When we start off in the Christian life we are concerned with the laws of God, of pleasing him and about what is right and wrong.

As we grow we find that things of God and of our lives are not so obvious as we once believed.

There are a lot of unknowns as we live our lives.  And as we mature we find that God speaks to all of us in different ways about various things.

While there are many specifics about a lot of things, there is also a lot of room for a relationship with God that is unique to us.

The Law was given by God to create parameters from the outside in, over our lives.  They showed the best way to life and godliness, to increase and to prosper in all areas of life.

The law though, couldn’t change what is in our hearts.  That is why Jesus came, to change us from the inside out.  Because of Jesus we are born to freedom, freedom to:

“Act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.”  Micah 6:8b NIV

The law was not the final solution to our lives.  Much like rules we give to children, law only works at us from the outside in.  And God has made it very clear that it is not what is outside us that brings sin, but what is inside us.

“Why then was the law given? It was given alongside the promise to show people their sins.  But the law was designed only until the coming of the child who was promised.” Galatians 3:19a NLT

So the law is ineffective for helping us from the inside out.  The law was a hedge or protection of sorts, but law will never solve anything.  And law is not the way to live with God.

“This way of faith is very different from the way of law which says, ‘It is through obeying the law that a person has life.  But Christ has rescued us from the curse pronounced by the law.  When he was hung on the cross, he took upon himself the curse for our wrongdoing.” Galatians 3:12-13b NLT

The real solution is Jesus Christ.  When Jesus came he does away with the law, because he fulfilled the requirements of the law.

“Let me put it another way.  The law was our guardian until Christ came; it protected us until we could be made right with God through faith.  And now that the way of faith has come, we no longer need the law as our guardian.”  Galatians 3:24-25 NLT

The coming of Jesus Christ became the doing away of the law.  Because of Christ we are now dead to the law and alive in Christ.

“But this is the new covenant I will make with the people of Israel on that day, says the Lord: I will put my laws in their minds, and I will write them on their hearts, I will be their God and they will be my people.”  Jeremiah 31:33 NLT

Alive to Christ, we come to live by the Spirit of God.  From the inside out we have strength and ability to live holy lives, righteous and pleasing to our God.

The Bible is pretty clear that freedom from the law and freedom to the Spirit is the Gospel message and is the Good News for our lives.

“But when you are directed by the Spirit, you are not under obligation to the law of Moses.” Galatians 5:18 NLT

And yet we may find ourselves adding law back into our lives.  We as human beings like rules, because rules tell us what to do and what not to do, as though we are children.

But without rules, and in freedom to the Spirit, we are in relationship and we are no longer told what to do, and yet we are responsible.

Are we living for the Spirit?

God wants us to grow into maturity and into relationship with him.

He wants us to look to him and not to the rules.  We do not live our Christian lives in relationship with rules or law, rather we walk in relationship with the person of God.

“For the Kingdom of God is not a matter of what we eat or drink, but of living a life of goodness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.”  Romans 14:17 NLT

A living relationship where we live by the Spirit is in us, once we have understood Jesus as Lord and as the one who covers over our sin.  The Spirit convicts us and guides us.  And in quite some number of areas, the Spirit guides each of us a bit differently.

“Since we are living by the Spirit, let us follow the Spirit’s leading in every part of our lives.” Galatians 5:25 NLT

Yet, even so, because we like rules, we tend to then take the convictions of the Holy Spirit over us and make them into law or rules for others.

“For the law was not intended for people who do what is right.  It is for people who are lawless and rebellious, who are ungodly and sinful, who consider nothing sacred and defile what is holy.” 1 Timothy 1:9a NLT

Here we see that law is not for those living by the Spirit.  But still within our churches and congregations we like to take our relationship with the Spirit, and turn it into law for others.  Paul was very angry about this, calling it sin to add law once more to the gospel of Christ.

When we reinstate rule and law in our lives, or over the lives of others, we are putting Christ back onto the cross once more.

