The believers had been “bewitched,” fooled into actually believing that they could be accepted by God on the basis of their keeping the Law of God. Many of them were under the delusion that they could actually keep the Law to a degree that would warrant God’s approval of them; which would mean keeping the WHOLE LAW. In order to be accepted by God all anyone has to do is keep God’s Law perfectly. All they have to do is love God with ALL THEIR HEART, and love their neighbors as they love themselves, perfectly! However, Paul says in verse 10 of this chapter, “…all who rely on works of the law are under a curse….” So, we must do away with such thinking in all of its facets.
What is the alternative? Paul leads us to understand where truth and forgiveness of sins are found and it is not through works of the Law. No, it is through “hearing with faith.” We receive the Spirit, the down payment of our eternal life through hearing with faith. We are being perfected, matured, through hearing with faith and not through the works of the Law. God’s power works in and through us by hearing with faith and not through works of the Law. As we live this way we are living consistently with our father in the faith, Abraham, who “believed God and it was credited to him as righteousness.”
We are righteous, right with God, by grace through faith. We receive the very righteousness of Christ through the means of faith. Christ kept the Law of God perfectly so that all who hear and believe into the gospel are made righteous. So, true hearing of faith will result in a life of obedience to the Law of God as a means of growth in faith and not as a means of the establishment of faith. Obedience to the Law is evidence of the existence of faith. God never gave the Law as a means of rule-keeping to earn acceptance with Him. As Paul relates later in this chapter, the Law was added because of transgressions. The Law was put in place as a tutor, a “school master,” to lead us to Christ. The Law shows us we can’t do it; we can’t be accepted by God through our own attempts at being God because God demands perfection. Well, Jesus lived the perfect life and died the perfect death in order to earn for believers ALL that they need for life and godliness. The Law came over 400 years after the promise made to Abraham. The Law does not negate the promise. I am saved through promise, the promise of God.
This is truly good news! As you read this devotional, upon what basis are you right with God and fully accepted by Him? What motivates you live a life of obedience to God? If you are living in the light of God’s promises that are “yea and amen” in Jesus, then you have every right to find deepest satisfaction and delight in God. Jesus did it! The abundant life is ours through trust and faith. When is doubt, remember Jesus’ words on the cross: IT IS FINISHED!