Grace Rules ~ Flesh Drools

Enemy Secret
Pride attempts to steal the glory from God by crediting us for our behavior or good works or obedience to the Law/Word or knowing Scripture or being spiritual or performing continual self-abasement in rituals which is false humility.

Flesh demands credit in order to steal God’s glory. However, God is the only One who’ll get the glory.

The only way we can share in His glory is by abiding in Christ. We have no righteousness of our own. But His is free for the taking, and easily received by the humbled heart.

Truth
After thousands of years of waiting for the Messiah, mankind at last heard John the Baptist’s announcement, “Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world” (John 1:29).

John’s announcement included WHO and WHAT. The WHO was the introduction of the Lamb of God and the WHAT was the Lamb’s purpose, to take away sin. The Lamb’s saving ministry commenced with John the Baptist and ended when the Lamb gave up His spirit and said, “It is finished” (John 19:30). His purpose of permanent sin removal was in contradiction to the old covenant rituals of temporary sin atonement. His purpose of taking away sin He declared accomplished with His last breath.

Christ’s two-part ministry included saving us (John 12:47) and giving us life (John 5:40, 10:10). After completing His saving ministry at Calvary, He fulfilled His life-giving ministry being raised from the grave in His resurrection power which is now ours.

There is nothing left for us to do to be made right with God because He has done it all for us once and for all (Hebrews 10:2, 10, 14).

Christ summed up all His commandments in these two:
1) abide in Christ (John 15:4)
2) love one another (John 15:12-17)

These two correlate with the Great Commandments (Matt. 22:37-38):
1) Love God with your all
2) Love your neighbor as you do yourself

Sin
When we sin, we are condemned under the law: GUILTY.
And what is the punishment for guilt? DEATH.
Are we going to die on a cross for Christ because we think He needs our help in paying for our sin or are we going to receive His death in place of ours? We must decide.
Sometimes it takes a whole lifetime to receive His grace in its fullness. And tragically, some never do. That is the equivalent of spitting in the face of God.

The reason we keep sinning is because we are living in the identity of the old man, a slave to sin, who is subject to the teeth of the law and trying to perform righteousness. We have forgotten or maybe we’ve never learned that we have been made a new creature in Christ, a slave to righteousness (2 Corinthians 5:7, Romans 6:16). The new creature receives God’s grace and resurrection life freely and humbly, even when he stumbles or falls. This is because he knows he has no righteousness of his own. Thus, knowing who you are determines how you behave.

Tips
Ask God to reveal your new self or identity to you.
Then ask Him to teach you to walk in it.
Then ask Him to reveal the idols that keeps tripping you up.
Once He shows you, ask Him to show you how to put them under your feet.
This is all-out warfare and a time-consuming process which must take place in community.
You must be willing to let Him rewire your brain. He owns it, you know.
Ask God to open your spiritual eyes to venture beyond the limitations of human understanding (Ephesians 1:18) and traditions of man (Mark 7:13).

Once you surrender the past, present and future deeds of the old man to Him (that’s what He died for), then you are ready for resurrection life!
Just as He died and rose again, you can die to your sin and arise again in His life and power instead of your own.
This is His will for you!
The gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life and few are those who find it (Matthew 7:14).
The only way to find it is to assume the heart of a little child (Luke 18:16) leaving everything else behind as you seek Him wholeheartedly (Jeremiah 29:13).

Application
Since we are new creations in Christ, when trouble comes –and it will– if we make the mistake of obeying a spirit of guilt and condemnation, we will fall. But with Christ as our advocate (1 John 2:1-2), no worries. Remember that it is only our feet which have become dirty. Remember Christ said (John 13:10) that once He washes us we are clean for good …because if any man is in Christ He is a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17). The new creation is holy and pure forever. That’s us! Believe it.

Not if, but when our feet get dirty with sin as we walk in this sin-filthy world, we find relief by confessing to other believers, washing one another’s feet and praying for one another so that we are progressively healed. “Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you” (John 13:14-15).

The foot washing scene with Christ and His disciples in John 13:10 is lived out in the command of James 5:16: Confess your sins to one another and pray for one another that you may be healed. When we do so we are bearing one another’s burdens (Galatians 6:2) and loving one another (John 15:12) which fulfill the law of love.

Although it is still taught in some churches, especially in Catholicism, there is no need to confess sin to God for forgiveness. This ritual is evidence that one does not understand Christ’s work. Remember, He is omniscient having known all about your sin since before the foundation of the world, and omnipotent having taken care of it for us already. The reason He doesn’t answer your confession for forgiveness is because He already answered it at Calvary when He cried, “It is finished!”

Christ has removed in totality all of our sin and guilt in Christ. This is the Gospel. Our sanctification journey is the path we take to receive that truth as it is revealed to us. Instead of appropriating unbelief, the appropriate action we can take when we stumble in sin is humbly to thank Him for His extreme grace that He has already taken it away (John 1:29, 6:29; Romans 11:27; Hebrews 9:9, 10:2, 10, 14, 17, 18).

We confess sin to ourselves to break denial and confess sin to others to break isolation, but confession to God for forgiveness defeats the purpose of Calvary. When we do, we are asking Him to do what He has already done.

Christ broke every barrier paying fully our sin and guilt debt. End of story. We cannot in any way add to His payment. When we try to add to what He has done, even a smidgen, we are declaring that what He has done is insufficient. That is acting in unbelief which is not pleasing to God (Heb. 11:6a)

In the ritual of confession to God for forgiveness, we are unknowingly bowing to an idol of guilt with the hidden intent to make ourselves right with God. However, that is impossible. God had to make us right with Himself because we could not and cannot bridge the gap in any way. Our only option is to receive His sin and guilt payment in our behalf, preferably using the James 5:16 model. Remember, pride will fight us to the death over rituals. It wants some credit. Pride is sister to the guilt idol, and both fall hard.

