Are You Desperate to See?

Jesus didn't die so we could have a religion.

Monday, May 09, 2005

My Story

Sin was calling most of the shots as the old law code hemmed me in. And this made me all the more rebellious. In the end, all I had to show for it was miscarriages and stillbirths. But now that I'm no longer shackled to that domineering mate of sin, and out from under all those oppressive regulations and fine print, I'm free to live a new life in the freedom of God.

Is that statement my spiritual experience with God? Is it my testimony? Is it my very knowledge of Christ? Yes, yes and yes!

And yet it is also what Paul says in Romans 7:5&6. (I substituted us and we for me and I.) Growing up I thought, when it came down to it, that Christianity was about rule keeping. Sure, I knew that Christ had died for my sins and that was my only ticket into heaven but I still felt the oppression of walking a fine line and pressure to keep rules.

"What happened, though, was that sin found a way to pervert the commands into a temptation, making a piece of "forbidden fruit" out of it. The law code, instead of being used to guide me, was used to seduce me. Without all the paraphernalia of the law code, sin looked pretty dull and lifeless, and I went along without paying much attention to it. But once sin got its hands on the law code and decked itself in all that finery, I was fooled, and I fell for it."

Once again, the above paragraph is my experience, but Paul's words in Romans 7:9&10 (from the Message).

Rules. Christians can't live with them and they can't live without them. Christ was the fulfillment of God's promise to man, and he didn't come to destroy the rules, but to take care of them. He met every rule and law so that when we walk in Christ, even when we stumble and sin, that is no longer our identity. The man who sins is dead. We are alive in Christ. We must stay in Christ and stay focused on Christ. We must live by the Spirit in order to overcome our desire to want to fall into sin and roll around in the filth and give ourselves over to destruction. Our flesh yearns to be in sin as much as our Spirit yearns to be in Christ. The decision is, what are you going to follow? The flesh that would enslave you to sin again or the Spirit that would set you free in Christ?

If you are a spiritually mature Christian, I feel it is our obligation to preach God's love and not the rules. We are to live a life beyond reproach that would serve as an example to those who might be weaker and more prone to live by the flesh. But out of our mouths and expressed in our actions should be God's love. That is the first step, the doorway to enter into Christ's freedom which prompts a grateful heart that is "sold out" to Christ. That person that is in love with Christ produces a life that would not want to hurt the Giver and that is when the sin becomes unexciting, wholly not enticing and becomes an ugly, hurtful thing in the eyes of a person.


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