Under Law or Grace? Illustration by Carol Winkler (c) 2015
Romans 6:1 4 “For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace.”
How do you know whether you are living under the law or under grace? If you are constantly stressed, tired, irritable, fearful, worried and anxious then maybe you are living life not to the full – but by your own strength?
Those who live after the flesh think they are strong enough to overcome and to win by their own clever design and thinking. They rely on their education, natural talents and abilities. However, the just live by their faith!
Therefore, I am determined to bring you to the end of yourself, not because I hate you but because I love you. I discipline and train those I love. I want you live in the strength of Christ not your own strength. You live by faith and that by the faith of the son of God. Jesus was crucified in weakness but it was at the cross that my power was revealed. I want to you show you that rest is not inactivity, it is living by new principles and a legislation that is counter-intuitive.
Therefore, walking by the spirit is not anarchy, it is living by a different set of principles that only work in this new environment of grace. Law and grace don’t mix – grace supersedes law. You know this in the computer world: when you upgrade your operating system you can’t go back to the old system. It is obsolete; it has been replaced!
Living by law is like riding a bike with training wheels! Take off those training wheels, cast out the slave women and enjoy the freedom of grace!
Gideon learnt this: trim your army down, increase the odds in the favour of the enemy. Attack with crazy weapons: a lamp and a trumpet – ridiculous but powerful!
Walking by the spirit therefore, is obeying my voice and command. Jonah walked in the flesh. I said go to Nineveh he went to Tarshish! He didn’t like my grace towards those people not realising that I didn’t choose Israel because they were any better than the nations around them – I chose them by the election of grace! If Jonah had listened, he wouldn’t have had to learn the hard way that walking in the flesh doesn’t pay! Well it does, but only in pain, suffering and a near death experience in a large fish!
The children of Israel learnt this when they took Jericho. Did they do it by their excellent warfare and engineering skills? Did I tell them to build siege engines and catapults? No, I told them to walk in silence around the city for seven days. That was how that stronghold was taken. Likewise, I am teaching you that the weapons of your warfare are not carnal for the pulling down of strongholds. Take hold of my promises. Take hold of eternal life.
Look at Jesus the author and finisher of your faith. He was a man who came under the law and fulfilled it completely for you so that you didn’t have to come under its heavy load. He set you free from the law and that means that you are not living by rules, methods and great planning but by listening and obeying the voice of the Holy Spirit. Look at how Philip could be directed to start a revival and save hundreds, or just find and save one man in the middle of a desert! If you learn this, you will find that suddenly there will be such divine acceleration that you will arrive at your destination immediately!
Peter had to learn to crucify his flesh and renew his thinking. I offended his cultural norms and years of his education and expertise regards fishing! He learnt that miracles mean that fish can be caught in unexpected places and the money to pay taxes found inside a fish!
Living by the spirit is learning to live a life of miracles. That is because I am a living God that means I am active; I am working. My word is living and active. I never want it to be dead on the page. I want the miracles you read in the scriptures pages to active in your life. So, do I perform miracles in your life by you following rules and methods, fighting sin in your own strength and being a perfect christian – or by the hearing of faith?
Therefore, all of this flows out of our relationship. When you listen, hear and obey then you will see what is impossible become possible.
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The law our schoolmaster
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