Archive for June 9th, 2006

The Law vs. Faith

Friday, June 9th, 2006

Please read Galatians 3:1-14 (NRSV) (The Message) out loud if possible.

As you read, consider these questions: What might God be saying to me in this passage? What jumps out at me? At the end of the reading, try to summarize your thoughts in a sentence or two before reading on.

My thoughts on this passage (Morgan Stewart):

Tension between law and grace is something all believers must deal with. Jews who made up the early church had been taught that righteousness before God stemmed from observing the Law (laws of Moses in the Old Testament). Yet, this new “Christianity” taught that faith alone (belief in Christ) is the source of all righteousness with God.

Naturally, new converts fell into the temptation to mingle law with grace in order to be seen as righteous before God. Confusion abounded and questions asked included “What’s wrong with following the Law to be righteous?”, “Why is following the Law no longer enough?” and “How has Christ affected the change?”

In this passage, the Apostle Paul explains and clearly affirms that it is solely faith in Christ — apart from the Law — that makes us righteous before God. He chides the young churches in Galatia for returning to their former, futile ways: attempting righteousness with God by human effort instead of simple faith in Christ.

Although the original churches of Galatia are long gone, the temptation still exists today for church believers to try to work their way into God’s goodness. Folks erroneously think, “God will love me more if I sin less, keep more of the 10 Commandments, or tithe my income to the church.”

The truth is God loves you no matter what. To be justified, or seen “just-as-if-I’d-never sinned” in God’s eyes comes through faith in Christ alone.

Thought for the day: Am I trying to attain righteousness with God by human effort?

Today, let’s join together in prayer for: Each other. Lift a prayer for everyone else who uses Be Still… that they will grow closer to God today.

We encourage you to include a time of prayer with this reading. Use the item above as a starting point, or consider the guidelines on the How to Pray page.

"Be still, and know that I am God." Psalm 46:10
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