Galatians 3:2-3 Let me ask you this one question: Did you receive the Holy Spirit by obeying the law of Moses? Of course not! You received the Spirit because you believed the message you heard about Christ. How foolish can you be? After starting your Christian lives in the Spirit, why are you now trying to become perfect by your own human effort?
I am confident that everyone reading this devotional has the desire to live a more Christ-honoring life. I am also confident that each of us has at least one area of weakness in our life where we sometimes struggle with sin. For some, it may be their thought life, while for others, it may be the way they use their tongue. Regardless of what it is, for each of us there is something that continues to resurface in our lives and hinders us living the kind of Christian life we want to live.
Many of us try to overcome these weaknesses by mustering up stronger will-power. “I’ll never do that again”, we promise both ourselves and God; yet sooner or later, we do. For many Christians, after going through this cycle of ‘Determination and Defeat’ numerous times, they eventually give up and concede to the fact that for them there is no hope. Apparently, this is who they are destined to be. But is it? Is there no hope for us?
The Bible says “…if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” (2 Corinthians 5:17) Through Christ we are new creations. Through Christ sin can be defeated. ‘How so?’ we might ask. Consider these words from the Apostle Paul-
“After starting your Christian lives in the Spirit, why are you now trying to become perfect by your own human effort?” (Galatians 3:3)
Apparently, there were some Christians in Paul’s day who were trying to make themselves better by their own strength and ability. It’s amazing how even today, many Christians still think the same thing. They believe that Jesus’ death was sufficient to save them from all their past sins, but now they believe that it is up to them to keep themselves saved. Yet Paul clearly contradicts such thinking. “After starting your Christian lives in the Spirit, why are you now trying to become perfect by your own human effort?” If anyone could have become perfect through his own strength, it would have been the Apostle Paul, yet even he realized that such thinking was foolish. The Bible says that Jesus is the ‘author and finisher of our faith.’ (Hebrews 12:2) Paul also wrote, “being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 1:6)
I leave you today with this portion of scripture found in the book of Romans.
“Who has ever given to God, that God should repay them?” For from him and through him and for him are all things. To him be the glory forever! Amen. (Romans 11:35-36)
Pause for a moment and let those words sink in.
FROM HIM AND THROUGH HIM AND FOR HIM ARE ALL THINGS.
TO HIM BE THE GLORY FOREVER!