RSS

Tag Archives: legalism

The Spotlight on Sin

The Spotlight on Sin

As we go through the book of Romans, we’ve been talking about how the law brings death into our lives. This happens even though God created it as a good thing. Paul continues with this thought.

For sin, seizing the opportunity afforded by the commandment, deceived me, and through the commandment put me to death.

Romans 7:11

According to this verse, sin used the commandment as a starting point. Then it deceived me, just like the serpent in the garden of Eden. As a result, it put me to death.

That’s why it’s so important not to “enforce” the letter of the law.

He has made us competent as ministers of a new covenant – not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.

2 Corinthians 3:6

That’s because the letter gives power to sin and brings death into our lives.

We know that the law is good if one uses it properly. We also know that law is made not for the righteous but for lawbreakers and rebels, the ungodly and sinful, the unholy and irreligious; for those who kill their fathers or mothers, for murderers…

1 Timothy 1:8-9

The good news is that we are righteous in Christ. This tells me that the law is not for us! The law is for the unrighteous. I shouldn’t need a set of rules to keep me in line with God’s plan for me.

Paul continues with this thought.

So then, the law is holy, and the commandment is holy, righteous and good.

Romans 7:12

The fact is that the law is holy, set apart to God. Also, the commands that it contains are holy, righteous, and good. There’s nothing wrong with the law on a moral level. What’s wrong, is how sin twists the law in order to kill us.

Did that which is good, then, become death to me? By no means! But in order that sin might be recognized as sin, it produced death in me through what was good, so that through the commandment sin might become utterly sinful.

Romans 7:13

We need to understand that Paul is being very specific here. He asks; did the good law become death to me? The answer is, absolutely not! What the law did, was to throw a spotlight on sin so that it could be seen for what it was.

As a result, it put on a show for me, to attract my attention. The goal was to make sin look utterly sinful.

Why did God do this? The answer is simply that He didn’t. It was Adam who turned on the spotlight when he ate the fruit. That’s why, immediately, before God did anything, he hid from God.

That’s because it caused death to Adam’s soul. Specifically, a rift in communication between him and God.

This is the chasm that needed to be crossed. That’s why true salvation can only be found in Christ Jesus. He’s the bridge that brings us back into an intimate relationship with God the Father.

In my next post, I’ll look at this subject of relationship with God in more detail.

Question: What negative results of the law have you experienced?

© 2021 Nick Zaccardi

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on March 12, 2021 in Legalism, Spiritual Walk, The Gospel

 

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

My Fight with Legalism

My Fight with Legalism

In my last post, I looked at Paul’s teaching on legalism in his letter to the Roman church. It’s actually what separates all other religions and Christianity.

Think about it. In the book of Acts, the early church had no phones, radio, New Testament Scripture, or anything like the resources and knowledge we have today. Yet they walked in the power of God that’s unrivaled in our modern generation.

As I thought about it, I also realized that my grandparents couldn’t read and had no formal education to speak of. Yet there was an incredible manifestation of the power of God in their lives – what happened?

There are some sneaky ways that legalism creeps into our lives. We have to be careful not to fall victim to them.

Here’s where we ended in my last post.

Once I was alive apart from law; but when the commandment came, sin sprang to life and I died. I found that the very commandment that was intended to bring life actually brought death.
Romans 7:9-10

This verse is very clear. God saved me apart from the law, when I trusted the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Through this finished work I was made alive apart from the law.

Then the commandment came, which the Scripture says is the power of sin (I Corinthians 15:56). When this happens, death begins its work in me.

Let me explain how God used this truth to minister to me. One day, as I was driving, praying, and meditating upon the Word, the Holy Spirit started to speak to me. I had been going through a rough time financially.

I had done everything that I knew to do. I had stood on all I’d been taught about prayers and confessions. I’ve always been a tither. I always remind the Lord what His Word says and that I’m standing on His promises.

At this point in my life I clearly heard God speak to my heart and ask me, “What are you basing your expectation on?” Immediately my thoughts turned to the Scripture. I’m basing my hope in the Word that tells me to tithe.

If I’ll tithe, then You will rebuke the devourer and open the windows of Heaven. I give special offerings when You lead me to, so that I’ll receive the blessings of the seed of faith.

The Lord then asked me a question that floored me. He said, “So you’re basing your expectation upon the law?” I was speechless. I had no response to this.

