We Are Called to Strive

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All too often people mistake the death and resurrection of Christ to be an excuse for complacency–remaining satisfied where they are because Christ paid the price.

Called to Strive

This teaching is 100% false and the Bible tells us this over and over again.  It is because Christ died that we should be compelled to action. Grace equips us for good works, it doesn’t exempt us from them. 

We Are Servants of Christ

There seems to always be a debate going on (whether with ourselves or with others) about grace versus works. There is no “grace versus works”. They are mutually exclusive. In other words, if you remove one, faith is incomplete. In fact, not only is it incomplete, it’s dead (James 2:26).

Your works confirm your faith. Your faith confirms your works. When we are serious about our gift of salvation and the sacrifice it requires, we see that our lives were meant to be dedicated in service to Christ. (Romans 7:25, 1 Corinthians 7:22).

We are not free from the Law, rather Christ fulfilled what we could not. We are still called to follow it. He didn’t abolish it. (Matthew 5:17)

Either we are slaves to sin or slaves to Christ. Being a slave to Christ means we are free from being a slave to sin. It does not mean we are free to do as we please. (Romans 6:1, Romans 6:15)

We Are Called to Strive

Christians constantly reject Christianity as having “rules” and call it legalism. This is simply not true. The Bible is full of guidelines (aka rules) to follow in order to live a righteous life and confirm your salvation or faith in the work of the cross.

We don’t strive to earn God’s love. We already have it. We strive to work out our salvation. Is grace a free gift? Not necessarily. It’s freely given, but it will cost you your life.

In our Philippians study, Paul confirms that he is not perfected and needs to press on. (Philippians 3:12)

I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Philippians 3:14

“Upward” in this verse refers to a higher position. God has called us to be more than we are. And He cannot work in us if we stand still.

Legalism Versus Works

So what’s the difference between legalism and works?

It’s really quite simple. Legalism is man making up rules and teaching them as righteous living.

For example, the kind of food we eat. We are free to eat what we want. There is no law against such living. (Colossians 2:20-23). There are consequences to the kind of food we eat, but it is not considered an eternal matter, therefore to teach others it is a sin to eat poorly is legalism.

God calls us to focus on eternal matters or things above. (Colossians 3:2)

The only way to know how He wants us to live is to pray and read His word. The only way to walk out our faith is to take the steps to live how He has called us to live.

Jesus plainly said, “If you love me, you’ll obey my commandments.” (John 14:15)

We need to show the Lord we love Him. Furthermore, we need to show our children we love Him.

Join us in the Philippians study! You can see the schedule here. I am using Elizabeth George’s Philippians study, “Experiencing God’s Peace“. Or join in with your own Bible study. Click below to find out how it works. 

Moms in the Word Tuesdays on Joyful Mothering

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Comments

  1. Wonderfully said. If we claim to have Grace we will be gracious. If we claim to be loved by Him we will love. If He is the vine we are the branches and will bear fruit in Christ’s name.

  2. GREAT post, Christina! So well-written and sound. I really appreciated what you said that grace verses works are mutually exclusive, that faith is incomplete without one of them. A really good reminder!

  3. This is so fantastic! Made the whole subject of grace so simple yet firm. Really loved how you explained about working out salvation. We can get so confused with grace and works, but you brought this with clear revelation and true conviction. Thank you!

    • Christin says:

      Thanks so much Jenny. I think it’s easy for simple truth to get lost on lofty explanations. Thanks for stopping in!

  4. Hi. I’m a little confused by a couple of things you said. You said, “We are not free from the Law, rather Christ fulfilled what we could not. We are still called to follow it.”
    Are you talking about the Mosaic Law (613 in the OT), or the 10 Commandments?
    I posted something the other day on facebook about people putting themselves under the OT laws and it created quite a bit of a debate and has left me rather confused because I haven’t really learnt about all that yet.
    Thanks. :)

  5. what gets me is if us Christians actually did what the Bible said then we wouldn’t be in the shape we are with our country and all. We let non Christians dictate what was right and we didn’t stand up. We let them take prayer out of schools, Bibles are no longer read in school (at least not public where I live) We have no godly man running our country. I keep praying for a revival. That we as a Christian group will do what is right by God’s standards. Sorry for my soap box.

  6. I appreciate the theme for your link up! Thanks for hosting!

  7. This is a wonderful post. I liked that you said that we don’t strive to earn God’s love but that we already have it. Thank you for sharing.

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