Today’s Reading: Galatians 4:21-31
Daily Lectionary: Genesis 43:1-28; Mark 12:13-27
Tell me, you who want to be under the Law, have you heard the Law? (Galatians 4:21)
Merry Lent! In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. God judges everything we do and don’t do. His judgments are right and true. It’s not enough to do something for God. You must do things perfectly and for the right reason. He requires complete obedience with all that is in us—heart, body, and soul. That’s life under the Law!
We are inclined to live under the Law. It’s how we how we think religion works. We want to trust in ourselves—in our believing, in our decision, in our change of life. It’s like a prison cell that we are used to being locked in. It’s a comfortable religion which appeals to the part of us that thinks we can and should do something for God.
But Paul’s question nails it! If you want to be under the Law, you need to hear the whole Law. You need to obey the whole Law of God—every dotted i and crossed t. You need to keep it all—every commandment, every precept, every Word that God gives to you. Do it all. Complete it perfectly. Obey with a happy and positive attitude.
Yet you can’t. You can do some of the Law, some of the time, with some varying degrees of faithfulness. But the full Law of God? You fall short. You miss the mark. You do it daily. You do it much. That’s bad news before God’s holy Law, which requires perfection! The soul that sins shall die—here on earth and eternally in hell!
God did not go through Christmas, Good Friday, and Easter to leave salvation up to your keeping of the Law! There’s another way to deal with God: the way of faith. Believe that He sent His Son to save you. Trust that all Jesus did counts for you. Repent of your keeping of the Law and put your faith in Jesus, who kept the Law perfectly for you. Know that He suffered on the Cross for all the laws you don’t keep before God.
Paul’s goal today is to point you to the simple truth of Holy Scripture. There are two ways for God to deal with you: the Law and faith. Either you do it for God perfectly or trust that Christ has done everything that is required of you. Either you are going to save yourself or God has saved you on Good Friday in Jesus. There’s no mixing or half and half with God on this one. Either you do, or He does.
God has sent His Son to save you. He wants you to worship Him by faith alone. He wants you to trust His keeping of the Law for you. You can trust that Jesus has saved you—even from your failures to keep the Law. Merry Lent! In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. –Rev. George Borghardt