On the inside I felt like defending and justifying my actions. But deep down I knew that the Lord had hit upon the very root of the problem, even though at that point I had no clue how to get out of it.

I came to the realization that I had placed myself under the commandment. Trying, in your own power, to fulfill the requirements of the promises is a form of legalism. I had to learn how to walk in the Lord’s freedom.

That’s why it’s important to understand how Christ set us free from the law, sin, and death.

Question: Are there Scriptural promises that you find yourself legalistic about?

© 2021 Nick Zaccardi

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on March 10, 2021 in Faith, Legalism, Spiritual Walk

 

Tags: , , , , , , ,

How the Law Brings Death

How the Law Brings Death

We’re continuing our walk through the book of Romans. We’ve seen Paul’s example of a marriage to show us how Christ set us free from the law, sin, and death. Now the apostle wants to show us how to apply these principles.

What shall we say, then? Is the law sin? Certainly not! Indeed I would not have known what sin was except through the law. For I would not have known what coveting really was if the law had not said, “Do not covet.”

Romans 7:7

After all this, Paul comes up with another question. It seems like the law was a big problem. But is the law sin? No way!!!

Scripture says that I only have knowledge of sin through the law. It literally says that I never knew by experience what coveting was, except that the law said, “Don’t covet.”

This is an important point. Look at what happened back in the Garden of Eden.

And the LORD God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die.”

Genesis 2:16-17

Notice that by eating the tree, Adam and Eve would only be given the knowledge of good and evil. They wouldn’t have the experience.

What did the devil say?

“For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”

Genesis 3:5

That’s what eating the fruit of this the tree did. By giving us the knowledge of good and evil, it put the desire in us to want rules over relationship.

Before then, Adam and Eve didn’t know what good and evil was. All they knew was that God had said, “Don’t eat this.”

But sin, seizing the opportunity afforded by the commandment, produced in me every kind of covetous desire. For apart from law, sin is dead.

Romans 7:8

Sin sees the law as a starting point. Beginning with the law, sin fully works all kinds of longing for what I shouldn’t have. That’s why sin without law is dead.

That’s a spiritual principle that overlaps in other areas. For instance, faith without works is dead. The body without the spirit is dead. That’s why Scripture says that the power of sin is the law.

Once I was alive apart from law; but when the commandment came, sin sprang to life and I died.

Romans 7:9

This is a really good description of what happened in the garden. Adam and Eve were alive, both physically and spiritually. Then came the knowledge of good and evil. Along with that, sin came to life and they died.

Now they had to live by knowing good and evil. That means that they had to establish rules – the law.

I found that the very commandment that was intended to bring life actually brought death.

Romans 7:10

It turns out the commandments that I think are pointing to life actually are leading me to death. That’s why we need to go from a life of rules to a walk in the spirit. In my next post, I’ll share my personal confrontation with this truth.

Question: How has trying to follow the law impacted your life?

© 2021 Nick Zaccardi

 
2 Comments

Posted by on March 8, 2021 in Faith, Legalism, Spiritual Walk

 

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Righteousness in My Account

Righteousness in My Account

We’ve been looking at Paul’s letter to the Roman church.  He’s been using Abraham as the example of how we’re to look to God in faith.  We’re to fully trust in His power to accomplish anything that He speaks to us.

Abraham heard from God and believed what he was told.  We’re shown the result of this type of faith.

This is why “it was credited to him as righteousness.”

Romans 4:22

It was because of his faith that God inventoried righteousness into Abraham’s heavenly account.  That was great for Abraham, but what does that mean for us?

The words “it was credited to him” were written not for him alone, but also for us, to whom God will credit righteousness — for us who believe in him who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead.

Romans 4:23-24

So, when Scripture talks about the Lord crediting Abraham with righteousness, it’s for our benefit.  It’s so that we can understand the process.  God wants to put His righteousness in our accounts as well.

The good news is that having this righteousness in my account is not based upon how good I am.  It’s not how well I read the Bible or pray.  It’s solely based upon my trust in the One who raised Christ from the dead.

Anything else is worthless legalism.  There’s nothing I can do to earn this great blessing.  Paul makes this clear by explaining the process to us.

He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification.

Romans 4:25

Two things are happening in this verse to win our accounting of righteousness.  The first, being that Jesus was delivered over.

