For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ. – John 1:17
Text: Galatians 2:15-21; Luke 7:50; Habakkuk 2:4
Prop: a school report card or test score of “A”
Summary: We should live by faith in the Lord Jesus. We should not rely on good deeds to gain God’s favor.
Look what I am holding in my hand. It is a report card.([Show the report card.) Yes, believe it or not, I was once your age and attended school. I tried to study hard and make good grades. My parents always encouraged me to do my best, but they never judged me by whether I made an “A” or not. It was more important to have good study habits than to make a good grade on a test. If I knew how to study, then I could learn. My parents loved me no matter what sort of grades I made. I did not have to rely on making good grades to gain their approval or love. The Bible verse for today is about how we should live by faith and not rely on doing good deeds to gain God’s favor.
(Read Galatians 2:16.)
This verse teaches Christians to live by faith in the Lord Jesus. That means to trust Jesus to make us acceptable to God. We could not follow all the rules in the Bible to perfection and get to heaven by our best efforts. We must trust what God has done for us. Jesus died for us on the cross and rose from the dead. Our good deeds are a response to what God has done for us by his mercy and grace. The good deeds themselves are not what causes God to accept us. God loves us before we love him. The apostle Paul echoed the words of the prophet Habakkuk from long ago: “the just shall live by his faith.” (Habakkuk 2:4)
Jesus always looks for our faith in God. In one story, a woman who had done bad things came to Jesus and kissed his feet. She cried tears on his feet and washed them off with her hair. She was sorry for all the bad things she had done. She trusted Jesus to forgive her. The religious leaders had given up on her and did not want to help her. But Jesus did not give up on her. He forgave her sins. “And he said to the woman, Thy faith hath saved thee; go in peace.” (Luke 7:50) Neither will the Lord Jesus ever give up on us. He looks for our faith in him also.
Let us pray. Dear Lord Jesus, help us to live by faith in you every day. Amen.
©2004 by Jim Kerlin. All rights reserved.