Many religious people live their lives by the Scriptures. So why is the fruit of their lives sometimes legalism and guilt rather than life? They feel like they continually fall short of God's standards for their lives.
Jesus said to the religious people of his day, "You search the Scriptures because you think they give you eternal life. But the Scriptures point to me! Yet you refuse to come to me to receive this life. (John 5:39-40)" Jesus is the source of life, not the Bible. But the Bible points us continually to Jesus. We find him there.
Is our relationship with the Bible or with Jesus?
Does the written word bring life or death? Several people have commented on the last couple of posts that they found freedom from legalism and guilt-based religion through their study of the Scriptures. If we truly believe what the Scriptures say we can take the leap to the freedom of living by the Spirit.
The Bible is very plain. The Old Covenant has ended.
Until John the Baptist, the law of Moses and the messages of the prophets were your guides. But now the Good News of the Kingdom of God is preached, and everyone is eager to get in (Luke 16:16)."
The old covenant is obsolete (Heb 8:13). Until Jesus came, people's only hope of salvation was through keeping the letter of the law. Now we are under a new covenant. With our sins forgiven through Christ's death on the cross, we have a relationship with God and are not led any longer by written laws but by the Spirit.
He has enabled us to be ministers of his new covenant. This is a covenant not of written laws, but of the Spirit. The old written covenant ends in death; but under the new covenant, the Spirit gives life." (2 cor 3:6)
Under this New Covenant, the law is written on our hearts.(Heb 8:8-12) Now it's natural for us to live a life pleasing to God.
In the context of the New Covenant, 2 cor 3:17 says this:
For the Lord is the Spirit, and wherever the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.
And Romans 7:6:
But now we have been released from the law, for we died to it and are no longer captive to its power. Now we can serve God, not in the old way of obeying the letter of the law, but in the new way of living in the Spirit.
So we have a choice: we can live by the law or we can live by the Spirit. I've made my choice. How about you?
How did you come to make that choice?