Pouring our hearts out to God in prayer for mercy and help in time of need or relief or direction or to hear from Him is different. In this, we are simply praying and communing with Him, confident in His sacrifice and love for us regardless of our circumstances. We are not blindly begging for forgiveness that has already been given freely to us.

Christ said our sin and guilt is paid in full (John 1:29, 19:30; Heb, 1:3b). If we feel the need to keep confessing sin to God, then we must consider the fact that we have not received forgiveness from Him. The more we confess sin to God for forgiveness, the more we have failed to receive His complete forgiveness and all-sufficient righteousness. Receiving God’s forgiveness is just as important as receiving His righteousness given to us in Christ Jesus. When we humble ourselves to receive permanently these precious and eternal gifts, His victory is ours.

If sin is all we seek, then sin is all we’ll find. However, if we instead focus on Him seeking first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, as He commands, then all these things including freedom will be added to us (Matthew 6:33).

Question
God will not be mocked (Galatians 6:7). But if you hold to idols rejecting or limiting God’s grace in your life, then guess who will be??

My life lessons in learning how not to be mocked are recorded in my personal journal, called My Journey Through the Cross, at myjourneythroughthecross.com or at Amazon books.

Galatians 2:21
[Therefore, I do not treat God’s gracious gift as something of minor importance and defeat its very purpose]; I do not set aside and invalidate and frustrate and nullify the grace (unmerited favor) of God. For if justification (righteousness, acquittal from guilt) comes through [observing the ritual of] the Law, then Christ (the Messiah) died groundlessly and to no purpose and in vain. [His death was then wholly superfluous.]

James 5:12
But above all [things], my brethren, do not swear, either by heaven or by earth or by any other oath; but let your yes be [a simple] yes, and your no be [a simple] no, so that you may not sin and fall under condemnation.

Isaiah 53:6
All we like sheep have gone astray, we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord has made to light upon Him the guilt and iniquity of us all.

Romans 7:6
But now we are discharged from the Law and have terminated all intercourse with it, having died to what once restrained and held us captive. So now we serve not under [obedience to] the old code of written regulations, but [under obedience to the promptings] of the Spirit in newness [of life].

Romans 10:2-4
I bear them witness that they have a [certain] zeal and enthusiasm for God, but it is not enlightened and according to [correct and vital] knowledge. For being ignorant of the righteousness that God ascribes [which makes one acceptable to Him in word, thought, and deed] and seeking to establish a righteousness (a means of salvation) of their own, they did not obey or submit themselves to God’s righteousness…For Christ is the end of the Law [the limit at which it ceases to be, for the Law leads up to Him Who is the fulfillment of its types, and in Him the purpose which it was designed to accomplish is fulfilled. That is, the purpose of the Law is fulfilled in Him] as the means of righteousness (right relationship to God) for everyone who trusts in and adheres to and relies on Him.

Romans 11:27
And this will be My covenant (My agreement) with them when I shall take away their sins.

1 Peter 1:22
You were cleansed from your sins when you obeyed the truth, so now you must show sincere love to each other as brothers and sisters. Love each other deeply with all your heart.

Hebrews 9:28
so Christ, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time, not to deal with sin but to save those who are eagerly waiting for him.

Hebrews 10:14
For by a single offering He has forever completely cleansed and perfected those who are consecrated and made holy.

Romans 6:7, 11, 14, 18
For when a man dies, he is freed (loosed, delivered) from [the power of] sin [among men]…Even so consider yourselves also dead to sin and your relation to it broken, but alive to God [living in unbroken fellowship with Him] in Christ Jesus…For sin shall not [any longer] exert dominion over you, since now you are not under Law [as slaves], but under grace [as subjects of God’s favor and mercy]…And having been set free from sin, you have become the servants of righteousness (of conformity to the divine will in thought, purpose, and action).

1 John 2:1-2
My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anybody does sin, we have one who speaks to the Father in our defense—Jesus Christ, the Righteous One. He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world.

1 John 3:20
By this [love] we shall know that we are of the truth and reassure our hearts before Him whenever our hearts condemn us. For God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything.

1 John 3:3
And everyone who hopes in Him purifies himself as He is pure.

John 10:13a
Jesus answered, “A person who has had a bath needs only to wash his feet; his whole body is clean. And you are clean…”

Hebrews 4:16
Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.

Hebrews 10:2
And if the worshippers had once been cleansed of sin, they would no longer have any consciousness of it.

Psalm 103:12
As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us.

 

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Grace Rules

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About ashleydwille

Author Ashley D. Wille was always searching for spiritual answers. “True and lasting satisfaction always proved just out of reach. Now, in midlife, I have come to find my soul satiated in God. Through sweet surprises, difficult climbs, and excruciating valleys, the Master’s hand has shaped me. All along the way, God has taught me many things. What He has taught me most is that many of my beliefs about Him were wrong.” Her book, My Journey Through the Cross, is a personal insight shared by an amazing woman. Through her profound experiences and inner struggles, Wille shows how she was able to break through false layers of thinking and move into a deeper relationship with God. Her beautiful journey is just waiting to be shared. If you are ready to live your life free of guilt and shame, you too can learn how to walk in spiritual freedom.
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2 Responses to Grace Rules ~ Flesh Drools

  1. Pingback: The Power of the Cross and the Purpose of Confession | ashleydwille

  2. Pingback: Cycle of Double-mindedness | ashleydwille

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