19 “For through the law I died to the law so that I might live for God. 20 I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.21 I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness could be gained through the law, Christ died for nothing!”Gal 2: 19-21
I think we all need reminders. Reminders to simply stay on track. I am reading Galatians right now and I have been reminded of something. Paul is talking to Jewish people and telling them not to judge the Gentiles for being Gentiles. In those days being born a Jew was enough and being born a Gentile meant you could not be accepted into heaven. The reminder from Paul is this, we are not saved by our birth but in His death. Christ is the reason we have access to salvation and eternity. If you’re like me then you can get caught up in doing the right things or following the “law.” While the law is important it is possible to have the law, keep the law and still miss out on heaven. It is by grace through faith that we are saved. I don’t want to get too much in the weeds here but I believe in sanctification and the “road to heaven” if you will. I struggle with the singular form of salvation. For me, salvation is not a one-time thing, it is a continual process. It is a constant climb to the Father. The decision to acknowledge Jesus and what He did is vital but it does not stop there. This may or may not offend you and I mean no harm. I don’t know that I am right or that I will believe things the same way in a year, but this is how I currently feel and how my faith has evolved.
It’s no longer “what” I do, rather “why” I do it. This is the difference between life before Christ and life after. We now live for the why not necessarily the what. Hang with me for a second. In the law it was all about what you did or did not do that mattered. What you ate, what rituals were practiced, what prayers were prayed, what people you married, etc. Because Christ flipped everything on end, it became WHY do you eat what you eat? To be healthy and show thanks for the body God gave you. WHY do you create positive habits around scripture and prayer? To show reverence for God and acknowledge Him with constant renewal of the spirit. It’s all about the WHY now. Before Jesus entered your life or mine, it did not matter why anything happened. And before Jesus came to this earth the law was all they had, so they became consumed by and enslaved to it. Life has traditionally been about the what’s and not the why’s. Christianity is tough and it requires practice, because living out the why can only be done in accordance with God and as a response to Jesus.
I’ll leave you with these questions, how are you responding to Jesus? Why are you doing the things that you are doing? Think less about the whats of your life and spend some time focused on the whys. I imagine some things may become more or less important because of this exercise. I would encourage you to lean into the why and really evaluate your motives for action or inaction.
Go and bless.