Whenever an author or communicator compels us to “step up” to or to be more dedicated to,
perform more diligently, or strive more steadfastly to do what God desires/requires so that
we might experience, as a result, what God wants for us, it is always paired with the silent poison of personal failure: if we DON’T step up, if we do not perform, if we are not dedicated enough, then we will not gain what God has for us, and if unaltered, probably aren’t saved in the first place!
This double-edged sword of performance is…
…known as “lordship salvation” — our making Jesus Lord and living successfully under His lordship — and some of the best communicators and authors of our day are extremely compelling about the love of God being the motivation for the performance of man.
But God’s love is not motivation for meritorious performance; it’s for trust.
And our life with God is not transactional but relational. Life with God under the New Covenant isn’t what we do for what we gain, but a relationship we live in with God as our Heavenly Father because of Christ’s work by grace.
Again: Life with Christ is never transactional, but relational. Always.
If we could earn God’s favor, then Christ died for nothing.And this message of step up and do more and be better –this transactional lie of religious effort, that if we do more we gain more of God or proximity to God or something better from God, undermines the glory of God’s grace and the sufficiency of Christ’s indwelling Life.It’s dangerous, because those teaching it are so good at it.
Friends, If it’s not truly grace — from being His child to walking in His righteousness — it’s not Truth.
Paul said, “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me… “ (Galatians 2:20a)
Life isn’t up to you to get right, but up to you let Christ live through you. He lives through us by grace as we let Him by faith. He lives. We let. He continues…
“The life I live in the flesh is by faith in Him who loves me and gave Himself for me.” (v. 20b)
If you could do what God requires, then Christ didn’t have to.
If Christ did what God requires, then you don’t have to.
To judge our Christian life by how well we do defies Christ’s sufficiency
and devalues His grace on our behalf.
We need not fear grace as enabling sin, because grace trains us in righteousness and empowers Christ’s life lived through us. We don’t avoid sin because of condemnation — we are freer than that, and can never be condemned. We avoid sin as God renews our mind to the truth of Christ’s Life, because we are compatible by grace with Christ by His blood.
What suits Him suits us. What isn’t compatible with God, is no longer compatible with us.
Sin doesn’t suit us any more. We can be deceived and immature in old flesh patterns of sin, but it will never satisfy our soul. We’ve been made new in our inner being.
Friends, If it’s not union life — co-crucified, co-resurrected, and co-ascended with Christ by grace (Ephesians 2:4-6), and living at rest in His finished work — it’s not Gospel.
Jesus did it all. He did it perfectly.
And even though we still have flesh patterns and can fall prey at times to the enemy’s schemes,
our identity is secure in our rebirth in Christ by grace, not behavior.
We now get to enjoy the favor of God, and the closeness with God, and the life with God that only Christ could ever merit.
When Jesus said, “I am… the life.” (John 14:6) He meant your Life.
[ Mike Q. Daniel Ministries ]