Sunday, November 1, 2009

Turning to a Different Gospel

“I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you by the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel – which is really no gospel at all.” Galatians 1:6-7

Those of us who have accepted Christ as our personal Lord and Savior have embraced grace-filled living. We were saved by grace not by our own worth or effort. Following Christ is not to be a lurch down the roadway of rule keeping and burden bearing. We are called to follow the Savior empowered by grace. The way we began is to be the way we continue and ultimately the way we are to finish.

When we receive our Lord's grace, we find His character form within us – not as a product of self exertion, but as fruit born from surrender to our Lord's ability. We are clay pots marred and imperfect, but He fills us with His Spirit. As we yield to the Spirit, we become loving, joyful, peaceful, patient, kind, good, faithful, gentle, and able to control our own bent toward sin. Grace enables us to serve the King.

But when we revert back to trying to keep a set of rules, when we find ourselves becoming legalistic, we are guilty of turning to a different gospel. Our trust centers on ourselves and our ability to perform. This behavior is offensive to Christ. When we act this way, we say, in effect, that we do not need to trust in Jesus Christ's sacrifice – we live as though the cross is insignificant.

Let's receive afresh the rivers of His grace. Let's bask in the truth that the Lord has redeemed us, and that we are saved because of His loving work on the cross. Let's allow the Holy Spirit to fill us anew. Then we will find the journey a blessing not a burden. We will be able to rest in what Christ has done for us, and we will be motivated by gratitude not guilt. Jesus invites us all to live by the true gospel the gospel of His grace. Are you living a life motivated and empowered by God's grace?

Dear Father in Heaven,

Help me to remember that my sins are forgiven because of Jesus' death and resurrection. Help me to trust in Your grace as my means of following you. Give to me a grateful heart so that my obedience is motivated by love not an unhealthy fear. Thank you for delivering me from all forms of legalism. Lord fill me afresh with Your Holy Spirit. In Jesus name I pray, Amen.

© Copyright 2009 by Tom Toya. All rights reserved.

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