That literally means the He was surrendered.  The word, “death”, is not in this verse.  Actually, He surrendered himself to more than just death.

He surrendered himself to being born as one of us.  He lived a life as one of us, feeling the same pains, hunger, frustrations, and everything else that life on this planet throws at you.

Why did the Lord do this?  Paul tells us that it was for our sins that He surrendered himself.  The word Paul uses for sin is not the normal one.  This one means a side-slip – it could be something that’s either intentional or unintentional.

It was my sin that brought Him here.  Because of my mistakes, the Lord lived a human life and died a cruel death on the cross.

But, Praise God, that wasn’t the end of it.  He didn’t stay dead.  He was raised back to life again for our justification.

That’s a big word.  Many people don’t understand all of its implications.  Justification means that because of what Jesus Christ did, I’m now declared “Not Guilty.”  And that’s even before I go to trial!

In God’s eyes, because I’m now found in Christ, I’m innocent of all wrongdoing.  Is that fair?  Absolutely not!  But God found a way to save me (and you) through the surrendering of Jesus Christ to all that He went through.

Don’t let it be in vain.  Trust the Lord for the righteousness that only He can give you.

Question: How has the work of Christ changed your life?

© 2021 Nick Zaccardi

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on January 6, 2021 in Faith, Legalism, Spiritual Walk, The Gospel

 

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Prayer and Boasting

Prayer and Boasting

In the book of Romans, Paul talks at length about the righteousness that only comes by faith in Christ.  He takes us now to the next truth that we must understand.

Where, then, is boasting?  It is excluded.  On what principle?  On that of observing the law?  No, but on that of faith.  For we maintain that a man is justified by faith apart from observing the law.

Romans 3:27-28

Paul asks us some important questions here.  They need to be answered correctly if you’re going to progress in your walk with God.  Fortunately, he gives us the answers so we don’t have to guess.

In this whole discussion of righteousness, he now asks where boasting fits in.  It’s obvious why he does this.  Paul was a Pharisee.  The entire lifestyle of that sect revolved around boasting.

Many of the Pharisees made sure that they were very conspicuous during their times of prayer (Mark 12:40).  On days that they fasted, they looked like they could barely survive (Matthew 6:16).  They always kept the boxes of Scriptures they memorized (phylacteries) on their person to show how much they knew (Matthew 23:5).

Religion is a great supporter of boasting.  We want to compare ourselves with others.  We want to prove to ourselves that we’re doing better than most.  As if that gives us any points with God. (It doesn’t!)

But, the most interesting thing that I found was in the word, boasting itself.  It turns out that the Greek word used actually comes from a word that contains the word, prayer.  This is exactly where many of us get into trouble.

A good example of this is the parable of the Pharisee and the tax collector found in Luke 18:9-14.  This Pharisee came before God and started out by listing all the “spiritual” things he had done.

This idea brings frustration into our Christian walk.  We sometimes get the wrong impression that when we’re living right (i.e. – reading our Bible, praying, attending church) there’s a better chance that God’s going to hear and answer our prayers.

That’s actually a form of boasting.  Thinking that my good works will somehow impress God enough to make Him answer my prayer.  That’s absolutely not the case.

In actuality it doesn’t matter how religious I am.  None of my good works will improve my standing with the Father.  The key is that by faith, God sees me in Christ.  That’s what truly matters.

Paul goes on to confirm that whether you’re religious or not, it’s that same faith that makes us all acceptable to God.

Is God the God of Jews only?  Is he not the God of Gentiles too?  Yes, of Gentiles too, since there is only one God, who will justify the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised through that same faith.  Do we, then, nullify the law by this faith?  Not at all!  Rather, we uphold the law.

Romans 3:29-31

That’s something the think about.  It may not sound logical, but it’s the truth of our righteousness in Christ.  If I try and put myself under the law, I’ll never be justified before God.  If, on the other hand, I put my faith totally in Christ, I’m upholding the law of God in His eyes.

Praise God for His wonderful work!

Question: How have you seen the law of faith at work in your life?

© 2020 Nick Zaccardi

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on December 11, 2020 in Legalism, Prayer, Sonship, Spiritual Walk

 

Tags: , , , , , , ,

The Law’s Purpose

The Law’s Purpose

We’re continuing Paul’s discussion of religious people in the book of Romans.  We’ve seen that even though they have the advantage of access to the Bible, they’re actually no better off than anyone else.

