Tag Archives: law

Living by Faith

Law is necessary.  It tells you what is right and wrong.  We need an understanding of it for society to work cohesively, so we all know what is expected and required of us. The law makes very definite demarcations.  You are either on the right side of it, or you are not.  We are judged and put in one camp or the other.

Faith is totally different.  Faith is a leveler.  We can all believe.  And when we believe in Jesus, we can know not just his love, but freedom from the law – being able to receive his forgiveness and the freedom that his death and resurrection bring.

Galatians 3:23-29

23 The Law controlled us and kept us under its power until the time came when we would have faith. 24 In fact, the Law was our teacher. It was supposed to teach us until we had faith and were acceptable to God. 25 But once a person has learned to have faith, there is no more need to have the Law as a teacher.

26 All of you are God’s children because of your faith in Christ Jesus. 27 And when you were baptized, it was as though you had put on Christ in the same way you put on new clothes. 28 Faith in Christ Jesus is what makes each of you equal with each other, whether you are a Jew or a Greek, a slave or a free person, a man or a woman. 29 So if you belong to Christ, you are now part of Abraham’s family, and you will be given what God has promised.

The law is to teach is not save us – faith does that job.  Faith in Jesus Christ as the one who could do what the law could not.

The law points the way, but it can do nothing for those who can’t get it right – apart from convict them.  Faith frees us from what we can’t do, because Jesus has done it for us and hands us the prize he won.

That applies to everyone.  To no one any more or any less than any other. So faith doesn’t just save us, but is the great equalizer too.  We stand before God, each one of us, as someone who is on the wrong side of his law.  People who have failed to live up to his demands and requirements.

But we also stand equal as people for whom Jesus has died and offers forgiveness.  No one any more or less important than any other.  All welcome into God’s family.

I am very grateful for that.

Thank you Lord
that though I stand here
as someone on the wrong side of your law
guilty of getting it wrong;
that through faith
I can be forgiven
and be part of your family.

Thank you that this is not just for me,
but for every man, woman and child;
that before you we are equal
– equally loved,
equally forgiven,
equally yours

Living by Faith

How simple life would be, it seems, if there were a rule book, and we could follow the rules and everything would work out fine.

Or would it?  Because how good actually are we at keeping the rules?

In the news this past week has been conversation about how few people play by the actual rules in Monopoly – and if we can’t stick to even the monopoly rules…  I confess to being fully aware of those rules, but choosing not to play them because they don’t suit my purposes!

Galatians 2:15-21

15 We are Jews by birth and are not sinners like Gentiles. 16 But we know that God accepts only those who have faith in Jesus Christ. No one can please God by simply obeying the Law. So we put our faith in Christ Jesus, and God accepted us because of our faith.

17 When we Jews started looking for a way to please God, we discovered that we are sinners too. Does this mean that Christ is the one who makes us sinners? No, it doesn’t! 18 But if I tear down something and then build it again, I prove that I was wrong at first. 19 It was the Law itself that killed me and freed me from its power, so that I could live for God.

I have been nailed to the cross with Christ. 20 I have died, but Christ lives in me. And I now live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave his life for me. 21 I don’t turn my back on God’s undeserved kindness. If we can be acceptable to God by obeying the Law, it was useless for Christ to die.

So, doing the right thing is not enough.  Obeying the law in itself does not please God – it is the reason why we obey the law, our faith in Jesus, that counts.

That, I realise is a good thing.  If it were doing the right thing alone that counts, we probably wouldn’t get very far – because try as we might, we are not always good at doing the right thing…

However having faith in Jesus, and trying to do what he requires of us, works.  Because the emphasis is on the faith in him, and not what we can achieve alone.  By ourselves we get things wrong – in and through all that Jesus has done for us, we find forgiveness and can live in that.

We can’t do anything – Jesus has done it all.

Thank you Lord
for all you have done for me
all you give to me.

Thank you that I do not have to rely
on what I can do
– for that would be a poor show,.
Thank you
that I can live by faith
and that you live in me.