The law came along to multiply the trespass. But where sin multiplied, grace multiplied even more so that, just as sin reigned in death, so also grace will reign through righteousness, resulting in eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
—Romans 5:20-21 (HCSB)
Lord, Jesus, I can't be good enough! I try to be good enough, but I just can't! I try to believe in Jesus! I try not to accept the lies of the enemy. I try not to fear. I try to control my thoughts. My thoughts are raging. My mind has no peace. Lord, I’m all over the map. Help me!
Do you know someone who deals with this kind of perspective? There is no peace if you have a performance-based mentality—one that says you are only accepted by God if you are perfect and if you perform correctly. This kind of works mentality comes from a perfection mindset—one that says you are only good enough if you live up to specific requirements. A born-again Christian with this kind of attitude has trouble receiving the joy Jesus imparts. He sees law ruling his life instead of enjoying what Jesus has given Him—a new life. Jesus fulfilled the requirements of Old Testament law. His grace made everything new. He longs for you to understand that you are free from the law’s standard of never being good enough. His love set you free at Calvary, but you haven't realized it. When you keep putting on the new nature you received when you asked Him into your heart, you are renewed in your mind. You begin to see the Word in a whole new light. The imperatives of the New Testament inspire joy. You look at Old Testament law through the eyes of His grace. You love His truth because He loves you. You understand that His love is enough, and you can never be.
“Christ has truly set us free,” Paul wrote. “Now make sure that you stay free, and don’t get tied up again in slavery to the law” (Galatians 5:1, NLT). No longer does the fear of sin rule your life! But if you are trying to please God by performing the law perfectly, you will drive yourself crazy. You are free when you understand that He has made you righteous. The only true freedom you can ever know lives in your born-again spirit. "If the Son, therefore, shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed" (John 8:36, KJV). I love the King James Version that says "free indeed." Other versions say "through and through." If He has freed me from sin, then I am FREED from sin. It is a complete work–not a partial one, but a finished one.
His work in me is His work—not mine, but I must allow Him to renew my mind. This will always be one that calls for perseverance. “Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything” (James 1:4, NASV). If you persevere to grow in His grace, you will not lack in His power to believe that you are free. His grace will abound more and more! Your deliverance is appropriated by faith in Jesus who healed you at Calvary—who saved you from sin. You can experience the depth and power of His grace!
The requirements of the law have ended. Jesus has fulfilled them by becoming your perfect sacrifice. The Bible is no longer a book of rules and regulations that must be flawlessly performed. His love cost you nothing. It cost Him everything. Grace has set you free. Living for Him and loving with His love becomes as natural as breathing. You are freed from sin’s condemnation. His grace has changed everything.
Seek to understand what the depth of His love bought for you—not only eternal life but abundant life now. Grace reigns in righteousness. It soars in love! The law defeats grace. It results in death! Choose His grace, and live His truth with freedom. You will come to understand that He is not wanting to punish you. He just wants to love you.
© 2019 Lynn Lacher