"How did you break free from religious Christianity?" I asked Tony early one morning last week.
"There were two things," he said. "George Tarleton was the first. The second was the role of the Holy Spirit in my life."
It's interesting how often in the New Testament, living according to the law is contrasted with living by the Spirit.
For example, Romans 7:6 says:
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.
2 Corinthians 3:6
The old written covenant ends in death; but under the new covenant, the Spirit gives life.
But when you are directed by the Spirit, you are not under obligation to the law of Moses.
Can you imagine anything better than living at the time of Jesus, able to see him, speak with him, touch him?
Jesus told his disciples that it was better for them that he went away because if he did, he would send the Holy Spirit to them. (John 16:7) The Holy Spirit guides us into all truth; he brings glory to Jesus by telling us whatever he receives from Jesus. (John 16:13-15) This Holy Spirit dwells in every true believer. (John 14:17; Acts 2:38-39)
So why is it that so many believers still live a life of rules and regulations?
I think it's sometimes because we don't trust the role of the Holy Spirit in our lives. We've never learned to listen to those inner promptings of the Spirit within us and to act on them. If we dare to trust those inner whispers really are the Holy Spirit, and to respond to them, we will learn what it is to live life in the Spirit.
Under the new covenant, we can live a life of freedom from the law by following the Holy Spirit.
What does it look life for you to live in the Spirit, to be directed by the Spirit?
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7 replies on “Breaking free from guilt-based religion”
The one word that describes the sensation I experience is — Surprise!
God does things and reveals things that blow me away. Answered prayers, the working of circumstances for our good. People responding to Him when I thought there was no hope. Bringing people into our lives and the lives of our loved ones. Hope unlooked for. It blows my mind. I catch myself sometimes thinking that God does these things in my life and in those around me because i’m such a good guy. Then I remember that’s works-based, legalistic thinking again. I can’t explain why he does what he does, but it’s mind blowing.
I remembered why he does what he does. Cause he can — he does whatever he pleases — and he blesses us that all the ends of the Earth may fear him (Psalm 67:7)
Felicty and Tony, this is beginning to sound like good old fashioned charismatics in their “fellowship with God”… or even like I remember the 70’s pentacostals without the rules (yes there were some).
And then, because we always want to distill out how and why God has been good to us, and has spoken to us, we thought it might be something we did. Well, it was! We responded to Him when we heard Him. It wasn’t how good we were, it was that we learned to hear his voice.
On our skype call last Sunday, our MRT group talked about the progression of hearing Him and not rejecting what we heard from the earliest point in our lives, thru faith when we did truly believe, and on to the glory to glory into which He is changing us daily. He has been there, and has been speaking to us all. May we help others hear Him, and respond to Him!
I agree with Dan, the Father does and reveals things that blow me away! And I agree with Carolyn about hearing his voice.
Here’s a great example of ‘listen and obey’ in action – no rules needed – http://jesus.scilla.org.uk/2011/04/response-obedience-matters.html
For me it has been “Freeing”..Being free of religion & condemnation frees me to look at others and myself with acceptence which opens doors to “God Moments” in the path of each day..As Dan says “Surprise” The Lord puts people in our path that either minister to us or us to them. By hearing or listening with a caring heart instead of a judgemental opinion/religion..we/they are drawn to Jesus…I mean..I can be on a mission to just get some groceries and get home…and maybe something I have been pondering or needing answers to “Happens”..it could come from a “run into friend”… or someone you don’t even know…maybe even something the clerk says..
Hearing His voice, being open to His promptings brings amazing things into play…Do we always hit the mark?..I know I don’t..and He sometimes shows me what I missed by not heeding His voice..but He loves me anyways…and tomorrow is a new adventure!
Chris, this is a great link!
Dan, Carolyn, Sandy, these are great comments. I love your word, “surprise,” Dan. Like you, I’m often surprised and blessed when God speaks so clearly, but wonder how it can be a more normative experience? I’m reminded of Jesus saying that he does nothing except what he sees the Father doing and only speaks what he hears from the Father. That’s the strength of the MRTs that Carolyn mentions. (MRTs are part of the Lk10.com training and one of their daily practices is listening to what God is saying to them.)
It’s also interesting that two of you brought up the idea that it’s tempting to think there’s something we’ve done to deserve it. How true!