Churches can be good, however I noticed that once a Christian is liberated from their past failures in the rule/law based salvation model they often end up deep in the soul crushing law again. Trusting the perfect performance of Christ rather than their own performance liberates Christians. It takes the focus off our past failures and puts the focus on Jesus and his victory. Sadly right after that liberation from “self performance” various churches and our own ideas soon turn our attention to our performance again as another rule/law performance based salvation model is gradually adopted by the new Christian.
It’s the Baptist law, Catholic law, Pentecostal law or even self-imposed law. Whatever the form of new rule/law based model it’s all a form of law.
“A law 2.0”
If you though the old laws were tough wait until you try keeping the new ones.
This all leads us back into self effort to become righteous.Yes, there is right and wrong but Gods new model is to depend on Christs power to do what is right. This new living way is to be ruled by the spirit. Walking by faith in Christ, drawing from him by faith to empower you to be good. This is the system that replaces the old system of laws. “Christ is the end of the law to those that believe.” There is a new law at work now, “the law of the spirit of life in Christ Jesus.” You depend on him and his power rather than yourself. This is the “new and living way.” A shared life.
As we trust him in this way we become conformed to the image of Gods dear son. He lives within us “as we trust him”. Jesus said “without me you can do nothing”, but Paul the apostle said we CAN do all things THROUGH him.
To control you it is vital that the current spiritual governor (Satan) gets you wrapped up in law again. He needs you to focus on the imperfect you and not the perfect Christ.
This is because “the strength of sin is in the law.”
Without law there is no strength to kill. The devil has got to sell you another law based system. The new “church” law seems great and upstanding but it leaves you joyless and dead inside.
Its vital that Satan gets people back into the same old grind of law/rules/self because without laws he is powerless.
He needs you focused on your record of law keeping, and your performance so he can kill your spirit. “Your spirit is alive though righteousness.” Depending only on Christ for your righteousness and not your own record of performance puts the devil out of business. Without some sort of law there is no weapon to kill you with.
Christs righteousness is unassailable. There is no way to get around it. It’s a strong tower.
Your righteousness is “as filthy rags”. “There is none righteous, no not one. “
Satan, in your thoughts and through others will desperately try to make you focus on self, examining your own personal performance and failures so he can kill you with unrighteousness. Laws give him the opportunity to get you to believe in sin again. Sin kills the “new creature.” It’s about your belief. You make things real or not just like God does since you’re in Gods image and likeness. It’s your faith that makes things real or unreal within you. “the kingdom of God is within you”. Jesus said whatever door you open on earth is open in heaven and whatever door you close on earth is closed in heaven. Words mixed with faith open or close doors inside you.
You can believe in Christ taking away your sins to have them removed. However when you focus again on yourself you see your failures and your belief puts you back in chains. It’s your belief that makes or unmakes it inside you.
“with the heart a man believeth unto righteousness.”
The new way God carved out is by living depending on another persons performance and power rather than your own. That way its safe! Once your salvation is based on the performance of another person (in the past) rather than your own performance (in the past) you are free from anxiety. His past performance is something you can’t muck with. When you believe in Christs righteousness as your own you will have peace!
Peace tells you you’re doing it right. “The effect of righteousness is peace.”
The rift between you and God is over. The result of actions thousands of years ago by another rather than your performance last week forms your righteousness (or right standing) with God. This is a firm foundation, something you can build upon. A house built on a rock, not on sand. The basis of your salvation is no longer based on YOUR performance of the law (be they Methodist, Catholic, or Baptist law) but is now based on your faith in another persons past performance of the law on your behalf. You shift your focus from your imperfect yourself to the perfect Christ.But how do you arrive at good behaviors without laws? Your behavior is then modified by your “faith walk” instead of a rule walk. “The just shall walk by faith”. A life of faith is a life lived with Christs empowering spirit. The bible calls it a new “living way.” A walk of faith and dependence on the power of Christ to be good, since we can not be good without him. (without him you can do nothing) This faith in Christ allows him to legally move in and with you. He Christ (love) “lives within us AS we trust in him” as the scripture says. This faith in God allows Gods spirit to legally modify wants and behaviors by Christs power. A list of rules and self effort is a dead-end. Faith that “it is God (love himself) at work within you making you want to keep his rules and then helping you to do it.”
Satan has to work to take you from living by faith and put you back into a rule/law based system or he looses all power over you. Because of this he has to dress up the law 2.0 system in as much respectability and acceptability as possible. “Hey, we all do it this way” This “church-ified new law” (whatever the brand) is the same killer beast underneath, teeth and all, ready to pounce. It turns our focus from “free gift” to earning Gods approval by performance. This new church law wears the costume righteousness leading to the way of the religious self-righteousness. The pharisees were like this. All law and no love.God offers complete escape from the law based system of performance by performing for us in a human body. Dependence on his spirits ability to perform and lead you is the new law. This is where the “I can do all things through Christ” verse comes in. This new system enables a new life of faith free from the biting teeth of the law. God even supplies the trust. “Even trusting is not from yourself it to is a gift from God”.
This life of faith leads to a life characterized by love. That is how Jesus said you could spot a real christian, their love. “The world will know you are my disciples (students) by your love one for another.”
So instead of being “limited” by our own resources we become “unlimited” in Gods resources connected by the faith that he supplies. Limitless!
The whole engine is run on the strength of love. “faith works by love” the bible tells us. A child like faith and moment by moment dependence is what is needed here. Like a branch depends on its vine. Pulling yourself up by your bootstraps is a religious fantasy. When has that ever really worked anyway?
A performance based relationship never ever going to work for anyone.
“by works of the law shall no flesh be justified.”
In the end no one is going to be justified by a rule based system, no one at all.
So why bother with examining your record of performance as a means to earning righteousness. It is faith in Christ that saves and empowers and it is faith in Christs’ power and not your own power that keeps you wanting and doing what is right. If your walking by faith then Gods spirit is powerful enough to keep you from doing evil. His spirit empower you to do right. It is called “the law of the spirit of life in Christ Jesus” and it works by simple “child like” faith.