THE LAW OF FAITH
"Where then is boasting? It is excluded. By what kind of law? Of works? No, but by a law of faith. For we maintain that a man is justified by faith apart from works of the Law" (Romans 3:21-28, NASB)."
Devotion 20 of 30
THE LAW OF FAITH IS DIFFERENT
The law allows for, and even tends to encourage, "boasting." But it is not so with the "law of faith." It will not allow such boasting. It is as though faith had its own law, which refuses to place meritorious value on any of our own works. Hear Paul express this law. "But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace to me was not without effect. No, I worked harder than all of them--yet not I, but the grace of God that was with me" (1 Cor 15:10, NIV). The "all of them" to which he referred were the Apostles, mentioned in previous verses (7-9). He did not, however, make his boast in himself, but in "the grace of God" that was with him.
Here was a man of remarkable discipline and spiritual achievement. There is not a believer in history that does not acknowledge that he excelled the rest of our race. Yet when he spoke of his life, he spoke with the law of faith in mind, and not "the law of works." "I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me" (Gal 2:20). The law of faith does not draw attention to what faith has done, but to the Source of that faith. It glories "in the Lord."
Faith achieves in men what God desires. It acknowledges sin, trusts in Christ Jesus, and receives God's righteousness. It is superior to every other expression or response of men! Believing God (not merely believing there is a God) always produces a "good report." It always distinguishes men before God.
The "law of faith" also compels men to do what the Law demands, but cannot empower the individual to do. Throughout history, this has been confirmed in the primary members of our race. NOAH, standing alone in a corrupt and condemned world, "prepared an ark to the saving of his house" (Heb 11:7). This was an extended work, spanning a period of 120 years. Though laboring in solitude and contradicted by the world, he finished the work. ABRAHAM, "when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went." Without a background of familiarity with God, he "obeyed," willingly separating himself from his past and his kindred (Heb 11:8). Both of these unusual men were dominated by "the law of faith." Neither of them gloried in the flesh, but made their boast in the Lord.
Other examples of extraordinary obedience include Sarah, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses and others (Heb 11:11-39). All of them excelled their peers in what they did, yet they made no boast of their accomplishments. Faith not only enabled them to do the work, it compelled them give God the glory, refusing to take it unto themselves.
The "Law of faith" is a vibrant life-imparting principle that draws upon God. It does not consider the weakness of the flesh but the power of God. It sees obedience as the only reasonable response to Divine directives, and Divine power as supportive of that obedience. Through it the redeemed of the Lord are able to accomplish what they were impotent to do through "the law of works."
PRAYER POINT: Father, I thank You for the law of faith and its joy-producing empowerment to do Your will.
-- Tomorrow: FAITH IS GREATER THAN REASON --