replacing rules with reliance

The Word for today:
Romans 15:1-13

Are you a strong Christian or a weak Christian?

When we think of a strong Christian, we often have in mind a person who doesn’t smoke cigars, never has a glass of wine, and would never miss church to see a football game.

But — this may startle you — the Bible calls that Christian “weak” because he is bound by legalism.

A “strong” Christian, according to Romans chapters 14-15, is a person who isn’t so fussily focused on “rules.” He is able to enjoy the liberty from “law” that Jesus purchased at the cross.

So does that mean we should skip church, tap the keg, and tailgate our brains out in order to proclaim our Christian liberty? It certainly does not!

***

I know a man who was hung over every day for an entire decade.

When he came to faith in Christ, he vowed never to get drunk again because he thought that would make him more acceptable to God.
Which made him, according to the Apostle Paul, a weak Christian–who was acting on this principle:
If I get my act together, God will love me.

He was basing his relationship with God on his own right-ness. His faith was too weak to rely totally on what Jesus had already accomplished for him.

That same man, over time, grew to be a “strong” Christian, by replacing rules with reliance; by replacing legalism with liberty.

He’s sober still–but without that ceaseless sense of struggle–as he lives according to this principle:
Because God loves me, I got my act together.

That man, of course, is me. My weak faith became strong faith when I replaced ‘if’ with ‘because’.  If I can do it, anybody can.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

About Stand in the Rain Blogger

Trying to be who God made me, I am wary of my influences. I avoid the culture that surrounds me, for the most part. I soaked up that crap for 40 years. I am trying to replace the word of the world with the unvarnished Word of God.** I like people, but I like solitude just as much. Go figure.** I adore Jesus Christ. I am flipped-out, flamingly and fervently in love with Him. I count it a privilege to draw breath in His universe. All my springs are in Him.** I am crazy about my wife, Shelley. She outshines the sun. I can't help it if I'm lucky.** My heroes are my kids--Caitlin, Gwenlyn, Frankie, & Eddy. I aspire to be like them when I grow up.
This entry was posted in Stand in the Rain Blog. Bookmark the permalink.