Talk about another thing being badly skewed; faith without works.
Talk about another thing being badly skewed; faith without works.
This is another part of an ongoing article by my friend Art Licursi.
Part 5 of 10 – “The Law” Empowers the Sin Nature
I believe by now in this series we’ve established that “Sin” as a personality and nature that indwells “the flesh” body of all men SO long as they live on earth – both the saved and the unsaved.
Let’s now look more closely at the response of the “Sin-nature” when we attempt to live under “the Law” during this day of the “dispensation of the grace of God.” Paul plainly states below that the activating force behind “Sin in the flesh” (Rom 8:3), giving its power, is “the Law.” This is the case for anyone who is trying to live under “the Law.”
1 Corinthians 15:56 … the STRENGTH (dunamis, power) OF SIN is THE LAW.
These verses here below are from Romans 7 where Paul describes the dilemma of a man trying to live righteously while living under or according to “the Law.” Note the repeated linkage between “the commandment” (the Law) and the “Sin” nature; it’s undeniable.
Romans 7:8 But SIN taking occasion by the commandment, wrought in me all manner of concupiscence (illicit desires). For without the law sin was dead.
9 For I was alive without the law once: but when the commandment came, sin revived, and I died.
10 And the commandment, which was ordained to life, I found to be unto death.
11 For SIN, taking occasion by the commandment, deceived me, and by it slew me.
12 Wherefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good.
13 Was then that which is good made death unto me? God forbid. But SIN, that it might appear sin, WORKING DEATH IN ME by that which is good; (so) that SIN by THE COMMANDMENT might become exceeding sinful.
In these verses it certainly sounds like “Sin” is a personality, when we read of “SIN taking occasion,” deceiving,” and “working” (verses 8, 11, and 13). “Sin” sounds like a personality with a consciousness that acts and reacts in the believer who weighs his self-worth by his self-effort to conform to “the Law.”
In Galatians Paul explains the matter of “the Law’s” impotence to contribute to genuine righteous living. Paul reveals how “the Law” is intended to make men see their absolute need to trust Christ for their righteous standing and His life for living righteously. If we live by the law we bear “the curse,” which is the requirement too then keep ALL the law.
Galatians 3:10 For AS MANY AS ARE OF THE WORKS OF THE LAW (THOSE WHO DEPEND UPON THE LAW) ARE UNDER THE CURSE: for it is written, CURSED IS EVERY ONE THAT CONTINUETH NOT IN ALL THINGS WHICH ARE WRITTEN IN THE BOOK OF THE LAW TO DO THEM.
Also in Galatians 3 Paul explains how “the Law” acts as a “schoolmaster” for the unbeliever in pushing Him to Christ, and that after faith (in Christ) has come to that person then they are no longer under “the Law.”
Galatians 3:22-26 But the scripture hath concluded all (men are) under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe. 23 But before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed. 24 Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. 25 But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster. 26 For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.
Note from verse 23 that “before faith came, we were kept under the law,” and in verse 24 we see that “the Law” was as our “schoolmaster” to teach us our need of Christ – to “bring us unto Christ (in faith).” And then, “after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster” (verse 25). So after the condemnation of “the Law” does its job – to push us to trust Christ as our only righteousness.
It’s impossible for any human, except Jesus. Hebrews 4:15 For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but (JESUS) WAS IN ALL POINTS TEMPTED LIKE AS WE ARE, YET WITHOUT SIN. The burden of this curse is upon those who think we are still under “the Law.” Our failure under “The Law” is intended to reveal to us our utter need of a capable righteous life, to push us to receive Christ and His righteous “Spirit of life,” whereby we are not under “the Law.” Romans 6:14 For sin shall not have dominion over you: for (because) YE ARE NOT UNDER THE LAW, BUT UNDER GRACE.
Thankfully we were never meant to keep the external dead “Law of Moses,” which was fittingly written on lifeless stone. It has no power except to reveal our Sin to us. Now under grace, “Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth” (Romans 10:4). The believer’s worth and righteousness is not based on their performance, neither before nor after they are converted by faith in Christ as their Savior.
We as grace believers live under an entirely new paradigm in this age of “the dispensation of the grace of God” (Eph 3:2); it’s a new way of living. We are not under any external “law” (except man’s civil law), thus we enjoy that now we are under “no condemnation” (Rom 8:1 below).
Romans 8:1-2 THERE IS THEREFORE NOW NO CONDEMNATION TO THEM WHICH ARE IN CHRIST JESUS,
Nevertheless, we do have within our spirit “the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus” to regulate us now from within. This new way of inner regulation is the living “law of the Sprit of life in Christ Jesus.”
2 For THE LAW (operative regulating power) OF THE SPIRIT OF LIFE IN CHRIST JESUS HATH MADE ME FREE FROM THE LAW (operative regulating power) OF SIN AND DEATH.
As recipients of Christ’s “Spirit of life” are free to live spontaneously. Nevertheless, we have His permanent presence within us to guide and regulate us by either His prompting or restricting. Here we see a couple examples of the Lord’s inner prompting and restricting in the life of Paul and his co-workers.
