You Are Not Identified by What You Do
For the first 23 years of my Christian life, I was exposed to “swallow a camel ministries.” Dr. Reverend preached Bible verses for me to follow so I could work at becoming what I had not yet attained. Unfortunately, I wasn’t alone … the well-intentioned Rev was everywhere. This approach towards trying to help believers reach a far-off destination places them onto a treadmill while spitting into the wind. It’s a backwards approach, working from the outside in and leaves people with elements of fear and uncertainty. “Where do I really stand with God? Am I doing enough? How can I be sure?”
The gospel of grace revealed that in Him we are a new creation. We don’t work or strive to become what we are not; we live from who He has already created us to be. We’re not gradually becoming more His child, more righteous, holy, forgiven, perfect, sanctified, blameless, delivered, redeemed, cleansed, complete, accepted, anointed … and the list goes on.
Instead, we run this race by starting at the finish line. It’s a place of rest and this destination is known as Jesus—the author and finisher of faith which has been gifted to us—who did everything necessary for us to inherit and receive God’s divine nature as children. Our confidence is in He who began a good work in us and He who will be faithful to complete it because we are partakers of grace, filled with the fruit of righteousness which comes through Jesus Christ (Philippians 1). Not by a fleshly attempt which works towards establishing a new and improved identity. That was the Old Covenant way.
All of those years of “trying to be a good Christian” through my spiritual efforts and behavior modifications only led to frustration. My confidence was based upon whether I felt as though I was living admirably enough for God to smile down on me. How did this so craftily change from a gift obtained by believing in God’s faithfulness through grace … to suddenly being dependent on my faithfulness to God? It’s a work of the enemy, and unfortunately, it often seeps in through religious Bible teaching. The devil tried twisting the Scripture when approaching Jesus as a man walking the earth … so don’t think for a minute that you’ll be exempt from such tactics. Even scholarly theology such as “the now and the not yet” is just carnal minded thinking which dilutes the truth of the power of the blood of Jesus, shed once, for all.
Ask most church-goers if they are righteous and they’ll be reluctant to say yes. Why? Because they are basing it upon what they do instead of what Christ did through a finished work of the cross. They may have never been told who they are as a righteous child of God, and yet, this is the foundation of the gospel (see Romans 1:16-17). It’s not our righteousness—it’s His—but it has been gifted to us. As a believer in Christ, you are right with God … all the time. Now we can throw out the religious rules list and stone tablet commandments in order to live by something very different and more glorious … the life of the Spirit of God who dwells in us.
For more on avoiding the trap of religious bondage inside of a new and better covenant, and also gaining a better understanding of the teachings of Jesus, get the book: Clash of the Covenants: Escaping Religious Bondage Through The Grace Guarantee.
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