In Romans Paul says, “Who can save me from this battle with sin that rages within my body? I’m never doing what I should be doing, and I’m always doing what I shouldn’t be doing! Who is going to save me from this? Only one can, and that’s Jesus Christ.” Romans 7:15-20
Even though we are imperfect in our flesh, in the Spirit we are holy and righteous. Even though we mess up, we are welcome in the presence of God. Why? Because of Jesus. Because of Him, we can live a righteous life in the Spirit of God.
The Bible says that the Spirit gives birth to the Spirit, while the flesh gives birth to the flesh. So the ability to walk in righteousness and holiness can only happen with the Spirit. It’s not going to happen in our flesh. When we acknowledge Jesus as our Savior, that’s when we can walk in the Spirit.
Jesus said He had to leave so that the “other counselor” could come down. The Holy Spirit is the other counselor, basically, the other lawyer. We try to make the “counselor” into some kind of gushy-gushy thing, but the Spirit is a counselor as in “legal counsel.” As counselor, Jesus can present a case, and He’s up there doing that. The Bible says He’s up there fighting for us. The Holy Spirit is here, doing an even greater work. Jesus said, “I have to go, and you will do even greater things than I have done, because you’ll have the Holy Spirit. You’re going to walk with Him, generation upon generation.” The Holy Spirit is not only giving us legal counsel, He is encouraging us. He is reminding us that we are holy and we are righteous. That’s who we are.
We forget who we are. We don’t trust very well. Because we don’t trust very well, we try to perform. We try to pretend that it’s all good. We try to pretend that we’re always doing great. We try to pretend that we have it all together and we never make mistakes. We live in this room of good intentions. And when that takes over religion, when we base our theology in our performance, it kills the church. It kills the church when we feel like our numbers have to add up in order to be found worthy of the Kingdom of God.
We don’t have to perform to be found worthy. God has said that because of what Jesus did, through Christ and in Christ, now we can come boldly before the throne of grace and find mercy.
There are no preconditions. God did not say we can come before the throne of grace only if we go to confession. He didn’t tell us to stay away from His grace and mercy until we do penance for our sins. No, that’s not what He said!
He said the Holy Spirit is in you now. You now walk in Jesus. And because you walk in that authority, you are boldly able to come before the throne of God.
You have to live in that, and you have to trust that. And when you can trust that, you’re able to mess up, and let it go.
I’ll continue with this next time. See you Thursday.