Number three, May 4, 2021. Welcome to Welling. This is for your spiritual well-being and your ministry overflowing. One of the most overused terms in both science and business, applied from science into business, and even life, is the phrase paradigm shift. You’ve heard it. They actually go to how the world was viewed once as a geocentric universe in Ptolemaic astronomy, and how a Copernican astronomy said, no, this is really a heliocentric universe where the earth revolves around the sun. And the entire way of perception and practice changed.
Or in physics, they go from Newtonian to Einsteinian to quantum physics. And science will keep changing those paradigms and the structure of how revolutions happen.
It’s become a phrase, a catchphrase, for fundamental changes, for transformative changes, a new way of not only seeing, but acting. I want to speak about a transformative change that has happened in how we relate to God and how God declares us righteous. It comes from Galatians chapter 2. Our anchor verse as you know is verse 20. “I have been crucified with Christ. And it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. And the life I now live, I live in the flesh by faith in the Son of God who loved me and gave Himself for me.”
Today, I speak to high performers, overachievers. I see you. And you see me. And we’ve got to be extremely careful, when it comes to the spiritual life, to use the same kind of transactional way, performance measurement, bringing it into the spiritual life to see if that’s how we should operate with God. And we fall flat on our faces because you’ll never be assured that God has accepted you if you use a transactional metric.
I know we are used to meritocracy where people take note of our work and our skills and our aspirations and give us progress and process and success. But a self-assured self-empowered way of the spiritual life is dangerous when it comes to the dynamic spiritual love relationship that God has initiated and into which you have entered and you can maintain.
God is not against high performance. The apostle Paul was a highly gifted, highly trained, highly regarded high performer. It is using the performance as a means of gaining merit and even controlling reality, which is the challenge. Paul, as to the law, he said was blameless. They couldn’t find any fault. He met the Ten Commandments and the 613 commandments in the precise detail as expected. But you know what? He was in a bind. He was never sure that his self-empowered life would find the declaration of his righteousness with God.
And so he says, “For through the law, I died to the law.” In context, there is a conflict between the apostle Paul and apostle Peter because Peter was trying to live in the old paradigm while in the new sphere. Theoretically, he said he had moved into the new paradigm, but he was not applying it when he decided that with the Gentiles he could act in one way, but with the Jews he had to go back to the old paradigm. And Paul said that is an anarchistic way of living. You’ll confuse yourself. You’ll confuse everybody else.
The Lord Jesus has come. And at the cross, the old model, the old template was replaced. We now have a radical new situation, a revolution has happened. We are post-cross. Peter, the only way to live to God is to die to the former paradigmatic way of living. For you see, the law appealed to Paul. In his own self-madeness, he knew that he could keep the law. But there was no salvation in it. There was no freedom in it. There was no assurance in it.
And by dying to the law, it made life possible with God, which brings me to the title of our series, I, I, I, I. The phrase is so important. The first two I’s talk about the former paradigm. The last two I’s speak about the new, theological, spiritual paradigm, that you’re no longer under the law which appeals to your flesh. You are going to be indwelt by Christ, and thereby live to God. The secret of your welling is His indwelling in us.