Putting God's Word into Practice…

Galatians 3 Following Rules vs. Being of Faith

on November 13, 2012

Rules verses faith is a constant thread throughout the New Testament.  I would grow weary of hearing it, except it’s good news!  And who doesn’t love to hear good news!  People who live under faith receive a promise, while people who live under the law receive a curse.  It seems like a simple choice, but for some crazy reason, even those of us who believe it sometimes find ourselves slipping back into a life of laws.

My husband said in his message on Sunday, the Law is like a pair of tight jeans.  Every time you put them on you feel either really fat and shameful OR you think you look better than you really do!  The law can only do two things: make you feel shameful failure or make you feel self-righteous.  There is no hope or promise, unless we allow the law to point us to Jesus.

The opposite of trying to follow the rules to earn right standing before God is FAITH!  Faith gives us God’s Spirit (3) to live and work among us (5).  Faith justifies us–makes it just as if we had never sinned (8).  Faith blesses us (9), sets us free (23), and makes us part of God’s family (26).  When we are adopted into God’s family we enjoy the privileges of belonging to Him–protection, provision, unconditional love.  We have an obligation to represent the family name.  We receive the same inheritance as Jesus Christ–namely eternal life with Him in a new home.

Paul uses one word to describe people who suppress the Spirit, forfeit faith, and nullify grace by following rules–FOOLISH!  Man, I don’t want to be a fool.  I don’t want to go out in public with tight jeans on, and I don’t want you to either.  

Lord, help us to throw away anything in us that makes us turn to ourselves for righteousness.  Help us to walk in faith, putting on Jesus Christ alone for our salvation and allowing the Holy Spirit to change us day by day into His image. In the powerful name of my Redeemer, Jesus Christ, I ask this.  Amen.

P.S. As I was rereading the verses just now, it also came to my mind that the Law divides us, while faith in Jesus unites us.  Think about all the Christians and Churches you know who have parted ways over rules!!!  Faith in Jesus brings us together.  When we put on Jesus, we are one in Him.  All differences melt away.  We “see” Christ in each other.  We are still distinctly different, with different roles, gifts and paths, but Christ binds us together with the goal of loving people, stewarding grace, reconciling people to Himself, and magnifying the greatness of God.  “We are one in the Spirit, we are one in the Lord.  We are one in the Spirit, we are one in the Lord.  And we pray that all unity may one day be restored, and they’ll know we are Christians by our love, by our love.  Yes, they’ll know we are Christians by our love.”

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