Grace makes it possible to truly live from the inside out. Open, real to everyone you encounter and not feel like you need to hide something. It truly is freedom. It truly brings real death to yourself and real life in Jesus. You realize that Jesus did it all. Does this mean as Paul says that you continue in sin. NO, of course not!! Grace though is undeserved, unmerited favor and love from God that is the factor that makes the change from the inside out-it is not anything I do except receive His favor and love. The Lord has been showing me a zipper on the front of me, how I was unzipped and was able to live naked. Not naked- meaning without clothes. Remember that Adam and Eve were naked and they felt no shame? (Genesis 2:25) I think this meant more than-without clothes-because that is exactly what God’s grace Has done for me. Jesus took all of my and your shame on the Cross and I can stand naked in front of Him and the world, not bodily naked but from the inside, out. (Romans 5) Let me explain with a story:
I was talking with a young adult and she asked me a very pointed question on whether or not I had also, in the past (this is when I still was trying to manage my and my children’s sin), joined in having my children avoid certain other children, all in the name of “protecting” my children to keep them “pure”. (Note: Yes we are called to protect our children, but this was a specific shunning of children where I had no evidence that there was a potential problem and caused pain to children that didn’t understand why they couldn’t be a part of a group, I know horrible). Now I had a choice in this moment as to how I would answer this question. In the past I would have wanted to sugar coat my answer or maybe even say, “No, I didn’t do that” or make excuses. I would have desired to sin, been drawn to sin to cover my nakedness. Yet, because of Grace which showed me who I am in Christ- I know who I am and Whose I am-there was no other way to act but by who I really am, a daughter of the Most High God, beloved of Him all the time, no matter what I have or haven’t done. So of course I responded as a daughter of the Most High God would-with the truth which felt natural to me because that is who I am. I answered, “Yes I had done that many times and yes there were times when I had drawn the line.” Simple truth.
Do I always get it right? No. What is so interesting, I told another friend, as I have taken off the law glasses and focused on God’s grace, I realize I have become more Christ like without TRYING to. Do I still argue with my husband-yes- but thankfully much less. 😊 What is so AMAZING though is the fact that the desire to sin, or the sin nature I truly understand is dead in me. (Romans 5) That I am a new creation in Christ.(2 Corinthians 5:17) I didn’t do it, nor have I had to strive for it. Jesus did it all, once and for all.
See for the last 19 1/2 years of my life as a Christian or being saved I did strive, do, was law conscious and I thought I had to get it right. Looking back at the way I was trying to manage sin now that the Lord removed the law glasses; I am able to see that I never was truly able to live from the inside out.
Now, I know who I am and Whose I am by the grace of God. I can clearly see all that Jesus did to justify me, imput His righteousness to me and I walk in that truth, completely able to live from the inside out comfortably and easily because it is who I am in Jesus. I am dead to the old and alive in Jesus. Simple.
It is simple, true, upfront living from the inside out. And all believers are called to this ability through grace.