Have you gone insane? You act as if you're under a spell. Remember when you saw this life in Jesus as miraculous? Don't you remember that His death put an end to what you used to be? Tell me just one thing: this new life - the Spirit of Christ living in you - did it come from something you did? Or was it a miracle that came through faith? You know the Spirit came and made you alive by the miracle of hearing! But do you think you can make the new life better by something you do? If that's what you think, you are insane!
I know they claim to believe that the Bible is the inspired word of God, but how have they set themselves up as the authorities of spirituality? The word they study doesn't support such an arrogant attitude. I know you have your own Bible and you check out what they tell you, but you validate it by following their system of interpretation. Man's wisdom will always justify itself!
You have been convinced that your relationship with God is a changing thing - here one day, but gone the next. You might call it fellowship, and speak of being in or out of it. Or you might call it knowing God, getting closer to God, getting right with God, or abiding in Christ. However you refer to it, the result is always the same: You become convinced that you are not as close to God as you should be!
How is it that you have missed the reality of salvation? Could it be that you have fallen for the concept that this thing called salvation means going to heaven? Maybe that's why it has little affect on how you see yourself right now. Maybe that's why you see no true salvation in your day to day living. That's why you look elsewhere for freedom.
The promise of having the righteousness of God is not found within a program, nor can we get closer to it by anything we do. The Bible everyone quotes from declares that believers are already made the righteousness of Jesus Christ. Those who hold to the Bible as an instruction book have only turned it into a book of rules - a curse - for by it they are always lacking. Following solid, Biblical principles is not of faith. Christ has delivered us from the curse by becoming the curse for us. By what He did, we have received the promise of the Spirit through faith.
I know many Bible verses seem to suggest more than what I'm telling you, but do you think any will contradict its main promise? The promise was made to Christ, so in order to receive a promise given to Christ you would have to be in union with Him. The promise of being one with God through His Son was made way before there were any Bible verses and before there were any programs derived from such verses. Somebody has been reading it all wrong, because if this promise is given by obedience on your part then it's not a promise. Those who tell you differently just don't understand the book they study.
I know you've heard different views on the law, but its purpose was to push law-breaking to the max. I know it doesn't sound right, but it's not open to debate. And it sure throws the concept of being made better by obedience right out the door. If it made anyone better, then God made a major goof. But there is no conflict between the law and the promise - one kills, the other makes alive!
Before Christ came, God's people were separated from a life of faith through the law. They were like little children who had to be led about by the hand, they needed supervision. But now that faith has come, those who belong to Him are not under a supervisor. So while you're considering one of the programs that ranks your spirituality among your peers, I have a question to ask. Don't you know who you are? ALL of you who believe in Christ are equal as sons of God and there is nothing that separates one from another or puts some in a better class than the rest!
Now, Israel was supposed to live under the law, for God gave the law as a nanny to keep his wandering kids in line. Their life consisted of a series of punishments and rewards that dogged their every step. But this is exactly what Christ came to get them out of. They were imprisoned by the same kind of performance standards we know all too well. And they longed for the coming of the promise.