In the section on the trap of legalism, we spoke of us very often applying the wrong medicine in trying to put our lives right before God. Let us look at what is the right medicine.
We apply the wrong medicine because we do not remember who we really are in Christ. God has said things about you that you need to know, that you need to build into your understanding, and there are some things you need to do in the light of them.
The early Christians devoted themselves to the apostles teaching (Acts 2:42). The amount you understand about what God has done for you and in you, makes a difference. There is something about the presence of God that changes us. There is a releasing power that answers many of the problems that you face day by day.
Paul felt that knowing Christ was the most precious thing in life:
But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ - the righteousness that comes from God and is by faith. (Phil.3:7-9)
But this must be more than head knowledge, more than intellectual understanding. These truths must be built into us so as to affect the way we think and feel. Once these things become real to us, our whole perspective changes. We need to look into the mirror of God's Word and see what we really are, and not forget when we go away from it (James 1:23-25). Try reading Romans chapters 6, 7 & 8. Here are just some of the truths about us:
* ..our old self was crucified with him... anyone who has died has been freed from sin (6:6-7)
* ..sin shall not be your master (6:14)
* ..set free from sin (6:18)
* ..released from the law (7:6)
* ..no condemnation (8:1)
* ..controlled not by the sinful nature but by the Spirit (8:9)
* ..sons of God ... God's children ... heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ (8:14-17)
* ..called ... justified ... glorified (8:30)
I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. (John 15:5)
and the Psalmist said:
He is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither. (Ps.1:3)
Branches do not strain to bear fruit, it is a natural result of the life they draw from the roots. We have no need to look any further than the work Christ has already done for us. We have no need for special keys to unlock the blessings of God.
His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. (2 Peter 1:3)
Maturity and liberty comes from knowing God, knowing what God has done for us and living resolutely in the light of it and being totally committed to it. Not moved in any shape, form or way from the truth that is in the gospel.
May God bless you as you walk in the light.
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