I know the title may be off-putting in today’s culture. We are told over and over “you are enough.”
And in the context of God’s love, it is true that we are made in His image and loved greatly. John 3:16 tells us that He loved the world enough to send His son.
But yesterday we saw that there is bad news – we’re all sinners. We’re all separated from God by our sin. If you missed that post, you may want to read it first. Don’t worry, I included some of the good news, too!
Here’s the thing; we’re all sinners and we cannot do enough good to overcome that.
God’s word says, “For no one can ever be made right with God by doing what the law commands. The law simply shows us how sinful we are.” Romans 3:20
The law refers to God’s moral law. This includes the Ten Commandments, but also regulations given by God on justice, respect, and sexual conduct.
Yet, if you’re reading this, the fact is, you’re probably a pretty good person. And that’s where we get messed up sometimes when we think about how to be right with God. Western culture is replete with the notion that being a good person, doing good deeds, staying out of jail…you name it…gains you favor with God.
And, I feel certain that God is pleased when we exhibit godly behavior and attitudes in His name.
It’s Not Enough
We saw in Romans that we can’t do it. The law is there to show us our sin and point us to God for mercy.
Let’s say we’re just dealing with the Ten Commandments. Many like to think they obey all these basics.
Let’s take a little survey – between you and God. And to make it really easy, we’ll boil it down to the two great commandments Jesus referred to in Matthew 22:37-39.
Love the Lord Your God…
I DO love the Lord. Many of my readers do also. But don’t we make decisions every day that prioritize our spouse, kids, entertainment, convenience, sleep, physical wellness or something else over spending time with the God of the universe who made such an effort to keep us in relationship with Him?
Granted, none of those things is bad in and of itself. But the priority we give it over God results in a transgression of the law.
Love Your Neighbor
This one may even be easier to find our weak point. What about when:
• Someone cuts you off in traffic?
• Someone serves you the wrong food in a restaurant or in the drive-thru?
• You disagree with someone on the moral decline or our country – whether or friend or a politician you’ve never met
• Someone betrays you
• Someone rejects you
• Someone openly attacks you in person or on social media
• Someone can’t help you on the internet or telephone helpdesk
Is it getting easier to see why we can’t seriously consider obeying the law a way to salvation?
Why I Celebrate Easter
Let’s say you could fully obey the greatest commandment – loving God with all you are - but you know you struggle with the second greatest commandment – loving others. It’s not enough.
James wrote, “For the person who keeps all of the laws except one is as guilty as a person who has broken all of God’s laws.” James 2:10
I celebrate Easter precisely BECAUSE no one can be made right with God by trying to keep the law. Wouldn’t that be exhausting?! And because our failure in the law isn’t the end of the story. God also teaches us through Paul that, “It is through faith that a righteous person has life.” Galatians 3:11 NLT
Faith. That’s our part. And it is given by God, so we don’t even come up with that on our own.
Join me tomorrow to hear more about the LIFE that God has so graciously given to those who believe (faith).
I’d love to hear how this series is impacting you so drop a comment and let me know.
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And - enjoy this song by Phil Wickham about the hope that is ours despite the bad news.