Galatians 5:4-6 (MSG) I suspect you would never intend this, but this is what happens. When you attempt to live by your own religious plans and projects, you are cut off from Christ, you fall out of grace. Meanwhile we expectantly wait for a satisfying relationship with the Spirit. For in Christ, neither our most conscientious religion nor disregard of religion amounts to anything. What matters is something far more interior: faith expressed in love.
We have consciously or unconsciously denied ourselves of the hyper-effects of the finished work of Christ Jesus in our lives, one way or the other. The Legalistic attitudes and mindsets which has subtly crept into our lives, blocks the free-flowing river of grace in our relationship with God. Most of us has zero presence of peace and joy in our lives, as Christians. I don’t mean to condemn you for experiencing turmoil in your life, but want to encourage you that you can rise above the storms of life and live in 100% depressing free life. Peace and joy are a byproduct of the quality life of Christ. You can’t concoct it on your own ability, neither can you survive life through the temporal peace and happiness the world gives. You only have to yield your life to His. The bible says we have fallen from grace. To fall from grace does not mean the lost of salvation. It means we are operating and functioning from the platform of Law, to the neglect of the abiding life of Christ. Christianity is Christ… minus the self ability of men. Receiving what God has already accomplished through Christ Jesus, from the foundation of resting in His unmerited goodness is the fulcrum of Christianity. Anything outside of Christ is futile, no matter how religious and loftier it may look in our eyes or sound in our ears.
Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace [Gal 5:4 KJV]
NO PAIN NO GAIN? In the field of sports and other arenas, the catch phrase for motivating people to peak performance or achievement is “no pain, no gain”. Under this conception, competitive professionals such as athletes and artists are required to endure pain and pressure to achieve professional excellence. I am 110% believer of hard work, where hard work is necessary. Hard work always pays off. The question is “Do we have to suffer through our own efforts in order to gain the quality life of Christ? The No pain, no gain ( “No gain without pain”) or suffer to gain mantra, within the body of Christ, expresses the belief in self occupation, self-dependence, self effort, will power, as a platform to reach the riches of God, in Christ Jesus. You takes a man’s ego away when you remove the platform of self, and established him on the solid foundation of Christ.
We hate to yield our life completely to His life, that the glory may not be of us but of His mercy and grace. Did you became anew in Christ through paining to gain or through rest in His grace? No pain, no gain mentality in the body of Christ is enshrined in legalistic mold of the believer. We rest in Christ Jesus to gain all spiritual blessings in the heavenly places. We don’t have to suffer or sweat to impress God to act on our behalf. God has already set the table for a great banquet with man. All we need to do is to respond to His invitation to His manifold blessings. The Holy Spirit responds to the above question through Apostle Paul, in his Epistle to the Ephesians. He writes;
8 For it is by free grace (God’s unmerited favor) that you are saved (delivered from judgment and made partakers of Christ’s salvation) through [your] faith. And this [salvation] is not of yourselves [of your own doing, it came not through your own striving], but it is the gift of God; 9 Not because of works [not the fulfillment of the Law’s demands], lest any man should boast. [It is not the result of what anyone can possibly do, so no one can pride himself in it or take glory to himself.] (Ephesians 2:8-9 Amplified Bible AMP)
Almost every believer believes that, they did not work for their salvation in any form or shape. The scriptures emphasize that faith, grace, righteousness are all a gift package from God. You being righteous, loved, accepted, forgiven, washed, healed, made holy, sanctified, prospered in all dimensions of life, is a pure gift of grace through faith. Sadly to say, most Christians start their pilgrim journey through rest in the finished work of Christ, and then along the line, they feel like they have been left on their own to work out their own salvation through self effort, in order to make it to their destination. You don’t have to go through hell before you get to heaven. You are to live a heaven on earth through Jesus Christ. Many will diligently pray to God for His strength, but at the back of their mind, they are saying; “God, meet me halfway and lets strike a deal”.
Christianity is not more of God, less of us. From start to end; Christianity is all about the total expression of Christ life, in the life of the believer. God doesn’t want you to meet Him halfway with sweat on your brow to prove to Him that you deserve it more. In Christ Jesus, He has made you complete so you can enjoy the liberty of the Christian life, effortlessly. (See Col 1:27, Col 2:10) The Bible says that we should continue our christian walk exactly as we received Jesus. It was by grace through faith and not of self works that got us into the many blessings of God. It is by faith through grace, from start to end. Apostle Paul once again sounds a clarion call to the believer;
“As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him” [Col 2:6″]
“DO GOD HELP THOSE WHO HELP THEMSELVES? As beautiful and religiously as it may sound in our own religious ears; the popular catchphrase “God help those who help themselves” is a serious cancer in the body of Christ. It has radically awaken self-consciousness above Christ consciousness in the body of Christ. We talk and sing about Christ but we have become the “I generation“. In the first place Jesus did not come to the earth to help us solve our mess. We were completely lost and helpless in a mud of sin and condemnation, needing rescue. It is recorded of Jesus declaring our state of life and His agenda, in the gospels when Zacheaus experienced a radical change, through the super abundant grace of God; “For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost” [Luke 19:10] Salvation is therefore the work of the gift of grace [Christ] to the helpless. Friend God does not help those who help themselves, He helps the helpless. Those who have reach the end of their rope or come to the end of themselves; knowing that salvation is not in their riches, wealth, fame, deeds or spiritual affiliation but can only be found through rest in Christ. This is how one fall into grace!
