which is bondage. They may still profess salvation through faith. However, when it comes to sanctification, they would imply, “Oh, to be holy, you have to follow a list of rules.” They may not necessarily verbalize such a statement, but they tend to judge others who don’t conform or measure up to their so-called spiritual expectations. On the other hand, there are other Christians who promote a message of what I call “lawless freedom.” Such people display an attitude of “Since I’m under grace and God loves me unconditionally, I can do what I want for my own benefits and pleasures.” All of these teachings distort and twist the true gospel of grace. A revelation of Jesus Christ on the cross will keep your doctrine and lifestyle in proper order. We must not try to live after a system of works and laws, but be led and empowered by the Holy Spirit on the premise of our faith in the finished work of Christ, what He did at Calvary and the Resurrection!
In the Bible, God has given us the manual of life, the blueprint for our success and victory. Yet sadly, many Christians do not experience total victory in their lives. Why is this so? Ignorance may be a cause. Another reason could be indifference to the things of God. Of course, using our own strength or willpower to live the Christian life is a futile and fruitless effort. Yet a far more subtle factor why even some dedicated Christians experience spiritual burnout is (listen carefully!) trusting in spiritual disciplines themselves more than focusing on the grace of God. What do I mean? There is an over-emphasis on measuring one’s spirituality based on how much Bible study, prayer or fasting one practices. Now, let me say that prayer, Bible study, fellowship and all other Christian habits are very important, but they are not the primary means through which we are sanctified or are holy. Neither do we overcome the devil or the powers of darkness because of our consecration. We don’t say, “Satan, I come against you in the name of Jonathan! I am a prayer warrior, I am a walking Bible. You better obey me!” I know this sounds foolish and ridiculous or even blasphemous but isn’t this why some Christians strive to have victory by self-effort?
It is through the cross of Christ and by the blood of the Lamb of God that demons tremble and hell shakes. When we understand that our position in Christ alone and not in ourselves, then we understand the New Covenant. Otherwise, we revert to law and frustrate the grace of God. It is an insult to God to mix grace and law!
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