Tuesday, April 30
10 For all who rely on the works of the law are under a curse, because it is written, Everyone who does not do everything written in the book of the law is cursed. 11 Now it is clear that no one is justified before God by the law, because the righteous will live by faith. 12 But the law is not based on faith; instead, the one who does these things will live by them. 13 Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, because it is written, Cursed is everyone who is hung on a tree. 14 The purpose was that the blessing of Abraham would come to the Gentiles by Christ Jesus, so that we could receive the promised Spirit through faith.
15 Brothers and sisters, I’m using a human illustration. No one sets aside or makes additions to a validated human will. 16 Now the promises were spoken to Abraham and to his seed. He does not say “and to seeds,” as though referring to many, but referring to one, and to your seed, who is Christ. 17 My point is this: The law, which came 430 years later, does not invalidate a covenant previously established by God and thus cancel the promise. 18 For if the inheritance is based on the law, it is no longer based on the promise; but God has graciously given it to Abraham through the promise.
Paul here addressed those who thought that their law-performance could give them a right standing before God.
“The hypocritical doers of the Law are those who seek to obtain a righteousness by a mechanical performance of good works while their hearts are far removed from God. They act like the foolish carpenter who starts with the roof when he builds a house.” (Luther)
Paul is not communicating that the law, or the word of God is bad. He is simply insisting that God never intended the law to be the way we find our approval before Him. To further prove that point with scripture Paul quotes from the Old Testament and shows how Deuteronomy tells us that if we do not keep all things in the law and actually do them, then we are cursed. It doesn’t take long to realize that we have failed many times and in so many different ways when it comes to keeping all the commandments within scripture. Because that is true, the best news ever is located in verse 13. “Christ redeemed us from the curse.” You can’t keep the law, but He kept it for you and he’s redeeming every part of you on a daily basis.
For us to receive approval based on the law we are required to actually do what it says. Not just know what it says, not just like what it says, and not even just want to do what it says. You also have to do all of it. Every single part. If approval is based on your ability to DO the law, and ALL of it then you’ll quickly become disqualified from salvation and grace. What would change if instead of working FOR God’s approval, you started working FROM God’s approval. What we do matters, but what we do doesn’t qualify us. Let’s begin to strive towards holiness with God’s approval empowering us every step.
God, today help me believe that I am not my past and I am not defined by the things that I do. Help me fully understand that I have God’s approval because of Christ’s redeeming work in my life. Allow me to live well for Your sake today.
Pick Four More Activities
Listen and Worship.
Pray a Psalm.
Read a Book.
Retell the Gospel to Yourself.
Take Some Notes on Today's Devotional.
Pray for Yourself, Your Family, Your Church, and the Lost.
Memorize a Verse.
List Five Things You're Thankful For.