Today we will continue our series entitled “God’s Grace & Our Faith.” We are looking at The Law given under Moses vs. the Grace provided by Jesus. Our primary scriptures are John 1:14 & 17. Yesterday we looked at Galatians 5:24,25. Let’s go back to those again today.
(John 1:14 New International Version)
The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.
(John 1:17 New International Version)
For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.
(Galatians 5:24,25 The Passion Translation)
Keep in mind that we who belong to Jesus, the Anointed One, have already experienced crucifixion. For everything connected with our self – life was put to death on the cross and crucified with Messiah. We must live in the Holy Spirit and follow after him.
So what does this mean for you today? I will focus on this line: “We must live in the Holy Spirit and follow after him.”
1. God’s grace FREES you from your past and the limits of your performance!
— The Apostle Paul tells us that once we are in Christ, our old self-life was put to death on the cross with Jesus. We are dead to whoever we were and whatever we did. Since our past cannot hinder us, we are FREE to fully embrace everything God has called us to be and do. We are FREE to open our hearts to the destiny the Holy Spirit reveals to us. At first, when He begins to show us the future God planned, we feel unworthy. Because in this world, people judge your qualifications by your past performance. But God is not holding out past against us. He is calling us into our future (the future He planned) by His unearned GRACE!
— One of the major reasons why the Apostle Paul went to such great lengths to teach AGAINST living by The Law of Moses is because anyone who lives by RULES will eventually break them. When you break the rules, you feel terrible, and you are then susceptible to the attacks of satan. Satan is a master at telling you that you are not good enough to receive what God promised. Satan tries his best to get you over into guilt, shame, and condemnation. If you feel condemned, you run AWAY from God. You hide like Adam. You attempt to cover up what you did (like Adam did with the fig leaves).
But when you get FREE from your past and FREE from the bondage of performance-based religion, you are FREE to fully embrace everything God called you to be and do. At that point, you know God is not using you because of your performance (good or bad). God is only using you because of His grace!
— When you take the focus off yourself, and what you have done or failed to do, you are finally in a position to fully embrace God’s grace. At that point, God can use you in ways that far exceed your wildest dreams because you have finally come to the realization that your life is not about you. Your life is ALL ABOUT HIM!
— Paul was so free that he was able to glory in his weaknesses (2 Cor 12:10). He was able to do more than any other Apostle and write over half the New Testament. He could only do this because he was free of the guilt of his past and from the pressure to perform. Even though Paul was a terrorist before he came to Christ, he was so FREE that he was able to say, “I have wronged no man” (2 Cor 7:2). Paul was saying, “I’m good. I am in Christ. All the mistakes I have made were nailed to the cross with Jesus. I am FREE to be the man God called me to be.” This is how we are supposed to live.
2. When you are FREE, you can be led by the Holy Spirit without being hindered by guilt, shame, or condemnation.
— Paul said, “We must live in the Holy Spirit and follow after him” (Gal 5:25). You cannot do this to the full extent without embracing the grace of God. Said another way, if you are a religious person (focusing on the rules instead of God’s grace), you will never be able to do what the Holy Spirit leads you to do because you will never feel worthy of divine assignments.
— If you live your life focused on your performance, you will never feel good enough because God calls you BEYOND your ability to perform.
— God’s call is always BEYOND you and your performance. God does this to force you to rely on Him, His goodness, and His grace.
— If you can do it without God, and if you only attempt to do things that are clearly within your human ability, then you don’t need faith, you don’t need God’s power, and you are not relying on God’s grace. If this is you, you may be existing, but you are not truly living yet. You start truly living when you open your heart to the life God planned for you before the world began. This life will be FAR BEYOND anything you can do on your own. This life will require God’s grace. This life will require your faith. This life will require you to be led by the Holy Spirit every second of every day. This life will require you to release guilt, shame, and condemnation.
This life will require you to be comfortable with a certain level of discomfort because there is a level of mystery to walking with God. When you are led of the Holy Spirit, you won’t have all the answers. You won’t know what you are going to do every day. You won’t be able to plan out your next 10 years because sometimes the Holy Spirit will only reveal the next 10 minutes. But that’s okay because you are comfortable living the life of faith. You are led by the Holy Spirit, and you are FREE from the limits of your humanity!
— When you do as Paul taught and you “live in the Holy Spirit and follow after him,” you get to live the life God planned for you before the world began. It may NOT be the life you wanted. It probably WON’T be the life you planned before giving your life to Christ. But it will be the life God planned, and you must learn to be okay with that.
— — When you do as Paul taught and you “live in the Holy Spirit and follow after him,” you will routinely be stretched beyond your limits. God calls you to operate on levels you feel unqualified for. He leads you to walk into rooms where “no one like you” has ever been. He tells you to fund projects you don’t have the money for. He promotes you to operate in positions that exceed your education and experience. In short, the Holy Spirit will lead you to live a life that is BEYOND YOU, so you can experience a life IN HIM! This is #TheGraceLife. The only way you can live this life is by faith. God provides the grace. You must provide the faith. If you do, if you are crazy enough to believe what God believes about you, you will follow the Holy Spirit into a life that exceeds your wildest imagination.
I will close by providing you with Ephesians 3:20 in The Passion Translation. This is Paul’s way of helping you take the spotlight OFF OF YOU!
Paul said, “Never doubt God’s mighty power to work in you and accomplish all this. He will achieve infinitely more than your greatest request, your most unbelievable dream, and exceed your wildest imagination! He will outdo them all, for his miraculous power constantly energizes you.” (Ephesians 3:20). Remember, it’s not about you! It’s ALL ABOUT HIM!
Declaration of Faith:
Father, I am in Christ, and Christ is IN me. Everything I am and everything I am not is ALL In You!
I am FREE of guilt, shame, and condemnation. My past was nailed to the cross with Jesus. Even my current limitations are not an issue for You. I am truly FREE!
I have no guilt and no shame. The enemy has no power over me. When he tells me I am not worthy, I let him know that I have already got over it. Jesus made me worthy!
I am who I am by Your grace. I live for Your glory. I am led by Your Spirit every second of every day. I am FREE to attempt, by faith, everything the Holy Spirit leads me to do.
I know Your goodness towards me is not contingent upon my performance towards You. So I am truly FREE now to be the man/woman You called me to be. And I declare that I will! Living this way, I know GREATER IS COMING FOR ME! I declare this by faith. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
This is Today’s Word! Apply it and Prosper.