Scripture Focus: Galatians 3.24
So the law was our guardian until Christ came that we might be justified by faith.
Reflection: The Law that leads to Grace :: Guided Prayer
By John Tillman
We have looked at grace from several different angles this week. As we move through this weekend, let us pray through these responses to Paul’s description of the Law’s inability to save us.
The Law that leads to Grace
Oh, God, may we not rely on the Law, except to point us back to grace.
For all who rely on the works of the law are under a curse, as it is written: “Cursed is everyone who does not continue to do everything written in the Book of the Law.”
We love your Law, Lord. But we know that the Law does not, will not, and cannot justify us.
We rely instead, Lord, on faith.
Clearly no one who relies on the law is justified before God, because “the righteous will live by faith.” The law is not based on faith; on the contrary, it says, “The person who does these things will live by them.”
We cannot live by the Law. If we could, then Christ’s death was for no purpose.
Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, for it is written: “Cursed is everyone who is hung on a pole.”
Christ’s death opened the path of grace through faith to all people. In Christ, God came near and extended his hand to us. And his arm was not too short to save. He saved us not based on anything we have done, but in response to his own promise and purpose for all who have faith.
He redeemed us in order that the blessing given to Abraham might come to the Gentiles through Christ Jesus so that by faith we might receive the promise of the Spirit.
Help us, Lord, to remember…
The Law exists to point us to, and cause us to cry out for, grace.
Those who think they can live by the Law are deceived and hopeless. Cursed.
Those who are hopeless in everything else, clinging only to grace, are raised to life. Blessed.
Whatever form of moralism we seek to add to grace is a failure of faith, doubting the value of Christ’s sacrifice on the cross.
Thank you, God, for grace through faith that cannot be downgraded and a Law designed to lead us to grace.
May the felt reality of Christ’s incomparable grace extended to us, cause us to season our lives, our tongues, our actions, our prayers, and our inner being with grace.
Divine Hours Prayer: The Cry of the Church
Lord, have mercy on us. Christ, have mercy on us. Lord, have mercy on us.
– From The Divine Hours: Prayers for Summertime by Phyllis Tickle.
2 Samuel 23 (Listen – 5:38)
Galatians 3 (Listen – 4:39)
This Weekend’s Readings
2 Samuel 24 (Listen – 4:48) Galatians 4 (Listen – 4:13)
1 Kings 1 (Listen – 7:52) Galatians 5 (Listen – 3:22)
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Read more about Downgrading Grace
Grace, once gained, can be forgotten and replaced with a smug and damaging form of self-righteousness.
Read more about Of Grace and Thorns
What is important about Paul’s thorn is not what it is…but the sufficient grace of God that sustains Paul.