The 10 Commandments, or the ministry of death and the ministry of condemnation, was a good thing, but it’s only purpose was to show man that no matter how hard he tried, he could never meet God’s standards.
Then, Jesus came, and grace and truth came through Jesus. Not only did grace and truth come through Jesus, Jesus was (and is) full of grace and truth.
That grace is what enables us to live a life free from sin! I don’t have to try to live by the 10 Commandments anymore, because when I try to live by the 10 Commandments, I’m trusting in myself to measure up and hit the mark, but when I trust in the grace on the inside of me, and trust in Jesus, who is Grace, I can hit the mark every time.
Well then, how should a Christian, who is full of Grace and Truth (or Jesus) live their life?
Here’s the thing, I can’t give you a list of “do’s and don’ts” on how to live your life. Jesus didn’t even do that. However, He did have this to say in Matthew 5:21-22 and 27-28.
“21 You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘you shall not murder, and whoever murders will be in danger of the judgement.’
22 But I say to you that whoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgement. And whoever says to his brother, ‘Raca!’ shall be in danger of the council. But whoever says, ‘You fool!’ shall be in danger of hell fire.”
“27 You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’
28 But I say to you that whoever looks a a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.”
I know what you’re thinking right now. “I thought you said Jesus didn’t give us a list of do’s and don’ts? That’s what it looks like to me.”
I know it does, but that’s because you’re reading it through the eyes of tradition.
You see, the issue is that too many believers would rather manage their flesh than reckon it dead. They’re looking at the letter of what Jesus said, rather than the spirit of it.
Jesus is dealing with conditions of the heart here. He’s saying, “I know that you know not to murder, but I’m telling you that hatred without a cause is the beginning of murder, and it starts in the heart.”
He’s saying, “You know not to commit adultery, but when you lust, that is the beginning of adultery in the heart.”
Jesus is more concerned with the condition of your heart than He is your actions, because He knows the condition of your heart will determine your actions.
So, when I’m trying to manage my flesh, and trying to say, “Ok, what can I do, and what can I not do?” I’m not living up to the grace that has been placed on the inside of me.
But, when I say, “I’ve been born again, and this life I now live, I live by faith in the Son of God,” and I begin to trust in that grace that is inside of me to live right, and I trust in that grace to correct me, and I trust in that grace to show me what to do, I’m living up to the higher standard of grace.
When I miss it, I only miss it because I’m not trusting in grace-I was trying to do it on my own. So what do I do? Repent, and it’s over and done with. The word “repent” simply means to change one’s mind. So, when I repent from sin, all I’m saying is, “I’m changing. I don’t want any part of this any more, and I am turning from it.”
So, grace calls us to have our hearts right, and then enables us to make our hearts right, by faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.
Do you see how simple grace is? How freeing it is? Do you see, that even though grace is a higher standard than the law, I don’t have to struggle to measure up, because Grace Himself will enable me to measure up?
You see, I don’t have to try to make sure that I’m not going to lie, because I’ve got truth on the inside of me. I don’t have to make sure I don’t lust after a woman, committing adultery with her in my heart, because I’ve got grace inside of me. Grace enables me not to lust.
If you’re struggling with sin in your life, stop trying to manage it! Grace has a higher standard, and yet, that higher standard is easier to achieve than the fulfilling of the law. Just say, “Jesus, I trust in you. I thank you that I’m free from ‘whatever you are struggling with.’” Then, whenever the opportunity arises, just trust in the grace.
Do you see how easy that is? We’re not dealing with the flesh, and flesh management. We’re dealing with the heart. And when you deal with the heart, it will control the flesh.
Grace has given me a higher standard to measure up to. How am I going to do it? Especially if I couldn’t measure up to the law? I’m going to put my faith in the grace.