First God gave the Ten Commandments followed by the Law. Some people, at least in their own estimation, kept them. They didn’t understand that we need a life, not a list. Jesus intentionally set a standard that we could never achieve. Jesus said, “Unless your righteousness surpasses that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will certainly not enter the Kingdom of Heaven.” (Matt 5:20)
It was not a challenge to try harder, but a challenge to give up. Jesus wanted us to see that a righteousness that would please God is unattainable by man. Jesus came along and raised the bar so high that all would give up trying to jump over it and turn to Him!
However, many Christians missed this truth and think that it is their job to keep raising the bar for all of us. If that were true, I’d quit! I know myself, and in my flesh dwells no good thing. The standard that Jesus kept is higher because He was the one keeping it, and the only hope I have is that He keeps it through me. Jesus said, “I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man abides in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” (John 15:5)
Well, there it is! Abide in Him, and all that He is and has is yours, just as the branch receives the full life of the vine. Don’t abide, and you will immediately be in the flesh. It doesn’t matter if your flesh is educated, rich, respected, admired, or refined. It is still flesh. The world has so many classes by which it appraises man. But among Christians we have only one class struggle…to abide or not (to be spiritual or carnal). That is our struggle. To make sub-classes out of the carnal or the spiritual is ignorance rooted in ego, pride, and glory. Remember EGO is Edging God Out.
When we are abiding, there is no one better than us. At that moment we are an earthly vessel with a perfect life, His life, flowing in and through us. It doesn’t get any better than that. “God made Him who had no sin, to be sin for us, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God.” (II Cor 5:21)
LIFE LESSON: STAY CONNECTED TO THE VINE. What is impossible with man is possible with God.
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