“For if you are trying to make yourselves right with God by keeping the law, you have been cut off from Christ! You have fallen away from God’s grace.”  Galatians 5:4 NLT

When we reinstate rules and law in our congregations, we deny the work of the cross.
“I am a sinner if I rebuild the old system of law I already tore down.”  Galatians 2:18b NLT

The cross came to give us freedom from law.  But also freedom to live by the Spirit.

“My old self has been crucified with Christ.  It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me.” Galatians 2:20a NLT

Therefore we do not use our freedom to sin, but to live righteous and in a manner that pleases God.

And we leave room for others to build their own relationships with the Holy Spirit.

“Accept other believers who are weak in faith, and don’t argue with them about what they think is right or wrong.  For instance, one person believe it’s all right to eat anything but another believer with a sensitive conscience will eat only vegetables.  Those who feel free to eat anything must not look down on those who don’t.  And those who don’t eat certain foods must not condemn those who do, for God has accepted them.  Who are you to condemn someone else’s servants?” Romans 14:1-4a NLT

As soon as we tell others how to live, adding rule to their life, we take away life in the Spirit.  May we never be a people who do this.  May we always be a people who give room for God to build relationships with others as he sees fit, and in accordance with each person’s faith.

“Blessed are those who don’t feel guilty for doing something they have decided is right.  But if you have doubts about whether or not you eat something, you are sinning if you go ahead and do it.  For you are not following your convictions.  If you do anything you believe is not right, you are sinning.” Romans 14:22b-23 NLT

We are not to be the Holy Spirit in each others lives, rather, we walk alongside each other in grace and room to grow our own convictions.

“You have died with Christ, and he has set you free from the spiritual powers of this world. So why do you keep on following the rules of the world, such as, ‘Don’t handle! Don’t taste! Don’t touch!’?  Such rules are mere human teaching about things that deteriorate when we use them.  These rules may seem wise because they require strong self devotion, pious self-denial, and sever bodily discipline.  But they provide no help in conquering a person’s evil desires.” Colossians 2:20-23 NLT

“Timothy, guard what God has entrusted to you.  Avoid godless, foolish discussions with those who oppose you with their so-called knowledge.  Some people have wandered from the faith by following such nonsense.  May God’s grace be with you all.” 1 Timothy 6:20-21 NLT


Rather, walk in a way that puts all law to shame.
“Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, patience.  Make allowance for each others faults, and forgive anyone who offends you… Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds us all together in perfect harmony.  And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts.” Colossians 3:12, 13a, 14-15a NLT

APPLICATION


The continued keeping of the law is the foundation of a spirit of religion.  A religious spirit is what keeps revival from coming to our churches and to our lives.  We want to therefore renounce and reject a religious spirit from our midst, and one of the key ways we do this is to turn from the law and to turn to Christ.

Meditate on these verses:

“Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life.  No one comes to the Father except through me.” John 14:6 NLT

“For by grace you have been saved through faith.  And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.”
Ephesians 2:8-9 ESV

“In vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.”
Matthew 15:9 ESV


“For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.”
John 1:17 ESV

“For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age,” Titus 2:11-12 NLT


There is a Daily Prayer for Freedom written by John & Stasi Eldredge, I share it here.  Take the time to read this prayer out loud. In fact, if you are feeling under attack, I suggest you read this prayer each day.  It will reestablish you in the authority and covering and relationship of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Daily Prayer for Freedom by John and Stasi Eldredge  47

My dear Lord Jesus, I come to you to be restored in you-to renew my place in you, my allegiance to you, and to receive from you all the grace and mercy I so desperately need this day.  I honour you as my sovereign Lord, and I surrender every aspect of my life totally and completely to you.

