If I have freedom in Christ, why do I need to follow the law?
This is a question many Christians today ask themselves and the leaders in their church. The question seems to imply the belief that Christ’s sacrifice on the cross supersedes God’s moral law being activated in our lives.
“All things are lawful for me, but not all things are helpful; all things are lawful for me, but not all things edify. Let no one seek his own, but each one the other’s well-being.”—1 Corinthians 10:23-24
As a result of this flawed thinking that grace overrides God’s moral standards, Believers—that is the Church—become divided about their beliefs and are then attacked from every angle.
Hear this: Christ fulfilled the sacrificial law—we do not have to make ourselves worthy of being in God’s presence. When we accept His work on the cross, we are credited His righteousness and are saved. However, God calls us to still follow His moral law. That will not come to fullness until Christ returns and we reside with Him in a new heaven and a new earth.
What is Dividing the Church?
Simply put, confusion is what causes division.
When we embrace grace and forget about the law, the consequences of sin can quickly be forgotten. This is the manifestation of the ‘out-of-sight-out-of-mind’ thought process that swirls around in the hearts and minds of Believers, as well as church congregations that are not grounded in biblical truth.
Then the enemy begins to invade our relationships. When we are not grounded in the roots of our faith, we easily step out of God’s protection and give the devil a foothold.
- “‘Be angry, and do not sin’: do not let the sun go down on your wrath, nor give place to the devil.”—Ephesians 4:26-27
The devil cannot separate the sheep from the Shepherd, but we can lose focus on our purpose and stop “working out our salvation with fear and trembling” (see Philippians 2:12).
This is why we, at Curt Landry Ministries, talk and teach extensively on alignment with the Jewish roots of our faith and Israel. It is what keeps us grounded in God’s instruction. It is the balance of understanding His grace and loving His law.
What Happens When We Abandon the Message of Grace?
Grace is essential to understand when it comes to our salvation. Without the grace of God, we can do nothing.
The Bible is clear that we cannot earn our salvation.
“For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.”—Ephesians 2:8-9
Without grace, Yeshua’s death on the cross is worth nothing.
Without grace, the blood He shed would not have fully paid the price for sin.
When we abandon the message of grace, we begin to carry a heavy burden and the devil chains us with the lie of condemnation.
“There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death. For what the law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh, God did by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, on account of sin: He condemned sin in the flesh, that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.”—Romans 8:1-4
A Lesson from Pharisees…
Jesus addresses the toxic leaven of the Pharisees (see Luke 12:1). A religious spirit wages war against the grace and power of God in our lives.
A religious spirit can manifest in different ways. It often uses a person’s history and circumstances to afflict the individual with internal whispers of judgment and pressure to perform. These infectious lies plant seeds of false righteousness and holiness.
These seeds bear bitter fruit. Eventually, the person who is operating in the religious spirit harbors resentment. This leads to a multitude of destructive thoughts and behaviors.
As it relates to the Church, the religious spirit is all about appearance and following rules without a repentant heart of flesh. This causes strife within the Body of Christ.
What Happens When We Abandon the Law of God?
When we embrace grace without fearing the consequences of sin, we come out of agreement with God’s Word. Because of our Adamic nature, we are inclined to sin.
The Bible is clear that…
“Your word [law] I have hidden in my heart that I might not sin against You.”—Psalm 119:11
God’s Word keeps us from sinning!
As 1 Corinthians 10:23 explains, simply because we can do something does not mean it is good for us. This is where the law comes in. It brings us the blessing of protection—just as parents set rules for their child’s safety, God gives us instruction so we can walk in the protection and fullness of our salvation.
Without the law, we risk our blessings being stolen.
Without the law, we open our lives to justifying sin instead of being justified by the blood of Yeshua.
Some in the Church today have sadly chosen to abandon the biblical instruction and principles of the law that were established as the foundation of our faith. They have decided to take it upon themselves to choose right from wrong.
But isn’t this exactly how Satan tempted Adam and Eve in the garden? He wanted humanity to think their definition of truth was The Truth. As a result, it created a chasm in the spiritual world that manifests as sickness and death in the physical world.
We traded God’s truth for ours. We “tolerated” a counterfeit opinion, and it led to death.
And when the Church blindly walks into these traps set up by the enemy again and again—adapting to the culture instead of standing firm in the faith—we wind up going down the same path that Adam and Eve did. A path that leads to destruction and brokenness.
A Lesson from the Corinthians…
The church in Corinth was eager to receive the message of grace, but quickly abandoned various aspects of the law. Their irreverence invited God’s corrective discipline. They did not embrace the spirit of self-control that was given to them by the Holy Spirit.
As a result, their reckless behavior made them “…guilty of the body and blood of the Lord. …eats and drinks judgment to himself… For this reason many are weak and sick among you, and many sleep.”—1 Corinthians 11:27, 29, 30
Essentially, they had been cut off from the spiritual blessings that the roots of their faith had provided. Paul explained that the Lord disciplined them so that they would not be condemned.
Therefore, we should welcome the corrective instruction of God’s hand, seek to understand His ways, and get in touch with the spiritual roots of our faith.
Where Do We Find Alignment?
We find it by understanding the Jewish roots of our faith.
When we fully surrender to Jesus as our Lord and Savior, we want to continue to grow in our faith and fulfill our purpose. Understanding the spiritual roots of our faith provides the growth and transforming faith that we long for.
Think of it this way… If you were to become part of a new family, wouldn’t you want to know more about them? To do that, you would study and seek to understand everything about them.
This concept resonates with people today. So much so that many are seeking to understand their family history to better understand themselves.
This is the same concept of understanding the Jewish roots of the Christian faith—to better understand the purpose God has for you!
Instinctually, we know that when we dig into our past with a heart to understand and grow, we uncover treasured truths that unveil a multitude of blessings.
This is what happens when we find our Jewish roots and embrace them. We see God’s character, His design for the Church and Israel, and the purpose for our lives become clearer. The intimacy with our Abba Father grows to a point that we feel Him walking beside us, and we can then walk in the fullness of our salvation.
Doubt fades and confidence in the covenant relationship takes its place.
The transforming power of this discovery is…
Walking without grace opens us to a religious spirit that wages war against the power of God in our lives. We end up feeling condemned and acting self-righteous.
Walking without the law invites the corrective discipline of the Lord and cuts off the protection and blessings of His instruction.
Balance and alignment come by understanding the Jewish roots to the faith—embracing the gift of grace and seeking to walk in the Lord’s instruction due to the knowledge and power of the covenant relationship.
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