God has put up controls for our spiritual driving. It is not the way He wants it, but we refuse to grow up. Think about it. How many traffic laws would we need it people would just drive with their brain turned on and their courtesy engaged? Do you have any traffic signs in your home?
God’s ultimate goal for us is holiness. We are to come to a spiritual place where we are walking in fellowship with the Holy Spirit. Choices are made with clean hearts and willing hands. This is a level of life that is promised to us but few seem to achieve, mainly because they have been told it is impossible.
Holiness means no rules. What am I talking about? Paul makes the following statement twice in I Corinthians,
(1 Corinthians 10:23 KJV) All things are lawful for me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but all things edify not.This is what people talk about when they say we are under grace, not law. At the same time Jesus said this,
(Matthew 5:17 KJV) Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.We must put these two concepts together. It means walking under the influence of the Holy Spirit in spiritual maturity: Holiness.
We are very uncomfortable with that. It means we have to think and make decisions. We don’t like that. At school I am teaching research skills. One of the steps is taking notes on note cards. I tell the kids that they must have a card with their bibliography on it. Then I tell them they need at least 30 cards. I get two questions. First, “Does the bibliography card count as one of the 30?” Second, “Do I get more points if I do more than 30 cards?”
Legalism lurks in the hearts of even seventh graders.
Legalism requires stop signs, left turn arrows, red curbs and so forth. Most churches have documents that detail all of this stuff. God’s directions to Moses started with 10 rules. When the gentiles were accepted by the Jerusalem counsel they limited their requirements to three expectations. Jesus, narrowed the essence down to two. Why is this so complicated?
Legalism says “Stop!” Holiness says “Yield.” Legalism is a matter of strict, uncompromising limitations. Holiness is a matter of living for others, giving up your own rights, allowing others to go first. One is rules based on a carnal heart. One is love given by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. It is a higher standard of living, thinking and cooperation.
My prayer is that more would seek this level of living and those who claim it would apply it.
homo unius libri