Even as we are in Christ we still need to rely entirely on God’s mercy and Grace as He
works out the reality of righteousness of His salvation in our lives. That is the beauty of God’s salvation. It is just that –God’s salvation of us, not our salving ourselves. We can’t even see our need, sinfulness, thoughts and attitudes, ingratitude and expectation, our secret sins, indulgences and weaknesses. Others can but we cannot. Thus just like in salvation, the victorious Christian life is what God wants to do in us. And his first order of business – show us that how much we need him to do it for us every day.
Freedom From Human Regulations Through Life With Christ
Col 2:6 So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in him, 7 rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness. 8 See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ.
9 For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form, 10 and you have been given fullness in Christ, who is the head over every power and authority. 11 In him you were also circumcised, in the putting off of the sinful nature, not with a circumcision done by the hands of men but with the circumcision done by Christ, 12 having been buried with him in baptism and raised with him through your faith in the power of God, who raised him from the dead.
13 When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your sinful nature, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, 14 having canceled the written code, with its regulations, that was against us and that stood opposed to us; he took it away, nailing it to the cross. 15 And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross. 16 Therefore do not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink, or with regard to a religious festival, a New Moon celebration or a Sabbath day. 17 These are a shadow of the things that were to come; the reality, however, is found in Christ. 18 Do not let anyone who delights in false humility and the worship of angels disqualify you for the prize. Such a person goes into great detail about what he has seen, and his unspiritual mind puffs him up with idle notions. 19 He has lost connection with the Head, from whom the whole body, supported and held together by its ligaments and sinews, grows as God causes it to grow.
20 Since you died with Christ to the basic principles of this world, why, as though you still belonged to it, do you submit to its rules: 21“Do not handle! Do not taste! Do not touch!”? 22 These are all destined to perish with use, because they are based on human commands and teachings. 23 Such regulations indeed have an appearance of wisdom, with their self-imposed worship, their false humility and their harsh treatment of the body, but they lack any value in restraining sensual indulgence.
3 Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. 2 Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. 3 For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. 4 When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.
Who are you Lord?
I AM the reality of Righteousness. Why do you want to live in a facade of religion? Or why do you still want to live controlled by the rules of this world “AS IF you still belong to it”? I AM the God who makes you like my Son – Holy, Righteous, Alive. I AM your life now. Why do you want to settle for a useless self generated “form of godliness”? All the religions and philosophies of the world cannot give you what I want to give you – My divine nature. I have placed you in Christ, you have died with Jesus and I have made you alive with Him, I have given you fullness in Christ. In him you are complete. Even though you still sin, one day I will make you perfect in reality. I have circumcised your heart and have forgiven you of all of your sin, so you don’t need those religious rituals. You don’t need basic human philosophies, principles and traditions; they are a shadow of what I have done for you in reality. All you need is faith in what my word says about you, and thankfulness for what I did for you in Christ. Since I have placed you in Christ, you have died to worldly humanistic institutional wisdom. I AM your life now. You are above a list of things to do or not do. I have written them on your hearts as you know my Word and my Spirit will bring them to your remembrance when you need them. Think on me and you won’t need rules which cannot help you in restraining that which gets you into trouble in the first place – your sensual indulgences.
As you go to church, remember that I am the reality which church is supposed to be proclaiming. Don’t let religion or liturgy keep you from finding me. Don’t rely on your religious activities which can actually prevent you from finding eternal life. These things are just shadows of the reality of righteousness – Me. So let my light shine on you so you won’t miss me – who am your life.
Many go to church in order to find God, but others go to church and do churchy things thinking that they can please God and outweigh their bad deeds committed throughout the week. Religion when presented in this latter mentality can actually not only prevent people from finding God and obtaining eternal life, but convince them that they already have it. Their religious activity lulls them into thinking that they are not that bad as compared to other people who don’t go to church.
Much of our “Christian religion” stems from the Old Testament mentality of laws which the Jews tried to obey to the letter. They failed in their attempts to please God because even when they did obey, their dependency was on their own ability to obey and rather than on God’s mercy to save them from their inability and failure. They actually thought that they could obey, whereas God knew better when he told Moses that they would not be able to as stated in Deuteronomy 5:29 “Oh, that their hearts would be inclined to fear me and keep all my commands always…” God’s purpose in giving the law was to show them as well as all humanity, that we cannot be holy in our own strength or activity but that we must rely on God’s mercy with thanksgiving for the reality of righteousness to be given to and made evident in our lives. This is why God provided the sacrificial system to begin with – to cover over man’s sin, until he removed it in Christ. Because of Him alone we have access to God. He has made us holy. Church is now for worship and thanksgiving, not earning God’s favor.
More to come,