Yesterday, I shared how Galatians helps us to rightly understand our obedience and work for God as acts of worship, gratitude, and faith in God’s future provision of grace. Today, we’re looking at how our propensity to earn our justification through works drains us and ultimately leaves us powerless.
Every person is capable doing things that would fall in line with God’s law. I can love my neighbors and show compassion and be a good husband, and friend, and brother all in my own strength. Anyone can do these things. Everyone has a power supply to do good works in the world apart from the empowering work of God. The danger is that this supply is limited. Anyone can be a good neighbor, but you can’t be a perfect neighbor. Anyone can show compassion, but only to a certain degree. The life if the Christian, unfortunately, is no different.
Oftentimes, in the Christian faith, we’re pumping the groundwater of strength in our flesh. You can actually get some things done as a Christian in your own power, but that power source is limited, prone to your own sin, and your own liabilities. We can be so prone to forget the full access we have to the fathomless power of the Holy Spirit. If we work in our own strength to obey, we will bear fruit, but it’s perishable and fleeting. If we rely on the Holy Spirit, He will bear lasting, full, and bountiful fruit in our lives to the glory of The Father. It’s a totally different power source. At any given moment we can go one way or the other. In Galatians Paul addresses this by pointing to the true work of the Spirit that can be found in the lives of those who follow Christ. Stop trying to do these things in your own strength, and live in the beauty of the fact that you’re already justified by the grace of God!