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Stop listing your “sins”. Please. It is bondage.

It is having your eyes on yourself and not on Jesus. It is exchanging grace for a new set of laws. We only know sin by having laws and rules. Jesus ended the old set of laws, so why do we make new ones out of the things Jesus and the apostles said? They did not mean them as new laws. Really. You can’t mix law and grace, yet we think that is what they tell us to do. Instead, Jesus and the apostles are the very ones who bring us to knowledge of our freedom, and we take what they say and use it to rob us of our new life of faith and grace – our very freedom in Christ.

In other places I have discussed what the word translated as “sin” really means. That it means to miss the mark and fail to share in the prize. It’s comparable to what we today call human nature – as in to err is human and to forgive divine. But God went beyond that and did not merely forgive us. After all, we couldn’t really help being human. What God did in the person of Jesus Christ was to remove our sin. In addition, transgression only applies to those who disobey the law.

Recently I heard a respected pastor and theologian who warned that, since James said to count it all joy, we must do it. If we do not, we are complainers and grumblers, which is sinning just the same as if it were sexual immorality. He was referring to a passage Paul wrote in Romans, listing things God hates. I was so saddened to here him say this, because he was setting up new rules and saying that if we didn’t do the right thing, we would not be told, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant.” This is appalling, when you think about it. Here is a preacher, who would say he preached grace, but who is causing us to turn from grace if we heed what he is saying on this.

Not! No how, no way. Sorry. Don’t buy it. Guidelines are just that – things that guide us. They are not rules to obey in order to be justified, sanctified, or anything else. We are righteous and holy and sanctified by the one act of Jesus on the cross. We can’t then do anything to keep our salvation or become more holy. Nonsense. We are led by the Holy Spirit who indwells us. We have a book, the Bible, written by inspired men of God to show us God’s ways and acts.

The Bible is not a rule book for us. Christ made an end to the law.

The Holy Spirit who inspired that book is the true guide for us into all that God has for His sons and daughters, just as He was for the early church. Rightly understood, scripture and Spirit will not contradict.

This is what it means to work out our own salvation in fear and trembling. Not in fear of our loving Father, but in the face of people who may not understand what God is saying to us. It can be most intimidating to listen and obey His voice when the voices of the dissenters are roaring all about you.

There are two commandments only – to love God with all that we posses, and to love our neighbor as ourselves. And we can’t even do this. If you know anyone who says can, they are not being truthful!

We just rest in His finished work and in the grace He has given us. There is no condemnation for us in Christ. Stop putting yourself back under it.

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