For when we place our faith in Christ Jesus, there is no benefit in being circumcised or being uncircumcised. What is important is faith expressing itself in love.
—Galatians 5:6 (NLT)
When you place your faith in Jesus, there is no benefit in anything you do. Trying to do something perfectly or striving to be the best, doesn't make you right with God. Having faith in Jesus is the only thing that does. When Peter first came to Antioch, Paul had to deal with him telling the Gentile believers that they must be circumcised according to Jewish law to be accepted by God. Paul was shocked at Peter’s hypocrisy and informed Peter that he knew better! A person is only made right with God by faith in Jesus Christ.
“For when I tried to keep the law, it condemned me,” Paul wrote. “So I died to the law—I stopped trying to meet all its requirements—so that I might live for God. My old self has been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. So I live in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. I do not treat the grace of God as meaningless. For if keeping the law could make us right with God, then there was no need for Christ to die” (Galatians 2:19-21, NLT).
The grace of Jesus was everything to Paul. If keeping the law could have made him right with God, then Christ's death would have had no meaning. Paul said that trying to keep the law only condemned him. Faith in Christ alone made Paul right with God. Thus, Paul stopped working to meet the law's requirements and learned who He was in Jesus. His identity in Christ gave Paul the motivation to live by faith, and the Holy Spirit gave him the power to live what he believed.
Is the grace of Christ everything to you? Have you also died to the law so you can live by faith in God's Son, who gave His life for you? Do you live by faith instead of trying to attain God's acceptance by striving to “perform” ideally?
You can’t win God’s love. Jesus gave it to you on Calvary. It is a finished and perfect work. Not your work. His work. The law doesn’t save you or heal you. It only shows you where you fail and how you sin. It reminds you of sickness that Jesus became the curse to end. The grace of Jesus alone saves and heals you.
Allow the Holy Spirit to change your perception of what the grace of Jesus has done for you. Learn who you are in Christ. You were once unaccepted, and now you are accepted. You were once sick and lost in sin, and now you are healed in His righteousness. Allow God’s grace to strengthen your heart, and quit striving to strengthen yourself. Have faith in Christ, and He will do the work in you.
Keeping the law doesn’t express faith through love. It places the focus on how you act instead of trusting what Jesus has done. Jesus expressed life-changing unconditional love when He died for you. Faith in Christ is genuine and is expressed through His love when you know you are loved without obligation or expectation. You live His love freely. You know that you don’t have to perform to be loved by Jesus. God’s love is unearned.
Are you ready like Paul to die to the law? To stop trying to meet all its requirements and live instead for God? It is no longer you who live but Christ who lives in you. Live your life by trusting Jesus instead of striving to meet God's rules. You are crucified with Christ and He alone creates holiness of heart within you. Never treat the grace of God as meaningless. If keeping the law could have made you right with God, then there was no need for Christ to die for you.
But He did die for you. And He is your victory over sin and sickness! There is nothing for you to do but live by faith in the Son of God who died for you. Life in Jesus is not about keeping rules but allowing Him to live in you.
© 2020 Lynn Lacher