"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 29 of 30


Let none conclude that the Law is evil or sinful. It serves an appointed purpose, but that purpose is NOT justification! By convincing us of the unacceptability of our works, the Law brings us to Christ. That is simply another way of saying it convinces us we need a Savior. We are not wise enough or strong enough to save ourselves! Even when we are told what to do, our incapacity to please God clings to us like a giant weight. Let the Scripture state the case for us. It does it so very well.

"But the Scripture has shut up all men under sin, that the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe. But before faith came, we were kept in custody under the law, being shut up to the faith which was later to be revealed. Therefore the Law has become our tutor to lead us to Christ, that we may be justified by faith" (Gal 3:2-24, NASB).

Imprisoned in Sin

Do not miss it! Apart from Christ, we were "shut up," or imprisoned in sin--or more precisely, dominated by sin! We cannot work our way out, with Law or without it! Before faith "came" to us (and it did "come"), we were under the Law. Dominated by it, we actually could not extricate ourselves! We were "locked up until faith should be revealed" (NIV). I understand that is exceedingly difficult for some to receive. Notwithstanding, that is what the Holy Spirit affirms, who knows and searches the "deep things of God" (1 Cor 2:10). Who is the sophist bold enough to suggest we close our ears to God and listen to the prattling of men?

Whatever may be said of man's "free will," before faith came we were "locked up until faith should be revealed" (Gal 3:23, NIV). And, you may rest assured, no mortal had the key to release us. That is a prerogative belonging to Jesus alone. He, and He alone, has been given the"key of David, He that openeth, and no man shutteth; and shutteth, and no man openeth" (Rev 3:7).

Through the Gospel of Christ--not the Law--God "opened the door of faith" to us (Acts 14:27). Jesus did not urge moral prisoners to work to get out of prison. Rather He was anointed by God to "PREACH deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, to PREACH the acceptable year of the Lord" (Lk 4:18-19).

We were thus justified by believing the good news rather than fulfilling requirements! The Law, with all of its demands, offered us no help. There is not a particle of grace in Law. There are no remedies in Law, or means to recovery. Once broken, the seal of "condemnation" is placed upon us. Only faith can remove that seal!

PRAYER POINT: Father, thank You for sending Jesus to announce liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison doors to those who were hopelessly bound.