Over the last few days, I have been trawling through Government guidelines concerning the gathering for corporate worship. As you can imagine, it’s not a particularly riveting read and does in many ways, raise as many questions as it answers. However, by reading the guidelines it has encouraged me to reflect on the purpose of law.
In the Old Testament, God gave, the people of Israel over six-hundred different laws through his servant Moses. These laws covered virtually every aspect of their lives. These included areas as diverse as dietary regulations, sexual relationships, business practice, building techniques and religious worship. Now The Law was only ever intended to be a restraint for wickedness and was never intended to bring real righteousness. Why? Because The Law was given by a perfect God those with a natural propensity for sin. People like you and people like me!
Now for many, the previous statement may sound like bad news. However, for us as Christians, this is a vital acknowledgment. In fact, it is this very fact that leads us to recognise our own need of God’s forgiveness. Praise God then, that through the life death of Jesus, God did what we couldn’t. That is, he fulfilled the righteous requirements of the Law and paid the penalty of our every shortfall.
With that in mind, I leave with you one of my most cherished passages of Scripture. In Ephesians 2:8-10, Paul writes; God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it. For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.
Given these glorious truths, I encourage you to serve God wholeheartedly and fulfil those works that he has planned for you. Serve him, not out of duty as a means of earning his favour or winning his pleasure. Serve him instead, with gladness because you have received his favour and know his pleasure.
Yours and His, Gareth