Eternal Savior Lutheran Church

A member of the Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod

2688 North Park Drive
Lafayette, CO 80026
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May 25 – The Freedom Of Faith

“So then, the law was our guardian until Christ came, in order that we might be justified by faith. But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a guardian, for in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith. For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s offspring, heirs according to promise.” Gal. 3:24-29

Devotional Thought For The Day

What is the promise?  The forgiveness of sins, for Christ’s sake, that we are accounted to be righteous [justified] in the sight of God by faith alone. Those who have this faith “are all sons of God, through faith.” We are not sons of God BECAUSE of our works – those good works commanded by the law of God, like loving our neighbor in keeping with the Ten Commandments; rather, we are sons of God “through faith” and through faith alone.  As strange as it sounds, Paul argues that we “are no longer under a guardian,” and that guardian which he refers to he himself identifies as “the law” of God.  Rather, those who truly believe in Christ have “put on Christ.” Again, strangely, this happened to us in baptism, the one and only baptism instituted by Jesus for the making of disciples. [Matt. 28:19; Eph. 4:5; Tit. 3:5-7; Jn. 3:5,6]

Does this mean that we no longer have anything to do with “the law” of God, His commandments and instructions regarding love, decency, kindness, and good to our neighbor?  Absolutely not!  Of course we learn God’s law – it is love.  And those who rejoice in God’s love for us in Christ Jesus – by faith – are eager and zealous to love one another just as Jesus has loved us.  Why?  BECAUSE we are already children of God “through faith” and so we do these good works of love.  But we are not “under” this commandment [law] in our relationship with God!  Rather we are under Christ – under God’s mercy, forgiveness, and promise, the promise of eternal life to all who “believe” in the Lord Jesus Christ.

Those who insist that we are still “under” the guardianship of God’s law, that we BECOME children of God by our good works, cannot be “under” Christ, clothed in Christ. They have rejected faith, not believing the promise, and so rather than embracing Christ as “the Way,” they are still focused on the law of God and making their “good” works “the Way” to the Father.  But this is futile, for only children of God are the “blessed,” and we become sons of God by faith, and by faith alone.  So children of God, who have faith in God’s gracious love in Christ Jesus, are fully focused on God and His love, and everything they do is directed toward God.  Those who do not have this faith are focused on law, and everything they do is really directed at their own good. They remain captured and enslaved to their own selfishness and sin [all the while deluded in thinking that they are serving God].

Children of God, by contrast, have been freed by their knowledge of God’s love, and so are freed to truly love God and others [not free to sin!]. This is faith, faith in the promise of God but not faith in their works – and it brings a wonderfully and powerfully freeing and compelling reality – real love.  They are no longer under a “guardian” but are truly under Christ, in Christ, in God’s love in Christ, through faith – and they are truly free.  God grant this blessedness – which remakes us truly human, and true worshipers of God, through faith – to all of us.

Prayer For The Day

Dear Lord Jesus, You know how treacherous our hearts are, and how easily we become stuck under the guardianship of Your law, in the hypocritical piety of works righteousness. While this is a step up from utter ungodliness, it is not the actualization of love that You will for us through Your redemption, and faith in Your promises. Help us to be free under You, and in You, and to grow in the freedom of real and genuine godliness, that of real love. Amen.