The world is filled with people pursuing salvation by every means conceivable.
Some try to follow the Law of Moses to find forgiveness and to be cleansed from their sins.
Others think that various church activities, rituals, baptism, confirmation, communion, partaking of the Eucharist, confession of sins, and a host of other “sacraments” can cleanse them from sin and provide assurance of salvation.
But none of these “methods” can save a man.
The Higher Law
Whether one puts his hope in following Christian rules, or the Mosaic Law, or some other variation on these themes, that soul will one day stand before God to be judged based solely upon his own supposed merit.
Which means he will have no hope. And that he will pay forever for his own sins. Which is a debt that can never be paid by the sufferings of any sinful man.
But praise God! The Lord has established a Higher Law. One that reigns above every other good method and good idea that a man might conceive of to find peace with God.
The Law is Spiritual
The true believer in Christ understands this Higher Law to be that Christ has already fulfilled the Law of Moses. Along with every moral and spiritual component that flows from the Law of God.
Because the Law is not simply “carnal” – meaning it is not fulfilled simply by physical action. It is actually spiritual. It is not simply about doing this and not doing that; it is about obedience to the Spirit of God within us. The obedience of faith. Of believing what God has said.
This is the basic component of the Law which is not understood by most people in the world. By most people who claim to be Christian. And even by many who have truly been saved by Christ.
Many true Christians understand that the Law condemns them and that only by faith in Christ can they be saved. Because Christ has fulfilled the Law for them.
But they often fail to understand that living this Christian life, after we are saved, is also by Faith. We are saved by Faith AND, in the same way, we walk by faith.
As Ye Have Therefore Received, So Walk
All Christians struggle with this. Because we are still trying to wrestle with our flesh. We are still trying to make our flesh behave. Applying assorted techniques of Spiritual Discipline, Spiritual Formation, and Behavioral Management to tame our “Christian flesh”.
Paul, the Apostle, had the same struggle that we have. Just as he did, we have a desire to do that which is good; but we lack the HOW to do those things which are good. (Romans 5,6,7). We do the things we tell others not to do; and we don’t do the things we tell others to do.
A great danger we face is that sometimes we are successful in doing good things and not doing bad things. But it doesn’t last.
So, we make the grave mistake of thinking that it was some failure in our method, or our lack of dedication, or a lack of some spiritual thing which we must do more of to increase and maintain our supposed successful spiritual performance.
These are things that many Christians who have grown in the Lord understand. Who have moved beyond the “merry-go-round” years of their Christian experience. Who are often brought to despair over their own failings and sinful behaviors.
Our Amazing Hope
A wonderful ray of hope that I have found is that the Lord is constantly working in our lives to bring us to a greater love for Himself. Which will only occur as we are drawn away from all the things of this world. The things that we have placed confidence in.
And that this is a work that He must do within us. It is not our working that accomplishes this. It is the working of the Holy Spirit within us.
This includes His cutting away a host of “good things” from our lives. Of good “Christian” things. Which, in the end, are just “things”.
There is nothing easy about this. This is where our tissues bleed. Where we are bruised. Where we feel the pain.
The easy thing, however, is when we finally give up on ourselves and turn our eyes on the Lord, Himself. And finally see Him as our Sanctification, our Righteousness, and our Hope.
So often we place our Hope in a thing, or a ministry, or our activities (even good ones). And we think that these things will sustain us. And that we will present these things to the Lord when we stand before Him.
There is something that I think AW Tozer once said. “Someday we will have only Christ; so we had better learn how to be content with Him alone“.
The Lord is weaning us off of our self-confidence and of every other confidence we have grown accustomed to. Which we have learned to rely upon.
And the Lord wants us to learn, in real experience, that He is our Hope, our Confidence, our Shield, our Rock, and all that we long for in this life and in the wondrous life that awaits us beyond this “mortal coil”.
He wants us to know, in fullness, that Christ is “our exceeding great reward“.
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