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.
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.
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.
Watch Session Two
Why We're Broken
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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