19 Jun 2010

A relationship with Jesus and the curse of the law

Submitted by theshovel
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I know that ontologically I'm no longer under the curse of the law. However, I still feel burdened psychologically. I don't know how to have a relationship with Jesus. Can you help? Bryan

You and I will continually feel the pressure and intimidation of that curse in the world around us for as long as we are here. Our bodies may feel the ever present damage from wear and tear, but we have been given a new mind, that is, the mind of Christ. His mind is the only true sound mind, but soundness of mind in an irrational world constantly demands that we are the insane ones. I suspect you keep making assumptions that you don't know how to have a relationship with Jesus because you have been comparing what you think you don't have with what you think you ought to have, and then what you think you ought to have is based upon a religious world that tells you what a relationship with Jesus/God ought to look like. Just remember that the relationship Jesus had with his father while on earth appeared to the religious mind as something other than godly.

But to what shall I compare to this generation? It is like little children sitting in the markets and calling to their playmates, saying, We played the flute to you, and you did not dance! We mourned to you, but you did not wail! For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, He has a demon. The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, Behold a man who is a glutton and a winebibber, a friend of tax-collectors and sinners. But wisdom was justified by her children. Matthew 11:16-19 MKJV* (see note)

It doesn't make any difference if one observes a strict code or else lives freely, as fleshly religious judgment always finds some way to discount and denounce those who actually come from or speak from God. If you listen to the mind of comparison, no matter how reasonable it sounds, you will always come up short. And this is true whether you plunge headlong into whatever form of wisdom wins you over or if you merely question it. As long as you live in comparison to another you will discover one failure or shortcoming after another. Forget trying to develop a relationship with Jesus and simply live in the knowledge that you are now related to God through him.

And as for you, the anointing which you received from Him abides in you, and you have no need for anyone to teach you; but as His anointing teaches you about all things, and is true and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, you abide in Him. 1 John 2:27 NAS77

The anointing you have received is easily overlooked in the fluffy display of this world's knowledge, but the very presence of God now lives in you. It teaches you about all things. What it has taught you is that you abide/live in Him. Don't let the illusion of this world's perception convince you otherwise. :)

For most of my life my twin brother and I have been the "black-sheep" of the family. Needless to say, we are both poor and never performed very well. Especially with respect to the other 4 children (there's six of us). I was thinking that due to my shortcomings I really can't talk to my Dad anymore, since he always reminds me that I'm under the curse of the law. I've been thinking of cutting off contact with him altogether. He always makes me feel so unworthy. Even if we have a pleasant conversation, he never fails to remind me of how poor I am, or how out of shape I am, etc., etc. I know he loves me but I've never felt any acceptance. Your input would be greatly appreciated. Bryan

Perhaps for a while you do need to cut off communication, however, realize that you cannot run away from that reminder, as it will follow you around if not confronted. I don't mean that you have to have some kind of showdown with your dad, but that you need to recognize and come to terms with the wisdom that motivates him to do and say what he does. Otherwise, you may only establish a series of buttons that others will keep pushing because they see how easily it controls you. Stand in confidence in your full acceptance in Christ, especially as random thoughts stimulated from past experience throw themselves in your face. Let your father's sense of dissatisfaction in you reveal not merely one man's view, but the very expression of this world's wisdom. Your father is simply caught in its vice, and he speaks from fear and shame. I imagine he thinks he can motivate you for your own betterment, and cannot see how he has only caused just the opposite. And yet God is not hindered by this, for he uses all things for your good. Through it all, he has been revealing your true self in him. :)

Jim

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*(Regarding Matthew 11:19)
I chose the MKJV because I suspect the wording of verse 19 more accurately portrays the meaning behind Jesus' words: "But wisdom was justified by her children," rather than the more-often used, "Yet wisdom is vindicated by her deeds." This is not merely a translational choice, but rather an actual difference in the Greek manuscripts used: ergon=works/deeds, teknon=children. I'll admit that for years I thought the KJV translation seemed totally out of place, and yet I have come to see how it makes the whole point. For the "wisdom" in question has to do with the basis of judgment in "this generation" as so appropriately described by Jesus. For he not only displayed the generation of Israel as fickle little children who play games, Jesus most likely connected that wisdom as having been passed down from the former generations. Consider the below passage from Matthew 23:

Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! because ye build the tombs of the prophets, and garnish the sepulchers of the righteous, And say, If we had been in the days of our fathers, we would not have been partakers with them in the blood of the prophets. Wherefore ye be witnesses unto yourselves, that ye are the children of them which killed the prophets. Fill ye up then the measure of your fathers. Matthew 23:29-32 KJV

We would never have done what our forefathers did, and to prove it we now honor those our ancestors rejected, despised, or murdered! Doesn't the reasoning behind such a claim sound familiar? And yet each generation ends up doing the same kind of something else, which sets the stage for future generations to continue the self-righteous, self-flattering tradition. Even in the midst of denouncing the deeds of past generations, that former wisdom is justified, vindicated, and validated by its children. It doesn't just go away, nor can it be educated out, for it merely finds a new form that appears radically different from the former. One must be delivered (aka, saved) from the wisdom of his heritage in this world. Only a new mind can bring salvation from the former ways of life we experienced in this world.

Take a look at another translation (the International Standard Version):

The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, 'Look, a glutton and a drunk, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!' Absolved from every act of sin, is wisdom by her kith and kin. Matthew 11:19 ISV

Instead of just translating teknon as children, by phrasing the last sentence as a rhyme, this version seems to suggest that Jesus may have been quoting a common expression of the day. Of course it wouldn't have been an English rhyme, but it may have sounded very familiar in their ears: "Absolved from every act of sin, is wisdom by her kith and kin."

Comments

I really enjoyed reading this Jim. I can remember that fleshly claim around me that said something like: “had I been there back then, I would have never crucified Jesus”. Or :”What were the Jews thinking?” When you boil it down it is all the exact same mind as you describe here happening in Mathew with the Pharisees. That sense of self riteousness and self justification. The appearance of goodness.

wow! i LOVE the following, and i warn ahead of time concerning the length of my responses that follow the following: “…we have been given a new mind, that is, the mind of Christ. His mind is the only true sound mind, but soundness of mind in an irrational world constantly demands that we are the insane ones. I suspect you keep making assumptions that you don’t know how to have a relationship with Jesus because you have been comparing what you think you don’t have with what you think you ought to have, and then what you think you ought to have is based upon a religious world that tells you what a relationship with Jesus/God ought to look like. Just remember that the relationship Jesus had with his father while on earth appeared to the religious mind as something other than godly.” like i said, i LOVE that! you don’t know what encouragement that is to my heart and mind! well, maybe you do, ‘cuz i know it is an encouragement to the same heart and mind in you!  :) the deceiving one can be so subtle with feeding our insecurities about our relation and relationship with God in Christ Jesus. he is profoundly creative and manipulative with more doubt and suspicion which breeds more insecurity, etc. yyyyIKEs and yOWWWWzers! a vicious, vicious cycle of an ever deeper spiral downward away from what we once felt and knew to be true. it is quite a challenge sometimes to remember and/or to remind one another of who we have been made in Christ and how He made us so, while sometimes just being in the very presence of those who generously ooooze from themselves that legal, stubborned insistence and influence from the wisdom of the world, that they need to do whatever it is they are convinced they need to do in order to please God and to likewise be persistent in convincing us as well with the ‘written words’ that we need to do likewise. basically, we are to follow them and be like them, (all the while convincing themselves and us/others that they are following god). they also most generously love to convince us and remind us that if we do not do as they do, we are merely a ‘shame’ to God, and blah blah blah ad-nauseum! blcht! it is all too often, while in their midst, to all too easily feel beneath these religious, well-meaning, yet very much misled and misleading people. it can all too often make us feel like we can say nothing because it is an open door for them to start picking through and pointing out our flaws, shortcomings, etc. and to use them against us. it can throw us for a loop! and then, praise God it can make us angry! it can make us angry that they use the wisdom of the world and the lies they have become all too familiar and comfortable with for themselves to either keep and/or to bring back any one of us in the Body who no longer have any need whatsoever for that kind of manipulation and out-n-out LIES! it can absolutely irk us! shouldn’t it? we may find ourselves becoming defensive about the gospel of christ, ourselves and our siblings being pulled at, jerked about, drawn away and influenced by all that crap of lies! the funny thing is (not so funny) that even those very siblings we may defend will often come back at us and let us know in no uncertain terms how they do not need ‘defending’ and how we need to ‘back off’,’cuz we are just being too judgmental, cruel, overbearing, not very ‘christian’, … fill in the blank. i suppose that can be true. i suppose they can take issue with perhaps the way we can get defensive sometimes. i suppose in their own confusion it just all makes them very uncomfortable and so they just want to shut it all up. it can sadden us as we watch ourselves and/or our christian siblings being led away so easily and influenced so heavily by the wisdom of the world, so easily manipulated with and by the fear, guilt and shame that the deceiving one finds such great pleasure in seducing us with. he really knows what he is doing, doesn’t he? no, we are not responsible for what siblings do or do not fall for and/or who or what they follow. we have no control over them or any of that, just as they have none over us. when we are irresistibly compelled to say something, then we do, and that is that. none of us need worry about our part in not being able to effect or change anyone else’s reactions or responses. we can and do however FEEL, for we have been given a heart of flesh that has replaced a heart of stone. there is no shame in that. FEEL, FEEL, FEEl! it is a GOOD thing!  :) there is nothing dishonorable in defending that which we know to be true of us in and because of christ. it should not surprise us to be found the villains in this backward world, even sadly by members of the very Body we have been joined together with by Him Who has miraculously joined us! thankfully, we know the very One Who causes us to stand, causes them to stand as well. they are temporarily deceived. we have been there enough times to recognize it ourselves … thus, we feel as deeply as we do. so here’s cheers to freedom, grace, love and truth in Him, cheers to Him concerning EACH and ALL who stand firm in Him, not going back to that which can only bind and strangle, rob and thieve. cheers to any and all who stand firm and share that stability of Christ with us and others, always reminding us where our true heart and mind is forever linked together! it appears more of a miracle to me all the time, for we are each and all vulnerable and we each and all need one another in the Body! the clarity shared of Who He Is and Who He has made us together in Him, seems more rare all the time. so i thank you james the shovel man, particularly! :) thank you for the challenge to remember Who really counts and to remember Who Is, Who has, and Who continues to BE the Difference concerning us together in Him! :)
theshovel's picture

