Faith, Law, and Grace

What do you think of when you think about your faith? What do you think of when you think about your father or father figure? These two questions have different foundations that we will pull from to answer, however, they have some interesting connective tissue that they share.

"So faith comes from what is heard, and what is heard comes through the word of Christ." Romans 1:17 NRSV. We were brought into the knowledge of our faith through hearing about God's all-encompassing love for humanity and desire to be invited into our lives through following the laws of God as a protective barrier until a more perfect law came. And as we allow our faith in God's law to hold and protect our hearts and minds, we would eventually be freed by God's limitless love through Christ and taught not only how to be people who follow God's laws but mainly to be people of God's grace.

Practicing God's laws gives us a framework and boundaries to live by, but we would eventually need to embody them in our spirits and daily living, and to be able to differentiate between allowing God's nature to be absorbed into our lives, and simply performing dutiful religious acts according to the letter of the law outwardly to keep us from going off course.

This brings me back to what you think about when you think about your father or father figure. I associate how I have learned God's word with my father's teachings. When I think about my father, I think of how he gave me and my siblings instructions about how to live in a way that we would be Godly people with rules from the Bible first, so we had clearly marked boundaries of Godly behavior using biblical teachings.

This way of teaching us about God would translate into how we thought, spoke, and acted outwardly. But, if we did not have God's words of love hidden in our souls and minds, we would be left with an appearance of Godliness, so only following the letter of God's laws without them becoming part of us inwardly would be incomplete. Balance was important in his teachings, not only rote memory and practice that kept us safe, but inward transformation by embodying God's love laws that would free us to be Godly, not just act Godly.

The Bible passage for this Sunday is from Galatians 3:23-29, it is focused on the relationship between why living under God's law was necessary and why we are freed to widen our spiritual perspective under God's grace through Christ. Considering the central point of this Bible passage, how were you taught about following God's laws? Can you draw any parallels about how your father or father figure influenced your faith journey that echo these principles? Amen.

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