My aim is to allow the word of God to speak for itself without the constant interruptions (or is it infiltrations?) of human traditions, even traditional Christianity. Grace stands for one thing: completed in Christ. Works or Law after Christ has come also stands for one thing: incomplete in spite of Christ. By grace, we mean, all that needs to be done has been done by Christ, having satisfied God by meeting all the requirements of the righteous law of God. It is from this foundation we must build our entire faith. (NOTE: The word “faith” shows that the work is not yours but God’s and by faith or trust, you cooperate with God to make His work a reality in your life).
“the Messiah is the culmination of the Law…” ISV
“For Christ is the fulfillment of the law for righteousness…” WEB
“For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth.” KJV
By works or law, we mean, either a deliberate despising and ‘bypassing’ of what Christ has done or ignorance of the whole counsel of God in this matter, as to insist that there is yet a thing or two to do before we can be totally free from sin or any effect of sin. This is what shows the essential flaw in any teaching that hints that even though you are born again, you need to do this and that before you can be free from something you are struggling with. It sounds plausible especially because the sufferer’s experience seems to pose a challenge to the clear teachings of Scriptures.
So, when you have a people who are choosing to validate and over-validate their experiences over and above the Word of God and a group of men and women, who themselves are willing to take advantage of the common weakness/ignorance of such people, then it seems that God has got something wrong in His Word, of which these false teachers are vigorously trying to “correct” by reverting to the ministry of condemnation (2 Corinthians 3).
Keep this in mind, will you? Never allow your experience or anyone’s experience to sway you from the clear thoughts of Scriptures. Let God be true and all men liars (Romans 3:4). And truly we do come to such experiences in our lives when something seems to be discrediting God and challenging what we have believed. That is the time of your testing. As long as you will insist on what God has said, you will eventually see that “high thing” falling down before God’s word (2 Corinthians 10:5).
As far as I am concerned, no matter how real anything is in my life that is against the will of God, I dismiss it in the face of God’s settled testimony. It is therefore false and God is true.
When Jesus was transfigured before Peter, James and John, God did something that must permanently deliver us from the error of ignoring Christ to revert to any other prophet in scriptures, as a way of understanding the mind of God. Peter suggested that three tabernacles be built for the three men, Christ, the Son of God, Moses, representing the law and Elijah, representing the prophet. God instantly interrupted Peter from heaven and said “…THIS is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye HIM.” (Matthew 17:5) and “And when they had lifted up their eyes, they saw no man, save Jesus only.” (Matthew 17:8)
So, we see that neither the threatening of Moses by the law nor the fierceness of Elijah can help us. What will help us is this: to see that what will produce that heavenly life in us is not beating people with endless rules or using “anointing” to scare people to obey God (which is even witchcraft); it is Jesus only. It is allowing men to see Him alone, without threatening them or creating rules for them, so that their obedience to God will be inward and genuine, not outward and hypocritical.
There is no teaching that insists that in order for you to be fully delivered from the effects of sin (generally life’s troubles, generational problems and all forms of demonic interference etc) you must do something more that does not draw heavily on someone else in the Scriptures at the expense of Christ. Let us call all such teachings by sincere brothers and false teachers as hyper-works.
Whether deliberate or not, whenever we allow the toughness of the human condition to draw us out of the Rock of our salvation to another ground, being another man (which is a sinking sand even though they are in the bible), we have downgraded (fallen) from grace and have quietly, if not knowingly, accepted the ministry of condemnation. And it will only sink both the preacher and those who follow them, even if they do experience some measure of divine intervention.
Divine intervention is not a proof of divine approval
Many people are unable to separate their sentiments for men and women they love from the issues requiring them to raise a red flag in their minds against a trend of ministry and teaching that has detracted from Christ. The popularity of such works and the plausibility of such men seems to weaken their capacity to discern the truth about them. Let it be a rule in your mind that popularity, acceptance, display of power leading to results are not necessarily evidences of God’s approval.
Each time you have to add to what Christ has done, you have undermined the freedom of the grace of God to accomplish all that God has purposed for an individual. Of which they can only walk in, as they remain steady on that Rock, Christ, and become more intimate with Him in their personal study of God’s word and prayer. The things preachers add to Christ have a natural tendency to gradually take people’s affection away from Christ unto their new favourite teacher or prophet.
Espoused to one husband, not two: Christ and Christ alone
Our brother Paul was so concerned about this that he said,
“I am anxious for you with the deep concern of God himself—anxious that your love should be for Christ alone, just as a pure maiden saves her love for one man only, for the one who will be her husband. But I am frightened, fearing that in some way you will be led away from your pure and simple devotion to our Lord, just as Eve was deceived by Satan in the Garden of Eden. You seem so gullible: you believe whatever anyone tells you even if he is preaching about another Jesus than the one we preach, or a different spirit than the Holy Spirit you received, or shows you a different way to be saved. You swallow it all.”
2 Corinthians 11:2-4 The Living Bible
While some are sincerely unaware that this is what they are doing, it does not reduce the damage that is done to the virgin (a believer or the body of believers) that has been espoused to One husband, Christ. The glory of Christ is eclipsed (obscured, covered) by all these human additions and traditions. Even though God has found fault with the old covenant and has now instituted the new one in Christ, they are unable to look steadfastly to the end of that which is abolished because Moses keeps veiling his face (2 Corinthians 3:13-14).
Even if men who are preaching to you have decided to die in the old covenant and its physical observances of works, can you not leave them to their fate and turn to the LORD so that the veil will be removed from your life (2 Corinthians 3:16)? When you do, you would have entered fully into your rest, rest from all the burdens that men have tied on your head before now, and allow God’s own works (which is His grace) to transform you from glory to glory (2 Corinthians 3:18, Hebrews 4:1-2,9-11).
Photo credit: National Presbyterian Church