Tuesday, November 27, 2007

battling condemnation.....living in grace

Yesterday, I had a hell of a day, yes I said hell....you see I spent the entire day fighting off condemnation, and since no condemnation ever comes from God, it must come from the devil, thereby explaining the hell I went through.....These days whenever condemnation comes at me I immediately get angry.....I am aware there is a battle to thwart all that God is revealing to me....and I am aware that we (Keith and I) are too familiar with legalistic thinking, and trying to measure up to some kind of outward standards(or the law), but let me tell you this is dangerous, it does not bring the life that only the Spirit of God can bring.

"When the law comes to us as believers and presents its perfect demands, our internal response is either rebellion ("I will break that commandment") or self-effort ("I can keep that commandment"). Either way, we are living by the flesh. Certainly His plan is not for us to rebel. But neither does He intend for us on our own ability to try to make life work. He intends for us to live as Jesus did, in a moment-by-moment relationship of total dependence upon the Spirit within us. As Paul explained, only God "give[s] life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who indwells you" (Romans 8:11b).

Although the law itself is holy, God had to kill us off to it. Because as long as we were alive to the law, we had no choice but to try to keep it. And to try to keep the law is to live by the flesh, not the Spirit. That is what Jesus came to save us from:

"I came that they might have life, and might have it abundantly." (John l0:l0b)

For the letter [the Law] kills, but the Spirit gives life. (II Corinthians 3:6b)

"It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing . . ." (John 6:63a)

What is grace living? It is living in dependence on the Spirit, not in dependence upon our own resources to make life work.

Grace does not simply mean that God has forgiven us of our sins. It does not mean that God steps in to help out when we mess up trying to live the Christian life. Grace means that God has Himself done everything necessary to enable us to receive, experience, and manifest Life – His Life. That includes forgiveness, but encompasses so much more.

The entire gospel of Christ is a gospel of grace, from first to last. It is not a gospel of us doing our best on our own, and God's grace filling in when we fall short. Grace means that we live in total dependence on God, moment by moment. That is how God designed us to live. It is not God's contingency plan because man sinned. Man was always designed to live in dependence on God. His sin was trying to live independently. The gospel is the good news of God's restoration of our lives to God's original design: dependence upon Him. God's grace is not something that we will only experience on earth while we still live in sin-prone bodies. We will live in God's grace throughout eternity:

God . . . made us alive together with Christ . . . and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places, Christ Jesus, in order that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. (Ephesians 2:4,6,7)
I have come to appreciate the following comparison of law and grace. To me, it wonderfully summarizes the relationships among law, grace, the flesh, and the Spirit. And it makes it so obvious to me that, despite the vestiges of law-living that remain within me, I want to learn to live fully in grace." (excerpt from article, "Living from a new source"

Anyway, I am so eager to move away from all forms of legalistic thinking, it is not productive at all.....and though I may fail in this, as well as give in to operating "in the flesh" or try to do things in my own strength and not depend on the Spirit to flow through me....God will never condemn me for failing, he's always ready to pour out his grace and to have His grace flow through me,....I can rest assured that nothing will seperate me from the love of Christ, NOTHING! Knowing this and clinging to this helps me to move out of condemnation much more quickly and back into His loving arms!!


Matthew Campbell said...

Battling condemnation is probably the toughest fight for me. I struggle not to believe in Christ. I know what He has done is reliable. I simply doubt my own sincerity and my own faith.

Condemnation is something we learn little by little to fight. Under grace, it's possible to actually win the battle. Under any kind of law, it is impossible.

I'm slowly beginning to learn to fight lies with the truth and to know when something is of God and when something isn't. Hang in there...we're all going through the exact same things. Just keep immersing yourself in the truth of the gospel and keep your eyes on Jesus!!

Matthew Campbell said...

Also, (sorry for the double post) if you haven't listened to it yet, I would HIGHLY recommend you listen to the wonderful sermon by Paul Anderson-Walsh called "Get a Life".

Go to the audio sermons section in the "The Pathway-An introduction into freedom in Christ" series. It's probably the best of the Old Testament forensic grace files. ;)

lydia said...

Thanks for sharing Daelon, and thanks for the encouragement. I am definetly experiencing quicker victory over the condemnation for sure....I find the more I get a hold of grace the more the enemy comes at me with guns blazing -!!
Anyway, thanks for the recommended sermon, I do like his preaching so I will try and check it out!!

lydia said...

or should I call you Matthew, Matt....:)

jul said...

Great stuff as usual! Here's a post you might want to check out, of course I've already left my small mark there...http://blazingcenter.blogspot.com/2007/11/dental-condemnation.html

It's Mark and Stephen Altrogge's blog.