Monday, June 3, 2013

Bonus Day! - You Are Not Under Law But Under Grace - 30 Days of Grace

We are safe and secure in God's arms, that is what we talked about last time.  So if we take that to its conclusion, we see that nothing we do can cause us to lose our status with God, His presence with us, our blessing, our place in His house, or the fact of our rescue - our salvation is set and secure and an already reality that can't be taken away or lost.  It is set in the spiritual concrete of the work of Christ and unconditional love and unchanging nature of God.  So we are truly free!  We are free to do anything and still be IN God's house, still be His beloved child.  Our status isn't tied in any way to our performing, to anything in us.  It is tied completely to God and the work/performance of Jesus.  This is the heart of what it means to be "not under law but under grace!"

Sin shall not be your master, because you are not under law but under grace.  Rom. 6:14

This verse contains a promise; what is it?  Sin shall not be your master!  What is the reason for this fact?  It is because we are not under law but under graceWhere are we right now, what are we under?  We are under grace.  What are we not under right now?  We are not under law.  What is the natural effect of being under grace rather than law?  Sin isn't master over us

We are under grace.  What does that mean?  Maybe it's easier to see what it means by seeing what it doesn't mean.  Being under grace means not being under law.  So we can look at being under law and see how it is the opposite of being under grace.

What does it mean to be under law?  It means to be under a system of works and performance, where everything is up to you to perform well, to do right and not wrong, with built in rewards and punishments.  It is a system of cause and effect where your performance determines what happens to you - whether blessing or cursing.  Everything is tied to what you do.  Law points out every fault, and because we always have at least one failing somewhere, we never measure up in this system.  So this system breeds a feeling of never being good enough, never arriving, never being complete or adequate.  It is a system that binds us to rules and in so doing points out our failures and ignites our self-effort, which is puny and will never be enough to keep all the rules perfectly, so we end up on an endless wheel of trying, failing, feeling condemned, and trying again.  Because we never feel good enough, we feel a barrier between us and God and find it hard to feel comfortable in His presence or relate to Him.  We find ourselves withdrawing and hiding from God, fearful of Him.  Then we feel empty because our need for God and His love isn't being met, and we seek solace in that feeling of emptiness and pain by looking to other things to fill us, which only leads to more sin and more pain!  This way of living - being under law - just brings death!

So grace is the opposite of that.  It is a way of being that is not tied to your works or performance at all.  It is not 'all up to you' to perform well, to do right and not wrong - the pressure is off of you.  There is no penalty or punishment if you fail.  Blessings aren't accessed through your performance but rather freely given without reference to your works at all.  It is not based on cause and effect at all but is a way in which good gifts are freely poured out with no reference to our behavior, measuring up, or deserving them in any way.  Nothing is tied to what you do, all is given freely!  Grace doesn't point out faults but freely gives blessing and love to us just as we are.  So under grace we aren't focused on our faults but on His love for us.  In His love, we are completely accepted, welcomed and taken in, just as we are, and this brings a sense of wholeness, fulfillment, completion, being okay with God and okay with ourselves.  We feel we have arrived, we are home; striving ceases and is replaced by rest.  Grace gives a feeling of complete joy and peace, of adequacy and acceptance.  Grace gets us off the performance wheel and we are able to simply rest in the perfect love and presence of God and truly enjoy relationship with Him.  Our need for love and being with God is fully met, and we are satisfied and happy.  Sin loses its luster and we are free to fall in love with Jesus.  And even if we fail, nothing changes in our relationship or closeness with God - so we are free to fail.  This gives us security, and this makes it possible for us to trust God and open up and share our heart, our fears, our dreams, even our failings with Him, knowing that we are completely accepted, knowing that we have been brought into a secure place of permanent union with Him that can't be changed or altered by anything we do. We are so close to God that there is complete oneness of relationship - we are one heart with God!  We experience the wonderful loving fellowship, mutual sharing, and unhindered intimacy with Him that we were always meant to have, that we were made for!  We were made to be loved by God, and that is fully realized under grace! This way of living - being under grace - is real life!


