Free to Love

By: Mike Walker
From: March - April 2013
Found in: The Gospel of Grace
Are we doing good works to please God or is it out of our love relationship with the Father?

How big is God’s grace? Bigger than even the biggest sin you could commit!

If a person’s heart is leaning towards sinning, then they will look at that statement as something that gives them the freedom to indulge in the sins they desire to do.  This person whose heart is leaning towards sin will continually be looking for ways to push the limits of what they are allowed to do because, after all, God’s grace is bigger! However, when our hearts are set responding to God’s love for us, which was demonstrated through Jesus, we will then view this statement as something that gives us hope when we do make mistakes.

Those who have become proponents of grace have discovered that there will be some who will accuse them of promoting a message that will cause Christians to live a lifestyle of irresponsibility and immorality.  I believe that this thinking comes from the idea that we all need to have our lives governed by rules or by godly principles.  The truth is this idea becomes a demand to live a performance-based life in order to meet this high moral standard.

Led by the Holy Spirit

Jesus has provided a better way to live and that is to be led by the Holy Spirit.  When we are led by the Holy Spirit, then we become free from the set of rules and/or laws that religion may put over our lives.

When we are led by the Holy Spirit, then we become free from the set of rules and/or laws that religion may put over our lives.

   
Gal 5:18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. NKJV

Nowhere in this verse does the bible tell us that “not being under the law” means that we have the license to live immorally.  The New Covenant has many “commands or directives” to help our lives, but they were never meant to become a replacement for the Old Covenant law because the life of a believer is not about adhering to rules.  The believer’s life is about having a personal relationship with God our Father.

When we read a command in the New Testament, we are receiving a view of what life can become as we are more and more engaged in our love relationship with our Father.  Without effort, His love begins to flow out of our lives as the fruit of the Spirit flows from us into our world.

The people who are entrenched in legalism and living by the rules actually can become offended at the last half of this verse: “you are not under the law.”  Because they get caught up in the offense, they miss the incredible truth found in the first half of this verse where we discover the amazing reality that the Holy Spirit is a much, much better guide than the law for our lives. 
 

Without effort, His love begins to flow out of our lives as the fruit of the Spirit flows from us into our world.

John 16:12 “I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now.  13 However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come.  14 He will glorify Me, for He will take of what is Mine and declare it to you.  15 All things that the Father has are Mine. Therefore I said that He will take of Mine and declare it to you.* NKJV

Here Jesus is revealing a glimpse into the future - the time we live in that is after His death, resurrection, ascension and the sending of the Holy Spirit. In other words, Jesus was giving them a glimpse of the New Covenant of Grace. 

He understood that it was too much for them to comprehend at that time, so He reveals an amazing truth to them.  He promised that He would be sending them the Person of the Holy Spirit to guide them into all truth. Notice, Jesus did not say that He would be sending them a new set of principles to guide them. 

All of us know the reality that there are those people who will abuse the grace of God and use is as a license to sin.  But just because some people abuse grace does not make grace wrong.  We also need to understand this is nothing new.  People are people all over the world and some have a heart that is looking for a free pass to live in sin. 
 

Those under the New Covenant are doing good works out of the relationship they already have with God.

Jude 1:4 For certain men have crept in unnoticed, who long ago were marked out for this condemnation, ungodly men, who turn the grace of our God into lewdness and deny the only Lord God* and our Lord Jesus Christ. NKJV

When we look at a person’s life who is living under legalism or performance-based religion and then at another person’s life who is living under the grace of the New Covenant, we discover that both are doing works but the motive in doing them is different.  Those under legalism are trying to please God and become holy by what they do.  Those under the New Covenant are doing good works out of the relationship they already have with God. 

Grace - the Motive for Good Works

Those living in the grace of the New Covenant want to walk in good works because of the revelation they have that Jesus became sin so that we who believe become righteous - not by works but by receiving.  We understand that Jesus became our sanctification and has fully qualified us for all that God His Father has provided.  The works just flow spontaneously out from the life of the grace-filled believer because they are being led by the Spirit. 

Grace becomes the motive for doing good works and is so much stronger than the motive of legalism.

Grace becomes the motive for doing good works and is so much stronger than the motive of legalism. You could not even be able to measure it. Why? Because it comes from inside of us and the law or legalism is pushed on us from the outside.
 
Rom 6:14 For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under law but under grace. NKJV  

Titus 2:11 For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, 12 teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age, NKJV

Grace gives us boldness in the presence of God and this is how grace teaches us!  When we understand that there is nothing we can do to make God love us any more than He already does, and nothing we can do to make Him love us any less, something amazing happens.

If you want to know how to live and keep a high moral life, then whatever you do, do not focus on keeping a high moral life. Instead, focus on your love relationship with the Father.

We become empowered to get up faster when we fall and soon find out we now have the strength coming from inside us where we no longer need to fall. 

It becomes a normal way of life to live morally because our hearts desire to respond with love to the amazing love that the Lord pours over our lives every day!  If you want to know how to live and keep a high moral life, then whatever you do, do not focus on keeping a high moral life. Instead, focus on your love relationship with the Father.  Soon you will discover that instead of being free to sin, you are free to love!

By: Mike Walker

Rev. Walker along with his wife Jane set out to establish and build a strong local church in Post Falls, ID. Thus came the pioneering of Faith Tabernacle Church. Since that step of faith 23 years ago, this journey has seen them into over twenty countries.

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