Galatians 3:11 What To Rely On

“Clearly no one who relies on the law is justified before God, because the righteous will live by faith.” Galatians 3:11

There were some people in the churches of Galatia that were going back to the Mosaic Law to serve and worship God. They were attempting to show themselves righteous by how well they kept the Law. Paul clearly points out that they are being foolish in doing this. The Law only brought about death. It did not provide for removal of a sin in a person’s life. A believer in Jesus is to believe by faith in the salvation that Jesus is providing.

Although people today do not talk so much about following the Law of Moses, they still attempt to follow the Law. Often it is a person who is trying to make himself right with God. People like to be of value and to accomplish something on their own. They want to be successful.

When people mess up in their walk with God, often they will do things to make it right and try to earn God’s grace and forgiveness. They will give more in the offering, volunteer more in ministries, start reading the Bible more, or something else. All of these things are good, if done to be a service to God and others, but often they are done to look good to God.

No matter how good you are at following the law, at some point you have broken it and only deserve death. You have become of no value at all. You cannot earn life again, the price is too high.

This is where faith steps in. Jesus died for you and rose again to take away your sins. Can you trust Him to take away your sins? Can you trust that He loves you enough to do so? This is where faith comes in.

There is nothing to be earned. The works you do should be done out of gratitude for what Jesus had done for you, not to earn God’s favor. Following Jesus and believing in Him will give you God’s favor.

Don’t rely on what you can or cannot do, rely on what Jesus has done and can do.

I pray today that you will know what Jesus has done for you; that you will have faith in the death and resurrection of Jesus; that you will trust Jesus to make you righteous before God; and that you will live your life by faith in Jesus.

Romans 13:8 Only One Outstanding Debt Allowed

“Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for whoever loves others has fulfilled the law.” Romans 13:8

Just prior to this verse Paul talked about paying everyone what is owed. This covered everything, including taxes, honor, and respect. Now he tells everyone to have no debts that are outstanding except to love others.

Debt has become a common place in today’s society. This goes from the individuals to the nations. Many people believe that in order to live life correctly there must be some type of debt. One can get credit cards very easily that sound good with low return payments, but extremely high interest rates.

Society also expects to be able to have everything they want now when they want it, regardless of the cost. There is a high level of greed in this, and very low level of responsibility and stewardship.

Yet, according to Paul the only debt that is allowed is the debt to continue to love others. This love is the agape love, the self-sacrificing love of God. It is putting others before yourself. It is building others up first. It is meeting their needs first.

This type of love will fulfill the complete law. The first part of the law is about loving God. The second part of the law is loving others. You are not to steal, kill, covet, and anything else against another person. When you love someone, you will not do any of these things.

As a believer you should be striving to pay all of your debts on time. Love is one that you can pay as much as you can pay, and still have room to pay more.

Have you loved every person as much as Jesus loved you? He died on the cross for you.

If you are reading this you have not yet had to die for someone else. You have not had to physically lay down your life in love for someone else.

Are you willing to love as Jesus did?

Are you trying to love as Jesus did?

Let your only debt be the one to love other people more and more each day. Let God’s love flow in and through you to everyone else. Strive to pay that debt as much as you can as fast as you can.

I pray today that you will know the love God has for you; that you will know the love God has for everyone; that you will love others as God has loved you; and that you will strive to have no outstanding debts except to love others.

Romans 7:25 Dual Slavery

“Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself in my mind am a slave to God’s law, but in my sinful nature a slave to the law of sin.” Romans 7:25

Paul was just talking about some of the challenges he was facing in his own life. As a believer he wanted to do the good things God wanted him to do. He wanted to live a righteous and holy life. While at the same time, the sinful nature in him rose up and caused him to continue to sin. He would end up doing what he did not want to do.

As a result of this he knew he was in trouble. This is where God’s great love comes in. God sent Jesus Christ to take away this problem. It is through the death and resurrection of Jesus that any believer can have any hope of overcoming the sin in his life.

Now Paul points out that in his mind he is striving to please God, yet his sinful nature is still there to cause him to sin. He is battling between two different masters in his life.

Today many believers have this same challenge. They are wanting to be the holy, righteous believer that Jesus called them to be, yet keep on falling into various sins. They keep running back to Jesus, often in fear that He will give them up as failures.

You may feel the same way right now or at certain times. Jesus will never give up on you. He is always waiting for you to come to Him. You must be willing to trust that He desires to forgive you and help you move on with Him.

The grace and mercy of Jesus allows Him to forgive you. Your heart must be focused on serving God. You must be striving to be like Jesus. Then the sinful nature will be held down more. It will not rise up as powerful. When it does rise up and catch you, you know that you can run back to Jesus again.

God will give you strength to overcome sin more and more as you trust and follow Him more.

Do not allow the sinful nature full control. Stay focused on Jesus today.

I pray today that you will trust in the grace and mercy of Jesus; that you will have a heart towards God; that you will strive to turn from all sin; and that you will not allow yourself to be controlled by your sinful nature.

Romans 7:7 Is The Law Sinful?

“What shall we say, then? Is the law sinful? Certainly not! Nevertheless, I would not have known what sin was had it not been for the law. For I would not have known what coveting really was if the law had not said, You shall not covet.” Romans 7:7

Paul had previously talked about how the law brings about death. People then state that the law in sinful, that God is in the wrong, since He made something to cause sin and death.

Immediately Paul states that the law is not sinful in any way. It is because of the law that he knew what coveting was.

The law had to be in place in order for any person to know what the rules were. Without the law a person cannot know what is right and what is wrong.

The world loves to state that God is in the wrong with allowing sin to be in the world in the first place. It is often asked why did not God just destroy Satan immediately when he rebelled and keep sin out of the world.