Now the apostle is concluding this subject.  He is about to give us the bottom line of the religious lifestyle without a relationship with Jesus Christ.

Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be silenced and the whole world held accountable to God.

Romans 3:19

Paul is clear.  The law can only speak to those who choose to be under it.  If you choose to be under a set of religious rules, then it’s those very rules that will judge you.

What we need to understand is that God is not judging you.  It’s your own legalism that judges.

God has allowed this for a very special purpose.  He’s hoping that it will draw you to the freedom that’s only found in Christ.

The judgment of the law does two things.  First of all, it silences everyone.  Actually, the phrase, be silenced, literally means to be fenced in or blocked on every side.  Taken to its fullest measure, the law leaves no room for the excuses or justification that we like to give ourselves.

When confronted by our mistakes we usually start becoming defensive.  We give all the reasons why what we did was right at the time.  Unfortunately, the law is a cruel and heartless master.  It allows no way out.

The other part of the law is translated as held accountable, in the above verse.  That means to be already sentenced and under a “guilty” verdict.

With the law there is no appeals process.  As soon as you sin, you’re pronounced guilty.  No need for a trial – the law is supreme.

Why would anyone want to live in that type of environment?  Yet, there are many who do – both saved and unsaved.

Paul concludes this section with the only reason for the existence of the law.

Therefore no one will be declared righteous in his sight by observing the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of sin.

Romans 3:20

If you’re living under a set of religious rules hoping to prove to God how good you are, then I feel very sorry for you.  You’re destined for failure.

The law makes us conscious of what sin is.  Then, once we know about it, we’re responsible for the consequences of our failures.

The only purpose of the law is to prove to us just how impossible it is to please God by our own efforts.  It’s actually only the first step in a path toward salvation.

All of what’s written in the above post may sound pretty depressing.  It is…without the freedom and victory found only in the name of Jesus Christ.

From here on in the book of Roman’s, Paul will lay out for us the road to this freedom.  Don’t miss it.  Don’t stay stuck in the mire of legalism.  Lay hold of the life of freedom that the Lord purchased for you on the cross.

If you don’t yet subscribe to this blog, you may want to, so that you don’t miss this ongoing study.

Question: How have you been hurt by legalism?

© 2020 Nick Zaccardi

 
2 Comments

Posted by on December 4, 2020 in Legalism, Revival, Spiritual Walk, The Gospel

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

“I’m Only Human”

“I’m Only Human”

We’re continuing our look at Paul’s letter to the Roman church.  He’s speaking about those who think that following religious rules makes them better than others.

In my last post we saw that there’s an advantage to being religious.  At least you have access to the Scripture.  So, you have a foundation to eventually build your faith on.

Paul now talks about some arguments people have who think that their good works will save them.

But if our unrighteousness brings out God’s righteousness more clearly, what shall we say?  That God is unjust in bringing his wrath on us?  (I am using a human argument.)  Certainly not!  If that were so, how could God judge the world?  Someone might argue, “If my falsehood enhances God’s truthfulness and so increases his glory, why am I still condemned as a sinner?”  Why not say — as we are being slanderously reported as saying and as some claim that we say — “Let us do evil that good may result”?  Their condemnation is deserved.

Romans 3:5-8

This is the problem with looking merely at good works.  We can’t judge by outward appearances.  It leads us to some wrong conclusions.

“I’m only human, so I’m not perfect.  That should bring out God’s perfection even clearer.  So, I shouldn’t be corrected when I do wrong.”  That’s a human argument that flies against the teaching of Scripture.

I’ve heard it said in many different forms, but it all comes down to the same theme.

“What do you expect, I’m not Jesus.”

“Christians aren’t perfect, just forgiven.”

“It doesn’t matter as long as you try your best.  God can’t judge you for that.”

“If I were God…”

All of these are based upon human logic and the desire to justify ourselves.  In reality, they fail to take into account the power of the Holy Spirit who wants to work in us.

The fact is that God is going to judge everyone based upon His righteousness.  It has nothing to do with what we, as human beings, think about as fair.

If we’re in Christ, then we receive the “not guilty” verdict because of His righteousness, not ours.  Without Christ, no matter how many good works we’ve accumulated, we’re condemned.

But that’s not the end of the story.  Even as believers we’ll be judged on our obedience.  That’s how our rewards, or lack thereof, will be determined.

