Still stuck under the Law?

hammerThere are many great treatments of Grace and Law in the New Testament, but the real sledgehammer against the Law is in Colossians 2:

13 When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made you[d] alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins,14 having canceled the charge of our legal indebtedness, which stood against us and condemned us; he has taken it away, nailing it to the cross. 15 And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross.

This part is our victory over the condemnation and judgment of the Law. But that’s not enough. Paul goes on to say:

16 Therefore do not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink, or with regard to a religious festival, a New Moon celebration or a Sabbath day. 17 These are a shadow of the things that were to come; the reality, however, is found in Christ.

Stop living in bondage, and under the judgment of the Law (and of others). Start living in the leading of the Holy Spirit and the Power of Christ. We are more than conquerors. We are His children, and should live as such.

 

Behavior Modification

God does not look upon us and say “I wish they would just behave better”. Far too often, we think what God cares about most is our behavior. That is putting the cart before the horse. God desires our heart. He desires that we are led by Him and are empowered by Him. When we do so, the behavior will follow.

The wrong order is:  behavior -> intimacy

The correct order is: intimacy -> behavior

When we focus on behavior first, then we tend to fix the behavior through our flesh. We do get “better”, but we are doing so independently of God. God loves us deeply and His desire for us is that we walk in intimacy with Him. When we do that, we will also walk in a manner that is pleasing to him and produce Godly fruit. When we do it our own way, we produce worthless things.

A final emphasis: behavior is not a goal; it is a result. It is one of the fruits the Spirit will produce through us. Our job is not to produce fruit, but to bear fruit. We do that by staying connected to the vine. He is the vine and we are the branches. Apart from Him, we can do nothing!