The Life I Live in Faith-July 7, 2013
There was a man who went hiking in the mountains. The way was longer than the man had expected. Darkness was moving in and he was still a far from the trail head. He also had not brought the needed supplies to camp for the night. The man kept pushing forward hoping to be able to see well enough by the moonlight to make it out. There was plenty of opportunity for something to go wrong, and then it happened the man had gotten too close to the edge. The man was falling off the side of the mountain and managed somehow to grasp a weak little branch growing out of the side. The good thing was that he was safe for the moment the bad this was that he was still a long ways from the top. He screamed for what seemed like forever to him for help, but it was no use the trail did not have anyone else walking on it for the night. Then he began to pray…even out loud…Lord please help me save me, I am in deep trouble. Then as audible as any voice he could have heard came this response, “just let go and everything will be alright.” The man then says is there anyone else up there. Finally the little branch gave out and the man fell…18 inches to a ledge and remained there safe the rest of the night.
Many of us are the same way we cry out to God for direction, for help, for so many things, but then too often we don’t want to trust His answer. When we consider who we are and whose we are as believers it is important to consider the life that we live in faith. We who are believers know that a man is not justified by observing the law, but by faith in Jesus Christ. Often times we want to trust God’s answer if it is easy and we understand it, or if it doesn’t require extreme trust or sacrifice. But to live in faith is to let go of the branch not because its safe but because we trust God.
In observing the law none will be justified, we are rather in bondage to the law. The law invites judgement into our lives, and show that we are unable to live by the standards of a holy God, to embrace the law is to embrace death. There are two kinds of death there is the law of death that leads to judgement, and the death of ourselves to Christ that leads to justification. The contrast is judgment/justification and rules/relationship. Trying to live a perfectly is like trying to embrace our efforts and God grace.
Grace is God’s unmerited favor. It cannot be earned and that is what truly makes it amazing. The law is not about helping us to be free but rather helping us to see a shift in thought and faith. Even with all these laws the people were unable to be justified or made righteous. Grace is God’s to give and not mine to earn. We do not get a sticker for keeping the law, we instead find that we cannot keep the law which puts us finding righteousness another way, which is the only way, Christ.
The problem with many people then and now is that we want to accept grace and still trust ourselves. We believe in theory that it is too easy (or too hard) to just trust Jesus for everything and that He will justify us. The answer is it is not easy. It is simple but not easy. We must die with Christ because it is in that death that we are free from the penalty of law. It is in that death that we can let loose of our grip on the law and its grip on us to embrace fully the new life offered in Christ. If we came thinking it would be easy, you have been mislead. Life is Christ is simple but it is never easy.
Crucifixion and death are not easy. Being crucified with Christ is not easy. The result of which is the death of me but also the resurrections power of Christ live in me. The life I now have in the flesh, I live by faith in God’s Son, because is was His Son who loved me and died in my place. There is no comparison if I set aside God’s grace for the law, then I am saying God was wrong and Christ died for nothing. What we are asked to do when we receive the grace of God in Jesus is simple but it is never easy, will you trust Him today and let go?