Romans 3:19-24 - Now we know that whatever the Law says it speaks to those who are under the Law, so that every mouth may be stopped, and the whole world may be held accountable to God. For by works of the Law no human being will be justified in His sight, since through the Law comes knowledge of sin. But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the Law, although the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it—the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction: for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by His grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.
I recently heard a terrifying story of someone married to an abuser. She needed to leave before she and her children were killed. Yet, she was afraid to—because her church leader told her that the Bible lay down certain rules about divorce, and abuse didn't fit into them. To keep the Law, she had to put everyone's lives at risk. Otherwise God wouldn't love her anymore.
I hope I don't have to explain to you why this is unspeakable wrongness. But there's another problem with it, too. The people in this story were misusing God's Law.
The Law does not exist to show us how to earn and keep God's love. It doesn't exist to give us a pathway to heaven. It's not even there primarily to show us how to live a good life, although it can function that way if you're looking for ideas. No, the primary purpose of the Law is the one Paul identifies for us today: "that every mouth may be stopped, and the whole world may be held accountable to God."
The Law does one thing, and it does it superbly well: It makes it crystal clear that we are all sinners, and we desperately need Jesus Christ above all things. Do you feel complacent, like you've got it all together, and have no need for a Savior? Then read God's Law. It won't take long before that attitude vanishes and you find yourself on your knees reaching for Jesus.
Jesus, and not the Law, is God's answer to the question: "What must I do to be saved?" To be saved, to have life, to have peace, wholeness, purity, blessedness—all the things our hearts yearn for, because we know God made us for something better than what we now have—all those things we now find in Jesus. He is the One who took the Law upon Himself, carrying all our brokenness, all our guilt and shame to the cross, into death—where it remains forever. The charges against us—past, present, and future—are dead. They will never rise again.
But Jesus has risen! And with Him, we too will rise—because His Spirit lives in us as a free gift, giving us life and trust in Jesus every day of our lives. Every day our sins are washed away and Jesus takes us by the hand as we step out into a bright new morning, filled with the love of God and His eternal peace for us. And on that Last Day, when Jesus comes again to bring us into His kingdom, we will rise from our graves physically—body and soul, together in perfect harmony at last, with all the sins and evils of this life nothing but memories—of how Jesus, our Savior, brought us out of them and into His everlasting life forever.
WE PRAY: Dear Savior, keep my hope in You, not the Law, forever. Amen.
This Daily Devotion was written by Dr. Kari Vo.
1. How do you feel about the Law, emotionally?
2. How do you feel about Jesus?
3. Why the difference, if there is one?
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