I have been reading a lot of material, mostly articles on the subject of grace, the grace of God. One thing I had not thought of very often in my Christian life was the oneness that we have with the Lord. Jesus once said that He and the Father are one. Not the same person, but, in union with the Father in Him, and He is in the Father, making One. Then just before his death and resurrection He prayed,
“I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word; that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that you sent Me. And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one: I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one and that the world may know that you have sent Me, and have loved them as You loved me.”(John 17:20-23)
And one of my new favorite verses is Galatians 2:20,
I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.
He is in me. My old life was put to death, crucified with Christ. Now He is risen from the dead bringing me with Him into resurrection life. His life is my life. I am in Christ. He is the Vine and I am one of many branches on that Vine, but the same plant. Whatever He is, so am I.
I spent years trying to attain to holy living, trying to please God. I worked very hard to control my sinful urges and failed miserably. Then it became even harder as things in my life began to go south. There was so much pressure I could no longer keep up the facade of the “Christian life.”
It wasn’t working anyway. I lived one kind of life at work and home, and another kind of life at church and around church folk. Finally, I gave up. I told the Lord that I quit. I wasn’t going to try to live right any longer.
That’s when I caught a glimpse of Grace. I had never fully understood the epistles of Paul. He wasn’t writing things that we should try to achieve as Christians, He was trying to tell us who we already are in Christ. What needs to happen is for us to believe what is being said about us, in Christ. This is where renewing the mind comes in.
Today I read an article called, “A License to Sin,” by Darin Hufford. He talks about the absolute freedom we have in Christ, and, how without it a true relationship with God is not possible. It was astonishing. The absolute opposite of what most Christians believe, but astonishingly true.
The more I learn about the Grace of God, the more relaxed I am becoming. My desire is to know His love fully. I want to know Him as well as I know myself. Actually, He knows me better than I know myself, so I’d like to know myself from His perspective.
Nice post-had to re-read the end to try and understand better. I feel better about some things now after reading; still confused about some; and overall glad to know that I’m not the only one who struggles with what’s right vs wrong/living a facade vs what I feel…
I’m glad it helped a little, Jill. Religion has made this whole thing something that it is not; something un-attainable. It really is easier than it seems. Love you guys.