Imagine someone stealing your money and fortunately he was caught and brought before the court. While arguing his case, he says to the judge in his defense, “I didn’t sleep with his wife, I didn’t hurt his kids, I didn’t kill anyone and I didn’t damage any of his properties”.
Even though truly he didn’t do so many other evil things he could have done, truth is he remains guilty before the law for the one thing he did – Theft, and for this he will go to prison. He could be a good man who gives to charity, he could be a loving husband to his wife, he could be a pastor in church who only stole out of pressure and desperation, all those good won’t matter before the law, he is guilty.
This is the reality of the law. Like James 2:10 says “For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles in one point, he has become guilty of all.” It is stated that there are 613 commandments in the law, and it is literally impossible for us not to stumble in 1. This is obvious when Paul declared “there is none righteous, no, not one”. In fact, cursed is the person who doesn’t carry out every detail of the law.
Then why did God give the Law? Paul shows, God gave the Law to reveal His standard of absolute righteousness to convict us all of our true guilt before Him, so that we would see our need for the gospel.
The law helped us recognize sin. The law was to keep His people on the path to salvation until Christ comes. The law was to help us see our need for Christ. The law helped us see that we are incapable of living the life God wills for us by our effort. Christ came not to abolish the law but to fulfill it, so you and I can attain righteousness not on merit but by grace. A sheer gift!
Therefore, we can no longer try to please God By merit any longer. Any attempt to do same leads to one thing – a fall from grace. Any attempt to hold on to circumcision as a way of getting in on God, to stay glued to tithing as a way to gain God’s Blessing and much more are attempts to want to please God on merit, and it’s a dangerous path out of God’s grace revealed in Christ. The moment we submit to any rule keeping system in order to please God, we have squandered the hard won gift of freedom in Christ.
“When you die and God asks, ‘What right do you have to come into my joy?’ what will your answer be?”
Will it be that you performed miracles in His name? Will it be that your God project got people talking? Will it be that you paid your tithe without fail? Will it be that you prayed without ceasing? Will it be that you believed in the completed work of Christ and lived out the life of Christ by faith?
Jesus will submit fully to what the Father has prepared and done for Him. Jesus will live a life of complete trust in the Father. Jesus will acknowledge that not his will but the Father’s will be done. Jesus won’t try to flex his moral muscle to please the Father because He is already in Him.
Lord, I break free of every mindset, every effort and every paradigm that locks me in a place where I try to please you by my effort. I break from every attempt to show that I got in on you and all that is yours because of what I have done. I acknowledge the futility of my efforts and I embrace the full and complete package you have given me in Christ. Thank you Lord.