This week I have been continually reminded how legalistic and pseudo-covenant my thought process and way of going about things is and has been. That’s right; I haven’t even arrived.
I began talking with an old friend again recently. It has been a number of years since we last talked, and because of a regrettable end with her, for the last several years I’d been rather afraid to speak to her. However, circumstances brought us back into contact recently, and it all came to the surface in me again. And I realized something. For the last six years I’ve been holding on to a guilty conscience. What’s more, for no reason other than my own shame. And it held me back considerably, so that when I began talking with her again, I held a fear complex, feeling as though I needed to make something of myself to be acceptable.
Of course, upon bringing all this up, she was quick to put me at ease, and I was able to put that six-year-old ghost to rest. But it really made me think; if I am under grace, why do I hold on to all these feelings of guilt over things in the past? Even things that shouldn’t be that major, that have likely long-since been forgotten by everyone else involved? The nature of grace says I don’t have to carry feelings of guilt any further than the cross and that “I forgive you, Son.”
But I do. I was brought up in such a way that I do. I learned it, though I never would have known it for what it was. Praise Jesus I am coming out of pseudo-covenant.
I was reminded this morning about something that happened a couple of years ago now. I had just failed big time and I was crying out to God. I don’t remember exactly how the conversation went down, but it was something like this:
Me: “God, I need your purity, mine’s no good…”
God: “Of course you do. It isn’t about your purity, it’s about mine.”
Whatever the discourse, God made it clear to me then and there that all I could ever do to be pure wasn’t going to be nearly enough, I needed to put on His purity.
“Wait a minute!” I wanted to say, “That can’t be right!” And although I embraced His words that day, I never really understood what He was directing me to. That’s why it was such a huge revelation to me this morning when this came to mind; because now I get it.
All I can ever do to be pure, to be righteous, to live rightly, isn’t nearly enough. I can’t do it. But that’s okay. Because when Jesus Christ died on the cross to settle my debt with God’s perfect justice, He offered me His robe of righteousness. Now He calls me righteous, and pure, because of His holy righteousness and purity.
Now, does that mean I’m licensed to do whatever I like because I’m covered with the blood of Jesus and all my sins are forgiven and forgotten? Of course not! Because under the new covenant, God has written His laws in my heart and mind. Grace is no permit to live in sin and still be called righteous; but it is the omnipotent enabler that says “Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more!”