April21 - Page 34

our salvation . Christ fulfills the law for us ( Matthew 5:17 ).
When we disagree with God and hang onto the idea that we must fulfill the law , we lose our joy in salvation and set ourselves up for failure . We labor under a terrible burden . We feel pressured to do something to secure salvation , but , at the same time , our sin nature renders us unable to obey the law . The more we focus on the law , the more our sin nature rebels . The more our sin nature rebels , the more frightened we become that we are not saved . The more frightened and joyless we become , the more tempting sin ’ s promise of happiness is .
The only way to break the cycle and stop sinning is to accept the fact that we cannot stop sinning . This may seem contradictory , but if a person does not stop trying to save himself , he will never rest in the knowledge that God has saved him . The joy of salvation comes from accepting the fact that God ’ s grace covers us , that He will change us and conform us to the image of Christ , and that it is His work , not ours ( Romans 8:29 ; Philippians 1:6 ; Philippians 2:13 ; Hebrews 13:20-21 ). Once this reality is truly grasped , sin loses its power . We no longer feel the impulse to turn to sin as a means of temporary relief from anxiety , because the anxiety and pressure has been relieved once for all by Christ ( Hebrews 10:10 , 14 ). Then , the good works we accomplish in faith are done because of love and joy rather than out of fear or duty .
“ The sting of death is sin , and the power of sin is the law . But thanks be to God , who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ . Therefore , my beloved brothers , be steadfast , immovable , always abounding in the work of the Lord , knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain ” ( 1 Corinthians 15:56-58 ).