You are a forgiven person — period

If you seek to be obedient to God, then you must love Him with all of your heart, mind, soul and strength and you must love your neighbor as you love yourself.  These two commandments are the summary of all of the commandments listed in the Law of Moses.  In your attempt, you must never falter and never veer off course.  You must love God and your neighbor for every minute of every day for your entire life. (Mark 12, Matthew 22, Luke 10)

You know what you must do, and you must do it perfectly.  You should give this your best effort.  Your greatest attempt.

Jesus said, “Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.” (Matthew 5:48)

If you fail for even one moment, you are completely guilty; it is as if you failed continually for your entire life.

For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles in one point, he has become guilty of all. (James 2:10)

At this point, you should see that you are hopeless.  You should feel the heaviness of ‘the impossible’ weighing you down.  You should embrace the dark enormity of this empty void.  Because simply by knowing what is good and what is evil, you can in no way obey the Law of God. (Genesis 2:17)

Allow the Law to kill you and to bring a complete end to any attempts at obedience.  Afterall, “the Law brings death, but the Spirit brings life.” (2 Corinthians 3:6)

You are now ready for the Good News.  You are now ready to enter the Promised Land of Rest!  You are now ready to acknowledge the complete forgiveness of your sins.

Being set free from the Law allows you to live a life of rest knowing that Jesus Christ has done it all – He has done all the work.  Your only job now is to live in the fulfillment of the Sabbath Day.

Live as a forgiven person!  Give no thought to guilt or condemnation when you sin – He has dealt with your sin.  But do talk to Him about it, of course.  Talk to the Lord continually, and pour out your heart to Him at all times.  Allow Him to teach you that He has no expectations of you; that only He could be a perfectly obedient human.

Live as a forgiven person!  The Law came to an end when Jesus Christ fulfilled it here on earth, so do not think in terms of “sin” and “repentance.”  It is the Law that defines sin, and therefore, you are free from sin, since you have been set free from the Law. (Romans 6:16-18)

Live as a forgiven person!  Grow in the grace that He has for you.  You are finally free to grow as a new creation as you get to know your kind, forgiving and loving Savior.

But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen. (2 Peter 3:18)

November 21, 2017

Christ is the End of the Law

If you are a believer, the Law of Moses was brought to an end for you.

Romans 10:4, “For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes.”

What is the Law?

What the apostle Paul calls “the law” comprises all of the hundreds of commandments that God spoke to Moses on Mt. Sinai.  Christians focus on the first 10, but it’s common knowledge in the Orthodox Jewish community that there are a total of 613 commandments.

Matthew, Mark, Luke and John further magnify the Law, but the four gospels are technically part of the Old Testament, since the New Covenant did not go into effect until the death of Jesus Christ.

For a will takes effect only at death, since it is not in force as long as the one who made it is alive. (Hebrews 9:17, ESV)

Without the gospels, it would be easy to conclude that the Law deals only with outward behavior. Jesus Christ, however, helps us to see that to be truly obedient to the Law, our thoughts and intentions must also be pure and good.

Ever felt tormented by one of the parables? Feel uncomfortable when you read the Sermon on the Mount? Those feelings are normal. The Law is having its perfect effect on you. It is beating you up. It is condemning you.

Jesus Christ used the Law correctly:  to lead us to the Mercy Seat of God, since we have no hope of living according to the Law; according to rules and regulations.

Not only did Jesus teach the Law correctly (as opposed to the Pharisees who used it incorrectly), He also lived the Law correctly. He lived every moment of His life under the curse of the Law; He obeyed all of the commandments perfectly.

Jesus did not come to abolish the Law of Moses, but to fulfill it. Since the obligations of the Law were fulfilled by Him, it has been brought to an end.

“He did this by erasing the charges that were brought against us by the written laws God had established. He took the charges away by nailing them to the cross.” (Colossians 2:14, GWT)

Christ is the END of the Law, not the beginning. “For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness.”  We Christians must come to the end of the Law, and live righteously by our belief and trust in Him, not in our obedience to a set of rules.

If Jesus Christ is the end of the Law to everyone who believes, why do so many believers today want to remain ‘in’ the Law?  Why are we not coming to the end of it?

For many of us, it takes time.  For me, it took 15 years of ‘giving it my all,’ before the Law came to an end for me. I failed at “giving it my all.”

Only Jesus can “give it His all” because He was as perfect as God. Because He was God. He is God. Only He could fulfill the Law. So when He died as a “human,” His death was acceptable as a substitutionary death for all of humanity. So, through His death, we ALL have fulfilled the Law (in that sense.)

Jesus brought an end to the Law. If you are a new creation in Christ, do not allow the Law of Moses to be your guide; allow the Holy Spirit to guide you.  Live according the Law of the Spirit of Life. Do not live according to the Law of Sin and Death.

Jesus Christ is the end of the Law to everyone who believes.

End it already.

May 31, 2016

Outside of Churchianity

daylight dirt road ecology environment

What is the law of the Spirit of life? And how is it different from the law of sin and death? Paul mentions these two opposing laws in his letter to the Romans.

“For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death.” (Romans 8:2)

The path to freedom is going to be different for each individual born-again believer, so all I can do is share my story. For me, after spending 15 years wandering in the wilderness of Churchianity, the Lord God Himself set me free to enter the Promised Land of Rest.

He made me free by slowly and gently leading me away from a life focused on “works.” He made me free by stripping me of my belief system that was based on rules and regulations.

Imagine one of those really irritating Christians who is all about, “you have to do this, and you shouldn’t do that!” Yeah. That was me.

But then my husband quit church.

I had spent years waiting for him to repent and obey, so when he gave up altogether, I had to completely let go of my hope of one day having the perfect Christian family.

It seemed so devastating to me at the time — church attendance was the “First Commandment” in my denomination (which was a non-denominational church) — but it was actually one of the best things that ever happened to me.  His quitting church led me to quit church, and it was only then that I could see that I had made church attendance an idol.  And that idol worship kept me separated from God in my mind.

I quit church in 2004, and by 2006 most of the ‘law of sin and death’ had been removed.  By teaching me the truth, the Lord was able to get rid of the falsehoods that were keeping me in the wilderness.  But there was one ‘law’ that I was still holding on to tenaciously!  I still believed that we “have to ask forgiveness for our sins.” . . . Thanks to AM Radio and an excellent grace teacher (Bob George!), in 2007 the Lord was finally able to gently remove that one last requirement.

From that point on, I no longer had a Christian To-Do List. I realized that there was simply nothing left for me to do. I then began to live my life in a totally different way.

How was my Christian life different?  I began living day by day simply trusting Him to lead me and guide me.  The unrealistic expectations that I put on our three kids slipped away, and I began to relax and allow them to be themselves.  I also began to give my husband grace, and stopped trying to change him into a repentant and obedient ‘godly man.’  I stopped believing that I could “serve God” (as if He needed anything from me!  Acts 17:25), and I began resting in the the work He has already done for me.

In essence, I began living by the law of the Spirit of life. And I stopped living by the law of sin and death.

Here in the Promised Land of Rest, outside of Churchianity, I am able to live every day with Jesus — who is Life — worshiping Him in spirit and in truth.

It’s a wonderful life.

February 24, 2016