Those who are trying hard through the system of tithing, fasting, good works, prayer, giving, church attendance, [which are all not bad in themselves] traditions of the church, legalistic rituals, to prove themselves as righteous before God base on their works, renders the once and for all perfect sacrifice of Christ, ineffective in their lives. They have fallen from grace and living a frustrated life of self works. It’s a stink in God’s nostrils and a clanging cymbal in His ears. Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life. The Pharisees and the teachers of law in Jesus day are prime examples of work oriented citizens, for everything God. They were applauded by their neighbors for their zeal for God but they were like empty sepulcher before God. Jesus declares to me and you;
“For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven”. [Mathew 5:20]
Thank God, Jesus became the answer to the far exceeding beauty of righteousness and life, to all who believe in Him. (See Romans 10:9-10) The new breed of believers can shout from the roof top to the deepest valleys that we are the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus. One can enter or experience the kingdom of God only through the righteousness by grace through faith in Christ, and not of the self work, self occupation, hypocritical form of righteousness which the Pharisees and the teachers of the law propagated for many years before Jesus arrival. It is centered on “what I do” to become, instead of believing in “what He has done” to experience His life, freely. Self righteousness is emptiness that leads to frustration and death. Friend, Christianity is Christ plus nothing. Let Him take the center stage of your life, as you surrender all your burdens to Him. He knows you cannot do it without Him. It is not just difficult without Him. Beloved, it is impossible without Christ. ( See John 15:1-6) Listen to the Apostle of grace;
19 For through the law I have died to the law, so that I might live for God. I have been crucified with Christ 20 and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me. 21 I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness comes through the law, then Christ died for nothing. [Galatians 2:19-21 HCSB]
HE WAS MORALLY GOOD – I had the opportunity, sharing the gospel with a gentleman who was well mannered and cultured in every way. He was morally good. He was very helpful and kind gentleman to his community and family. He never drinks alcohol, curse, fight, or did any crazy stuff, from his youth. He was a gentleman! He looks into my eye and said something that shook the core of my being. He said; “I have never sin against anybody in my life, neither have I sin against God, so I am okay with God”. Meaning he didn’t need to be right with God through Jesus righteousness but on his own good works he believes he has achieved right standing with God. How sadly within our local Churches are filled with men and women who are more of themselves, playing religion. They have never heard the good news of Christ and are enslaved in self works. To cut a long story short…this man was diagnosed with cancer, and was declared never to survive. As I
stood on his dead bed, believing God for a miracle, I realized that he has reach the end of the rope, needing help from the Master. He saw the emptiness of life without Christ. He gentle requested that I should lead him to Christ, and just few days after confessing Jesus as His Lord and Savior, He died as a righteous man. His righteousness was not based on His moral goodness or church affiliation. He never had the chance to joining any Church organisation. He only cried out onto the Lord and He was saved from the original sin of Adam. (See Romans 5:12)
Paul refutes the ideology of those who believe in grace for the start and their own strength to reach the finish line, with these profound words. He writes; “4 Though I might also have confidence in the flesh. If any other man thinketh that he hath whereof he might trust in the flesh, I more: 5 Circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, an Hebrew of the Hebrews; as touching the law, a Pharisee; 6 Concerning zeal, persecuting the church; touching the righteousness which is in the law, blameless. 7 But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ. 8 Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ, 9 And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith: [Philippians 3:4-9 KJV ]
If righteousness is based on the flesh, Paul lists all his qualifications before our eyes. In terms of the law… He was a super-duper legalistic man but when he encountered the righteousness through faith, he counted all things as lost for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus. Are you so glued to a person, a religious activity, and yet you find no peace and liberty in your soul? Just ask Christ to open your eyes to the truth of the gospel, that you might be freed from the prison of self in order to enjoy the liberty of His life. Those who do not set aside the grace of God in their Christian life are the ones who bear the radical fruits of righteousness. Remember, we are created unto good works but our position with God is not measured by our good deeds as means to acceptance before God. My prayer for you my friend, is rooted in Philippians 1:11 (AMP) May you abound in and be filled with the fruits of righteousness (of right standing with God and right doing) which come through Jesus Christ (the Anointed One), to the honor and praise of God [that His glory may be both manifested and recognized].
LET US PRAY – Thank you Jesus for swapping places with me, that I can freely share in your life. Father God, I believe that in Christ Jesus I have right standing with you, loved, accepted, sanctified, made holy, forgiven, justified, born from innocence, blessed with peace, joy prosperity, anointing, favor, wisdom, and total wholeness in Christ. Holy Spirit, you are the light of revelation and understanding. You are guiding my feet on firm foundation in Christ finished work. I refuse to bow to the subtle deceptions of self effort and yield in all aspect of my life into who I am in Christ Jesus. Amen!!
Thank you so much precious one, for taking the time to read, like, comment and re-blogged, to help spread the good news of God’s amazing love. Peace and love to you!
McDaniels Gyamfi | ©2014| ™Revealing Jesus Revival| Photo: Google Image