Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Performance based Christianity.

Do you think Christians avoid Jesus? What I'm getting at is that rule keeping and legalism is not only practiced before salvation, but also after salvation. We know that our salvation is a work of God and most of us know Ephesians 2:8-9 by heart. We grew up hearing that text of Scripture from our Sunday School days and of course our Awana days.

But when it comes to our daily Christian living, we suddenly become rule keepers or legalistic. In the matter of our personal spiritual growth and maturing into Christlikeness ---we suppose that it is all up to us. We fall into the rut of performance based Christianity. We develop the mind set that says, "I can be right with God if I keep all the rules and do all the right things." Now, you tell me how that is different than how any other religion works? Is not this truly avoiding Jesus? We take our attention off the cross and we place our performance at the center of our lives--- the Christian life then becomes all about us and less about Jesus.

We get the Christian life all messed up. We start out coming humbly to the cross. Our sin is ever before us--- our cry is the same as the Publican in the Temple when he cried out, "God be merciful to me a sinner." And somewhere along the way, the Christian life becomes all about us, our performance, how much we are doing, and how well we are doing it-----and sad to say the Evangelical Church Culture feeds this insatiable appetite of the flesh---to be self focused, instead of Christ focused.

Michael Horton tells us that, "the pinpoint setting of the human heart is the religion of self-salvation. It really is an alluring religion for it feeds the pride of the human heart. It elevates man to a place of the devils and demons. It sets man on the throne, as he can now sit in judgement upon those who have not made the grade.

But God hates pride and legalism. The law keeper maintains that his/her ongoing relationship with God is based on his/her ability to do good. The law keeper can't be free. The bondage of the performance based Christian life leads to despair and darkness.

The good news is that the believer can live in grace, move in grace, and breath grace every day of his life. Grace sets us free, and Jesus came to set His people free. The famous line from William Temple is apropos, he says, " I like to remind myself and others that the only thing you contribute to your salvation and to your sanctification is the sin that makes them necessary."|

The follower of Christ loves His Lord. Sin to the follower of Christ is detestable, for he knows for sin his Savior died. Grace is never abused by the child of God who has tasted and experienced God's loving, merciful, and great salvation.

Christian, our hope is built on nothing less than Jesus' blood and righteousness---yes, we strive to put sin out of our lives, yes we pursue holiness, but we live in the truth that our acceptance by God is in Christ and not our performance.

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