Going Deeper 6-20-19

‚ÄčThe second reading for Pentecost 2...
Galatians 3:23-29    Now before faith came, we were imprisoned and guarded under the law until faith would be revealed.  Therefore the law was our disciplinarian until Christ came, so that we might be justified by faith.  But now that faith has come, we are no longer subject to a disciplinarian, for in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith.  As many of you as were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ.  There is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male and female; for all of you are one in Christ Jesus.  And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham's offspring, heirs according to the promise.

Understanding the role of "the law" is one of the key parts of theology that will vary from denomination to denomination.  Here is a Lutheran perspective...

The primary purpose of the Law (commandments) is to serve as a type of mirror through which we come to see how far we fall short in obeying the good and perfect will of God.  The Law condemns, driving us to repentance.  Because of our sinful brokenness, it is impossible for us to love and serve God with all of our heart, soul, mind, and strength.  Neither are we able to love and serve our neighbors as ourselves.  In both cases, we cannot even come close.

In driving us to repentance, the Law prepares us to receive the Gospel of grace.  And when we come to understand just how sinful we truly are and experience the great weight of our sin, grace becomes the most powerful change agent in the world.  First, it justifies us, changing us from enemies of God to "children of God through faith."  Then, moved by profound gratitude and love, grace fuels an ongoing transformation of our lives.  As Jesus taught, those who have been forgiven much love much.

It is at this point that the Law becomes something we can embrace as a type of guide to living lives which reflect how we were created to live.  The Law is something we can now see as reflecting the good and gracious will of our loving Abba.  Inspired and empowered by the Holy Spirit we seek to live our lives according to the heart of the Law, freely loving and serving God and others.

As saints justified by grace, we will at the same time remain sinners, and therefore will still need grace until the very end.  Our goal, in the freedom of the Gospel, is to be clothed more and more like Jesus, having our hearts and minds be increasingly aligned with His.  In other words, our desire is to learn to love as we are loved.

With You in His Love,

Mark Gabbert, Pastor
Zion Lutheran Church
Wellington, Colorado

"No one cares how much you know until they know how much you care."