It is easy to fall into the trap of thinking you are right with God because you have a healthy relationship with Him through prayer and worship, or you live a good life and are not to bad – and when you are you repent.
But none of these things add up to right with God
Try this for a moment….
- Strip away your relationship
- Strip away your worship
- Strip away your devotion
- Strip away your repentance
- Strip away your performance
- Strip away your righteous lifestyle
- Strip it all away and what do you have left?
Him towards you!
Not you towards Him… but His love and grace towards you, all these things above are what you do, don’t cart them before Him to gain right-standing with God! They get in the way, get your effort following – not earning favour. Remember it is all about what He did for you. His Gift to you.
His gift of righteousness and abundant grace, through Christ, (Rom 5:17) when this is what is pulling your cart you have Christianity correct! What is your cart? Its all those things that I said strip away, your responses to Him! If you have the cart before the horse that is not Christianity, you are actually just being religious and performance based. Its very hard to walk properly when your cart is in the way!
There are two types of Christianity (one is not Christianity at all) one is performance based and the other grace based, one is focused on what you do the other is focused on what He did. One is Christianity the other is mere religion.
- Type 1 = Romans 5:17b ...how much more will those who receive God’s abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness
- Type 2 are those caught in the trap of their performance they are still under Romans 8:2b … the law of sin and death
these two can not co exist, either you have abundant unearned grace and unearned righteousness or you earn it under the law of sin and death! Jesus has set us free from the law of sin and death by gifting us righteousness and unearned favour.
Receiving His righteousness and the abundant unearned favour should automatically cause your cart to follow your horse – to be thankful, to worship, to live right, to be devoted, to repent (repentance once you are a Christian is only for renewing the mind and purging the heart, it is not for right standing).
Receiving God’s gift of righteousness and abundant unearned favour is done by faith not by working for it. When your at your very worst, as bad as you can be, even at that moment you can receive it, it is not dependant on you or it wouldn’t be called a gift, it was dependant on Jesus!!
God didn’t make a covenant with you he made it with His son, you can not undo this covenant, you can not improve it and you can not break it. If He made the covenant with you, you could never keep up your end of the covenant anyway. It was His work, it is finished, you are a beneficiary of it not a trustee. He is your righteousness!
You have to come to a place to realise there is a righteousness from God by faith and one from you by works, either He is your righteousness or He isn’t, its as simple as that.
You are righteous even if you are doing wrong, because He is your righteousness! You may ask does my righteousness only last until I sin again? No, He is your righteousness!!! Jehovah-Tsidkenu (the Lord my righteousness), The covenant is not with you! you are free from your own works!!!
So will there be consequences if you sin? Of course there will be, physically, spiritually and mentally its foolishness to think other than that, if you take drugs you run the risk of getting addicted, if you sleep around you run the risks, if a demon is mapping its sinful ideas into your heart you will get oppressed by an evil spirit, what you sow is what you reap, but they will not interfere with your right-standing, because He is your right-standing, you will just have to get cleaned up and set free from them. Does it change God’s love for you? No, He will never leave you or forsake you, there is no condemnation. Sure He will convict you of your righteousness, and is quick to get you cleaned up as you turn back to Him.
Many Christians seem to live under a different law, the law of Repentance, they are only as good as their repentance, they don’t believe in following the law, they believe in grace but they put a repentance requirement in there, as if every-time you fail you fall from grace. So does that mean grace is only there if you don’t fall? So does that mean Christ stops becoming your righteousness every-time you fail? Your eternal life is about two hours long? Stop, start, stop, start, insecure works based salvation? Nothing we do is perfect, therefore we are always sinning by action or inaction. Once you’re in Christ repentance is only to purge your heart and renew your mind. The law was only to bring you to Christ, now your with Christ forget the law its not your boss any more Christ is. It can not point the finger at you any-more.
So do you find yourself feeling guilty and separated from God over bad things you have done? Do you ever feel like you are a hopeless case? There is great news for you today.
It is going to set you free, and all it takes is for you to believe it! if you can’t believe then strive to believe, its one of the only thing you are called to strive for… what is it? Strive to receive the gift – its called the good news, the gospel, God’s gift!
The bible says “Strive to enter His rest and cease from your own works“, in other words strive to receive Romans 5:17, strive to believe in His gift of righteousness and abundant unearned favour! When Christ came into your life He forever perfected you even though you are still being sanctified. So you already are perfectly righteous in Him so all you have to do is believe it. Until you have it in your identity you haven’t received it, you are righteous in Christ but because you won’t believe it you will never reign in life, like Romans 5:17 says .
The only alternative is type 2 Christianity!!
If your eyes are only on your works you won’t see Jesus any more, He will cease being your good-news, your love for Him will slowly disappear behind the cloud of you still trying to save yourself. It is not a nice place to be in, always fearful of judgement, insecure, and because you’re under the law you only feel good when you earn right-standing by repenting.. Know this… working to stay saved is the same as working to be saved! Throw away, cast down your righteousness and your ability to earn confidence and favour before God, then receive His gift of righteousness and unearned favour. Only believe and keep working it into your identity, – then thankfulness will well up in your heart and your cart will follow as your righteousness by faith leads…
Hopefully this message will help you get your cart behind you! remember you can’t move forward if your cart is before your horse!