"I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me." I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness could be gained through the law, Christ died for nothing!" Galatians 2:20 - 21
I am amazed at how few Christians believe these verses and apply them to their life. Even those who study the Bible can't take their eyes off themselves. We can't seem to let go of the fact that WE are never going to be 'righteous' in the flesh. Flesh sins! Read what the apostle Paul wrote on this subject in Romans 7: 7 - 25. This man was given the task of writing much of the New Testament, and he struggled with sinful flesh, just like us. It was Paul's job to explain God's New Covenant, the covenant of grace. Under the Old Testament Covenant, we were under the 'law', the Ten Commandments, plus a long list of other 'laws' that were added by the Hebrews. Take note of what Romans 14 says about being 'legalistic'. We are under grace.
Romans 10 tells us that "Christ is the end of the law..." Give it up, you will never be 'righteous' outside of Christ. He is the righteous one! Read Romans 10 and ask the Lord to open your eyes to this truth if you are struggling with 'being good' so you can impress God, and all your Christian friends. Knowing this truth should produce such joy and such love for the Lord - just knowing all that He has done for you - that your feet will barely touch the ground as you literally float through this world knowing you are safe and secure in God's Kingdom.
So then we shouldn't 'be good'? Of course we should! Jesus left us with His Holy Spirit to enable us to live the Christian life. Probably most people we encounter on this earth will never read and study the Bible, but they'll read your life. As my friend Gretchen once said, "You may be the only Jesus they see". Scary thought, isn't it? If you claim to be a Christian, they'll judge Christianity by how you live. Sometimes what they see isn't much different than their own lives. We get a bad diagnosis and fall apart with worry, we see the stock market drop and our homes become worth less money and fear invades, we're critical, envious and worried all the time that we're not doing the 'right thing'. In other words, we destroy our own witness by our behavior. Who would want to become a Christian and be like us? It's only when others see that we walk by faith trusting God that we can become effective in spreading the 'good news' of the gospel.
Isn't that what we're here for - to share what Jesus Christ has done for those who believe? If we whine and cry that we are falling short of God's expectations, who would want to become a part of that kind of frustrating life? Living in failure rather than in victory isn't a great selling point to becoming a Christian. Many will think it's better to ignore God altogether. And the truth is, it's not God's expectations, He knows our frame is but dust, He knows how we are formed, Psalm 103: 14. It's what our fellow man lays on us that sinks the boat! We can't get much lower that dust, so get off your self-righteous kick and start praising the Lord who loves you 100%, no matter how despicable you are!
If you're interested in knowing more about victory versus failure, read my blog of April 19, 2010, 'WE SHALL OVERCOME!'
Tomorrow I'll board a flight to Singapore, spend a couple of days, then get on a ship and cruise around South East Asia. How great is that? I'll be spending Easter Sunday, we call it 'Resurrection Sunday', in the Gulf of Thailand traveling from Bangkok to Ho Chi Min (Saigon). This is a long standing dream come true. My husband won't be with me. He's been to most of these places and even mapped some of the countries like Viet Nam, Cambodia, Laos - as well as Iran and Afghanistan. So he'll stay home with the dogs and enjoy helping with Special Olympic golf. I'm sorry the previous blog wouldn't allow me to have spaces between paragraphs, makes it hard to read I know. Hope I've fixed the problem.
On Easter Sunday we'll celebrate the resurrection of our Lord who died to pay the price for our sin. Those who accept His life counting for them have a free ticket to heaven and eternal life in the presence of God. You might notice that the most often quoted verse, John 3:16 has only one condition to gaining this freedom from the law - 'believe'. Just believe. If you find yourself aware that you aren't perfect and you'd like God's love and total acceptance, ask Him to forgive you and come into your life. It doesn't matter who you are or what you've done, God never says 'No' to anyone who asks for eternal life. We can't make ourselves 'alive', God does it by filling us with His Holy Spirit - then we 'see' what we never could see before! God had a plan in place to save His lost children 'from the beginning'. The Lamb of God (Jesus) was slain from the foundation of the world...Revelation 13:8.
I'm praying for a ship full of God's sheep to mingle with. Some have asked me if I'm going on a mission - you bet, my whole life is a mission! He has a plan for our life here on earth. Lord, thank you for giving us the law so we could recognize that we are far from perfect and need a Savior. Thank you for suffering for me personally and by the power of your Holy Spirit helping me to live a life that will will reflect who you are and what you've done. Deliver me from myself and cause me to focus on YOU, not on my life.
Bobbe Van Hise
- Over the past few years my blog has been visited by people from all over the world. Very few know me, or of me, they simply are looking information concerning the Bible and discover my blog. After many years of intense study and teaching, I've come to believe we are vulnerable to misguided and incorrect teaching if we don't understand for ourselves the teaching of God's Word. My 'hot buttons' are - grace, sovereignty, exhortations and sanctification. If you understand these basic principles of Scripture, and apply them to daily life, you will understand what it means to have peace, joy and absolute security in any circumstance.