This verse JUMPED out at me yesterday as it tells us what God thinks of the wisdom of the person who teaches law or doing anything to obtain your own righteousness. Look at who he lumps them in with below in 1 Cor 1:20:
Where is the wise person? Where is the teacher of the law? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? 1 Corinthians 1:20 NIV
God lumps in the one who teaches law in with the same group as the person who thinks they are “wise”, the “philosopher of this age” and equates all of them to the “foolish wisdom of the world”.
Teaching people the “Law” is called “Legalism” and it is believing and teaching people to live under any set of rules or Commandments for righteousness or goodness. However, it is even more deeply seated and subtle than that. It’s can also be defined as:
- Doing anything to change ourselves
- Doing anything to change or our standing with God or try to “earn” favor
- Doing anything to get something from God
Do we really understand what this means? I don’t believe we really do because the majority of current Christianity teaches law and is really teaching the basis of Judaism or the OLD Covenant.
For man, this can all be summed up in ONE powerful truth: If you are under law and are not God, you MUST DIE! God is the ONLY one who doesn’t sin under law. Under law, anything that sins must be put to death.
Law always administers God’s wrath and it is hidden under very cute and innocent labels so unsuspecting man has NO CLUE he is drinking poison. Romans 4:15, 1 Corinthians 15:56 We often call it “emulating Jesus” or W.W.J.D – “What Would Jesus Do?”. It also rears its ugly head when we call the Bible “Life’s little Instruction Book”. Sorry, we are not to COPY or EMULATE Jesus or anyone. We are to “sit still” and allow Christ to live IN and THROUGH US! HE is doing it, not us. Only HE is life and we are NOT. We can’t create ONE ounce of life by ANYTHING we do. This seems tiny, but really it is HUGE. All of man’s “doing” is DEATH! It is the difference between experiencing LIFE Vs. DEATH daily. When we teach someone to “do” anything even copying Jesus, we are administering death. This is because it is us doing the work and not him in and through us. We can’t “copy” Jesus. Only he can be himself. When he does it, it is REST but when we do it, it is WORKS! God hates the works of man because they always put him under law and feed him the ministry of Death via condemnation. That is why he calls man’s works “filthy rags”.
Remember, it is always about LIFE and DEATH and only HE is life!
Legalism or coming under the law can appear very righteous. It can be as subtle as “read more of your Bible to get closer to God” or “volunteer to help the children’s area of the Church to improve your spiritual life” or even “preach a sermon“! Really doing anything out of selfish motivation” to get something for yourself or change yourself. We must believe that we already possess the things God says we do and ALREADY ARE the people who he SAYS WE ARE! This alone is FAITH and only faith pleases God. Hebrews 11:6 All else is LAW! When we come under law, we are deceived because we believe we DON’T already possess what we are looking for. So, we try to do something, ANYTHING to try to change (improve) your standing (righteousness) with God or “get” something from him. When we do this, we are under God’s wrath!
God has already given us EVERYTHING in Christ and it’s ours already. We already FULLY POSSESS it in the spiritual realm but we simply can’t see it in the natural body. It is hidden from our natural sight because he wants us to live by faith in this current age. Thus, God will NOT give us anything else. While in the natural body, we can only receive his promises by faith. Only faith pleases God! I know I am repeating myself, but we MUST understand that Faith is simply trusting God that we ALREADY have those promises even though we can not see them yet. If we can see them or do something to make them appear, they are not of faith.
Does this mean we do absolutely NOTHING?
NO! It means we live our lives as normal as possible following the Spirit from within in a place of rest. Anything that we don’t yet see, we simply wait on and thank him for all we do see. If we don’t yet see something we need, we simply ask for it and believe he has it already waiting for us in the hidden realm of the Spirit. We don’t try to make it happen – we simply move forward and hope we will actually see it soon. This is trusting God fully. If you think about it, we are IN Christ and he is complete and WHOLE with NO NEEDS. Our true self is there too. It is only the natural body that is incomplete and has needs. He will provide them for us as we trust him and walk forward in faith. We really need only leave the natural body to see ALL we have – EVERYTHING!
The lie/deception of legalism is very subtle as it is the voice of the serpent at work talking to your “Eve” or soul (man’s weaker nature) trying to get you to come back under God’s wrath. Genesis 3:1 That is his job and he is very good at it but he doesn’t have to work hard. This is because it is deeply rooted in belief that we are an “I” or individual and not part of God himself. John 15:5 As long as we continue to believe that, we will continue fall under law and God’s wrath. The belief that we are an “I”, instead of a branch that is part of a much bigger vine, is reinforced each time we are told to do something. Unfortunately, much of current Christianity still teaches law but that is starting to change. God will teach us how to trust him at his Word and simply walk or live in the Spirit. If we will allow him to remove ALL law-based thinking and actions from our mind and life, there will be NOTHING left but the Spirit of God. Then, the life of Christ WILL manifest and your REAL life will appear. Colossians 3:4, 2 Corinthians 5:14 It really is so simple, we miss it and I am no different. I often have to write and re-write these messages multiple times to remove the law and even then it is still there. Duane must disappear until Christ appears through Duane. Only the Spirit can do this and he will as we learn to hear and trust him.
Now the serpent was more subtle than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden? Genesis 3:1 KJV
Don’t fall for the subtle voice trying to put and keep you under law and God’s wrath. All the work is finished and we just trust and walk in it.
Have a great day.