I give you my body as a living sacrifice; I give you my heart, soul, mind and strength; and I give you my spirit as well. I cover myself with your blood-my spirit, my soul and my body.  And I ask your Holy Spirit to restore my union with you, seal me in you, and guide me in this time of prayer.
Dear God, holy and victorious Trinity, you alone are worthy of all my worship, my heart’s devotion, all my praise and all my trust and all the glory of my live.  I worship you, bow to you, and give myself over to you in my heart’s search for live.  You alone are Life, and you have become my live.  I renounce all other gods, all idols, and I give you the place in my heart and in my live that you truly deserve.  You are the Hero of this story, and I belong to you.  Forgive me for my every sin.  Search me and know me and reveal to me any aspect of my live that is not pleasing to you, expose any agreements I have made with my Enemy, and grant me the grace of a deep and true repentance.

Heavenly Father, thank you for loving me and for choosing me before you made the world.  You are my true Father-my Creator, my Redeemer, my Sustainer and the true end of all things, including my life.  I love you; I trust you; I worship you.  Thank you for proving your love for me by sending your only son, Jesus, to be my sacrifice and my new life.  I receive him and all his life and all his work, which you ordained for me.

Thank you for including me in Christ, for forgiving my sins, for granting me his righteousness, for making me complete in him.  Thank you for making me alive with Christ, raising me with him, seating me with at you right hand, granting me his authority, and anointing me with your Holy Spirit.  I receive it all with thanks and give it total claim to my life.

Jesus, thank you for coming for me, for ransoming me with your own life.  I honour you as my Lord; I love you, worship you, trust you.  I sincerely receive you as my redemption, and I receive all the work and triumph of your crucifixion, whereby I am cleansed from all my sin through your shed blood, my old nature is removed, my heart is circumcised unto God, and every claim being made against me is disarmed.  I take my place in your cross and death, whereby I have died with you to sin and to my flesh, and to the world, and the Evil One.  I am crucified with Christ. I now take up my cross and crucify my flesh with all its unbelief, pride and idolatry.  I put off the old man.  I now bring the cross of Christ between me and all people, all spirits, all things. Holy Spirit, apply to me the fullness of the work of the crucifixion of Jesus Christ for me.  I receive it with thanks and give it total claim to my life.

Jesus, I also receive you as my new life, my holiness and sanctification, and I receive all the work and triumph of your resurrection, whereby I have been raised with you to a new life, to walk in newness of life, dead to sin and alive to God.  I am crucified with Christ, and it is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. I now take my place in your resurrection, whereby I have been made alive with you, I reign in life through you.

I put on the new person in all holiness and humility, in all righteousness and purity and truth.  Christ is now my life, the one who strengthens me.  Holy Spirit, apply to me the fullness of the resurrection of Jesus Christ for me.  I receive it with thanks and give it total claim to my life.

Jesus, I also sincerely receive you as my authority and rule, my everlasting victory over Satan and his kingdom, and I receive all the work and triumph of your ascension, whereby Satan has been judged and cast down, his rulers and authorities disarmed, all authority in heaven and on earth given to you Jesus, and I have been raised with you to the right hand of the Father and established with you in all authority.

I bring your authority and your kingdom rule over my life, my family, my household, and my domain.  And now I bring the fullness of your work-your cross, resurrection and ascension-against Satan, against his kingdom, and against all his emissaries and all their work warring against me and my domain.  Greater is who is in me than he who is in the world.  Christ has given me authority to overcome all the power of the Evil One, and I claim that authority now over and against every enemy, and I banish them in the name of Jesus Christ.  Holy Spirit, apply to me the fullness of the work of the ascension of Jesus Christ for me. I receive it with thanks and give it total claim to my life.

Holy Spirit, I sincerely receive you as my Counsellor, my Comforter, my Strength and my Guide.  Thank you for sealing me in Christ.  I honour you as Lord, and I ask you to lead me into all truth, to anoint me all for all my life and walk and calling, and to lead me deeper into Jesus today.


SUMMARY – FAITH

The way of faith is very different than the way of law.  Galatians 3:12-13

Faith brings us into relationship with God.  Galatians 5:25

We walk in God.  Romans 14:17

We do not try to keep the law.  Galatians 5:4

Our old self is crucified in Christ.  Galatians 2:20

We are free to live holy and righteous.  Titus 2:11-12

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47 http://www.ransomedheart.com/prayer/daily-prayer

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