The sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
—I Corinthians 5:56-57 (NKJV)
Sin is the sting of death. And what is the strength of sin? It is the Law. Until the Law was known and revealed what sin was, there was no understanding of it. The Law disclosed our need for God. But do you know what? Once you realize that you need God, the Law cannot give you the relationship with God that you need. But thanks be to God, who gives victory over sin through Jesus, His Son! Only Jesus can give you a relationship with God.
After becoming convicted of sin, many people attempt to come to God by keeping the Law. Some who ask Jesus into their lives, realizing that there is no way for them to earn a relationship with God, later try to maintain a good relationship with God by struggling to meet the Law's standards. A relationship with Jesus is not about us and what we do. It is about Jesus and what He has done for us on the Cross. No one can meet the standards of the Law but Jesus. God did not give the Law so we can earn our way to heaven. God gave the Law to reveal how miserable and hopeless we are without Him—so we would stop trusting in our own ability and trust in Jesus.
God wants us to have a relationship with Him—not to have a religion with Him. The Law gives religion. Religion teaches that we will not hear from God or go to heaven unless we keep up the standards that only Jesus could meet. Grace gives you a relationship. A relationship with Jesus says that God loves us in our imperfection. He doesn't see our imperfections. God sees Jesus when He looks at us. He sees us as He sees His Son. God's love for us surpasses the conditions of religion. Jesus loved us with His life. He is the one who gives us victory over sin—not ourselves!
God gave the Law to reveal the knowledge of our sin. And that sin condemned us, destroying any ability for us to save ourselves. The Law revealed our need for a Savior—without blemish—who could flawlessly meet God's standards and show us that there is no way to earn a relationship with God. Only Jesus could earn it for us, and He did on the Cross.
So if you are struggling tirelessly, trying to be good enough in God's eyes, it is time to stop. Let the Holy Spirit reveal to you that because of God’s beloved Son, you are accepted and loved. God now lives within you, and you have His power to live the righteousness He gave you—not of your own doing but because of who He is. Sin will take you further than you want to go, but you cannot defeat it on your own. Jesus is the only one who can create in your life holiness of heart. You do not struggle to earn what Jesus has already purchased for you. You live by faith in the Son of God, who gave His life for you.
Thanks be to God, who gives us victory through the gift of His life. It is not of anything we have done. The gift of His life for ours sets us free to receive and give love based on only what He has done. And we are free to love as He has loved us.
©2020 Lynn Lacher