DIG for Thursday the 1st of February…..feeling condemned, well you have gone under law…..Romans 6 v 14

I was listening to some amazing teaching last night and heard a really interesting statement.

The teacher said that God cannot condemn us, the devil cannot condemn us and we even cannot condemn ourselves.

There is only one-way to receive condemnation, and that is to put ourselves under law!

If we are not under law there is nothing anyone can say or do so that can make us feel condemned.

If we feel condemnation we have, in one way or another, put ourselves back under law.

As born again believers living under the New Covenant we are now under grace, and not under law (Romans 6 v 14).

This can be a truth that can set us free if we truly realise its implications.

If we feel condemned we should attempt to find out what part of our lives is under law; what are we striving for and trying to achieve through our own strength.

We can then change this situation, remind ourselves that we are under grace and free ourselves from condemnation and guilt.

We can rest in the finished work of Jesus Christ, putting ourselves back under grace.

Under grace there is no condemnation, EVER!

When we trust in Jesus and His finished work (that is live under grace) we are not relying upon our own efforts and strengths so there can never be any condemnation.

Speak this out today…..”Thank you Lord for the finished work of Jesus and thank you that I live under grace”.

Romans 6 v 14…..For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace


DIG for Tuesday the 24th of October……that is an impossible pass mark…..James 2 v 10

I’m sure most of you remember the pain of sitting, and maybe failing, examinations at school.

I’ve even had to sit exams during my working life!

How would you feel if 100% was the only acceptable result, the only way to pass?

How would you feel if even 99.84% was not good enough?

Well, that is what it is exactly like if you try or want to achieve your own righteousness in the eyes of God.

If you want to be accepted by law (or religion and legalism) you have to fulfil the whole law; you cannot even fail in one item of it.

If you ‘fail’ in only one and ‘pass’ the other 612 this is simply not good enough.

The law requires absolute perfection, and we cannot achieve this in our own strength or through our own works.

However the good news is that because of Jesus we can be made perfect, made righteous, as a gift of grace through faith (Romans 9 v 30).

Because of Jesus it is as if He was ‘sat the exam’ for us, and His score was perfect.

We now, as a gift of grace through faith, benefit from this perfection, from this 100% pass, and in the eyes of God we are holy, perfect, sinless and righteous.

Now that seems to me to be a good result!

Speak this out today….”Thank you Lord that I have been made righteous as a gift of grace through faith in Jesus”.

James 2 v 10…..For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all

DIG for Thursday the 19th of October…..have you plucked out your eye or cut off your hand yet…..Matthew 5 v 29

There are a few difficult passages in the Sermon on the Mount, especially if you are of the persuasion that we have to take everything that Jesus said literally.

Take some time to read Matthew 5 v 27 to 30 just now.

Now answer me this question, “Have you seen many one eyed and one handed people in church recently?”

No, then we are not taking this passage literally!

But of course we are not meant to take it literally I can hear you say, that would be silly.

Of course it would be silly, Jesus is not telling us to mutilate ourselves, He is “raising the bar” of the Law thus showing us that we can never save ourselves.

We could never fulfil the works of the law in our own strength and just in case we did think it possible, Jesus made it even more difficult.

So instead of actually doing things to break the law Jesus was now saying we just need to think them.

He then says that instead of failing we should pluck out our eye and cut off our hand.

This is of course a picture of the requirement for a Saviour due to the fact that we cannot achieve righteousness in our own strength and works.

We do not take these verses literally, we use them as a picture to highlight the awesome truth that we are saved and made righteous through faith in the works of a Saviour, through Jesus.

The good news is that we live under grace and not law and are no longer tied to performance as a means to righteousness, we are in bondage to righteousness by faith.

Speak this out today…..”Thank you Lord that I live under grace and not under law”.

Matthew 5 v 29…..And if thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell

DIG for Wednesday the 18th of October…..do I need to sell all my goods and give the money all away…..Matthew 19 v 21

I got a comment after the DIG yesterday asking if I could maybe write about some of Jesus’ other “difficult” messages and comments, so I’m planning to write about some over the next few days.

So, does Jesus want us all to sell all our goods and give the money away to the poor?

Well, most Christians will say no; they will say this is a picture for us showing that we can never be perfect through our actions.

And this is a correct understanding of this passage (Matthew 19 v 16 to 22).

The young man felt that he was following the law; he felt he was good enough through his own efforts.

