Wednesday, 27 January 2010

I.D. 2

Last night was really fun. I was teaching alongside Andy Arscott with a house full of great people pondering the grace of God.

It was vintage Andy. He was dancing around, kissing Jane as part of an illustration and spinning plates all around the room. He is a man who is very aware of the dangers of legalism and therefore teaches this subject particularly with passion and urgency.

Here are a couple of notes:

God justifies the man who does not work

Now when a man works, his wages are not credited to him as a gift, but as an obligation. However, to the man who does not work but trusts God who justifies the wicked, his faith is credited to him as righteousness. Romans 4: 4-5

Justified by faith

Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2 through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we stand...6 You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. 7 Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die. 8 But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners Christ died for us. 9 Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God's wrath through him! Rom 5: 1 - 11

"When He died, He set us free from the law and opened another door to us – it’s called grace. Christianity has nothing to do with trying to live up to God’s standards. It’s about believing that Jesus has already met them. When we’re saved we no longer cower before God and whimper, “I’m trying to do my best, Lord. I’m sorry I’m such a miserable failure.” We come to Him with confidence – not because we’re looking at our performance, but because we’re looking at Christ’s." Michael Eaton

Evidence of legalism
  • Am I more aware of and affected by my past sins than the finished work of Christ?
  • Am I more aware of and reliant upon my godly practices than the finished work of Christ?
  • Do I constantly experience condemnation?
  • Do I often feel that I am better than others? Or am I aware of feelings of self-righteousness?
  • Am I often looking within, concerned about my performance, faith, worth, etc?
  • Do I lack joy?

The cure for legalism

Understand your salvation.
Understand your justification.
Look always to the finished work of Christ on the cross.
Take ten looks at Jesus for every one look at yourself.
Boldly approach the throne of grace to help you in your time of need.

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