It is not those who hear the law . . . but it is those who obey the law who will be declared righteous.
“Merely hearing God’s law is a waste of your time if you don’t do what he commands. Doing, not hearing, is what makes the difference with God” (The Message).
Trying to be righteous in what I do is not the same as trying to earn salvation by aiming to be righteous. We are saved only by God’s grace. But once we realize we are saved and declared righteous through Christ, we want to live in gratitude by trying to be righteous. Both the Old and New Testaments teach that the way I live says something about who I am and how I really understand the faith journey. Jesus taught that you can tell something about a tree by the fruit it bears (Matthew 7:16-20).
Though I may do good things, that’s not really Paul’s point here. The question is whether or not the good things I do come from a heart that belongs to Jesus. Do all the things I do reflect that my heart belongs to him?
I also do bad things, because I am still a sinner. But God wants me to have integrity; God wants my faith connected with all I think, do, and say. And God’s Spirit helps me to live that way.
God wants to shape me from the inside out. When I belong to him, that’s what I want God to do too.
Lord, for the ways in which my life shows you at work in me, thank you. For the ways in which I need reshaping to better reflect you, please guide me. In your name, Amen.
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