For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them. Ephesians 2:8-10
In a Spirit-led life, our deeds are righteous. But they don’t belong to us. If I am a righteous man, it’s only because I have the blood of Jesus on me. If I live a righteous life and make right decisions, it will be because Jesus is in me and works through me. I can’t boast about that.
I can’t do this without Him.
As I wrote about last time, most people in the world have a control issue. We feel like we need to control things. We want people to react a certain way to us, just so that we can react a certain way back. If people don’t react the way we want them to, then we want to control the situation. Maybe we even want to control other people. And as we know, when we try to do that, things go wrong.
Well, I’ve just given that up. I’ve given my life up — to Jesus Christ. You have to, in order to live in grace. And you have to give up controlling your family so that they can live in grace with you. This is the basis for a true relationship with Jesus. The Bible says that we love Jesus because He first loved us. So I don’t go to my wife and children, and say, “Hey! You need to love me, and you need to respect me.” They will love and respect me when I first love and respect them.
If you try to control your family, they will fight you. If you only love them when they do certain things, or when they live a certain way, then you’ll have a battle on your hands. I think that is what was so hard for us before Jesus came. You see the battle in the Old Testament. We had to live a certain way and act a certain way. We had to follow the Ten Commandments. It was too hard, and we could never do it, so we always had to make sacrifices to make up for our transgressions.
I think there was a plan all along. God saw that we wanted rules. We sent Moses up to Mt. Sinai because we wanted rules. Rules cause problems, but we wanted them, so God gave them to us. Then we had the law, and we couldn’t follow it. We broke it all the time. So we had to make sacrifices in order to feel righteous before God. There were a lot of sacrifices!
So God sent His Son to make the ultimate sacrifice. And after that one perfect sacrifice, there was only one commandment. Love your neighbor as yourself, and love God.
But we can only fulfill that one commandment through the blood of Jesus Christ. So you see, you can’t boast about the good things you do. You can’t say, “Look at me! I did this, and I did that.” Jesus is the only reason that you can do the good things you do.
When you can give up legalism and give up your life to Jesus, then Jesus will live in you and through you. And then you will walk in grace. You won’t walk in condemnation. You won’t walk in judgmentalism. You won’t walk in expectation. You’ll just live your life in freedom, not bound by all those laws. You’ll be free to do the work God has prepared for you. You can truly love.
See you Monday.