God could have done that, but He wanted people who really wanted Him, not just forced to serve Him because there is no other way. In order for people to serve Him correctly they had to be told what was right and wrong. This is where the law comes into effect.

In the Garden of Eden, Adam and Eve were given a rule of not touching a certain tree. When they ate of the fruit of the tree, they had broken God’s simple rule, which then brought about death.

It is the same today. God has laid down a few simple rules for life. If any of those rules are broken, and everyone breaks some of them, death comes.

The law in itself is not sinful. It is helpful in knowing what God desires of His people.

Are you willing to look at the laws God has put into place? Are you willing to try to live by those laws? Or will you, like the world, accuse God of making sinful, bad laws?

I pray today that you will know the desires of God’s heart; that you will strive to live by God’s rules; that you will know the grace Jesus provides you; and that you will tell others of Jesus.

Romans 7:4 Dead To Live

“So, my brothers and sisters, you also died to the law through the body of Christ, that you might belong to another, to him who was raised from the dead, in order that we might bear fruit for God.” Romans 7:4

Paul had just talked about marriage. He points out that a person is married until death. At the point of death, that person is released, by law, to marry someone else. Prior to death, any re-marriage is committing adultery.

In this passage he points out that in the same way every believer dies with Jesus in order to belong to Him. A believer in Jesus has died to the old law.

The old law only brought about death, it could not bring life to a person. Once a person sinned, he had to die.

Once a person is dead to the law, he is raised to live a life for God. He is expected to bear fruit for God.

The fruit for God is a wide range of things that portray Jesus in a person and to the world. When being like Jesus, the first thing most people think about is being holy and not doing any sin. While this is correct, there is much more to bearing fruit for God.

One must also be active in doing things for God. Changing your thoughts to line up with His; telling others about Jesus; serving others; caring for others; worshipping Jesus; praising God and many other things.

All too often people believe in Jesus, but stay dead. They do not live for God. They just go through the motions. There is no fruit in their lives.

What are you doing for God today? Are you living for Him? Or are you living for yourself?

Are you still living in death? Or have you died in order to live for Jesus?

As a believer you are dead to sin and alive to Jesus. Are you living that way?

I pray today that you will die to sin; that you will allow God to make you alive to Him; that you will live for Jesus; that you will live to bear fruit for God; and that God will use you to reach many for Jesus.

Romans 6:14 Sin Is No Longer In Control

“For sin shall no longer by your master, because you are not under the law, but under grace.” Romans 6:14

When the law was in full effect, people had no option about being controlled by sin. The rules were that one does not do certain things, if he does, it is sin and it brings about guilt and death. At that time sin was the master of a person. Since Jesus came and fulfilled the law’s requirements, it no longer has power over a person.

Humans are terrible about doing the very thing that they are told not to do. This is what the law did, told them what not to do.

In this process sin became the master of a person. They were bound to sin and could not escape it.

Jesus broke that power over a person with His grace. God knows that you had sinned and are guilty and deserve death. Yet, He has chosen to have grace on you and allow you to be forgiven and receive life.

Outside of the fact that God said He would forgive you, there is no reason for God to forgive you of your sins. You are guilty and deserve only death. This shows how great His grace is.

Every day you will still have sin creeping into your life. It does not have to be your master. You do not have to bow down to sin and follow it. Jesus has given you the power to turn away from sin.

Under the law once you sinned, you were guilty for life and could never change that. Sin could then keep you sinning since you were already guilty. Sin would remind you of your past and keep you guilty.

Jesus removed that sin and guilt because of His grace. Now you can look to the future since the guilty past is now clean. The law cannot hold you guilty anymore. Without being able to hold you guilty, it cannot hold you in its bind and be your master.

Do not allow sin to be your master anymore. Look to Jesus for your strength to break the bonds of sin in your life.

I pray today that you will know the forgiveness Jesus has given you; that you will know the grace of God in your life; that the bonds of sin will be broken in your life; and that you will not offer yourself to sin.

Romans 3:28 Set Right By Faith

“For we maintain that a person is justified by faith apart from the works of the law.” Romans 3:28

People like to do things in order to feel good about themselves. They like to show how good they are by what they do. Doing good things shows value and worth in the world’s eyes. It makes the person better, according to the world.

With God doing good things has a different meaning. It does not change your value at all. It does not make you better or worse.

Many people in the church do many good works to look better, just like the world does. They try to appear good to others and to God. They are trying to earn their ticket into heaven. It is trying to be right before God, when one is not right.

Once a person sins against God, that sin is there for eternity unless it is removed by God Himself. Often people try to cover up that sin and make themselves look right by doing many good things. This can be outside the church or in the church.

In today’s passage Paul is pointing out that it is not through doing good works that a person is made right. It is not in following the Law that a person is made righteous.

The only way a person is made righteous before God is through faith in Jesus. Abraham was declared righteous before the law was ever given. His righteousness came by his faith in God, not by what he did.

Since this was the case, salvation became possible for everyone. Both the Jews and the Gentiles are now able to be saved, because it had nothing to do with the Law. Jesus fulfilled the Law by becoming your sacrifice for your sins. Your faith in Him is what now makes you right before God.

Since everything is by faith, everyone is the same. There is no boasting left to be done. It also gives you a reason to obey the law and to do good works. Jesus obeyed the Law and did the good work of dying on the cross for you.

What can you do for God today? What good work can you do as a way of saying thank you for your salvation, not to earn your salvation?

I pray today that you will see the gift of salvation Jesus has provided for you; that you will have faith in Jesus and not your works; that you will do good works because you are saved, not to be saved; and that you will know and understand the justification Jesus has given you.