In order to live under His grace – we must believe that He is exactly who He says He is and that we are exactly who He says we are!
We’ve all made these types of statements and one time or another: “Well, at least I’m not as bad as ???”; “Yeah I did that, but at least I didn’t act like ???”; “I’m a Christian! I go to church every Sunday!”. We have all, at one time or another, had an established list of must do items that we believed made us more righteous than another; or we have all held ourselves out to be better than someone else to justify or glaze over our own sin. Some have gotten caught up in rituals that they think make them more righteous — thanking God for food loudly in a restaurant; participating in an annual church outreach event; using all the right words (blessed and highly favored, I’m doing well by his grace, etc.); wearing Christian t-shirts/fish/crosses; etc. Still others have become legalistic in an effort to prove themselves ‘holier than thou’. Well, none of that will cause you to live fully under the grace of God.
If we want to live victoriously, we have to take Him at His word. If we want to experience His favor, we have to believe Him in such a way that our faith can be counted as righteousness. There is no way – absolutely no way – to please Him with rules and rituals. Rules and Rituals only give us cause to judge one another. When my boys were younger, they loved listening to The Cross Movement. They had a song that said:
“Without Christ it ain’t spiritual – you’re just caught up in a bunch of spare rituals” – The Cross Movement
If our spiritual lives consist only of rules, regulations, and statutes; then our reward will be self-judgment and the judgment of other fallen people — we will never walk in victory! However, if we define our spiritual lives by our belief in God; in who He is and in what He says; then we walk under the Grace of God! Christ has given us the privilege of living as heirs with Him, but we must choose to walk in faith. Not trying to justify ourselves against another’s failings, but instead accepting the justification that we have not earned – but have been freely given by God the Father through His son Jesus Christ.
I pray that the Father will help us to live for Him and not for ourselves. I pray that He will help us to reserve judgement and instead show mercy. I pray that He will help us to appreciate fully what it means to be given justification and to be counted as righteous through Christ. I pray that He will liberate us from the desire to check off a list of good deeds and ‘righteous’ acts. I pray that we will allow Him to teach us what it means to be free indeed.
However, the law is not of faith; on the contrary, “He who practices them shall live by them” (Galatians 3:12)