Today is a better day than yesterday so far.
I'm plugged into my ipod at the moment. I'm learning so much and unlearning some things in my faith right now. It's amazing how Christians readily believe following the ten commandments have nothing to do with salvation but everything to do with sanctification. Yet the Bible says we have died to the law. The ten commandments purpose was to drive us to the end of ourselves and show us our need of a Savior, yet we still try and live by the ten commandments when Jesus and many others in the Bible say that it is impossible. I'm learning that is a huge reason why the body of Christ isn't feeling the joy and peace Jesus talks so much about. We just can't get our minds around the fact that we are accepted by what Christ has done. Nothing more, nothing less. Then we wonder why it's so hard to bring people to Christ. It's because we lay more on them than we ourselves can even bare. "You must not read Harry Potter, you must not smoke, you must not drink, you must not, you must not, you must not", like it's our job to get them to quit living in sin. We have completely missed the point. Christianity isn't about following rules, it's about following Christ. If Christianity was just about rules and regulations, what would separate it from any other religion? It is about Christ. A loving relationship with God through Christ. Growing in the knowledge of Him through His Son Jesus. Jesus saves. Jesus Sanctifies. The power of a loving relationship with Christ changes peoples hearts. Why didn't I see it before? I remember when God first turned my heart toward Him. I wasn't motivated to stop sinning because I thought I would go to hell, but because I found out God wasn't who I thought He was. My love for God changed my attitude toward sin.
Love fulfills the law. "His law is love and His gospel is peace." Jesus said plainly: "If you love Me, you will keep my commandments." He is saying keeping His commandments is a result of loving Him. The reason it's so hard for us to understand the Bible most of the time is because we look to closely at it. Jesus spoke plainly about everything.
The way to live a better life isn't following laws. The Bible says the law is the "ministry of death."
and "By the works of the law, no flesh shall be justified." What is the purpose for the ten commandments? To show us our need for Christ. The Savior, Redeemer, the Way, the Truth and the Life.
The law entered so that the offense (sin) might abound the Bible says. In other words, The ten commandments came so that you would sin more, not less. By this, God was trying to show us that we can't keep His law. Besides..how can you keep a law you have already broken? You only have to break it once and you're "Guilty of all" James says.
I'm not trying to say it's ok to sin. It isn't. I'm saying that even if you were to stop sinning or started "trying your best" to be a "good" person won't save you. Neither do I condone smoking, drinking or any other sin. I'm simply saying quitting these in order to make yourself righteous (right with God) won't work. Quitting these things are a result of being right with God.