You’ll Never Measure Up
I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. I do not nullify the grace of God, for if righteousness were through the law, then Christ died for no purpose. — Galatians 2:20-21
In this life, we are conditioned to perform from the day we are born. We are conditioned to comply, behave, and obey. And as we do, we receive rewards, trophies, accolades, and promotions. And while this conditioning does work to make small improvements, it may only result in behavior modification and not deep transformation.
Now let's recognize that behavior modification does work to some degree. But it might only scratch the surface of change or only give the appearance of change. And when it comes to our relationship with God, there is no behavior we can change or modify to be in right standing with God.
Instead, Paul says we have to die, not change or improve our behavior. We have to crucify all of our life to the point we no longer live. This infers that we recognize that there is no act of obedience that will ever save us. There is nothing we can do. But there is something Christ can do. He can live in us — in you and me. By faith, we can choose to believe his resurrection life gives us spiritual life so that as we live in the flesh, he lives in us. This is a new life, changed at the motivational and spiritual level. It is a life lived in the flesh sustained by his righteousness, not by your behavior.
And then Paul drops the mic with this statement:
I do not nullify the grace of God, for if righteousness were through the law, then Christ died for no purpose.
Here is another way to say this:
Attempts at behavior modification in the spiritual life to earn a righteous standing with God are pointless. In fact, they confirm we don't believe in the righteousness freely extended by God's grace.
So today, don't nullify the wonder of God's grace working through you by trying to earn righteousness through obedience. Yes, this is the world's way, but this is not God's way. Instead, be obedient, but act in obedience out of faith, empowered by grace. And as you do, let others see God's system grace working through you so they will know deeper change.
ASK THIS: Are you trying to earn right standing with God through obedience and behavior modification?
DO THIS: Rely more on his grace today. Share below what grace you need from God. (Share it in the comments below.)
PRAY THIS: God, I know I will never be obedient enough. But your grace is too good to be true to me. Please help me in my disbelief of your grace by accepting your grace in one new way today. Thanks for extending your grace to me, a sinner.
PLAY THIS: This Is Amazing Grace.
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Read through the Bible daily with Vince Miller.