Dear Brother Charles,
Your post was very gripping and heartbreaking. Holy Ghost conviction and grieving over grieving him, is a good thing. I have often gone past that, though, and allowed the enemy to exploit my grief, to false conviction - one from which the enemy offers no deliverance or for which the enemy offers noremedy - since false conviction comes from the enemy, rather than the Holy Ghost. I have almost recently found out that the gospel is not just for lost people. I was trying to face my walk and trials in a different way than I had gotten saved - I had gotten saved by grace through faith in the gospel, thegospel which is the good news of Jesus Christ - so why was I trying so hard, and failing so miserably, to live my Christian life by any other means?
Colossians 2:6 As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him:
I received Jesus by faith, but like the Galatians, I was not walking in the gospel, now. The gospel is the good news of what Jesus has done for us, in his death, burial and resurrection:
I Corinthians 15:3 For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures;
4 And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:
Paul, who was already saved, and writing to people who were already saved, wrote the following:
I Corinthians 2:2 For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.
Colossians 2:12 Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead.
Philippians 3:10 That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death;
By studying, meditating on, teaching, and preaching the crucifixion, burial, and resurrection of Jesus, by believers who are already saved, allows us to know about that power for us who are already saved.
Ephesians 1:19 And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power,
Ephesians 3:20 Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us,
And the gospel is that power to us who are saved:
Romans 1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.
Romans 16:25 Now to him that is of power to stablish you according to my gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began,
I Corinthians 1:18 For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.
Instead of helplessly surrendering myself to Jesus through faith in the gospel, like I did when I got saved - I have been battling the world, the flesh, and the devil in my own power, anddevastated when I fail. I attempt to make myself holier than I currently am. First, there are no degrees of holiness for us, we are either holy or not holy. The only time the word holier is ever used, it was in the statement, "Holier than thou" - and that is clearly a bad context. Only the Holy One can impart holiness, like when virtue went out of him and into the woman with the issue of blood that he healed. Jesus touching a leper, and the leper being cleansed and made whole, is another picture of Jesus imparting goodness from him to us.
My Galatian misunderstanding of how to be holy or being worthy, was manifest each time I approached the Lord's supper. The Lord's supper, the communion, is one of the best ways to communicate the gospel to us who are saved. But I so often let it pass, because I thought that I was not worthy enough - but I misunderstood!
I Corinthians 11:27 Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord.
"Unworthily" is an adverb, which modifies the verbs eat and drink, to describe how the eating and drinking are done, in an unworthy way. But every time that I read this or heard this, my mind changed the scripture into the word "unworthy", which is an adjective modifying the noun whosoever, making all about me. However the Lord's supper is not all about me, but about Jesus. I approached the Lord's supper like I used to approach the false doctrine of penance, where I had to do certain things, or pray certain prayers, over a certain period of time, in order to effect my being brought back into some closer state with the Lord.
What a fool I am. I misunderstood the Lord's supper. I didn't realize that it is preaching the gospel to us who are already saved. When I was lost, I realized that the gospel came to us just as we were, in our sins and uncleanness, that we didn't have to attain some state of worthiness first in order to be cleansed and made whole. No, the gospel was all by grace to us unworthy sinners, free, and received through faith. Now the Lord's supper is preaching the same gospel to us who are already saved. Again, the gospel comes by grace to us who are unworthy sinners, who are not capable of cleansing our hearts of unrighteousness, nor are we capable of making ourselves holy by the power of our flesh of our old nature, nor are we capable of making ourselves worthy! It is just the opposite. We should approach thegospel preached to us by the Lord's supper, to us who are saved, the same way that we approached the gospel that came to us when we were lost - we shouldreceive it through faith, and allow its power to be effective in us now, like it did when we first got saved. The gospel was to unworthy sinners when we were lost, and the gospel still is to unworthy sinners when we approach the Lord's supper. The only truly worthy one is Jesus. Therefore, the very people who should be partaking in the Lord's supper, to remember what Jesus has done and is doing for us, are unfortunately the very people who pass it up! By focusing on ourselves instead of Jesus, we look to see if we are worthy enough, which we ourselves can never be, we miss out on the grace, the beauty, the pureness, and the power of the gospel.
Charles, chances are you are not messed up on this like I had been, but I wanted to talk about my foolish Galatian approach to the gospel, in order to encourage you in the gospel.Gino