The Law Cannot Make People Right - It Curses Them
Paul, who had been a devoutly religious Jewish theologian, knew that trying to be good could never make him perfect in God’s sight. The law can never make somebody righteous; it can only point out their sin. Those who rely on getting everything right put themselves under a curse when they fail in even the smallest thing.
Faith is so different to law. Faith believes God’s promise that those who trust in Jesus will have their sins taken away: but the law says that all who sin will die. The difference is massive. And yet many in Paul’s day were deluded by false teachers into thinking that if they did good things, God would accept them. The reality was that unless they received Jesus, their sins would curse them for ever.
Nothing has changed. It is the same today. It seems a paradox that those who try hard to please God are not acceptable if they have not asked Jesus to take their sins away. And those who are bad will be accepted if they repent and trust in the atoning sacrifice of Christ. That is why the gospel is such good news for bad, failing, sinful people; and such an embarrassment to nice, kind and outwardly good people who do not think they need saving. Jesus said, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but those who are ill. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.” (Luke 5:31-32). Jesus is still calling sinners; it is our job to pass the message on at work and wherever people will listen.
© Dr Paul Adams