Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Living So That - Chapter 1:Part 2

This morning is my second day in a row of waking up early so I can have time with God's word. I was really struggling to not snooze my alarm, but I'm up! I literally cleaned dust off of my Bible this morning. Wow. I'm excited about making these changes in my life, and I'm so thankful for the opportunity to start my day with God.

"Read Galatians 3:10-14,23-25. What happens to those who refuse God's offer of grace and insist on being made right with God through obeying the law? (v. 10)"
They are cursed.

"According to this passage, how can we be made right with God? (be made righteous) (v. 11)" 
Live by faith instead of by the law.

"How have we been redeemed? (v. 13; see also Deut. 21:22-23)"
Jesus redeemed us from the curse by becoming the curse (cursed is everyone who is hanged on a tree).

"Jesus died on the cross so that what? (v. 14)"
So that..we will receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.

"Summarize the truth in Galatians 3:23-25 in your own words. What does this mean for your life?"
Without Jesus, we are slaves to sin. Because of Jesus' sacrifice on the cross where he put himself in the place of all of us to be punished for our sins, we are no longer "held captive." We are FREE. I think a lot of times I don't truly let that thought sink in. & when I do think about it, I get super emotional. It's hard for my human brain to wrap itself around the fact that God loves me SO MUCH that he would sacrifice his Son to save me from eternal damnation and give me eternal life instead. I don't have to worry about the law of the Old Testament because Jesus took the place of all that. Thank God.

Going Deeper: "Read the verses that follow and take notes on what each verse speaks to you about the purpose of the law, how it relates to sin, and Jesus' role as it relates to the law and sin."

I'm not going to pretend that this "going deeper" section doesn't make me a little nervous. Fortunately, I watched the video of Wendy Blight posted on the Proverbs 31 OBS Blog this morning, and she addressed this issue specifically. God will provide me with my understanding. All I have to do is trust Him. So, here we go...

Romans 5:20-21
The law made people aware of how sinful they were. It didn't create more sin, but rather shined a light on what had already been going on. This made people want some sort of redemption even more. Even though we are breaking the law (sinning) all the time, Jesus came to take our place for God's judgment and made our reputations spotless. God does not see us as lawbreakers any longer. He only sees that we have been forgiven and accounted for by Jesus' sacrifice. 

Romans 7:4-6
I like verse 6 a lot. "But now we have been released from the law, for we died to it and are no longer captive to its power. Now we can serve God, not in the old way of obeying the letter of the law, but in the new way of living in the Spirit." We're not slaves to the law any longer. We don't have to worry about following every little detail of every little law in order to please God. All we have to do is serve Him.

Romans 7:13
I think this verse is talking about how the law made sin so much more obvious to people. Satan would like people to feel hopeless.  He wants us to think that the law is so hard to follow, and we are so sinful anyway..what's the point? Why even try to follow the law if we're always going to fall short? 

Does that mean the law itself is bad? Nope. Rather, it magnified our sins so that we could understand how badly we needed a Savior.

Galatians 3:23-24
Before Jesus, there were very specific laws and rituals that had to be performed to atone for one's sin. Sacrificial offerings were common and necessary. People understood the law and how to do what they were supposed to do. This knowledge prepared them for Jesus coming and becoming the only sacrifice they needed. "The Law has become our tutor, to lead us to Christ.." By understanding the law, we are better able to understand the magnitude of what Jesus offered us by dying on the cross.

Final thought:
Jesus came so that...I can be free from the law and the hold that sin has over me. All I need is Him.

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