12 But the law is not of faith, rather “The one who does them shall live by them.” 13 Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us—for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who is hanged on a tree”— 14 so that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham might come to the Gentiles, so that we might receive the promised Spirit through faith.
Galatians 3:12-4, English Standard Version
Some believers find it difficult to believe that God is always fully pleased with them and this is because they struggle with living a holy and perfect life, in all their actions and thoughts. This was the problem with the Galatians as they began well but lost their momentum and way when they believed the wrong idea about pleasing God. They embraced a false gospel which was a mixture of law and grace. They wanted to add their works of the Law into the already perfected and undeserved work of grace.
Law and grace cannot be mixed together.
When the Christian life is a mixture of law and grace, it is like mixing vinegar and wine. It becomes undrinkable. This mixture Paul warns us, leads to hypocrisy. Hypocrisy is man’s religious showmanship and is not of God. It is both self-serving (you are happy when your own flesh is able to please God) and self-defeating (you become unhappy when your flesh fails you). The Apostle Paul tells us:
12 Yet the law is not of faith.
If you trust your own flesh to please God, the Law knows your flesh will ultimately fail you. It cannot save you but it points you to a Saviour. Grace is always greater than Law. It offers a righteousness that the Law cannot give. Again, Paul gives us a precious insight:
21 I do not set aside the grace of God; for if righteousness comes through the law, then Christ died in vain.
The complete and perfect work of grace is Jesus’ performance and not yours or ours. God is fully pleased with you because of what Christ has done for you. Don’t set aside the grace of God in how you live your Christian life and especially when you fail in your actions and thoughts, it is of faith and by faith.
© Copyright Richard Tan, 2019.
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the New King James Version®.
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