Thursday, November 5
Scripture: Job 30, Psalm 120, Galatians 3-4
Galatians 3:11 So it is clear that no one can be made right with God by trying to keep the law. For the Scriptures say, “It is through faith that a righteous person has life.”
The entire letter to the Galatians is to correct this one fallacy: you can’t be saved by your own efforts, by keeping the Jewish law, but only by faith in Christ. In other words, the gospel is not DO (what you do to earn salvation), but DONE (what God has done for you in Christ to give you salvation).
There were well-meaning but misguided Jewish Christians who were insisting that the gospel was Jesus plus the Law. You needed to add to your faith the Jewish practices of keeping Sabbath, circumcision, and kosher food laws. Paul emphatically and repeatedly says NO! The gospel is Jesus plus nothing. We trust Him completely, adding nothing of our own to what He has done.
My grandmother was a Seventh Day Adventist. She loved the Lord and prayed for me faithfully—I loved her and owe her a lot. She also believed that we needed to keep the Jewish food laws and Sabbath laws to be good Christians. She was wrong about that. The Adventists make the same mistake that the Jewish Christians in Galatia made—thinking that the gospel is Jesus plus the Law.
Does this mean we don’t obey what Jesus said? Of course not. We gladly obey as followers of Jesus, saved by grace. But Jesus declared all foods clean—eliminating the kosher food laws that Adventists insist are still in force. We are, in Paul’s words, dead to the Law, but alive to God.
So what’s my take away today? It’s not bashing the Adventists (whom I believe are genuine Christians, my brothers and sisters in Christ). It’s simply rejoicing that I’m no longer under the Law, but under grace. It’s coming to Jesus with empty hands (no righteousness of my own) and a full heart and trusting Him completely. It’s living joyously in the knowledge that Jesus has DONE it all, and I simply trust Him.
Prayer: Thanks Lord for the freedom we have in Christ, the freedom that comes from DONE, the freedom to live by faith through grace!