“Morality as a moral codes is Heresy and poor substitute for a life in Christ.” – Archbishop Lazar Puhalo
I enjoy hearing the testimonies of people and how they came to revelation of Christ.
Time after time, I would hear the stories of individuals who came out of a life of drugs, prostitution and all manner of darkness. Now, they enjoy a life in Christ, free from the bonds of oppression. This is wonderful to me, and I always encourage people to share their testimonies.
I remember one such time, after listening to the testimonies of some brethren, I was approached by a sister, who felt her testimony was a little weak.
When I pressed her on the matter, she admitted she never did drugs, or anything really wrong. She was actually, a pretty decent and moral person. I lit up, and I had great joy in telling her that her testimony was very similar to the life of the Apostle Paul.
It is one thing to see people turn from a destructive lifestyle to walk in the knowledge of Christ. And, that is awesome.
But the even greater understanding of the grace of God is knowing that it also sets us free from the other extreme: a lifestyle lived by a code of moral ethics.
That moral code, as good as its intent might be, is just the Law unto ourselves. It is a poor substitute for a life in Christ.
Philippians 3:4 – 8 (King James Version) Though I might also have confidence in the flesh. If any other man thinketh that he hath whereof he might trust in the flesh, I more: Circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, an Hebrew of the Hebrews; as touching the law, a Pharisee; Concerning zeal, persecuting the church; touching the righteousness which is in the law, blameless. But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ. Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ.
Paul’s testimony was, for all intents and purposes in the eyes of Hebrew Moralist, impeccable. He was an outstanding citizen of the Jewish nation, with unmatched excellence in law keeping.
And that is what he repented from, that lifestyle of morality. In fact, when Paul says that “do count them but dung.” He is using the Greek word, “Skubala” for the word Dung (v8), which literally is a curse word meaning human excrement. It was as offensive a word in Roman times, as is its modern day equivalent. Paul of course is using it in its best usage as describing his moralist life.
The life of a Believer, is a life lived by faith in Christ. For as it is written, the Just shall live by faith. (Romans 1:17). You need no faith to live by a moral code that tells you what to do and what not to do. All you need is obedience.
The Bible addresses this also, that whatsoever is not of faith, is sin. (Romans 14:23). Where faith is needed, is to wake up everyday, trusting what Jesus says about you is true, and trusting in what He did in the Finished Work.
What empowers us to live right lives is agreeing with those truths which allows the Holy Spirit to manifest those realities of our righteousness, holiness and union through our lives, by his power.