Grace L.I.F.E. (Life, Identity, Forgiven, Entirely Free)
“I just need a life!” she said after I asked her how I could help her. She was aimlessly wandering down a hallway during a feeding the hungry event at the church where I was employed. What she said was true of all of us. The question becomes “What type of life do you need?”
The Bible is basically broken down into two parts: the old covenant (testament) and new covenant (testament). The old and the new covenants deal with two different approaches to life. The old covenant is Law based – an achieving system. In that old system my behavior determines whether or not I am loved and accepted by Him. Sound familiar? Yes this is the basic belief and practice behind many of our current relationships. It is all we know.
The new covenant is Grace based – a receiving system. All life begins in receiving – reception precedes production. The earth receives the seed, the woman receives the seed, and believers receive His Seed (life). After reception production occurs. The earth produce crops, the baby is conceived and born, and believers begin to reveal the life of His seed. God’s seed (life) is eternal. John 3:16 “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.“
John 10:10 “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly. “
Perhaps you are familiar with the saying: “Christ came not to make bad men good but to make dead men alive!” Behavior flows from a new life which is received and not earned (grace). Behavior flows from a new heart. Where does this new heart originate?
There are two basic teachings in the Old Testament about the heart. As a result there exists an Old heart/New heart confusion.
Jeremiah 17:9 “The heart is more deceitful than all else And is desperately sick; Who can understand it? “. Based on this verse some teach that new creations in Christ have a wicked heart. A wicked heart is a dead heart an evil heart! If we as believers are wicked at our very core then our lives become a battle to suppress our wicked heart. That takes a lot of time and focus and frankly is a major teaching in the Christian church.
There is another OT passage that deals with the heart:
Ezekiel 36:26-27 “Moreover, I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will be careful to observe My ordinances.”
The world wants to change people’s minds – Christ came to change people’s hearts! A heart transplant is the result of receiving Christ. Do you realize that as a believer you have a new heart? You have already undergone spiritual heart surgery.
Let me demonstrate this new heart:
Please answer the following series of questions:
In your relationship with God what do you desire the most? Common answers include: intimacy, love, to know Him, to know His will, to be pleasing to Him, etc.
What kind of man/woman do you really desire to be? Common answers include: I want reflect His glory, holiness, love, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, etc.
What kind of husband/wife do you desire to be? Common answers include: I want to love my spouse unconditionally, to be a blessing to them, to share intimacy, to be an example, to have oneness, etc.
What kind of parent do you want to be to you children? Common answers include: I want to be an example to my children, I want them to know my love for them, to guide them to Him, etc.
What is wrong with those desires? Nothing!! Where did those desires come from?? Holy Spirit dwelling in your spirit.
Psalm 37:4 Delight yourself in the Lord; And He will give you the desires of your heart. “
A new heart creates a new identity because we are a new creation. During an upcoming blog I will deal with the “rest” of the Grace L.I.F.E. (Life, Identity, Forgiven, Entirely Free) acrostic.