Terialynn Manzano Testimonials

RESCUED FROM THE CURSE OF SOMETHING GOOD

   Even before escaping the birth canal, I began attending church with my parents.  Soon after outgrowing diapers, I bounded up our church platform’s red-carpeted steps, and commanded the congregation’s attention as I recited all twelve memory verses from the last three months.  Before I can even remember doing so, I asked for forgiveness and accepted Christ.  Then why was it I wondered, that way back from those early years clear up into my years of facial crow’s feet and emerging age spots, I wasn’t experiencing Christ’s promise in the Gospel of John.  

   “…I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly” (John 10:10 KJV).

   My life was far superior to the lives of many on this planet.  Yet there was a void of that abundant life which is not merely reserved for distant glory; it is the basic milk of Christianity to be experienced here and now (Hebrews 5:12).

   It was within this void that I pondered the meaning of Christ’s words to his disciples.

   “Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill” (Matthew 5:17, KJV).

   I struggled to comprehend how Christ’s fulfillment of the law related to me.  Concern over my compliance to the law hindered my relationship with the one who had fulfilled the law.  I had heard Christians explain that if we love God and others, keeping the ten commandments will be easy.  Really?  Haven’t you noticed that some are not so easy to love?  As for loving God, it was the first of the ten commandments.  So I obediently loved Him.  Did I?  Naturally I doubted the purity of that love, given that the love was paired with the motivation of avoiding the consequences of disobeying. 

   Regardless, the law entails more than 600 laws, not just the 10 commandments.  But even if there were only 10, there’s one, namely the 4th found in Exodus 20:8-11, which I unsuccessfully tried to keep for years.  If you’ve read it you know that it says nothing about keeping Sunday holy, nor which day of the week to attend church.  It commands to keep the 7th day (from Friday sunset to Saturday sunset) holy, which includes NOT performing ANY work on that day.  The penalty for breaking it, found in Exodus 31:15, is death.  Fortunately my religious leaders in the Seventh-day Adventist church never carried this consequence out or I wouldn’t be here writing this; they also would have disappeared long ago.

   While reading The New Living Translation of Matthew 5:17 I began to understand the meaning of this text at a whole new level. 

   “Don’t misunderstand why I have come.  I did not come to abolish the law of Moses or the writings of the prophets.  No, I came to accomplish their purpose” (Matthew 5:17, NLT).

   So what was the law’s purpose?  I found it in the third chapter of Romans.  Reading the complete chapter gave me a clearer picture, but I found the heart of my answer in verses 19 and 20. 

   “…for its [the law’s] purpose is to keep people from having excuses, and to show that the entire world is guilty before God.  For no one can ever be made right with God by doing what the law commands.  The law simply shows us how sinful we are”  (Romans 3:19-20, NLT).

   Finally!  On the umpteenth time of reading this passage, at last I understood that the purpose of the law is to know that I am guilty before God; NOT to earn my way into God’s good graces, NOT to reserve for me those heavenly places, and NOT to save my soul from Dante’s terrifying spaces.  I knew long before this that I was guilty.  So the law had long ago fulfilled its purpose in me.  I just hadn’t known it. In Romans Paul continues:

   “But now God has shown us a way to be made right with him without keeping the requirements of the law, as was promised in the writings of Moses and the prophets long ago.  We are made right with God by placing our faith in Jesus Christ…” (Romans 3:21-22, NLT).

   To quote authors Stone & Gregory in The Rest of the Gospel: When the Partial Gospel Has Worn You Out

    “Once a person becomes a believer, the law actually hinders the fulfillment of God’s  purpose for our lives; That’s because the law by its nature sets a standard that we automatically try in our own effort to live up to.  And the moment we do, we are living according to the flesh, from our own self-effort, rather than by faith, trusting Christ’s life in us.” 

   I wanted to be free of living according to the flesh.  I wanted God to express His life in me and through me.  On July 8th, 2020 I told my Creator that I wanted to know and experience the truth that I died with Christ, and to please reveal this to me and make it real in my life.  The Holy Spirit answered my prayer.

   That was the beginning of dying to my old self; of dying to my flesh and the law of sin and death, while being born to the abundant life in Christ.

   Here are a few examples of the change from my old mediocre life to my new abundant life.  Before my new life, I had been experiencing increasing regret over both unwise turns and missed opportunities in my life.  Since my rebirth, though these memories sometimes still come to mind they actually feel removed from me.  Also, my mind often created defensive responses over insignificant, and sometimes imaginary scenarios.  Though with decreasing regularity, these defenses still come to mind at times, I now find myself chuckling at them.  They are not a part of who I am anymore but are bondages of the old me that died with Christ.  It is isn’t that I’m totally immune to pain and discomfort but these things of the past life are no longer part of the real me; The new me lives by the faith of the Son of God who loves me and gave his life for me. 

   “But Christ has rescued us from the curse pronounced by the law.  When he was hung on the cross, he took upon himself the curse for our wrongdoing.  For it is written in the Scriptures, “Cursed is everyone who is hung on a tree”  (Galatians 3:13, NLT).

    In the Apostle Paul’s first letter to Timothy regarding the law he wrote,

   “But we know that the law is good….Knowing this that the law is not made for the righteous, but for the wicked and rebellious, for the ungodly…”  (1 Timothy 1:8-9, Lamsa Translation).

   As I continued through the chapter I saw that I do not fit the description of those under the law because I have died in Christ to the old life and have risen with him to new life.  I thank The Almighty Loving One for rescuing me from the curse of something good.

   “I am crucified with Christ; henceforth it is not I who live, but Christ who lives in me; and the life which now I live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.  I do not frustrate the grace of God; for if righteousness comes by means of the law, then Christ died in vain”  (Galatians 2:20-21, Lamsa Translation).

   Helpful references:

   Romans Chapter 7

   Galatians Chapter 3

   1 Timothy 1:8-11

   The Rest of the Gospel: When the Partial Gospel Has Worn you Out.  Stone & Gregory 

   Author: Terialynn Manzano

 

1 thought on “RESCUED FROM THE CURSE OF SOMETHING GOOD”

  1. “Terialynn made a comment to me recently that demonstrates the understanding she has come into since she wrote this testimony. It was so beautiful that I wanted to share it with you on this page. God is so good to bring us to places that cause us to know Him in dimensions we could never know without His help. Thank you Terialynn for sharing your heart with me”. Bonnie Morris….Author of this website!

    “God’s love and forgiveness is so infinite and encompassing that it has absolutely nothing to do with the depths of our sin. It has everything to do with who He Is; Love. When we judge Our Father’s willingness or ability to love and forgive us by the depths of our own sinful actions, we deny who he is and try to create him into a false god that only forgives by our standards. Let us create no other gods before The One True God of Love, who is passionately delighted to forgive his prodigal child.”

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