"Now do you see it? No one can ever be made right in God's sight by doing what the law commands. For the more we know of God's laws, the clearer it becomes that we aren't obeying them: His laws serve only to make us see that we are sinners. But now God has shown us a different way to heaven - not by 'being good enough' and trying to keep His laws, but by a new way (though not new, really, for the Scriptures told about it long ago). Now God says He will accept and acquit us - declare us 'not guilty' - if we trust Jesus Christ to take away our sins. And we can all be saved in this same way, by coming to Christ, no matter who we are or what we have been like. Yes, all have sinned; all fall short of God's glorious ideal; yet now God declares us 'not guilty' of offending Him if we trust in Jesus Christ, who in His kindness freely takes away our sins" (Romans 3:20-24).
One of my greatest concerns through the years, especially for those who are involved in Christian ministry around the world, has been the problem of legalism. In my opinion, legalism is the greatest heresy of Christianity. The reason legalism is so dangerous is that it is extremely subtle in its appeal. It is attractive even to the most sincere Christians, who are genuinely seeking to please God by determining to be "good enough" and to "earn God's favor" through the good works of their self-effort.
How often there has been a tendency to forget "the just shall live by faith," and "without faith it is impossible to please God." There is a strong tendency to work hard in the flesh in order to please God. But if we trust Jesus Christ to take away such sins in our lives, He is faithful to do so, as He promised.
TODAY'S ACTION POINT: Today I will remind myself often that the law is merely a way to show me that I am a sinner. By faith, I will trust Christ and accept His grace and forgiveness. By faith, I will draw upon the mighty resources of God to live the supernatural life, which is my heritage in Christ.
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