We no longer please God by our works, as the Saints did in Old Testament times. Jesus taught us that keeping religious laws was not necessary to receive His free gift of salvation (Romans 9:33; Isaiah 8:14-15).
His sacrifice on Calvary's cross freed us from the law of sin and death and made us holy and sanctified in the sight of God. Christ abides in us, and we are in Him, completely transformed from our old carnal nature and set free to live in holiness.
We no longer strive by the law to be holy, because Christ in us is holy. We please Him by living by faith, by resting in His finished work of redemption and by recognizing that He exchanged our sin and deprivation for His righteousness in us.
His Law of Life gives us freedom from the Law of Sin and Death that we could never attain by living under works. God actually gives us both the desire and the ability to work out our own salvation (Philippians 2:12-13).
Even our flesh loses its desire to sin, and wants instead to please God with every fiber of our being. Our self-worth and security come from our relationship with our risen Savior.
We learn what Mary did: that it is better to sit at Jesus' feet and walk by the direction of His Spirit than to spin our wheels like a modern day Martha, who is consumed by the busyness of life in this world.
We no longer sacrifice at the Temple, because we are the temple of the Holy Spirit (Acts 7:47-50; Isaiah 66:1-2). We meet together now in the sanctuary to learn God's Word, to fellowship around a meal, and for special purposes for outreach, evangelism and church growth.
Father God, we do not want to invalidate Your gracious free gift by allowing our faith to become a ritual. This would annul the work of Christ on the cross. Justification does not come through our works, but by hearing Your Word, receiving Your Spirit and believing by faith Your gospel of Jesus' redeeming sacrifice (Galatians 2:21; 3:2).
Help us to find our Sabbath Rest in You and to listen, hear and obey Your voice through Your Word and by the direction of Your Spirit during each moment of our day. Remind us not to entangle our self in Pharisaical laws, but to walk in the freedom You provided for us through Christ's work in us.
Thought for the Day:
If our service to God amounts to nothing more than calloused obedience to the letter of the law rather than in an intimate relationship with the Trinity, we miss the point of Jesus dying on the cross, forfeit a personal relationship with Him, and miss the opportunity to find fulfillment in the deepest recesses of our soul.