Psalms: 75, 76
Old Testament: Jeremiah 5:20-31
New Testament: Romans 3:19-31

For we hold that a person is justified by faith apart from works prescribed by the law. Or is God the God of Jews only? Is he not the God of Gentiles also? Yes, of Gentiles also, since God is one; and he will justify the circumcised on the ground of faith and the uncircumcised through that same faith. Do we then overthrow the law by this faith? By no means! On the contrary, we uphold the law. (Romans 5:28-31)

Here we come to one of the pivotal passages of Romans. Not only does it have significance for the theology of Paul himself, but to a whole slew of Protestant interpretations.

One of the problems with traditional Protestant takes on this passage is that it holds up the decision to place one’s faith in Christ as the way to becoming righteous. If that happens, it is no longer the faith of Christ that makes a difference, but rather the individuals personal choice.

The danger here of course is that there can be a tendency to turn that choice into a “work”. Pray the sinner’s prayer, and you’re good to go. Get baptized and continue sinning… doesn’t matter if you ignore morality……you will be saved because you have faith in Jesus. 😦

Obviously, I don’t think that’s what Paul intends here, otherwise he would not have made a specific point about upholding the Law. He would have been aware that Jesus constantly called his disciples to holiness….saying that it was not the family of blood that made up his brothers and sisters…..but those who did the will of his Father.

Christ also said that he came to fulfill the Law and not to abolish it.

As has been explained in earlier verses, the purpose of the law is to expose Sin… uncover those times when we miss the mark and fall short of our full potential as the sons and daughters of God.

We can’t let go completely of the moral compass of the Law. It is what keeps us balanced and keeps us in check. The big difference is that we do not place our hope on the Law. Rather we place our trust in the hope and faith that God will forgive our clumsiness and our mistakes…..even those times when we screw up royally! 😛

Together as a faith community, we strive to follow the will of God and cling to Jesus as the one who will keep us safe and cover our sins for us. May we never grow lazy in our call to holiness, and remember that God will catch us when we fall. +