An Antidote for Recovering Pharisees


Once an addict always an addict. It may not have hit you, but it will. It always does.

We are born in this world addicted to the Law. We crave "do this or don't do this" and from our first sip, we measure ourselves accordingly. We get high off of our own self-righteousness, creating images of ourselves based on imaginary comparisons. We end up crawling along the ground, strung out because of our complete failure at doing what we set out to do. 

In a culture of performance, the world around us feeds the addiction. Recovering Pharisees are handed a drink everywhere they turn. It doesn't matter how long it's been since your addiction to the Law, relapse is only one drink away. 

@@Grace is the antidote to our addictions to the Law.@@ 

When we are high on our own self-righteousness, Jesus speaks a buzz-killing Law that cuts us back down. And in the next moment he immediately speaks a word of grace, pointing us to his righteousness in place of our own. When we are strung out on our failures, Jesus meets us at the bottom. Jesus gives himself freely for losers like us who repeatedly keep turning to the same sins over and over again. 

In Galatians 5:1 Paul writes, "For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery." Jesus frees us from the power of the Law. He frees us from our addictions to the law and makes us hunger and thirst for grace. 

He satisfies our cravings for our own glory with his body and blood. He frees us from the slavery of "do more and try harder," with a simple, "it is finished." Our addictions to performance gets replaced with resting in his finished work on the cross.  

@@You are loved, accepted, and forgiven with no strings attached.@@ That's grace. Grace satisfies the cravings that the Law never can. 

Yet while forgiven and free, there continue to be those moments, because once an addict always an addict. 

Recovering Pharisees, beware, the Law always calls us to come back for another round. Don't listen. The Law is strong on the condemnation but weak on Christ. It's strong on obedience but weak on death and resurrection. It's strong on your performance but weak on Christ's. Any craving that you might have for the Law won't be satisfied by the Law. 

The only antidote to the beckoning of the drug of performancism is the Gospel. 

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