But Jesus pointed out that he was not perfect, and just in case he did not believe Him, Jesus “added on” one extra work.

By telling the man to sell all his goods and give the money away Jesus was saying you could never achieve perfection yourself.

The law was always too hard to fulfil, and Jesus just made it even harder for this religious young man.

Jesus was pointing out that people needed a Saviour, that they could not achieve perfection in their own efforts.

Jesus never expected men to take this verse literally and apply it to believers.

As New Covenants believers we need to understand that we do not take literally everything that Jesus said, that is not rightly dividing the Word.

We are not under law and living under the Old Covenant, Jesus spoke most of His words in this context.

Speak this out today…..”Thank you Lord that I live under grace and not under law”.

Matthew 19 v 21…..Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me

DIG for Friday the 13th of October…..grace or law…..Romans 6 v 14

There are some key words you need to listen for when deciding if something is law (and legalism) or grace (and truth).

They are not words of deep doctrine or theology but they are vital.

If you hear a sentence starting with, “You have to” or you hear yourself thinking or saying “I have to”, then this is law.

Now there could be very good actions at the end of these sentences like praying or giving, but if the actions come after “have to” then you are putting yourself under law.

If you hear the words “you can” or you think or say “I want to” then we are talking about grace.

Under law (or the Old Covenant) you were told or forced to do things in order for God to bless you.

Under grace (or the New Covenant) we live out of the finished work of Jesus Christ and who we are in and through Christ.

Under grace we do things as we can or we want to out of the love and blessings we have already received from God.

There is nothing you can do to make God love or bless you more, there is nothing you can do to make God love or bless you less.

If anyone is telling you this then they are trying to put you under law, and we do not live under law but under grace (Romans 6 v 14).

Our blessings in this life is dependent upon the finished work of Jesus Christ and whether we believe this truth or not.

The only way to stop the flow of blessings is unbelief on our part, not on our performance or on God’s mood.

Grace says we have all spiritual blessings already (Ephesians 1 v 3).

Speak this out today…..”Thank you Lord for the finished work of Jesus and thank you that we already have all spiritual blessings through Christ”.

Romans 6 v 14…..For sin shall not have dominion over you; for ye are not under the law, but under grace

DIG for Wednesday the 4th of October…..truth is liberating and empowering…..Ephesians 6 v 14

Paul likens our spiritual armour to that of a soldier.

Like a well-equipped soldier, we too have all that we need at our disposal to face our enemy.

He begins by telling us to have our loins ‘girt up’ (Ephesians 6 v 14).

The expression to ‘gird one’s loins’ was used in the Roman era meaning to pull up and tie ones lower garments between the legs to increase mobility in battle.

Garments hanging loose would be a cumbrance and a constraint.

To be ‘girded up’ is to be liberated, unrestricted and set free for maximum effectiveness in battle.

Truth makes us free and truth is liberating and unrestricting.

But only the truth that we know will set us free (John 8 v 32).

Truth is always truth whether we know it or not, but we will only benefit from it when we know it.

What is truth?

Well, Jesus said ‘’I am the truth” (John 14 v 6).

He is truth and the knowledge of Him and of everything He has done (His finished work) will set us free.

Where we are bound up, constrained and restricted, the truth of Jesus and all that we are in Him will set us free!

Speak this out today…..”Thank you Lord that I am set free from all constraints by the knowledge of Your truth, by the knowledge of You”.

Ephesians 6 v 14….Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness

DIG for Friday the 22nd of September…..Son, Son, Son not sin, sin, sin…..Galatians 5 v 1

I heard what many would think to be a controversial statement as I listened to some teaching on Galatians this morning.

The teacher said, “Legalistic, religious people hate our liberty in Christ, and they will do anything to bring you under whatever their particular brand of bondage might be”.

Unfortunately my experience is that this is a true statement and is one you need to be aware of if you are trying to understand the truth about grace.

This is also what we see in Paul’s letter to the church in Galatia.

Grace takes the focus away from our sin and onto Jesus; grace tells us it is Jesus’ performance that is important and not ours.

Legalistic, religious people have this concept the wrong way round; they want us to focus on our sin and on our performance.

Sin is no longer the focus as Jesus has dealt with all our sin (past, present and future), so our focus needs to be on the answer to sin i.e. Jesus.

It was His performance that meant we have forgiveness, so it is His performance we focus on.

If we focus on sin and our performance this will force us into more sin, that is what the Word of God says (1 Corinthians 15 v 56).

