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. :)
*(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."