Sunday, April 07, 2013

The Law v The Gospel (by Ralph Erskine, Dunfermline)

One for Sunday. The Bible shows us that the Law of God demands an impossibly high standard of perfection. No-one can achieve it - but many try to do so, and either end up:

a) filled with pride as they admire what they see as their 'successes' - as the poem above says it takes 'boasting' and 'feeds it to my bane', or

b) filled with despair when they experience repeated failure.

Jesus came and raised the bar. To paraphrase, He shocked his listeners one day by telling them 'here's a list of things that the Law says, if you do them, are sins. Well, even if you think about them that's sin too'. Only Jesus meets the perfect standard required the Law - and not only for Himself, but on behalf of all of the failures who trust in Him. I'm not a follower of Jesus because I am a 'good person' or as people in Northern Ireland often say 'good living'. I follow Him because I am a failure, rotten to the core in word, thought, deed and motive - but His perfection covers my failure completely. Ulsterman William McComb put it like this, inspired by these famous words from the Apostle Paul.

And so the Gospel, as the poem says, - 'yields me full relief'. And that relief, and gratitude, I hope is bringing about a change.