Last week I wrote about the difference between faith in Jesus and doing good works to get us in right relationship with God. And according to Galatians 3, it’s not about the rules but about giving our hearts to Jesus. In other words, it’s about faith.
Well, this message has really been marinating and brewing in my life. I’m seeing signs and receiving messages all the time about its truth.
First, I was reviewing last week’s sermon from the church that I have been attending, Reality SF. The church has been doing an awesome series on Discovering God. Basically, we are learning about God’s attributes. This week’s sermon is about God is mercy and grace. The pastor showed us that God’s grace and mercy is in the Old Testament, Exodus 34:6-7 and in the New Testament in Ephesians 2:8.
God has always been both merciful and full of grace as well as being the very things themselves. (Hope you catch the difference)
“And the Lord passed before him and proclaimed, ‘The Lord, the Lord God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abounding in goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin by no means cleraing the guilty, visting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children and the children’s children to the third and the fourth generation.'” Exodus 34:6-7 (NKJV)
“For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.” Ephesians 2:8 (ESV)
Amazing! So the same message given in Galatians is also given in Ephesians and Exodus. It is by faith not our works that we are saved. It is by God’s grace.
So I think the next ah-ha moment came when reading the rest of chapter 3 of Galatians. In verses 3:21-22, The Message translation, states that
“If such is the case, is the law, then, an anti-promise, a negation of God’s will for us? Not at all, it’s purpose was to make obvious to everyone that we are, in ourselves, out of right relationship with God, and therefore to show us the futility of devising some religious system for getting by our own efforts what we can only get by waiting in faith for God to complete his promise. For if any kind of rule-keeping had power to create life in us, we would certainly have gotten it by this time.” Galatians 3:21-22 (MSG)
Wow! If rules were the key to our salvation, then we would have already been saved. And there would have been no need for Jesus to come and die on the cross for us. Religious systems are not enough!
We were given the rules, the Mosaic law, because we were not mature enough to respond freely in faith to the living God (see Galatians 3:23 (MSG)).
However, now we have to grow up and choose Him and have faith in him!
I’m personally so thankful that I don’t have to rely on religion or rules to be saved. For this very fact, I give thanks to Jesus!
Still pondering this wondrous grace,
P.S. Stay tuned for tomorrow’s BIG ANNOUNCEMENT!!!
I’m linking up with the following communities!