Each day, as a Christian, my struggle with life revolves around the question. How do I please the Lord? Paul met with this problem while ministering God’s grace to the churches spread all across Asia Minor and Europe. He spoke boldly to the Galatians and Romans. His letters carried a fist full of truth striking hard while revealing the heart of the Gospel to a church that sought her own way. Again and again, he admonished, “Don’t turn the simplicity of the gospel message into a hard and difficult road of works.”
For Paul, there were several non-negotiables. The first and foremost was our bend as humans to turn everything into a Pharisaical Law. Making the simple hard. Regulations telling us what we eat. What we drink. All these things were fodder for the Adamic mind to turn into can’s and cannot’s. Men who were schooled in the Law were thrilled to provide teachings which transformed our relationship with Christ into a set of do’s and do not’s. Congregations who had been set free from the tyranny of the Law pleasantly sipped the soothing soup of regulations.
Paul’s anger could not be appeased by human arguments. He was compelled to speak boldly against this gaping violation of the true nature of Christ’s Gospel. He spoke vibrant words of strength in dealing with this hideous tendency to turn our relationship forged by God’s grace and Christ’s blood into a mere set of regulations. The Holy Spirit working through Paul would not allow God’s merciful sacrifice to become a common book of rules changed and manipulated by mankind.
It is the genius of God that he has fashioned salvation as a process that man can never achieve through our own efforts or desires. We must yield to Christ’s love to see the completion of our journey of faith. As our walk with Christ progresses, we find that each day is another opportunity for surrender and turn from our own legalistic desires. I must willingly yield my life, keeping the simplicity of the Gospel simple. In this way, our will becomes enfolded into the grace of Christ which never disappoints or leads us into bondage.