When we fail to teach believers the full impact of what Jesus accomplished on our behalf, which is grace by faith alone, we are putting before believers a stumbling block. Why are we so afraid to tell people that our salvation is not dependent on our behavior, but on what our precious Lord and Savior went through to accomplish? Did Paul not ask us: ‘Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? Are you so foolish? Having begun in the Spirit, are you now being made perfect in the flesh?’
The way the gospel is preached these days reminded me of my friend Glen who is in prison. He has a 15 years to life sentence because yes he did commit a horrible crime. He has already been in their for 16 years, and every time he goes to the parole board, they give him more lists of things to do, so that he may one day be worthy enough to earn his freedom. My friend has far exceeded their requirements to qualify him for freedom. Now he is at a point where he does not even want to go because he says they are most likely going to deny him. The only thing they have left to keep him bound is his crime. Doesn’t that sound familiar? Why in the world would we continue to give the saints lists of do’s and don’ts, subtly bringing them under law and faith in works?
Needless to say, until the parole board decides that the penalty for the crime has been fully paid, Glen will never be free. When we teach believers to keep going to God to ask for forgiveness for the sin Jesus took away, (i.e. 1 John 1:9), we are literally telling them that it is not finished and the crime still remains, causing them to never really be free.
So it is with a believer who has not stepped into the full assurance of God’s grace and forgiveness which our precious Lord provided when He was beaten, tortured, punched, kicked and completely mutilated for; then resurrected in the newness of life. He ushered in a new covenant, reconciling us to God forever. Within THIS TRUTH is the newness of life. Until we start living the resurrected life that he has made available to us, and get past the cross where even Jesus did not stay, then like my friend Glen, we will never truly be free.
Jesus said: ‘You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.’