“Do we, then nullify the law by this faith? Not at all! Rather we uphold the law.” -Romans 3:31
The Jewish nation has been religiously upholding biblical law for millenniums. Let’s just say, “they’re really good at it.”
The book of Romans talks about being freed from bondage to the law, which is great news for us gentile (non-jew), hippy people of “the way,” but poses some challenges for our rule-abiding jewish friends. I mean, if you’ve been following the law faithfully, and now everyone wants in without any work, you’d be a little miffed.
It’s for that reason that scripture gives so many illustrations of the Kingdom being offerred freely:
- The Parable of the Workers in the Vineyard [Matthew 20:1-16]
- Ingrafted Branches [Romans 11:11-24]
- The Parable of the Wedding Banquet [Matthew 22:1-14]
So as hoodlum gentiles, how do we uphold the law? We uphold the law by faith in Jesus; by realizing that apart from Christ, His holiness and sacrifice, we hold no claim to salvation or eternity in the Kingdom.
Our faith that God sent His begotten son, Jesus, to be our sacrificial lamb — our “Christ” (meaning “messiah”, or “savior and liberator of a group of people”) — declares that Jesus upheld the law and offered his perfection to us as a gift. After all, it’s God’s will that all should come to know Him [1 Timothy 2:4].
The fact that we trust Christ as the fulfillment of the law, for our sakes, reinforces that the law is important. It simply admits that, in our own strength, we are hopelessly inadequate to satisfy the law.
Are there areas of your life that you are still clinging to works to ease the punishment deserved by your sin? Are you taking pride in your purity, church attendance, Bible knowledge or servanthood, thinking that makes you a “better person”? When was the last time you stopped to ponder your depravity and need for a savior?
“Father, forgive me for ways I try to work my way to You. I am nothing without You and rely completely on your gift of salvation. May my heart by convicted, that my faith would increase, so that Christ would be glorified and the law be upheld by my faith and reliance on His sacrifice. Teach me to offer grace freely and not judge based on works. To you be the glory, forever and ever, amen.”