I am studying Paul's Life and Journey. While reading in Galatians Chapter 2 Paul was accepted by the Apostles, not because of who he was but what God had done in his life. Paul called Peter out when he was swayed and failed to follow God's Plan, even pulling Barnabas into swaying. The laws are good but they aren't what make us acceptable to God. We are justified by Christ's death and resurrection. There is nothing we can do that will make God love us more. Yet all to often I fall into the same trap as Peter. I am swayed by the crowd, or I am afraid to stand out or stand up to those that are not following God's truth. The rules/laws were written for us to follow before Christ came to show us the way. Now I am a rule follower by nature! I like rules, order, structure. So sometimes I struggle with God's amazing grace, that it comes with out a price (at least for me) with out some stipulation that I must follow first. God knows this about me and helps me to see that I don't have a list of do's and don'ts to follow instead He says when you Believed you received the Holy Spirit! There isn't any list of things that I can check off that once completed I am justified, instead it's only through Christ's death and resurrection.
My Prayer is that I will take Paul's words (The Message Version) from Galatians 2 19-21 and make them my prayer/petition before God. That I will no longer try to please the world and live by the worlds way of thinking but instead remember Christ's Life was given for me so that I wouldn't have to.
Galatians 2:19-21(The Message)
What actually took place is this: I tried keeping rules and working my head off to please God, and it didn't work. So I quit being a “law man” so that I could be God’s man. Christ’s life showed me how, and enabled me to do it. I identified myself completely with him. Indeed, I have been crucified with Christ. My ego is no longer central. It is no longer important that I appear righteous before you or have your good opinion, and I am no longer driven to impress God. Christ lives in me. The life you see me living is not “mine,” but it is lived by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. I am not going to go back on that.
Is it not clear to you that to go back to that old rule-keeping, peer-pleasing religion would be an abandonment of everything personal and free in my relationship with God? I refuse to do that, to repudiate God’s grace. If a loving relationship with God could come by rule-keeping, then Christ died unnecessarily.
I know that God knows what He is doing in my life and even though I can't see the end result I am satisfied to know He is with me right here and now. That my life is lived for God and not the world! That I am not alone.