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Day 5 of 6 • This day’s reading

Devotional

Lawless – Part 1


Let me summarize religion in general… You ought to, but you don’t, so you’re toast. That’s religion; that’s it.


We can all relate to this because our default when it comes to God is religion. Our default when it comes to God is rules. “Just tell me what the rules are, and I’ll do my best to keep them.”


If you go with the religious approach to Christianity, that’s fine. You will be in the majority. But you’re going to be frustrated your whole life because it doesn’t work. Jesus came to give his life, not only for you but to you. And until that becomes your approach to following Jesus, you’re just going to be a Christian who acts like all the other religious people—trying to live up to a law and to a standard that you’re never going to be able to live up to.


Paul does his best to differentiate between following Jesus—the living person—and living under the law. As long as you approach Christianity by doing your best to simply live up to the rules, you will never experience the Christian life the way it was intended to be lived.


For what the law was powerless to do because it was weakened by the flesh, God did… Romans 8:3 


Do you know what the law, the religious laws are good for? They’re good for telling you you’re bad and that you’ve failed. The law can’t help you become a better law keeper or a better person. The law is a mirror of how awful you are. The law doesn’t help you at all. Now here’s the contrast: God has done something for you that the law could not do.


Christ died on the cross for your sin. He took away the penalty of sin, and he did something about the power of sin as well. As Paul explains, the law actually increases the power of sin. The law reminds you of what you ought to do, but you don’t do. Then the law says, “Ha, ha, you didn’t do it!” And the law becomes the judge and the jury and the sentencer.


Approaching God through the law eventually leads to defeat, because you’re just not that good. We all fall short, and then we smooth it over and say, “Well, nobody’s perfect.” And then we go right back to trying to keep the law.


For sin shall no longer be your master, because you are not under the law, but under grace. Romans 6:14