Contrary to what many will tell you it is grace that provides a licence to be free from sin, it is law that gives you a licence to sin.

Be careful that you do not allow legalists to pull you back under law and into bondage (Galatians 5 v 1).

Stay well away from legalism, be aware that it exists and be aware that it is attempting to snare you and remove you from your freedom in Christ.

This is a real problem and a real danger!

Speak this out today…..”Thank you Lord that I have been forgiven through the shed blood of Christ, and made righteous as a gift of grace through faith in Christ”.

Galatians 5 v 1…..Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage

DIG for Wednesday the 20th of September…..grace and relationship instead of law and legalism…..Luke 10 v 33

I’ve often written about Jesus coming to end religion, but I’ve never ‘seen’ this before in the account of the Good Samaritan.

In this account we see a priest and a Levite pass by the man in need, before a Samaritan took pity and helped the man.

The two religious people, the priest and the Levite, probably did not help the man due to religious reasons.

Maybe they didn’t want to touch him, as it could have made them unclean.

They were more interested in their religion than a person in need; or in other words law and legalism took precedence over love, compassion, mercy and grace.

Jesus tells us that it is the Good Samaritan that we should be behaving like; we should be more interested in our neighbour than in any rules and regulations of religion.

He came to end religion.

He came to provide grace so that we could develop relationships with Him and with our neighbours.

When we read about Jesus in the Gospels, He is always more interested in the person than the rules and regulations of religion.

Jesus healed on the Sabbath for example, showing grace rather than law.

And the account of the Good Samaritan gives us a picture of this.

Speak this out today…..”Thank you Lord that Jesus came to end religion and bring in the New Covenant, a covenant of grace, mercy, love and compassion”.

Luke 10 v 33…..But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was: and when he saw him, he had compassion on him

DIG for Sunday the 10th of September…..so is this Christian life impossible…..John 6 v 28 and 29

I’ve heard it said that Christianity is not an easy lifestyle to live by; well, that is true in one way, but it is also wrong in another.

If you are living under law (unfortunately what I call ‘usual’ or ‘mainstream’ Christianity) it is impossible to live the Christian life.

Under law you are reminded about your sin all the time, and this actually pushes you towards more sin (1 Corinthians 15 v 56).

Under law what is important is how you perform and you are not able to live by the law; for example if you fail in one part you fail in all (James 2 v 9 and 10).

Under law you will fail, as it is impossible to keep.

There is only one man who was ever capable of keeping the law and that was Jesus; you will never be the second.

But you do not need to live under law, so in this sense the Christian life is not impossible.

You now live under grace, and that my friend is easier to live by.

Under grace it is the performance of Jesus that is important, not yours.

Under grace you have one work to perform and that is to believe in Jesus (John 6 v 28 and 29).

Now I am not saying you should not be expected to do good and righteous works, but that comes from your trust and faith in Jesus and not from your own strength and efforts.

That is the difference between grace and law; grace is about Jesus while law is about you.

If it is about you this life is impossible, but with Jesus and through Jesus it can become a whole lot easier..

Speak this out today…..”Thank you Lord that I now live under grace and not under law”.

John 6 v 28 and 29…..Then said they unto him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God? Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent

DIG for Thursday the 24th of August…..a secular song about Jesus?…..John 1 v 17

I use many sources as inspiration for my DIG blog; most ideas obviously come from the Word and Biblical teachers, however I’ve also written recently on football and secular songs.

It was a secular song that has given me the idea for the DIG tonight.

Here are a couple of lines from the song in question.

“Pretty amazing grace is what you showed me, pretty amazing grace is who you are. You led me to that higher place and showed me that love and truth and hope and grace were all I needed”.

You would actually think that this was a song about Jesus!

Jesus showed many people grace (including the Samaritan woman at the well and the woman taken in adultery), but according to the Word He actually was grace.

We read that Moses gave the law, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ (John 1 v 17).

In other words Jesus was truth and Jesus was grace.

And Jesus is indeed all we need.

He provides grace and truth, but also love and hope.

There is no hope in this life or in eternity without faith in Jesus, without hoping and trusting in His love, grace, and truth.

Jesus is the only way to the Father; He is the way, the truth and the life (John 14 v 6).

Speak this out today…..”Thank you Lord that Jesus has provided all that I need for life, thank you that Jesus is grace and truth”.

John 1 v 17…..For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