Acts 18:5 And when Silas and Timotheus were come from Macedonia, Paul was pressed in the spirit, and testified to the Jews that Jesus was Christ.
Acts 16:6-7 6 Now when they had gone throughout Phrygia and the region of Galatia, and were forbidden of the Holy Ghost to preach the word in Asia, 7 After they were come to Mysia, they assayed to go into Bithynia: but the Spirit suffered them not.
We can learn to practice the presence of the Lord, to trusting Him to guide us. Actually, we must learn to follow the inner sense we have by His “Spirit of life” within us. Paul writes in Ephesians 4:20 But ye have not so learned Christ; Christ will guide us in all our doings; e.g., He will lead or restrict us in what or if we should buy some particular thing that we are considering; or, He may move us to change lanes on the highway, etc. He is ever-present in us and desires to be the Lord of our life in every aspect.
Posted in Grace, tagged Baby Steps, Hate, Hope, Internal Demons, Law, Lifeless, Mantra, religion, Skin Deep Veneer, Unconditional Love, Unconditionally Loved, Worthless on May 5, 2012| Leave a Comment »
“How do you view God, how do you view how he sees you”; these were some of the questions posed in a conversation I was listening to today.
As the conversation progressed one of the people was saying that so many if not most of the mental disorders experienced by so many were symptomatic of a much deeper need, the need to let God the Father love them to the very depths of their being.
We are a reflection of who we believe He (God) is! We will ultimately be conformed to the image of who we believe our Father in heaven is.
There has to be something that touches, goes to the very depths of our inner most being, as it were an inside job of freeing us from our shadow boxing with one symptom after another.
In my opinion so much of what presents itself as “self-help” cure all’s is nothing more than an old snake oil disguised in a modern and hip language that continues to appeal to the longing of our heart; and that longing is to be 100% unconditionally loved.
In the New Testament Jesus said to his disciples; “A new commandment I give unto you, that you love one another as I have loved you,” and I believe it goes without saying that this applies as much to us today as it did then, we’re all the same in that we were created to be lavishly loved, we were wired to receive His love in copious amounts.
This has nothing to do with trying to follow or attempting to obey the Law as in, “You are to love the Lord your God with all of your being and your neighbour as yourself.” It’s impossible, we love Him because He first loved us, and most of the Christian world will wag their heads in agreement to that fact, but, sadly this is more of a believed dogma than an internally received and accepted reality.
As I was listening to something the other day it was put this way to me, Jesus was saying; “let me love you first and last, in so doing we will discover how to love one another. IN choosing to let the Father love us is not something that can be boiled down to a set of steps or principles. More than anything else it like everything dealing with God is all about revelation.
The video clip I chose to use here with this blog entry says through some crazy humour what I am trying to convey, a repeated and chanted mantra of in this case of, “I feel great, I feel good, I feel wonderful” is not going to free us from our internal demons that plague us relentlessly.
What we need to hear is going to come from a much deeper place than the thoughts and voices we hear most days pointing out what a worthless shit we are. We have been so groomed to hear what we believe to be true about us; I guess you might look upon these as being “true lies.” In learning to let God the Father love us is in my opinion is quite simple although don’t ever confuse that with being easy, the simplicity is in simply attempting to agree with what will sound so foreign to us in that we are Loved.
There will never be any real lasting going the distance of having any confidence, or sensing a true and vibrant beauty to our lives apart from learning to take those baby steps of agreeing with God that what he is saying about me is the Truth!
The beauty of who we are must be a revelation.
I want to bring this to a close by sharing something here that deeply touched me the other day when my wife who has been doing a huge amount of preliminary steps of working with our son in dealing with a fire he had in his house almost two years ago, a much too long story to share here right now. She was told that in the case of house fires one of the most thorough and complete ways of dealing with smoke damage is to use a thermal fogging machine. A professional using one of these devices will successfully eradicate and neutralize the odours completely.
The pigmentation of our soul has been infused with something far more intrusive and destructive than smoke damage, we have been born to believe that God hates us and that were not worthy to receive any love.
I saw open up before my senses that (at least for me) I need God the Father’s thermal fog machine to free me from what has stained my every thought, and in so doing freeing me to be the best Rich that ever could be, and that isn’t going to happen by repeating a lifeless mantra.
If we start out with a fear based perspective viewing anything that is recorded within the scriptures in the bible, guaranteed you’re going to make it mean what you want it to mean, there is NO deviation permitted. Thing is, the “letter kills” but the spirit makes the letter “come alive” beyond just printed words on a page
I am looking at what God the Father did from before the foundations of the earth by opening a door that no man can shut; Jesus, being God’s lamb slain before the foundations of the earth made it possible for man to fully enter into the fullness of what the Father, Son and Spirit operated in.
It says that it was God in Christ reconciling the world back unto himself, no longer holding man’s trespasses against them. So, in the finished work of God in Christ, does the reconciliation that was perfectly worked out by God from before space, time, and history as well as it being consummated within space, time, and history mean that everyone is no longer in the first Adam but are now in the “last Adam-Christ Jesus”?
My question ties into the demarcations that many have been hog-tied to, that being Jews and Gentiles, but from the scriptures those demarcations have been removed, the language being this, either being in Christ or still being in Adam.