Statements to Ponder
Circumcision and non-circumcision are of no value because the only thing that counts is faith expressing itself in love.
Our good performance does not make us right with God, nor does our bad performance really make us any more lost and hopeless. Regardless of good works, we all stand equally lost, and equally able to be saved.
Keller puts it. “A Christian, when he or she has just experienced a success, should say, but this success does not increase Christ’s love for me. In fact, it is only because of his love for me that this happened, not the other way around. And a Christian, when he or she has just experienced a failure, should say, If I had not failed in this way that would not make me any more loved and accepted by God than I am at this moment. My performance is irrelevant. In fact, God is always working for my good, he has allowed this to happen because he loves me, not because he doesn’t!”
Think about it.
If you bring this motive into your relationship with God, and with others, that on the basis of my good works, I receive your love and affirmation. Or on the basis of your good works, I give love.
Are you being truly loved? Are you truly loving?
No, you’re being loved on the basis of your works, so if you don’t measure up in your own mind, or the mind of the one you’re trying to please, you don’t feel loved. You will constantly be like a wave, tossed to and fro, highs and lows of emotion – am I loved today, or am I not?
Highs and low’s. Up and down. Loved, and not so loved.
Simple Church Questions:
1. Do you react to your successes and failures in a "gospel / Jesus / grace" way, or a works-righteousness way?
2. If it is for freedom that you have been set free, how free are you in Christ currently? Evangelicals can easily sucuumb to a works righteousness way of thinking and living? Do you agree? If so, how? What sort of freedom is Jesus inviting you and I to, in a deeper way through this text?
3. Faith expresses itself in love. So how does a works righteousness stance express itself?
4. Choose a sin you are currently struggling with. Why do you want to sin in this way? How is it working for you? How does your gospel freedom undermine that motivation to sin? remember, faith expresses itself in love.