I like omelets, the interesting mix of ingredients, creating potentially delicious flavours. However one thing I can’t stand is eggshells in my food. There I am enjoying my meal and then, crunch, grind, gag; a sneak attack of shells. I can no longer chew and I can’t swallow.
I’m stuck with a mouthful of disgustingness.
What if this were normal? What if I had always eaten eggs with the shells mixed in? I wouldn’t enjoy eating eggs, but I would accept that, ‘This is just the way omelets are made,’ and maybe struggle along trying to eat them, somehow knowing they should be better.
My little egg story is of course a metaphor, an example of how many of us live our Christian lives, trying to combine the opposing forces of grace through faith in addition to religious law. We know that our lives in Christ should be amazing, and yet we are constantly trying to masticate the law into our lives, and then wonder why the experience is so awful.
As twenty first century Christians we are no longer expected to circumcise our flesh or follow rituals that only have power over the body.
But in other ways we try to live as though Moses along with the Holy Spirit were alive in us.
Within our thinking we all too often carry a score card of God separating sins. While at the same time listening to the relentless tirade of, ‘Thou Shalt Nots’. We further wear our selves out, driven by the whip of personal performance, resulting in confusion, guilt and exhaustion, wondering where did we lose the easy yoke?
Repeatedly failing to understand that the laws given to the servant Moses no longer apply to us [Romans 6:14], as we are called to a higher expression of obedience through love and the sacrifice of Christ [John 14:23-24].
In Galatians 3:11, Paul quotes “The righteous will live by faith.” This is not just one of the hallmarks of the Christian life, but is the clue to living a life of grace. Faith and the law can not operate together, a life of faith is trusting that everything has been accomplished for you. Paul further goes on to expound on the sacrifice of Jesus, how the crucifixion of Christ brings us into the covenant that God made with Abraham. Making us not only heirs of that promise but also sons of God.
Our right-standing before God is not dependent on our efforts, rather it’s dependent on the value of the purity of Jesus’ sacrifice [Galatians 2:19-21]
If we fall into the trap of making our relationship with God dependent on following a specific regimen of discipline, where we lose our joy. We know we have slipped into the realm of man-made works and religious law.
The Holy Spirits peace will not be in us.
It is at this point that we need to stop. Allow the Spirit of God to recenter us. This is not an excuse to abandon our responsibilities, but an opportunity to find joy and the Father’s good works. To win the approval of God rather than people [Galatians 1:10].
Now, the overriding question in all of this; and in fact was the same question asked before Paul wrote his letter to the Galatians is: ‘Will I become lawless, indulging all of my sinful desires and basically run around like a crazy person?’
However, the real question is: ‘Why would you want to?’
Do you not have the Holy Spirit within you?
The fruit of the Spirit is, love, joy, peace and self control [Galatians 5:22]. If you are in Christ then you will be governed by the Holy Spirit within you, thereby producing a life of peace before God and people.
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