As humans, we love to arrive, don’t we? We love to reach an accomplishment. It means celebration. It is a mark, a medal, something to add to our side of the tally. Something to be proud of accomplishing. It really doesn’t even matter what it is, we celebrate it. We set goals. We set milestones. We benchmark against others.
But last week in Romans we discussed the downside of pride and how it separates us from God. Circumcision was a covenant, not an accomplishment. Faith, works, deeds, when they become religiosity and plaques on our walls are not longer things that point to God because they have become things that point to us.
So, what is the value of obedience and the law? What is the point of doing good works?
An interesting answer to this comes from Deuteronomy 30. As the Israelites were preparing to make their entry into the promise land, God provides them with instruction. As you read it, you will see that He lays out two paths from which they can choose. They can choose the path that leads to peace and long term possession of the land which involves following God’s laws and commandments and continuing to commune with Him. Or they can choose the path that leads to battles and loss and being scattered in exile from the land with disobedience and separation from God. The outcomes of each of these choices is not a threat, it is not a blessing or curse per se, it is simply a fact from one who knows the future. The choice is completely left to the Israelites.
We get the same choices. Following the laws of God and being obedient is not an accomplishment to check off, it is simply a sign that we are still on the right path. When we recognize that we are not being obedient to God, that too is a sign, one telling us to repent and turn back.
While we could hang signs on our walls, the more practical thing is to use them for their intent – to provide direction.
~14 years. Ishmael was 13 and he had not been conceived when God declared Abraham righteous. ~430 until law. Not earned. years wait
They, in essence, say that the price Jesus paid for their righteousness was insufficient so they need to “add to” what Jesus did. Obedience and signs is not a currency that God accepts for righteousness and salvation
Easy – I have sinned. Any sin is an imperfection. Any imperfection is not “right”.
But, I do not believe that God looks at my righteousness but at the covering that Christ has provided to me.