What part does performance play in our Christian walk?
When you place your faith in Christ Jesus as your Lord and Savior, in that instant you become totally accepted by God, an “heir of God and co-heir with Christ”. (Romans 8:17)
Your performance had nothing to do with gaining God’s acceptance; however, your performance is extremely important in gaining God’s approval. II Timothy 2:15 tells us to “present yourself to God as one approved”.
The sole criterion for whether or not you gain God’s approval is based upon the method you use to perform, not on whether or not it was better than someone else’s performance. Did you allow Christ to do it through you by faith? This is the critical factor.
There are only two methods for Christian living, living by the flesh or living by the spirit. Example: you can perform a simple task like making a meal, pouring a drink or driving your car with an attitude “I can do this on my own, I don’t need Christ as life to do these things for me”.
Although simple things, they are works of the flesh and Scripture tells us to put no confidence in this flesh. (Phil 3:3) However, on the other hand, you can say “Lord, I’m going to do these things, believing by faith that you are doing them through me.” Scripture tells us to live by the Spirit and we will not carry out the desires of the flesh. (Gal 5:16).
In John 15:5 Jesus said: “I am the vine and you are the branches and apart from me, you can do nothing.” In Acts 17:25, 28 it reads, “He is our very life and breathe and everything else….For in Him we live and move and have our being.”
In I Corinthians 15:10b Paul writes “No, I work harder than all of them-yet not I, but the grace of God that was with me.” Paul says here “I work harder than all of them.” That’s performance. Then he said “yet not I”, that’s method and that equals God’s approval.
In Galatians 2:20 Paul further clarifies when he writes, “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me and the life I live in this body, I live by faith…” That’s the mystery of our faith, “Christ in us the hope of glory.” (Col 1:27)
LIFE LESSON: I Corinthians 10:31 says “So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.” Only a work of God is going to pass at the judgment seat of Christ. God will look at every action and word and determine whether it was an independent performance or a dependent performance. Independent fails while dependence upon Christ passes. (I Cor 3:10-15)
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Growing in His Grace