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Author Topic: We walk in Grace...Gal 2:16-21  (Read 3135 times)
mfdcfrank
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« on: December 25, 2009, 03:27:55 pm »

Gal 2:16  Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.

   17  But if, while we seek to be justified by Christ, we ourselves also are found sinners, is therefore Christ the minister of sin? God forbid.

   18  For if I build again the things which I destroyed, I make myself a transgressor.

   19  For I through the law am dead to the law, that I might live unto God.

   20  I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.

   21  I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain.

God gave me the prior passages. I believe that I came to Jesus through His grace. Now I am trying to learn to live my life knowing that even though I cannot be perfect, Jesus loves me as I am, warts and all.
Please comment, Am I wrong, or did I just miss something??
Thanx, Frank
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Mark C.
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« Reply #1 on: December 28, 2009, 07:39:57 am »

  Yes, you have it exactly right!

   However, it is one thing to "know" the truth of the Gospel of grace and quite another to really "feel" the blessing of that truth.  As a former member of the Assembly it can be a full time job to unlearn the emotional habits that come from trying to earn a relationship with God.

   Here is what makes it so hard for me:  I am very aware and sensitive to my own sinful state, and this of course, makes me sad and desirous to conquer what is wrong inside.  This state of mind automatically flips a switch that begins with guilt and continues with a morbid kind of self preoccupation--- it never leads to the "victory." 

   I know different people deal with these inner things in a variety of ways, from just ignoring the rumblings within to denying they even exist.  We all fall very, very short of having perfect hearts and no matter how spiritual our methods may sound they can't "add one cubit to our stature."

  What has helped me out is to realize that all that is in me--- for better or worse--- is a weight that God knows I can't bear.  However, like the verse you quoted from Galatians it is a weight that Jesus gladly bore for us.  What makes this difficult is all we have is God's promise that he will perfect us, but we know in this life how imperfect we really are.

   This means we have faith now and trust reality will come as promised in the future---- just like Abraham exemplified.  Faith becomes the only answer to our conundrum within.  This is not such an easy thing, especially if the problems we struggle with are so deeply immoral (by even unchristian standards).  It can be easy to get to the point where you might think yourself so bad that there is something defective beyond repair within.

  The answer to our sinful situation is never some kind of spiritualized method such as:  prayer, bible reading, church, confession, turning over a new leaf, etc.  All of these disciplines are results of faith, and come from a kind of unconscious reaction, vs. the means of subduing our sin.

   Now, what do we do with all the verses in the bible that talk about believers taking action?  We are told to pray, study the bible, do righteous things, and abstain from bad things.  I think it is important to make a separation from what is within our hearts and the behaviors that we choose to perform.  As an example,  if I have a problem with drinking I can avoid taking a drink, though inside I may have a strong compulsion to take that drink.  The important difference I want to point out is that we lack the power to change these bad inclinations that take root in our souls, but God has given us power to "yield our members as servants of righteousness."

  I know there is more to consider than the simple argument I provide above on this topic--- such as, "what does it mean to set ones affection on things that are above", or to love God with all our hearts?"  Can't we, with the help of God's Spirit, know God's purifying power that makes us sin free within?

  If we are true believers we hunger and thirst for this with all our hearts, but, if we are honest, we know that daily we fall far short of this expectation.  If we expect in this life to fully arrive at this overcomer status, and then are continually disappointed, the hope deferred can burn us out and cause us to give up in despair.  However, if instead of being "results oriented" we are "faith oriented" we have found a strong place to stand.

  The Gospel is good news for Christians too, and is always the entire answer to an issues between us and God!

                                                                                                                 God Bless,  Mark C.     
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