“How Not To Live The Christian Life” For 800, Alex
You’re on the TV show, Jeopardy. The answer is: “This common method is about setting your mind on those things you need to do in order to gain God’s blessing.”
What is the question? Before you buzz in with a Jeopardy-style question, let’s think about the possibilities? Sounds like a fairly admirable process doesn’t it? Shouldn’t we want to do whatever necessary to gain God’s blessings? Is that not how to live the Christian life? Maybe the question is, “What is obedience?” or “What is discipleship?” or “What is commitment?”
Huh?! That’s right. The attempt to try to focus on doing something to gain God’s blessing is what the New Testament calls walking according to the flesh. That method was proven hopeless in the Old Testament. No matter how sincere or committed one might be, we cannot keep enough rules and do enough things to gain God’s blessings.
My quiz comes from a quote by Dudley Hall in a YouTube message entitled, “No Longer a Slave to Sin.” The quote goes like this: “The flesh is setting your mind on those things you need to do in order to live up to or to gain God’s blessing.” He goes on to point out that the fruit of the flesh or the works of the flesh are adultery, lust, greed, jealousy…, but the flesh itself as described in Romans is the method of setting your mind on human effort to live in a way that deserves blessing.
How NOT to Live the Christian Life
When we set our mind on doing good stuff to get God’s blessing, we are using the METHOD of the flesh. Given enough time, that method will produce some nasty fruit. You cannot feed that animal without it eventually revealing itself. That is why many people who are genuinely trying hard to do God’s will, often end up being overtaken by one or more works of the flesh.
A Better Way
The alternative is to walk by the Spirit. Walking by the Spirit means we do NOT try to do anything to gain God’s favor. Living by the Spirit means focusing daily on Christ: What He has done and who He is in us. Through his death and resurrection, we are in Christ and His Spirit lives in us! Living by the Spirit means we rest in God’s grace and know that we are not and never will be condemned by Him. We know we are loved. We consciously trust in Christ daily to be who He is in us.