You may be thinking...What? Have you lost it?Yes! To an extent, I have lost it. The Lord has opened my spiritual eyes of understanding and enlightened me even more in recent months. (See Ephesians1:16-23) I have lost religion, tradition, legalism, and everything else that comes with trying to keep the old covenant of the law---more so, anyway.
First, let me share a little background with you about myself.I grew up in a Christian home with Christian parents. We all went to church together every Sunday. I was a good Christian girl. I always did what was expected of me. That is, until I was in college...
I was working a seasonal job at an amusement park on a big rollercoaster one summer. I was asked to work Sundays. Normally, it was one of my requested days off from work. However, this particular summer, I decided that I wanted to work on Sundays.When I talked to my mom about it, she was against me doing it. She eventually gave in and allowed me to work Sundays that summer.
There have been more recent instances with other believers within the body of Christ where God has personally revealed more to me. Many believers are still trying to keep the old covenant of the law. It's all about their works or my works or someone else's works.However, that is not true. That is not the case. If you break one point of 'the law', you have broken all of the law. (James 2:9-11) Jesus came to fulfill the law. (Matthew 5:17-18) He is the only one who has ever perfectly kept the law. Therefore, He is the fulfillment of the law.
The only way we can ever hope to perfectly keep 'the law' is to rely on Him to do the work in and through us by His spirit. We no longer approach Him by way of 'the law' though. We approach Him by the new covenant of grace through faith in Him.Whenever, somebody tries to put you under 'the law', resist it. Submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. (James 4:7) Speak the truth in love to them. (Ephesians 4:15)
I have come to realize there is a lot more tradition out in the world. It has nothing to do with Jesus Christ. A lot of the tradition comes from the church as a whole. There's a lot of tradition in religion. However, Jesus didn't die on the cross for believers to have a religion. He died on the cross for all of us to have a relationship with Him---not just any relationship, but a personal and intimate relationship with Him---the Son of God.The more we come to personally know Him, the more we will know what is of Him and not from Him.
The Apostle Paul and his spiritual brother, Timothy, wrote to the people in the church at Colossae and explained more about the fullness of Jesus Christ."See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the elemental spiritual forces of this world rather than on Christ. For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form, and in Christ you have been brought to fullness. He is the head over every power and authority." (Colossians 2:8-10, NIV)
Paul and Timothy continue speaking about all of the human rules and regulations in the world. They wanted to make sure the believers knew of their freedom in Christ."Since you died with Christ to the elemental spiritual forces of this world, why, as though you still belonged to the world, do you submit to its rules: “Do not handle! Do not taste! Do not touch!”? These rules, which have to do with things that are all destined to perish with use, are based on merely human commands and teachings. Such regulations indeed have an appearance of wisdom, with their self-imposed worship, their false humility and their harsh treatment of the body, but they lack any value in restraining sensual indulgence." (Colossians 2:20- 23, NIV)
Lastly, Matthew wrote of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law coming to Jesus and asking Him about breaking tradition. Jesus had asked them for the reason they had broken God's command for the sake of tradition. He told them they nullified God's word for the sake of tradition. Jesus also mentioned that Isaiah was right when he prophesied about them."‘These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. They worship me in vain; their teachings are merely human rules." (Matthew 15:8-9, NIV)
So, are there human rules that you are keeping? Are there traditions that you honor?Looking back now, I am glad my mom gave into my request. It worked out for my good. It allowed me to see for myself the importance of regularly attending church.
At the time, I was just going through the motions of going to church. It had become a habit. A routine. A tradition. It didn’t really mean anything to me. It was part of my religion then.That specific break in tradition, however, allowed me to better understand and know for myself the good of attending church on a regular basis. The right motivation behind going to church had previously been missing for me.
Now, it has become part of having a personal relationship with Jesus for me. It's a way that I can personally come to know more of Him and love Him. It's a time of fellowshipping with other believers, learning more about them, and loving them as well. It’s an outward expression of inward worship.
Copyright 2014 by Dawn Freeman. All rights reserved.