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Can we be fixed?

Now we know that whatever the law says it speaks to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be stopped, and the whole world may be held accountable to God.

Romans 3:19
Can we be fixed? Book Cover

One of the cutest things little kids do is place Band-Aids on their bumps and bruises. Seeing a kid carefully pick between Frozen, Dora, or smiley emoji Band-Aids to put on their knees they bruised with absolutely zero blood and no chance of the skin breaking makes us smile. But we happily oblige because it makes lil’ Jasmine feel better. When Jasmine asks to put it on her stuffed bear, we put up no fight either. We know that the Band-Aids will have zero effect in helping her heal a bloodless bump, and even less so for her teddy. But, when Jasmine grows up and is in her mid-thirties asking for a Band-Aid for her bruised knee, you can expect many perplexed faces and probably some side eye. In the same way a Band-Aid is unable to heal a bruise, the law is unable to heal our brokenness. They might make us feel better, but they lack the power to save.

limited law

The law—the statutes given by God to govern his people—served a beautiful and good purpose. It revealed God’s character, his values, and his standard for just and right living. It also provided regulations and boundaries for God’s people. We celebrate God’s gift of the law, while also recognizing the limitations of it. Though the law helped humans to know the righteous standard, it was powerless toremove the stain of unrighteousness when sins were committed.

It told us how to live but did not empower us to do so. The law, though good and beautiful, only revealed our sin, it did not have the ability to atone for it.

So, while we celebrate that the law is both regulatory (helps regulate our behavior) and revelatory (reveals God character), we must look elsewhere for a savior for our sin problem.

you can't work for it

In God’s gospel, the fact that the law was powerless to save us is in fact good news. If the law could save us, the gospel message would always be: Do better, strive harder, sin less. Instead, we have a more holistic gospel that says something greater than the law came to make a way for us to cease striving, to stop working, to trust that God will free us from sin. In a world of more, bigger, better, louder, we need a gospel message that says be still, rest, trust, and receive. The beautiful law could not save us and thank God for that. Instead, the gospel message is much more beautiful and causes far less striving.

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Daily Question

In what ways have you tried to earn God’s favor? Does the idea of “cease striving” comfort you? Why or why not?

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Comments (48)

I don’t know if I try to earn God’s favor. I feel like I’ve always believed that you get to heaven by faith not works. The idea of cease striving does give me comfort because I will never be perfect for God and that’s ok…he loves me anyway, just as I am. I can try to make good decisions but when I don’t, with repentance, I am forgiven and STILL a child of God. The best unconditional love EVER!!

One way (there are several if I stop and think about it) I have tried to earn God’s favour: I have gotten up earlier in the day to make sure I had time for Bible study. While this is a good practice it wasn’t something I did out of love for God, it was something I did because I felt I had to. For me it was a way of "pleasing God".
Yes, ceasing to strive does comfort me. When I take the time to relax and listen to the Spirit of God within me I am refreshed, rejuvenated and lead in a way that is good for my life and the life of those around me.

I don’t know if I tried to earn God’s favor, but I have strived to follow the rules. I was always perplexed, however, when I didn’t get the recognition from others for my virtue. Now that Christ has saved me, I haven’t stopped trying to live up to His nature but I know that I can’t earn anything. I now try to follow His will because of love. His love for me and my love for Him. The motive makes all the difference.

I believe that we should all be leading others to come to Christ. I do not think that this means we should be looking for people to favor us. We are here to lead others to him, not to try to satisfy ourselves. We are to lead our lives, so that we can be an example of his love, so that they will come to know Christ as their personal Savior.

I remember as a child I was told to offer up to God the things you particularly didn’t like or want to to, so I was doing good things for God not me. To this day I have continued to do that and I’m some way I feel I am praising Him.

Hard to let go of the “should be doing” list we make up in our minds – thinking it will make us acceptable to God – when we’ve been freed to simply respond to God’s love.

I try to love my neighbors but know I fall short. For me cease striving means I can and should trust God that others will help because God is bigger than all of this. I have comfort in my faith that God will touch the hearts and lives of others to care about those who are hurting (and there are many).

I’m not sure that I can "cease striving" because my understanding of the Gospel message is to try, that’s right, try to live like Jesus. There is no way that I will ever match His Righteousness, so I would say that I as long as I am in my human body, I will not stop striving to live like Jesus. I will try to follow the law, even though that’s like putting a band-aid on a bruise. And I will gratefully accept the mercy and grace of God through the forgiveness in the Blood of Christ.

Even though I very well know my good works can’t get me to heaven I still have that little voice in my mind that tells me to do just that – keep doing good. But I also know that God asks me to "do good" for Him not for me. Being helpful and doing good for others without a striving component in those acts is comforting, freeing and rewarding here on earth and in heaven.

I learned at an early age that you don’t have to earn Gods forgiveness, it is a gift that we can freely accept. I look at how I need to strive for obedience, not forgiveness. Thank goodness God loves unconditionally because I fail MANY times at obedience.

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