Are you good at following rules?
In France, the word freedom forms part of the whole national identity along with brotherhood/sisterhood and equality. But what does it really mean to be free?
So many people decide they are going to follow Jesus, and then start setting rules about what that might mean. They recognise that Jesus has paid for their sins and choose to follow him, yet they decide they want to keep on trying to pay the price by themselves. Sometimes they might start following weird and wonderful rules, sometimes they might start building walls between themselves and other Christians, so that they might not be contaminated by them. Sometimes they might tell themselves that in order to be a proper Christian they need to jump through a certain set of hoops.
This is all wrong. So wrong.
The Bible is so clear about this. There is nothing we can do or not do that will make God love us any more, or any less. We can’t save ourselves. Sin is too bad, and God is so great. It’s not going to happen. So Jesus came along and sorted it for us.
Trying to save ourselves through the rules is called legalism. It’s a bit like taking a car to the garage to be fixed, and then once the car is fixed trying to fix it again by ourselves. It’s silly.
Paul writes that the only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love. That’s it. All we need to do is have faith.
Lord God, thank you that you have set us free from all that holds us back. Help us keep from following rules mindlessly. Help us remember all you have done for us. Amen.
How can your faith express itself in love today?