That brings us to the second half of the above passage.  It’s the old saying that the ends justify the means.

It doesn’t matter how I accomplish it, as long as I get the right results.  Paul is clear.  That kind of thinking is condemned by the Lord.

I’ve seen this tactic used in many different ways throughout my years as a believer.  I’ve seen churches that have used prostitutes to attract the unsaved to hear the Gospel.  Others promised a big bank account if you come to Christ.

Paul goes through all of this because he’s trying to make a point.  There is an advantage to being religious – you have a basic understanding of who God is.  The problem is, what you do with this knowledge.

The important thing is to follow through on everything that the Bible teaches us.  We need the whole revelation of the Lord. 

Then we’ll rest upon the salvation that’s only found in the name of Jesus Christ.  After that, we’ll submit to the working of the Holy Spirit in us to perfect true righteousness and holiness in us.

Question: How has the Lord changed you since you accepted Him as your Lord?

© 2020 Nick Zaccardi

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on November 30, 2020 in Legalism, Power of God, Spiritual Walk

 

Tags: , , , , ,

Rules vs. Spirit

Rules vs. Spirit

In my last post we started to see that legalism is really a form of hypocrisy.  We’ll never be able to follow a set of rules, even if we’re the ones who came up with them.

Now Paul continues by talking about those who follow God without even knowing the rules.

Circumcision has value if you observe the law, but if you break the law, you have become as though you had not been circumcised.  If those who are not circumcised keep the law’s requirements, will they not be regarded as though they were circumcised?  The one who is not circumcised physically and yet obeys the law will condemn you who, even though you have the written code and circumcision, are a lawbreaker.

Romans 2:25-27

Paul uses circumcision as a picture of following a law.  That’s because it was the outward sign of the covenant for the Jews.  No God-fearing Jew would ever let their infant go without being circumcised.

The problem is that you can have the sign of the covenant without obeying the terms of the covenant.

A man is not a Jew if he is only one outwardly, nor is circumcision merely outward and physical.  No, a man is a Jew if he is one inwardly; and circumcision is circumcision of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the written code. Such a man’s praise is not from men, but from God.

Romans 2:28-29

It’s not enough to only deal with the outward.  Our outside will never permanently change unless we have a change of heart. The problem is that our heart itself is very deceptive. We can’t always trust what we’re feeling.

That’s why true change can never be imposed upon us from the outside, by the written code. It must come from the inside, by the power of the spirit. Isn’t it great to know that your spirit can change your heart?

It’s important to know that, right from the start, Paul explains that change is by the Spirit and not by following rules.  Even something like circumcision, which was a part of God’s law to the Jews, has no power to bring about change.

In this letter to the Romans, Paul is bringing us to the realization that we can only serve God acceptably through the spirit.  It’s something that’s consistent through all his writings.

So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature.

Galatians 5:16

Understanding the power of prayer in the spirit should give us insight into what this verse is actually saying. Many times, when people quote this verse, they’re using it as a weapon.

I’ve heard people say things like, “Look at how that person lives, and they call themselves a Christian. They’re walking in their flesh so they must not have the Holy Spirit in them. They can’t really be saved.”

This isn’t a verse that Paul gave us to test whether a person is saved or not. This is a passage of Scripture to tell us how to receive the power we need to walk in victory over the flesh. The only way you’ll have the power you need to not gratify the flesh, is to live your life in the spirit.

You cannot do it by exercising the will power of your soul, or even disciplining your body. This means that you spend time praying in the spirit, communing with God in the realm of the spirit. That’s where we access the power to overcome the desires of the flesh.

It’s never about following rules.  It’s always about submitting to the Holy Spirit.

Question: Why is it impossible for us to simply follow a set of rules?

© 2020 Nick Zaccardi

 

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

The Form of Religion

The Form of Religion

In my last post we started looking at Paul’s view of religious people.  We saw that it’s foolish to rest on a set of rules rather than the work of the Holy Spirit.

Paul continues…

…if you are convinced that you are a guide for the blind, a light for those who are in the dark, an instructor of the foolish, a teacher of infants, because you have in the law the embodiment of knowledge and truth…

Romans 2:19-20

Remember, when talking about religious people, I’m referring to those who choose religion over relationship with Christ.  They’ve convinced themselves about a number of things.

