Monday, 26 September 2011
Galatians 3:15-29: Freedom and Speed Limits
Meredith Bowman wrote today’s post. Thanks friend!
As a new believer, I felt obligated to obey the laws of our country. All the laws. I thought the obvious place to start was the speed limit. I didn’t drive a lot at the time because I was living on a college campus. But when I did, I did it right. The rest of the world whizzed by while I clocked 53 mph in a 55 speed zone. Dirty looks didn’t faze me. I was obeying the law – and God knew it!
Then the day came when I left campus for summer break. Driving through my neighborhood I noticed the speed limit was 25 mph. No problem. Same speed as the tiny campus. But have you ever tried to drive not – one – mile – over – 25 on a road that seemed to go on forever? I could start out at the right speed, but I just couldn’t maintain it.
It soon became a burden too great for me to bear. I’ll never forget that moment when I realized I just couldn’t do it. I had to give up the pursuit. Every time I pulled out of my driveway I saw the speed limit signs as constant reminders of my failure and inability to obey the law. Sadly, each sign pushed me farther away from God and further into condemnation. If I couldn’t even obey a law as simple as the speed limit, how could I ever live to please God?
Signs of freedom. There was a beautiful truth I was missing. Those signs that represented my failure to obey the law were actually signs of freedom, not condemnation. The point was I couldn’t obey the law – not all the laws. Not perfectly. God’s Law sets a standard so high that it is impossible for me or anyone to keep.
So why would God give us laws we couldn’t obey? Because he knew our only source of hope would now be in Him. He sent Jesus to keep the law perfectly on our behalf. The reality of my failure to obey shouldn’t drive me from God, but to God. That is why Paul says, “So the law was put in charge to lead us to Christ that we might be justified by faith.” Galatians 3:24
The sign points to him. What’s your speed limit sign? What in your life serves as a constant reminder that you have failed? Don’t look away when you see it. Stare at it head on, own it – and then thank God for the reminder that you are not justified before God because of what you have done or have failed to do. You are now clothed with Christ. You wear His robes earned by His perfect obedience. You are justified – “just-as-if-I’d-never-sinned.”
Martin Luther did the same thing when the devil came to accuse him:
“Martin, you are a liar, greedy, lecherous, a blasphemer, a hypocrite. You cannot stand before God.”
To which Luther would respond:
“Well, yes, I am. And, indeed, Satan, you do not know the half of it. I have done much worse than that and if you care to give me your full list, I can no doubt add to it and help make it more complete.”
“But you know what? My Savior has died for all my sins—those you mention, those I could add and, indeed, those I have committed but am so wicked that I am unaware of having done so. It does not change the fact that Christ has died for all of them; his blood is sufficient; and on the Day of Judgment I shall be exonerated because he has taken all my sins on himself and clothed me in his own perfect righteousness.”