A man who had been born and raised in a country ruled by a strict military dictatorship immigrated to the United States and became a citizen of this country.
The man decided to celebrate his new citizenship by doing some sightseeing around the city where he was living. He was enjoying himself so much that he didn’t notice that sundown was approaching. But as soon as the sunlight faded and darkness began to descend, the new American panicked.
He ran up to a car and begged the driver to take him home as quickly as possible. The driver was taken aback and tried to calm the man down. When asked why he had to get home so quickly, the man cried out, “Because I don’t want to violate curfew and be arrested.” The problem was that in the man’s previous country, the military had imposed a strict curfew. Everyone had to be off the streets by sundown or risk arrest.
The man in the car smiled when he realized the problem. He calmly explained that since the United States had no curfew, the man wasn’t in any trouble. The new citizen simply had not yet learned to cast off the bondage of the old country. He was free, but he wasn’t living like it.
A lot of Christians, citizens of heaven who have been set free by the grace of God in Christ, have not learned how to cast off the bondage of their birth in Adam. They sing and talk about freedom, but they are living under an oppressive system of religious rules that sends them running home at sundown. This oppressive religious system is called legalism, and it’s absolutely contrary to our freedom in Christ. But many Christians are held hostage to the old regime.
If there is one overarching truth I want to get across to you, it is this: when you got saved, you were brought into a new regime. You have been liberated by God’s magnificent grace, and the old rules no longer apply.
So, you don’t have to worry about violating God’s curfew. Don’t get me wrong, God wants you to be holy like He is holy. But because you now live in a different kingdom, you can enjoy His grace today as His Spirit guides you toward holy living without the fear of missing the mark.