Grace Parenting

(Ephesians 6:4)  “And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.”

How does a father “provoke” his children to wrath? Obviously, it is the opposite of how he brings them up in the “nurture and admonition of the Lord.” Have you ever known someone who grew up in church with their parents but are now just angry against Christianity and church? Chances are they are also angry with their parents. If you ask them some deeper questions, you will find that many of them were raised in a legalistic environment. How do we know this? Grace produces love and law produces wrath.

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The Right Way To Fulfill The Law – Romans 8:4

(Romans 8:4)  “That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.”

We get the idea from the flesh that holiness is all about the external things.  Our church attendance, our giving, our prayers, our study, our witnessing, and all the other things that we know to be good must not be confused with the holy.  Those things we see, if they are truly motivated and empowered by the Holy Spirit, are the result of a holy life not the cause of a holy life.

The “righteousness of the law” is not fulfilled or performed by me.  The phrase “might be fulfilled” is in the Passive voice.  This means I am the recipient of the fulfillment, not the one actively doing it.  As I walk in my identity in Christ, which is “after the Spirit”, I find the holiness required by the law is actually performed in me by God Himself.  Just as my standing in righteousness is by Christ (Romans 5:1), my daily life of sanctification and separation is by Christ.  It is the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:2) I am now free to enjoy and allow reign in me.  The pressure is gone and I can allow the wave of God’s grace to wash over me in total relaxation in Him.

What does God get out of this?  Sure, I have the assurance of eternal life and the power of the resurrection life here and now.  But to what end does this all serve God to fulfill the righteousness of the law in me?

(Ephesians 1:4)  “According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love:”

God receives me as part of His creation that can now walk holy and without blame before Him in love.  I can cry with the saints surrounding His throne, “Holy, Holy, Holy!”  But now it is more than lip service.  “Holy, Holy, Holy” is a reality as I walk after the Spirit in a life that relies on His total fulfillment of all that I could never be.

Renewed Thought – True holiness is not about doing (or not doing), it is about being.

Sin Has No Right – Romans 8:3

(Romans 8:3)  “For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh:”

The Law could forbid me.  The Law could scold my conscience.  The Law could correct me.  But what could the Law not do?  It could not free me from the law of sin and death! In my Christian walk, every time I try to live according to the letter of the law, I face condemnation.  I am not able to escape failure under the law.  I see my own inadequacies.  But when I come back to the source, the center of my identity, I realize once again that in Christ Jesus there is no condemnation.  My sinful flesh is weak and powerless to fulfill the law.  My sinful flesh is unable to meet the righteous requirements of God.

God’s plan is not for me to receive constant condemnation.  God’s plan is not for me to bear a continual burden in my soul as a reminder of my past.  God’s plan was to turn the tables on sin and the flesh.  Instead of condemning my spirit, “sin in the flesh” received the condemnation.

When the Lord Jesus died on the cross, sin in my flesh was condemned.  When I placed my faith in Him, God rewrote my history so that Christ became my Adam.  My past link to the first Adam was removed and my life is now eternally linked to the second Adam, Who is Christ.

(1 Corinthians 15:45)  “And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit.”

Because sin stands condemned, it has no right to operate in me.  Sin is a convict without a home.  When I choose to sin, I am choosing to allow something without spiritual rights and privileges to have power over me.  Therefore, sin operates illegally when it has free reign to work through me.

Renewed Thought – Thank you Lord that my history is defined by Christ alone.  Sin has no legal right over me today.  I choose to be a servant of You and I choose to be defined by You in all that I am.