They see their lifestyle as superior to those around them.  They view others as blind, in the dark, mindless, and infantile.  On the other hand they view themselves as a guide, a light, an instructor, and a teacher.

That’s the unfortunate attitude of legalism.  By constantly judging the lives of others, you have a huge blind spot concerning your own walk.

Let me say this to all the godly teachers reading this.  There’s nothing wrong with being called to teach or guide others into the truth.  It’s all about your attitude.

My calling is to be a pastor and teacher in the body of Christ.  But, I’ve learned over the years that there’s a fine line that I have to walk.

My job is to help people to know and understand God’s Word.  I endeavor to show how the Scripture applies to your life.

That’s as far as it goes.  I have to realize that I cannot change anybody’s life.  It’s the job of the Holy Spirit to do that.  If anyone is blessed, it’s because of the Lord working in their life through the Word.

I might be the one you see speaking or writing.  But, I want it to be the Spirit teaching and guiding you.  Like I said, it’s all about the attitude.

However, I think there’s an important point that we miss in the above passage.  It has to do with the words that were used in translation.

When Paul says, you have in the law the embodiment of knowledge and truth, it gives the wrong impression.  The word, embodiment, is actually a word that means a form or appearance.  Following a set of rules only appears to be a logical way to serve God.

Unfortunately, we’re told that it’s not the best way.  In talking about what people would be like in the last days, Paul makes this comment about them.

…having a form of godliness but denying its power.  Have nothing to do with them.

2 Timothy 3:5

Simply following a set of religious rules is a form without the substance.  These rules are like a jail cell.  Can we say that a car thief has changed just because he’s in jail?  Absolutely not!  It’s just that there are no cars available for him to steal.

It’s the same with a set of rules.  As long as my will-power is intact, it appears that I’ve changed.  However, when opportunity and weakness get the better of me, I show what’s really on the inside.  I need the true change that only comes from the work of the Holy Spirit in me.

Don’t allow empty religion to get the better of you.  Spend some time becoming more intimate with the Lord through His Holy Spirit.

Question: how do you overcome the temptation to be religious?

© 2020 Nick Zaccardi

 

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Religion vs. Relationship

Religion vs. Relationship

We’re continuing our walk through the book of Romans.  In my last post we finished the section where Paul is talking to those without Christ.

He now shifts gears and begins talking to the Jews who have not yet received Christ as their Messiah.  In our generation, this part of Romans would deal with religious people who don’t have a relationship with Jesus Christ.

The apostle has some very strong words for the religious community.  He starts by describing who he’s talking to.

Now you, if you call yourself a Jew; if you rely on the law and brag about your relationship to God; if you know his will and approve of what is superior because you are instructed by the law…

Romans 2:17-18

The first thing we see is a kind of dichotomy.  One mark of being religious is that you rest on the law – a set of rules for living – yet you brag about God.  Instead, the most important thing is to get to know God on a personal level.

But it’s the way a religious person follows the rules that’s the most telling.  The next phrase, approve of what is superior, implies that you’re only following what you consider to be the best rules.

That’s the problem with legalism.  Usually, when you make yourself a set of religious rules, you only include the ones you’re comfortable with.  You have your own approval system that tells you what rules you’ll accept or reject.

An ongoing relationship with Christ through His Holy Spirit, however, will bring about a change.  It will change your heart, your mind, and your actions.

Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – his good, pleasing and perfect will.

Romans 12:2

This should be the goal of my life in God’s kingdom.  Instead, religion only deals with how well I’m following the set of rules I’ve established.

That’s why relationship always wins over religion.  It’s how we grow and mature.

And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless until the day of Christ…

Philippians 1:9-10

It’s through our relationship with Christ that we discern the best way to please Him.  Rules will only take you so far.

I want to know how to live right now, in this point in time.  There are things taking place that have never happened before in recent history.  Without the discerning of the Holy Spirit, I’ll be as confused as the rest of society without Christ.

We’re living in dangerous times.  Playing church isn’t going to bring us through it successfully.  We need a strong, intimate relationship with the only One who knows how to navigate the future.

It’s time to put religion aside and concentrate on strengthening your relationship with the Lord.

Question: What are you doing to bring your relationship with Christ to the next level?

© 2020 Nick Zaccardi

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on November 16, 2020 in Legalism, Prayer, Revival, Spiritual Walk

 

Tags: , , , , , ,