My apologies for the week-long hiatus from blogging. My family just moved out to California for the summer so I could attend Grace Advance Academy, which is essentially a two-month crash-course in church leadership and church-planting.
On a another subject entirely, as I was meeting with God in the book of Galatians this morning, he brought my attention to a subject I am trying to clarify more and more – the relationship between the law of God and the Christian. In Galatians 4:21, Paul addresses the Galatians by calling them “you who desire to be under the law”. What does this designation mean? Does it have a negative or positive connotation? Well, given the context, the connotation is a negative one that speaks to the desire of the Galatians to rely on the law (specifically, their obeying the law) to gain a right standing before God. Paul demonstrates in chapter 3 that the law was not given so that we would be saved by keeping it (that’s impossible), but rather so that we would see our sin and believe in Christ to save us (the only One who has kept the law perfectly).
So, Galatians makes it clear that the law has no place in the life of a Christian as a system for salvation, but that does not mean that the law has no place in the life of a Christian. Tim Keller, in his book, Galatians for You, gives an easy way for us to remember what place the law should have in our lives now that we’ve trusted Christ alone for salvation: we are called to law-obeying, not law-relying. He explains:
Law-obeying, not law-relying – These are Christians who understand the gospel and are living out the freedom of it. They obey the law of God out of the grateful joy that comes from the knowledge of their sonship, and out of freedom from the fear and selfishness that false idols had generated.