How do you teach holiness without evoking feelings of guilt?
How do you teach obedience without legalism?
You begin by teaching the Love of God, the faithful, unconditional, unstoppable, unfailing, uncompromising love of God. You remind people that God’s love doesn’t ebb and flow with their behavior. He loves you because you are His masterpiece.
Secondly, remind them of power of the cross. Because of the cross, sin is no longer our master. We are under grace and are no longer ruled by sin.
Third, remind them who they are in Christ – The righteousness of God in Christ Jesus. We have been made right by Jesus’ sacrifice and now the Father sees us as holy and blameless in His sight.
Fourth, we remind them that walking in obedience and holiness is NOT an effort to win God’s favor or His love (go back to number 1 if necessary) but it is a response to God’s love. It is for our own benefit.
Finally, let them know, God has given us everything we need to live holy and obediently (go back to two and three if necessary). God is not asking us to do anything in our own efforts or our own strength. He is asking us to cooperate with the Holy Spirit He has given us. Grace teaches us to say no to unrighteousness.
Boys and girls, there is no condemnation for those in Christ Jesus. Walking in Holiness and Obedience is a journey not a destination. We are all going to mess up. But we fall forward. We fall knowing we are loved, we are His. We fall knowing no one can snatch us out of His hands.
We are called to live holy and obediently. Without condemnation. Without guilt. Without legalism.
“As obedient children, do not be conformed to the desires of your former ignorance. But as the one who called you is holy, you also are to be holy in all your conduct; for it is written, Be holy, because I am holy.”
1 Peter 1:14-16 CSB