As a Christian, why do you chose to do what is right?
Is it because you are afraid of making God angry or disappointed? Do you have a long list of what you need to be doing in order to keep God happy with you? Is it so that you will look good to other people? So that you will have a “good testimony” and they will think you are “godly”?
Or maybe you don’t follow “rules” and just do whatever, with whoever, whenever you want. After all, isn’t that what grace is all about?
These are often the two camps of Christianity. And one group is always yelling about the other group and their faults. The rule-followers call the no-rules “worldly” and “licentious” (which is a big word that just means they don’t follow the rules). The no-rules call the rule-followers “close minded” and “legalistic”.
I’m here to say that they are both wrong.
Paul says in Galatians 5:1, “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free; stand firm in it. And do not let yourself be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.” Jesus wants us to be free. He died to set us free. Free from rules, and free from sin.
We shouldn’t be living under a yoke of slavery to rules trying to make God happy with us and avoid His judgment. He already put His wrath and the judgment for sin on His Son Jesus Christ. Once we trust that Jesus took the punishment for our sin, we have access to a relationship with a God who loves us unconditionally!
But neither do we have to live under a yoke of slavery to sin. We don’t have to be controlled by our habits and addictions any longer. When Jesus died, He set us free from the punishment of sin, but also from the power of sin. He has given us His Holy Spirit to live inside of us and empower us to follow Him.
Why do I chose to do what is right? Mostly because I love Jesus and also because I don’t like the consequences that come when I live for myself.
All the recent articles posted on Facebook about Josh Duggar have reminded me once again that rules and standards cannot overcome our sin nature. Only Jesus can, only the power of His death and resurrection.
If your version of Christianity is about anything or anyone other than Jesus, then it’s wrong. If you think you are making God happy with your rule following, then you are wrong. If you care more about yourself and your good/fun life than you care about Jesus and developing a relationship with Him, then you are wrong. When our “Christianity” stops being about Jesus, His amazing grace, and our ability to know God through Jesus, it ceases to be true Christianity.