Friday, October 31, 2008

Life in the Flesh by faith in Christ.

Galatians 2:17-21 (ESV)
But if, in our endeavor to be justified in Christ, we too were found to be sinners, is Christ then a servant of sin? Certainly not! [18] For if I rebuild what I tore down, I prove myself to be a transgressor. [19] For through the law I died to the law, so that I might live to God. I have been crucified with Christ. [20] It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. [21] I do not nullify the grace of God, for if justification were through the law, then Christ died for no purpose.

Seems to be a fine line to walk here. In Paul’s rant against the law he is not advocating for a life of unbridled drunken orgies. The law still serves a purpose in the Christian life. It just doesn’t justify, nor does it serve as a vehicle for sanctification. This is the problem where the law is concerned, giving it too much credibility, putting our faith in works of the law, rather than in Jesus Christ. I don’t, though, think of this as walking a tight rope where you can fall off by looking to either direction and losing your balance just slightly.
No, rather it is more like riding a bike. When you ride your bike you look at where you are going. If you look to the right you go to the right. If you look to the left you go to the left. If you look straight ahead you go straight ahead. Straight ahead is Christ on the cross, constantly calling, “Your sins are forgiven.” On the right is the law, on the left is hedonism. I don’t think we can help looking from the left to the right. It is in our human nature to look to the sides of us as we are riding along. Sometimes we want to put to much pride in our works of the law. Sometimes we give in to the temptations of the world. Often we are as ignorant of our sins as we are of our good works. But as Christians we always have “a word behind you, saying, "This is the way, walk in it," when you turn to the right or when you turn to the left.” (Isaiah 30:21 (ESV) And that word is Christ who became flesh and gave us his life, so we might be able to live in the flesh by faith. Faith in his word, that says, “your sins are forgiven. ‘I am the way.’ I am your salvation.” With forgiveness he calls us back to him from the snares of sin on the left, and the snares of the law on the right.

No comments: