Is being a Christian all about the rules to you? If so, then you have missed the whole point of Jesus’ sacrifice.
7 The [already] righteous lead blameless lives; blessed are their children after them.
Behavioral Christianity is not true Christianity. True Christianity begins and continues with a relationship with Jesus Christ. Take, for instance, these “myths:”
- Running in church dishonors God because it’s God’s house.
- Wearing a cap or hat in church is disrespectful to God.
- We are to wear our “Sunday best” to church on Sundays because it honors God.
- The church is “God’s house.”
- Eating or drinking in the auditorium dishonors God.
These myths are based upon an Old Testament mindset in which God did actually inhabit the temple. Since Jesus split the veil and sent the Holy Spirit in tongues of fire at Pentecost, we are all now mobile thrones; therefore, wherever we meet is the house of God. Brick and mortar don’t matter anymore.
The same can be said for people. It used to be that a godly person was one who acted godly by following the Jewish law. Since Jesus came, the emphasis changed from outward behavior to inward relationship. Of course, a relationship with Jesus will show up in a person’s actions, but instead of making him a Christian, it proves that he really is one. Why? Because our behavior is due to obedience to the Person of the Holy Spirit who lives in us rather than to an outward person, set of beliefs, customs, or expectations.
As an argument, people have used Matthew 7:21 as proof that works matter concerning our salvation:
“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven [works].”
What we have to know is what God’s will is, and it is found in John 6:29, “Jesus answered, “The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent [relationship].” Now, look at Matthew 7:22-23:
“Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles [works]?’ 23 Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you [relationship]. Away from me, you evildoers!’“
Jesus Himself made it all about the relationship, “I never knew you.” What an indictment! They knew the rules, but never met the Savior, much less walked with Him in fellowship and communion. Yet, that’s what He calls for us to do, and that’s what we get to do every day–if we choose to take Him up on His offer of friendship and Lordship. He really knows the best way to live to avoid the traps of the devil and to live in glorious victory, enjoying His love, joy, peace, hope and grace on a daily basis.
Let’s finish the discourse:
“Therefore everyone who hears [reads] these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. 26 But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. 27 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.”
Let’s be wise.
Abba, thank You that You have opened my eyes to Your Word and what it means in my life. When I read, I hear Your voice, sense Your peace, and comprehend on some level of spiritual truth. I ask that I would keep going “higher up and further in” concerning Your truth, wisdom, discernment, prudence, knowledge, insight and understanding. Lead on, O King eternal. Amen.