Were you lied to as newborn Christian? I was…let me explain.
You are a Christian, right? So, Can you live the Christ life? Well I guess I want to get a little more involved than that. I want to ask you if you can live the Christ life by your own effort!
If you’re like me, you were probably brought up in a Church where the pastor told you every Sunday how you were supposed to act. He probably told you that you needed to do such and such in order to be a “good Christian”.
And what if that stuff was hard to do? If you had a problem with a certain sin, what was the advice that you received. How was it recommended that you go about the subject of “living the Christian life”? If your early Christian education was like mine you were lied to!
The way to success I was told was through willpower. Grittin’ the teeth and whatnot and just to “buckle down and do something for God”. No matter how uncomfortable it may of seemed.
And uncomfortable it was! Are you still with me? I’m sure I’m not the only one that found the burdens of Christianity hard to live with. What could be heavier than the burden of a God that was displeased with your level of performance? Nothing comes to mind for me. Why then does the Bible say this in Matthew 11:29-31:
“Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.?
And I’d bet dollars to donuts that I’m not the only one that found myself failing more than I was succeeding-am I right?
Sure you might get nice and fired up about being a good Christian once or twice but then you’d fail and the “failure, condemnation, rededication Cycle” would set in (to quote a phrase coined by Dr. Steve McVey). After the failure, I’d feel condemned that I had failed God. After that period of self pity and general feeling of patheticness (Is that even a word?), I’d rededicate my efforts to do better for God the next time.
Sound familiar? Would you like to get off that religious roller coaster ride and find the rest spoken of by Jesus? Are you ready for the Truth? Good, let me tell you what it’s all about!
The Truth is that you, by your own efforts, can not live the Christian life!
Consider this verse:
“This is the only thing I want to find out from you: did you receive the Spirit by the works of the Law, or by hearing with faith? Are you so foolish? Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh?” Galatians 3:2-3
Didn’t you come to salvation and the Christian life by faith in Christ to bring you that salvation? So why would you try to live that Christian life by your own effort instead of by faith in the one that will live it through you?
This is the key that will set you free. You can not live the Christian life, only Christ can! It makes sense doesn’t it. He did it over 2,000 years ago and he is capable of doing it through you today! Consider Hebrews 4:15:
“For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin.”
Jesus has lived the “Christ Life” and he will do it through you if you let him!