Today, I want to continue to experiment with a form of journaling that I learned a few years ago and was recently reminded of.
H – Highlight
Galatians 3:10-11 – 10 For all who rely on works of the law are under a curse; for it is written, “Cursed be everyone who does not abide by all things written in the Book of the Law, and do them.” 11 Now it is evident that no one is justified before God by the law, for “The righteous shall live by faith.”
E – Explain
Paul, in Galatians, is building a strong argument against those who would pervert the gospel by requiring obedience to Old Testament regulations for salvation. There were many who could not accept the notion of salvation by grace alone through faith alone. So Paul argues strongly to show that there is only one way of salvation.
The argument Paul builds here is interesting. If a person looks to law for salvation, in even the smallest part, that person is accountable to keep the entire law, perfectly, forever for salvation. This of course is beyond our abilities. Even were God willing to grant salvation to a person who fully obeyed the law, there is no such person who has ever lived other than Jesus who could keep such a holy requirement.
A – Application
This passage is not arguing for lawlessness. We can learn much about God’s standards for righteousness and God’s holy character in the law. What we must never do is think that any behavior of ours, any ceremony, any keeping of any ritual can add even an ounce of grace or righteousness to our lives. The just live by faith. Our righteousness comes through Christ alone, and we receive that righteousness from God as a gift through faith and faith alone.
R – Response
Worship is a right response here. Only God is so holy as to be able to stand in the face of his own law. It is a call to humility, as I know that I have often failed to keep the whole law. It is a call for faith in Christ, as I must understand that I cannot bring anything to my own salvation other than my sin. It calls me to be aware of the call to faith, and to even thank God for his grace. My choice to believe is not in itself a righteous act that earns me anything. My faith is a gift from God, a gracious saving move of the Creator. So I respond with gratitude, awe, thanksgiving. And I would hope that it leads me to hunger to honor the Lord who saves by grace alone.
Prayer: Lord, I am grateful to you, grateful beyond my ability to express, for salvation by grace alone through faith alone. I acknowledge here and now that I know that I could never add anything to my righteousness to earn salvation, regardless of how strongly I were to try to keep your law. Your law is perfect. Your ways are holy. I am a sinner. My only hope is the kindness you have shown in Jesus. Jesus fulfilled all righteousness. Jesus died and rose again. Jesus is my only salvation. My trust is in Christ and Christ alone.