Friday, March 08, 2013

March 8 - Prisoners No More

Today's Reading:
1Chronicles 5:18-6:81
Galatians 3:10-22
Psalm 106:16-31
Click on Text Link to Read Online

Focus Verses:
Galatians 3:21-24
21 Is the law, therefore, opposed to the promises of God? Absolutely not! For if a law had been given that could impart life, then righteousness would certainly have come by the law. 22 But the Scripture declares that the whole world is a prisoner of sin, so that what was promised, being given through faith in Jesus Christ, might be given to those who believe. 23 Before this faith came, we were held prisoners by the law, locked up until faith should be revealed. 24 So the law was put in charge to lead us to Christ that we might be justified by faith.

The declaration of Scripture and the testimony of our own experience is that "the whole world is a prisoner of sin." Having laws and moral codes doesn't change our hearts nor our actions. In fact, having the law serves to convict us all, as we are all shown to have broken it. It's great to have the moral guidance of the law, but what we need even more is the transformed heart that helps us live up to it.

We need more than knowledge; we need freedom. We need to be saved from our bondage to sin. Christ's sacrifice opens the door for us to be justified by faith in him. The power of his Spirit can transform us into people whose lives are guided not by the constraint of laws, but by our Christ-like hearts.

Response and Action:
I will take hold of freedom through Christ, remembering that salvation is not earned by human effort, but rather by faith. In order to live a righteous life, I need to be transformed by God's Spirit. With my faith firmly rooted in Christ, I can then make every effort to pursue righteousness as I am led and empowered by the Spirit.

God's grace in my life is freedom from sin and the power of salvation. By grace, the Holy Spirit in me is the source of strength for leading a righteous life, serving Jesus, and honoring God.

O God, work in my life. Change me as I follow Jesus in complete trust. Make me a person who does what is right out of a heart and mind that has been made right by you. Open every door and show me every path that leads to a closer walk with you. Amen.

Spiritual Formation Verses: John 8:36
36 So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.

Galatians: Experiencing the Grace of Christ
by John Stott

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