Galatians 3:11 (NCV) Now it is clear that no one can be made right with God by the law, because the Scriptures say, “Those who are right with God will live by faith.” Galatians 3:11 (NLT) But that no one is justified by the law in the sight of God is evident, for “the just shall live by faith.”
As chapter 3 of Galatians begins, Paul boldly stands up to the Galatians by calling them foolish and asking them who had bewitched them. Many of the believers in Galatia had been in Jerusalem on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2) and received the Holy Spirit yet, they were still trying to earn God’s approval by obeying the Jewish laws.
“How foolish can you be? After starting your Christian lives in the Spirit, why are you now trying to become perfect by your own human effort? Have you experienced so much for nothing? Surely it was not in vain, was it?” (v.3–4 NLT)
Ok, Ouch! I think about how many times I’ve felt like I am just not good enough for God to love. As a result of this way of thinking, I run myself into the ground trying to keep doing good works and following the “law” perfectly so that He would “approve” of me. Being the approval junkie that I admit that I am, I sometimes struggle with this one. You see, I grew up in church but was never really taught about the relational side of Jesus. Back then it was always you must obey the golden rule. As I began to grow into my teens and college years I drifted away from Christ and by early adulthood I had “lost touch” with Him completely.It was only when I gave my life to Christ in my mid-thirty’s I truly understood that God doesn’t expect me to follow the law perfectly to earn his acceptance. God loves me and accepts me PERIOD. He wants a relationship with me more than anything. All I have to do is recognize my need for Him and confess my sin. Secondly, I have to believe that Jesus paid the penalty for my sins on the cross so that I could spend eternity with him. My debt has FOREVER been paid; I am free from the bondage of sin!
But it doesn’t stop there. To be in constant relationship with the Father, I have been given the Holy Spirit to live inside me and be my teacher and my counselor. He will guide me in all things. He will provide for me, protect me, and correct me. The Holy Spirit living inside me is all I need to live a life of faith. I don’t need to obey laws perfectly for entry into heaven. I just have to “walk by faith” trusting God each step of the way.
Related scripture: Hebrews 11:1, Habakkuk 2:4, 1 Timothy 2:5