As a therapist, I am required to take a “Juris Prudence” exam when I renew my licenses. The test is one of ethics and tests the participant’s knowledge and practice of laws applicable to their profession. The test is non-judgmental. If the test taker fails a question, it cycles back around and allows for correction. Depending on the state, it will often give the written reference pertaining to the test question. It will not accept a failing score. The test is not considered complete until you answer all questions correctly. When you answer all questions correctly, you receive a certificate and submit it with your continuing education and other paperwork.
God’s sense of Juris Prudence for born again believers is that of grace. Confessing my sins to God and asking Jesus to come into my life, heart, body, career, finances, relationships, etc., now places me under a new law. The Law of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus. (Romans 8). Under the old law, The Law of Sin and Death, it was “do good, get good; do bad, get bad”. I understood that law fairly well. While I did not reap all of the consequences I could have or should have reaped in my old life, the new law, The Law of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus was totally mind blowing to me.
I had never met anyone that would forgive ANYTHING I had ever done. In fact, the forgiveness was already there. The forgiveness was done at the cross – that’s the place where Jesus died in my place. He died for me and AS me. The old me. The harlot, the alcohol abuser, the glutton, the adulterer, the fornicator… ok the list could go on.
What I found was that as I began to operate under grace, as if I was already forgiven, as if the Juris Prudence exam would eventually be complete as I struggled through the written instructions and asked God for understanding, I began to grow. I could grow a lot faster under God’s sense of Juris Prudence. The sense that I would eventually pass the test, and in the mean time, I had grace to fumble around and figure things out. With the help of the Holy Spirit, the Word of God, elders, pastors, teachers, etc., I would “pass” the Juris Prudence exam at that level and God would then speak to me of things to come. He would open up my understanding.
Can you fake a Juris Prudence exam? Yes, you can figure out what to say and how to say it. In the natural, yes. However, God’s kingdom is a Kingdom of Righteousness. And righteousness is a matter of the heart. God promotes us when our heart is right. It is such a paradox to me. When my heart no longer has to have that particular thing, that promotion, that relationship, is when God gives it. Ah… He wants to be first place in my heart. So in God’s justice system, when my heart is right, then He can trust me to take me to the next place.
Another great thing about God’s grace is I can grow so much more when I am under the banner of His love and acceptance. I grow under pressure (I am forced to), but I HEAL under grace. So yes, we need the circumstances of life to refine us and push us to a deeper walk with God. But I find that healing–emotional, physical, and financial–happen under God’s grace.
Grace is power. In the Greek, the word is “charis” (Strongs #5485). There has been a lot of teaching about grace in the last decade. I am glad. I was discipled by a Spirit filled Episcopal priest (Joe) in the 1990’s. He had witnessed to me for about a year and then told me it was time for me to “do business with God”. I really didn’t know what he meant, but this priest prayed for me outside his office while I stayed in His office and said “Jesus, if you are real… and not a religion like I grew up with… then show me and I will give you my life”.
Wow, I had no idea how powerful that prayer was. You see, I had listened to upwards of a thousand sermons before I became a believer. How is that possible? I had a hard heart, for one. I grew up in churches where the Holy Spirit was mentioned only in doctrine. You never really got to experience the Holy Spirit. And I made fun of those Spirit filled Christians who seemed to enjoy God.
My heart was hard with religion. In my early 20’s, my friends and I would stay out all night partying and as long as we made it to church, our behavior was not questioned. In fact, there was no reverence for God or His servants. I am grateful that I saw a few believers in my family who demonstrated the love of God to me. That love kept me searching for God.
When I got born again, Joe had his work cut out for him. I was, to say the least, a little rough around the edges. Joe’s discipleship helped me learn to walk in the power of God’s grace. I tested Joe’s sayings… such as… “Even if you go back to your old life, God still loves you and forgives you”. So I tested His theory and He was correct. What I soon discovered? It was not profitable for me to live my old life in a new kingdom. The demonic attacks were unbearable. I had to choose between my new life and my old life. I looked in upwards of seven translations of the Bible to see if I could continue my old lifestyle. My addiction to false love, sex, pornography and food had to go. It was not compatible with the Kingdom of God.
I was completely delivered out of some sins such as pornography. I have not been tempted to go back. But food? And saying “no” to men? That deliverance was much more involved because it involved personality restoration and development. (Check out our workshops because we will be sharing more on this in our e-courses.)
What is God saying through me to you? Come up higher to a more intimate relationship with Him. Not one of performance or achievement. Come to Him more deeply…. Turn off the TV. Turn the plate over. Pull over in the parking lot for five minutes and pray… Start praying in tongues again. Every day. Whatever God is calling you to, join Him. If you are struggling getting in the Word of God, find a guided Bible Study with a workbook, a class, a small group…. Take a step of faith and prioritize this one area of your life that God is speaking into at this time.
You will love this new place! Because God is in the new place. He is so wildly and deeply in love with you. He sent me (among many others) to tell you that. He is waiting for you in The New Place. Start praying “Father, help me find You in The New Place”. Once you get into your new place of intimacy with Father, Son and Holy Spirit, Father will begin speaking to you through the Holy Spirit and He will show you of things to come. Jesus will be with you all the way.
“…Behold, the former things have come to pass, And new things I declare; Before they spring forth I tell you of them. (Isaiah 42:9 NKJV)