Faith or The Law?

by - Saturday, April 25, 2015

Galatians 3:1 [NIV]

You foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you? Before your very eyes Jesus Christ was clearly portrayed as crucified. I would like to learn just one thing from you: Did you receive the Sprit by observing the law, or by believing what you heard? Are you so foolish? After beginning with the Spirit, are you now trying to attain your goal by human effort? Have you suffered so much for nothing-if it really was for nothing? Does God give you His Spirit and work miracles among you because you observe the law, or because you believe what you heard?

Hi all. Faith or the Law is a topic that has been on my heart for a while now. At our first Pinky Promise Bible study this was the topic. I feel it is very important because I believe that Faith underpins our whole belief in Jesus Christ. It is because he died for us on the cross that we are saved. It takes faith to believe that and not many people can uphold this just looking at the ways of the world.

We are saved because of what Jesus did for us, not because of what we do. I observe that many people who that say they are Christians, do works openly for others to see.
So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honoured by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full [Matthew 6:2].

Honestly, there is nothing we can do to make God love us any more or any less than what He does. His love is eternal and more than we can ever imagine. We can store up our treasures in Heaven by listening to his word and obeying him through the Holy Spirit. When we become saved He lives in us, which is why our body is a temple. The Holy Spirit leads us in the right direction teaching us what to do through things like discernment. Yes we always fall short, but as Children of God, the Holy Spirit that lives in us leads us to repent.

Some people feel that their denomination/the Church they attend will guarantee them a place in heaven. This is not so. Church relates to the people, without people we cannot have a church. Individuals can gather in their home and do church with their whole heart as opposed to those that feel that they are better than others because of the Church they attend.

Jesus said to them “I tell you the truth, the prostitutes are entering the kingdom of God ahead of you. For John came to you to show you the way of righteousness, and you did not believe him, but the tax collectors and prostitutes did. And even after you saw this, you did not repent and believe him” [Matthew 21:31].

This verse also serves as a reminder not to look down on people with their sin, as if we were not once of the world. You do not know how an individual can change (repent) tomorrow. Therefore, encourage people in Christ, be honest and loving with your intentions to uplift others. Furthermore, those that attend church thinking that they are self-righteous may have cold hearts that are not sensitive to the Holy Spirit. So be careful that you are not focused on such people because the heart is a mysterious thing.

The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it? [Jeremiah 17:9] – Be careful with people.

This is not to say that works or the law is dead. Jesus makes it clear that he came to fulfil the law, not to eradicate it.

Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfil them. I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished [Matthew 5:17-18].

Faith without works is dead, but those that have received the Holy Spirit will automatically carry out works that God wants them to do through faith. They both go hand in hand but cannot be without the other. I feel that Christians use the law against one another, which often leads to exclusion. Another example is the idea that women cannot wear trousers but must always wear skirts because of a verse in the bible that has now been twisted:

A woman must not wear men’s clothing nor a man wear women’s clothing for the Lord your God detests anyone who does this [Deuteronomy 22:5].

As far as I know, jeans created for women are for women. I believe that this verse relates to transsexuals. What about the Scottish that wear Kilts as tradition? Are they now dressing like women and getting a ticket straight to hell? God forbid. I know some traditions are built on demonic practices, but we have to think deeper here. If you really think about it, as far as I know back in those days, the men wore a garment that almost resembled a dress/robe- like. So I think people are taking things out of context and thinking that wearing a skirt always will have them saved. Faith would tell you that something is not right about excluding those that wear trousers as women. If they are wearing them to highlight their curves to seek male attention, that is another issue.

Some Churches will focus more on this than how the individual is actually feeling or whether they accept Jesus as their Lord and their saviour, which is the first and most important step. Another example is the covering of head,

Every man who prays or prophesies with his head covered dishonours his head. And every woman who prays or prophesies with her head uncovered dishonours her head – it is just as though her head were shaved [1 Corinthians 11:4-5].

Unfortunately I once felt that I must cover my head every single time I prayed and if I did not then my prayer may not be acknowledged. Faith removes all those barriers and doubt. My brother in Christ Ope broke it down for me. “What if you as a woman are in a situation that you have nothing to cover your head but you need to pray in faith. Would you feel that God would not hear your prayer or love you any less?". When he told me this it really changed my perspective because it is so true.

This is not to say that we pick and choose what to obey in the bible because we all live for Jesus through the Holy Spirit. But we have to really study the Bible and understand its context when it was written. Some things are referring to tradition, so as much as we should always obey, faith will eradicate this idea that if we do this, this and this we will be going to heaven. Forget about covering the head for a minute, what does your heart look like? Do you live for Jesus after He died for us?

So before you judge your sister for wearing make up, trousers or doing her hair, think about what Jesus thinks about those thoughts. There is nothing wrong with taking pride in our appearance, but when it becomes vanity that is a whole new issue. When we start to believe that ‘things’ make us beautiful but not accepting and embracing how God made us does not (lacking faith), that is another issue. But we thank God because he is always working on us. Through us and in us.

I hope this post reaches you well and that you have wholeheartedly decided to follow Jesus and leave old ways behind. Walk in Faith and you will see the difference.


Rosemary x

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