Faith or Works of the Law
3 You foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you? Before your very eyes Jesus Christ was clearly portrayed as crucified. 2 I would like to learn just one thing from you: Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law, or by believing what you heard? 3 Are you so foolish? After beginning by means of the Spirit, are you now trying to finish by means of the flesh? 4 Have you experienced so much in vain—if it really was in vain? 5 So again I ask, does God give you his Spirit and work miracles among you by the works of the law, or by your believing what you heard? 6 So also Abraham “believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.”
Back in my sermon-making days, I approached some Sunday mornings feeling like a lowly worm. During the week before, I had not ben the best husband, father, or friend. I felt that before God could use me again I had to establish a task recorded of right living. So I vowed to get through the sermon as best I could and try to live better the coming week.
That was not the right approach. In Galatians 3 it’s said that God continually supplies us with His Spirit and works powerfully through us as a free gift-not because we’ve done anything or deserve it.
Abraham’s life demonstrates this. At times he failed as a husband. For example, he twice put Sarah’s life in jeopardy by lying to save his own skin (Genesis 12:10-20, 20:1-18). Yet his faith “was credited to him as righteousness” (Galatians 3:6). Abraham put himself in God’s hands despite his failures, and God used him to bring salvation to the world through his lineage.
There’s no justification for behaving badly. Jesus has asked us to follow Him in obedience, and He supplies the means to do so. A hard, unrepentant heart will always hinder His purposes for us, but His ability to use us doesn’t;t depend on a lengthy pattern of good behavior. It’s based solely on God’s willingness to work through us as we are” saved and growing by grace. You don’t have to work for His grace-it’s free.
-David H. Roper
Think of those situations in which you’e felt disqualified. How does God look at those occasions? How do you?
I’m thankful, God, that You bless me and use me in spite of my failures. Your grace is amazing!