This week Pastor Chad started a series called WITH – Reimagining your relationship with God. There are 4 different positions that we often take while interacting with God.
- From: A position that causes you to base everything on what you get from God.
- For: A position that causes you to base everything on what you are giving, serving, sacrificing for God.
- Over: A position that causes you to base everything on yourself as if you don’t need God
- Under: A position that causes you to base everything you do from a place of fear of God.
In this 1st message of the series, Pastor Chad tackled the position of under. The position of under causes us to think that we have to do all the things for God to want to be with us. It causes us to become quite legalistic and rule-based in our following. We often become those who see other people as not able to measure up because they are not doing all the things that we are doing. This is a type of moral-anity rather than Christianity. It’s a system of performance to maintain reward from God. On the flip-side, if we don’t perform then we feel that we would be in trouble with God. Like God would send a lightning bolt to take us out if we did wrong. This positioning under God is a type of trying to appease God through rituals and moral behavior; it actually causes us to live with a great burden. Pastor Chad laid out many Scriptures showing how Jesus combated this kind of thinking. If you would like to listen to this message you can do that right here.
- You cannot earn God’s acceptance – Jesus came because we could not carry the burden nor could we do all the things that are required to appease God, we’re never going to get it all right. Jesus came to move us from living under God to being with God. You cannot earn His love, he simply gives it to us. Besides, obeying all the rules doesn’t automatically mean that everything’s gonna be OK.
- The purpose of the law is to show your need for a savior – It’s just true that we are sinners saved by grace. We don’t have what it takes to overcome sin. We can’t fill the gap. Only grace could do that.
- Being right with God comes by faith alone in Christ – We often try to live on one side or the other. Either by all the rules. Or by all the grace – doing whatever we want. But Jesus brought a balance of truth and grace because it’s not about religion, which is focused on what I can do. It’s about Christianity which is focused on what Christ has done.
Religion has complicated what Jesus has made simple. This following of Christ is not about behavior modification or control because that doesn’t work. We have a God who is faithful and does the things that He has promised. He promised He would send His Son! Jesus is called Emmanuel which means God is with us. God’s grace gives us the freedom to live and walk with God through all the things we go through. It’s not even about hitting all the 1,2,3’s and doing all the do’s or not doing the don’ts, God is ultimately after my heart and He just wants to be with me.
Which when you think about it, is so very surprising and beautiful. The gospel is the good news that God loves us so much He made a way to be with us. It’s that amazing!
All is grace,