Sharon, my dear, I thank you so much for taking the time to send out this encouraging post! Being alive in him truly works wonders within us ... even when we aren't recognizing it at the time. :)

Jim

Dignz! This was a wonderfully wise and heartfelt post. Thank you for putting it out there. Love, Adam

“Being alive in him truly works wonders within us … even when we aren’t recognizing it at the time. :)” quoting the shovel it so true isn’t it!  :) to know that is such encouragement, because what we see outwardly (as adam has been discussing a lot lately) isn’t always so encouraging, is it? when we look through the eyes of unrealistic expectations only to see dashed hopes concerning what and/or how we are and/or how we have been convinced things should appear, feel, etc. then there is inevitably disappointment and discouragement. this can then turn to desperation to do whatever we deem necessary to bring about that which we have been so convinced should ‘be’, ‘appear’ and/or feel. not that that is always a bad thing. not at all. i realize that in going through these things we are often brought to the realization of the futility of our efforts to try to bring about what we have been convinced that we do not already have in Christ. we can often ‘wake up’ in the very midst of our futile efforts to discover that He has been our all the whole while. He always was, is and ever shall be. when all is sifted out and revealed for what it is in the Light of our Truth in Him, it is ultimately always Him Who is revealed in us. it is in Him and from Him and because of Him and out of Him that our hearts truly praise and worship Him, and it is not always the way we have been convinced it should be. our fears that perhaps all is not as it should be with us and Him is the very thing that leads us to the inevitable cycle of coming back around full circle to the realization that things are ONLY right with us in Him, and that all else is … well … all else. we don’t have to fear the all else, because all is well with us in Him in the midst of, surrounded by, and despite the all else.  :) i know, i know. worldly wisdom will always conclude and judge such words to be too ethereal and ‘out there’. however, we know the very Spirit of God Himself witnesses and testifies of the very heart and mind of God within us and to us. it is miraculous, and … well … the world scoffs.

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Random Shovelquote: Realize the freedom (view all shovelquotes)

How can you realize the freedom you have in Christ? I say that you will discover it, more times than not, in the midst of the bondage that still seems to hold you down. You see, the power of the gospel is not found merely in the words of its testimony of Jesus’ death and resurrection, it is found in the reality that has been brought about because of who he is and what he has done. That reality is that Christ is in you. He is there, and his life witnesses from within you … despite all the doubts that you think actually come from within you. source