I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live, yet not I, but Christ lives in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh, I live by the faith of the Son of God, Who loved me and gave Himself for me.
There are two paths believers can follow in their Christian life, either grace or law, either faith or works, either promise or merit, either God’s way or man’s way. We are not only saved by grace we should live our lives by grace, for sanctification is by grace as well as justification. The “grace-promise-faith” way is described in Scripture as a ministry of life: the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus. Rom.8:2. This path promises freedom from the law of sin and death and by living our life God’s way we are not placing ourselves under any man-made regulations or laws – we are not placing ourselves back not under condemnation.
Man’s attempts at sanctification us are counter to God’s way and are founded on man’s merits, and his effort to please God. The “works-merit–law way”, places the believer under regulation and is founded on man’s merits (man’s works). This path is a ministry of death. Paul calls it: the law of sin and death, Rom.8:2. and it and places the believer back under condemnation: for whoever shall keep the whole law, and yet stumble in one point is guilty of all – for he has become a debtor to keep the whole Law. Jam.2:10. Paul warns that living man’s way means that: the grace of Christ has become of no effect unto you: for whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace. Gal.5:4. A Christian living the “works-merit-law” way, will find death, failure and misery, while one living the “grace-promise-faith” way will be have life more abundantly.
There are God-given principles for the ‘normal’ Christian life in Scripture, which are all founded on grace and Paul sets out the grace-walk within his epistles. Paul describes the serious consequences of living the “works-merit-law” way while outlining the tremendous advantages of living the “grace-promise-faith” way. And in Galatians he writes: I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live, yet not I, but Christ lives in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh, I live by the faith of the Son of God, Who loved me, and gave Himself for me. Gal 2:20.
Once this astonishing principle is embraced, God can work in a believer’s life, and he is freed from law and enabled to walk by means of the Spirit rather than by means of the flesh. We are told to: walk in the spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh. Gal.5:16. Some erroneously think that the lust of the flesh only means overt sinning, but every type of sin, overt and covert, emanates from man’s heart (from the inner man – the old sin nature).
Prayerfully reading through Galatians will highlight these two contrasting Christian ways of living. The “works-merit-law” route as opposed the “grace-promise-faith” route. Sanctification through law, is founded on man’s effort to please God. But sanctification by grace is founded on God’s grace alone. Law is man’s work, founded on the man’s merit and accessed through law, while grace is God’s work, founded on the promises of God and accessed by faith. Law is called a ministry of death and it’s source is the old sin nature, (the flesh), while grace is described as a ministry of life, and it’s source is the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus. A believer that chooses self-merit is a debtor to keep the whole law, while a believer that chooses God’s grace is free from the law of sin and death. The believer who lives under law is under condemnation, while the one who lives under grace is not under condemnation
A believer who chooses to live under the law’s self-merit instead of God’s will is still a child of God, although for a time has fallen from grace. But praise God, he can be restored by the Father: for this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found. Luke 15:24. Whenever we choose the wrong way through rebellion, wrong teaching or ignorance of God’s way of sanctification, every born-again believer has access back to throne of God, through confession of sins: Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in thy sight – and God is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1John 1:9.
Never forget.. no sin is so great that cannot it be forgiven and no place is so remote that we cannot be restored to the Father. Any believer who has strayed along the “works-merit–law” path and its ministry of death can be restored to the “grace-promise-faith” way and its ministry of life for: His mercies are new every morning – great is His faithfulness. Lam 3:22. And remember He is never far from you.. ever.. Acts.17:27
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