“For if you are trying to make yourselves right with God by keeping the law, you have been cut off from Christ! You have fallen away from God’s grace. BUT we who live by the Spirit eagerly wait to receive by faith the righteousness God has promised to us. For when we place our faith in Christ Jesus, there is no benefit in being circumcised or being uncircumcised. What is important is faith expressing itself in love.”
Whatever we try to do to please God or make ourselves right with Him, will always fall short of His glorious standards. It may seem like a harsh reality, particularly given that our natural instinct is to try to do good things to please people. At school we do our best to achieve the best marks, at work we work our hardest to get that promotion. In social circles we try to look our best to catch the partner of our dreams. We live in a society that calls for the best all the time. And according to the theory of evolution, only the best survive! Yet in God’s Kingdom, the opposite is true. When we stop trying to be our best in our strength, we stop trying to gain God’s favour, when we live in His grace and not our good works, we will begin to be set free from ‘doing’, and rest in ‘being’ in His presence.
Paul puts it in even stronger words to the church in Galatia. If you keep trying to do good by obeying the laws of Moses, thinking that by your good works you will become righteous before God, you have misunderstood grace and are further away from Him than you think. Friends, put your whole heart and trust in God, knowing that He has already paid the price for your righteousness and liberty. Live by the Spirit, not by trying to please God in order to be made right with Him by your good works. You are already made right with Him because Jesus has done the hard work! You just need to live in Him and His freedom. What is important is Faith IN HIM which naturally produces good works clothed in love.