Carrot and Stick Religion
Romans 5:1,2 “Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God”.
Good News! We stand by grace! We are justified by faith, and not by our behavior or our attitudes! We have peace with God! God's grace has reconciled us to Himself through the death and resurrection of Jesus our substitute!
The legalist believes that the only way people will respond properly to God, is through the application of a 'carrot and stick' approach, meaning: The threats and rewards [curses and blessings] of the law and the Ten Commandments are necessary, in order to manipulate and coerce the weak and ungrateful Christian into doing the right thing.
The legalist will concede that we are 'saved by grace', but he believes that we must maintain our relationship with God by how well we perform our perceived duties to God and Man.
By contrast; those who trust in God's grace, understand that the 'carrot' of righteousness, reconciliation to God, and justification, has already been given to all of us freely, as a result of the death of Jesus at the cross, and His resurrection.
Rom. 5:8-10 “But God demonstrated His love for us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then,having been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, we shall be saved by his life".
The carrot of God's approval is not being dangled in front of us, just out of our reach: God has offered us the 'carrot' with his own hand! Accept his love and thank him! You don't have to grovel and whine, and show remorse before he will let you enjoy his approval and eat from the Tree of Life
When you don't truly trust your Heavenly Father's love for you, you are like the cart-horse running after the carrot on a string, tied to a stick, and dangled before you just out of your reach.
You know that love, forgiveness, and approval are promised to you, and you think that, if you run fast enough and hard enough, you will finally receive your eternal reward, (after you have collapsed from exhaustion in front of your 'Little Cabin in the Corner of Glory Land').
Don't be fooled! God has given us eternal life, NOT eternal probation!
Trust Him! Your citizenship is in Heaven, you are “accepted in the Beloved” (Ephesians 1:6,7). You have been qualified by His grace (Colossians 1:12).
Don't refuse the GIFT of eternal Life! Don't beg your heavenly Father for the inheritance that He has already given you! Don't doubt His love for you; it is not given conditionally!
Your ticket to ride the grace train has been paid for, and you are already 'seated in heavenly places'! Quit trying to earn that which God has freely given you! Being “Good Enough” has nothing to do with it!
Believe that God is here now; Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, and that you will never be rejected when you trust Him! Whatever you may believe about God, our Father, (or IF you believe in Him), you can't change REALITY!
“God is love.” 1John 4:8,16
God Bless you, as you trust in his grace!
© 2016 Rev. Charles J. Loubert