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The Resurrected Life (8 of 9)
Series: Stop Trying to Fix Yourself
The lack of understanding of the resurrected life is why people claim that living in grace is a life that tolerates sin. In truth, this is the only life that overcomes sin. Trusting in legalism does not work. When the Christian life is dependent upon our ability to resist temptation, or our ability to keep religious rules, there may be moments of success, but it is limited at best.
An opponent of grace accused me of having secret sin in my life, for anyone who trusts in grace must be trying to justify sin. The irony is that when I trusted in a legalistic form of Christianity, I had many secret sins. I tried to cover them with good works and self-delusions of righteousness. In a quest to condemn my own sins, I was very critical of others.
This is why I often say that legalism either creates despair or self-delusion. It never creates righteousness. I can only grade myself on a curve, or be driven to despair by the truth that I was defeated by the law. Since James 2:10 says that if we keep the whole law but offend in one single point, we are guilty of the whole law, legalism is an impossible standard. Not only that, but mixing law back into grace does nothing more than introduce condemnation back into the Christian's life.
Legalism forces me to ignore this truth or be driven to the reality that the law is my condemner - regardless of how religious I am, or how many works I do.
The resurrected life changes this. Because I have been raised with Christ as a new creation through the life of the Spirit, the law has no jurisdiction over me, and sin has no power. The strength of sin is the law, and because I am no longer under the law, there is nothing to empower sin. Now I only have the choice to walk according to the flesh, where nothing good dwells, or walk according to the Spirit, where nothing evil dwells.
The resurrected life is the normal Christian life. Yet ...
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