As Christians, God has designed a beautiful new arrangement for us to have relationship with Him. Jesus, through His death on the cross for us, fulfilled the old covenant of law and ushered in a new covenant.
Now, through Jesus, we are not under law, but under grace.
You see, man couldn’t keep the law no matter how hard he tried. The law was to show us God’s perfection and holiness. If man could keep the law, he would have been able to be good enough to earn his way to heaven. But man couldn’t. The law showed that he was guilty before God. He needed a Savior. Jesus came and lived a perfectly righteous life, fulfilling the law for us, and then died on the cross and took our penalty of sin. This was all so that we could finally have relationship with God.
All who are born again, begin the Christian life not based on their own efforts, but based on receiving forgiveness of their sins through the blood of Christ. Then they have a right standing with God. This is called justification–it is only by grace, which is God’s outpouring on needy man. Since we are saved by grace, God does not tell us to then continue on in the Christian life by the law (Galatians 3:2,3). We are born again by Jesus, we continue on in abiding relationship with Jesus. This is called grace.
God’s grace is truly wonderful, amazing, and powerful! We are going to be talking about grace for my next several blogs; this is from a study on Growing in the Grace of God by Bob Hoekstra, and I am looking forward to diving deeper into God’s grace, and fellowshipping together in it.
Grace has brought a multitude of blessings to the Christian–such a great amount of life and victory, it is truly glorious. One of these blessings of God’s grace, is that the bondage of sin has been broken. Romans 6:14 says, “For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under law but under grace.” Once we are born again, by God’s grace, sin no longer rules over us. God has broken the power of sin in our lives. Now we are free to present ourselves dead to sin, but alive to God (Romans 6:11).
As Christians, God wants us to know that we are free from the bondage of sin!
We can embrace this as truth in our lives. The more we abide in the Lord, the more we understand the truth that sin does not have dominion over us. It is one of my passions to help people understand that they really do have victory over sin. Even sins that are deeply rooted in our lives or our personalities don’t actually have dominion over us. They can be overcome in Christ. But it often takes time walking with the Lord, practicing putting off the old, and putting on the Spirit day by day, to see that victory.
Paul prayed for Christians, that they would understand the great power of God’s grace–that the eyes of their understanding would be enlightened (Ephesians 1:18,19).
Christ can change our lives, give us victory over sin, and give us the power to serve Him.
Oh, that Christians would know the great power of God that is available to them! I want to see how big our God is, and the great things He can do!
“This only I want to learn from you: Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? Are you so foolish? Having begun in the Spirit, are you now being made perfect by the flesh?” Galatians 3:2-3
Today, Christians have the understanding that by grace we are saved. Especially after the great Reformation and Martin Luther! That’s how we begin the Christian life, there is no mistake about that. But many Christians find themselves in a similar position as the Galatians: trying to perfect their spiritual lives in their own efforts. For some reason we tend to think, “Okay, thank you for saving me Lord, I’ve got it from here! Just tell me what to do and I am going to get out there and serve You!”
But, the truth is, that just as much as we need grace for salvation, we need grace to serve God!
We couldn’t get saved by mustering up goodness, and we can’t muster up the goodness of God for walking with Him, growing in godliness, and serving Him. That is called our flesh. Our flesh can also be religious and look good on the outside. But where is the power coming from? He must be the source.
When we get focused on trying to keep the law in our own strength, we find that the way is hard, and it is actually impossible!
The law is a tutor to bring us to Christ, and if we really hear the law, we become so grieved in ourselves that we run to Jesus for the forgiveness and the transformation we need. On the other hand, when we walk with the Lord, loving Him, seeking Him, reading the Bible, we begin to see that our lives are looking a little more like the law! His perfection and holiness is shining forth! God is developing it from the inside, from the heart, without all of the striving! It is so much easier to love the Lord and dwell in His Word without having to worry about the list of rules and regulations. So freeing!
Over the next few weeks we are going to be looking at how we can grow in the grace of God and walk in it day by day, how it is necessary for sanctification, growth and bearing fruit. These are life changing truths, and they are very dear to my heart. I hope that you will stick with us through this series and allow the Lord to build you up in grace.