The great mistake made by most of the Lord's people is in hoping to discover in themselves that which is to be found in Christ alone. –Arthur Pink
After decades of following Jesus and studying His life, I'm still amazed at the graphic contrasts that set Him apart from everything and everyone else. The contrast between law and grace is one of those black and white distinctions that Scripture magnifies:
Out of his fullness we have all received grace in place of grace already given. For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. No one has ever seen God, but the one and only Son, who is himself God and is in closest relationship with the Father, has made him known. —John 1:16-18
If you want to base your life on Law, go with Moses. If you want to base it on grace, go with Jesus. You get to choose. It's one or the other day by day!
God has people on performance-based acceptance, and I must earn His acceptance. That means I must perform in order to earn His acceptance. If I perform well, He'll be happy with me. If I don't perform well, He won't be.
God has His people on a Jesus-based acceptance. Because Christ is in me, I am fully accepted. I just need to now appropriate, own, and enjoy that acceptance.
A grace-based person always chooses grace, relying completely in Christ and His work. But be warned! The evil one will use anything to deceive you – even Scripture. (Remember, Satan tried to use Scripture to tempt Jesus!)
He loves to see Christians live out of the flesh, and he knows that the flesh and the law go together. So he loves getting you focused on rules, because he knows that law, flesh, and rules lead to death and despondency. Since Satan has lost you to grace, he'd love to keep you wallowing in law, and he will deceive you any way he can – even using biblical commands to get you to live out law by your flesh, rather than letting Christ live through you by grace!
God of Grace, I refuse to let Satan put me under performance-based law! Please show me when I fall for this deception. Make all my decisions of obedience based on grace as a natural overflow of Your complete acceptance of me in Christ. Amen.
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