Home Pastors Pastor Blogs Why I Gave Up Trying to Live the Christian Life: Five Reasons

Why I Gave Up Trying to Live the Christian Life: Five Reasons

“For all who have entered into God’s rest have rested from their labors, just as God did after creating the world. So let us do our best to enter that rest…”

~ Hebrews 4:10-11

Years ago, I came to the place in my spiritual journey where I gave up trying to live the Christian life.

Yep. I gave it up for Lent.

Here are five reasons:

  1. I was sick and tired of failing and feeling frustrated at my attempts at being a “victorious” Christian.
  2. I came to the eye-opening conclusion that I couldn’t live the Christian life. If the Christian life was going to be lived, the Lord Himself was going to have to live it.
  3. I discovered that Jesus Himself didn’t try to live the Christian life. He said, “By myself, I can do nothing.” Over and over again, Jesus testified that He did nothing of Himself, but lived by His Father’s indwelling life instead.
  4. I concluded that Paul’s words in Galatians 2:20, “I no longer live, but Christ lives in me,” weren’t a special experience that only Paul had.
  5. I was tired of living in Romans 7 and desperately wanted to live in Romans 8. So I consigned myself to Romans 7:24, giving up the whole project. In so doing, everything changed.

The rest of the story is told in a conference message that I delivered five years ago entitled, “Living by the Spirit.”

The message is a deeper-than-usual look at Romans 7 and 8. It presents the discoveries I made along the journey and why I believe the Christian life – and the living of it – is impossible for all of us. It’s only HIMpossible.

The message unpacks that statement.

One overlooked truth is that Romans 7 and 8 introduces us to three different life forms and four different laws. Understanding the significance of each and how they all work is vital. It’s all in the talk.

I wish every devoted Christian – especially those in their 20s and 30s (that’s most of you) – would put this talk on their iPods or smart phones and give it a listen. I also hope that you’ll share this post with your friends in that age group (via the Share buttons below) as it just may spare them many years of agony.

Click here to listen to Living by the Spirit.

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FRANK VIOLA has helped thousands of people around the world to deepen their relationship with Jesus Christ and enter into a more vibrant and authentic experience of church. His mission is to help serious followers of Jesus know their Lord more deeply, gain fresh perspectives on old or ignored subjects, and make the Bible come alive. Viola has written many books on these themes, including God's Favorite Place on Earth and From Eternity to Here. His blog, Beyond Evangelical, is rated as one of the most popular in Christian circles today.