Thus we see that the difference between law and grace is the difference between life and death.

Let's just brainstorm and think of the difference between law and grace in our lives:

It's the difference between:

our efforts and His efforts
our failing incomplete work and His successful completed work
trying to do things on our own and seeing what He already did for us

straining and resting
struggling to get and instead losing, vs. receiving a gift
working for everything and getting nothing vs. being given all for nothing

you are not and must become vs. you already are, and can just be yourself
striving to become vs. being what you already are
trying to do it vs. Jesus already having done it/doing it for you
do vs. done

do this or else vs. do as you please / freedom
rules and restraints vs. freedom
Letter vs. Spirit
walking by flesh vs. walking by Spirit
walking in trying to improve the old vs. walking in you already are new      
seeing yourself as messed up and needing improvement vs. seeing yourself as already complete and perfect
needing something, something lacking vs. having everything, 
trying to get somewhere vs. already arrived, already there

trying to please God and never feeling good enough vs. walking in the fact that God is already pleased with you, you're as pleasing as Jesus is

Walking in your own performance vs. walking in His performance
do good get the cookies, do bad get the baseball bat vs. blessed for free
blessed because of your effort vs. blessed because of Christ's effort
if you fail you are cursed vs. because Christ never fails, you'll never be cursed

never good enough vs. perfect with the perfection of Jesus
never feeling acceptable vs. acceptable forever in Christ
feeling God is looking for your faults and judging you vs. He finds you blameless and faultless and you will never come into judgment
shame vs. acceptance and affirmation
guilt vs. innocence

bondage vs. freedom
trying to keep rules only increases sin vs. seeing who you already are in Him makes sin melt away
led from external rules vs. led by internal desire
rules coming from outside that we must keep by our strength against our will vs. Spirit speaking in our hearts as our own desires, so we naturally do what we want to do
demands vs. desires

rules vs. no rules
you must vs. you want to
you could fall out of favor vs. you can never fall out of favor
if you fail, God punishes vs. no punishment for your failure
sin is seen and remembered vs. sin is gone  and not remembered
feeling far from God vs. knowing intimacy with God
breeds fear vs. breeds intimacy and transparency and trust

servant vs. son
could be thrown out if bad behavior vs. never disowned or thrown out
everything depends on us vs. everything depends on Him
always looking at behavior/self vs always looking at Jesus' work/the Son
sin-consciousness vs. Christ and righteousness consciousness
despair vs. hope
bitterness vs. thankfulness
enmity vs. peace with God
defensiveness, masks, self-justification,blame, criticism, judging, self-righteousness, trying to look good vs. love and openness and humility, being able to admit mistakes and take responsibility
never feeling approved or good enough, vs. approved, good enough
frustration at impossible demands you know you can't meet 9std of perfection) vs. relief that Christ met the standard and we don't have to
up to you vs. off the hook
striving vs. vacation/rest

work for blessing vs. blessed with all for free
you don't have it, trying to get it vs. you already have it all
based on you vs based on Christ        
incomplete, deficient vs. complete, sufficient
under Satan's thumb vs reigning
death rules vs reigning in life/life rules
trapped in sin vs free from sin's power and control
flesh vs Spirit
false identity vs true identity
old self vs new self    

We have been brought out from under law and put under the realm and reign of grace - what a wonderful place to be!  It is the place of freedom and joy and relief, the place of total acceptance and love, the place of gifts freely given, the place where Christ's finished work stands forever valid, the place of fulfillment and wholeness, the place of security, the place of satisfaction and rest..it's the place of grace, in God's heart, and that's where we are!  We are in the place of Grace, in God's loving heart of grace, forever!

2 comments:

  1. Sparrow girl, thanks for the wonderful message of the grace of God i have followed the 30 days of grace and my life is so much lifted as i rest in the finished work of Jesus

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thank you Julius! God has uplifted me, too, through this study. God bless you, brother, so glad to know that you were blessed and encouraged by this wonderful message of grace!

    ReplyDelete

May the amazing grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the extravagant love of God, and the intimate friendship of the Holy Spirit be with all of you. 2 Co. 13:14