Vintage message from June 29, 1997.
Sometimes you just meet people who are caught up in legalism even though they do believe in Jesus. But, you know what? The law binds us. The law stops us from serving God in so many ways. The difference between the law and just putting your faith and your trust in Jesus is [that] with the law you really don’t need God. Everything is laid out for you. You have the strict rules and regulations by which to live by, so you do it, and if you break the law, then you go begging to God to forgive you. But, you know, in a relationship with Him, when you have Jesus is your life, you no longer have to go begging for forgiveness because He’s already done it. The purpose of Jesus dying on the cross was to take our sin away. It says He died once, once, and for all men. The issue of sin was dealt with before the throne of God. Yes, we still need to come to God and say I’m sorry. We still have to ask for forgiveness. But you know what? We don’t have to beg. We don’t have to worry that God’ll strike us with lightening. We don’t have to worry that somehow the judgement of God is going to fall on us because we’ve done something wrong. If we happen to step outside of what we know the legal limit was, God forgives us. He forgave us willingly even before we broke that law. He gave His Son willingly so that that issue of sin might be dealt with. Now the only thing that we have to deal with is loving Him. Walking with Him. Talking to Him. Understanding His will and direction for our life. The big difference between the law and having that relationship is we go directly to Him, and we can talk to Him….
[With the law] it’s just all laid out for you. There’s no surprise. No hope. No flexibility. It’s just all written out for you. This is how you do it, and as long as you’re doing that everything’s okay, but you know what the Israelites found out? They tried living that way and they couldn’t…
This is what the law does to us: it gives us an excuse to not follow Jesus, it gives us an excuse to not trust Jesus.