1 Timothy 1; Isaiah 31-33; Psalm 119:33-64
“There oughta be a law against that.” How many times have you thought or said those words as you observed someone doing something that could be dangerous. The truth, of course, is that no law exists on that subject because no one ever thought it would be needed. Now that someone has started doing those kinds of things, someone will pass a law. Laws are not made to regulate people who know appropriate behavior. Laws are made to regulate bad behavior. Paul talked about that in his letter to Timothy. “But we know that the law is good if one uses it lawfully, knowing this: that the law is not made for a righteous person, but for the lawless and insubordinate, for the ungodly and for sinners….This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief.” (1 Timothy 1: 8-9a, 15) He gave a long list of lawless behavior as he wrote about lawless behavior. God’s laws remind us of where we fall short of His expectations. At the same time Paul reminds us that no matter how far we may be from God’s standards, Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners. Just as the law was made for sinners to show us how far short of God’s standards we are, Jesus came for sinners to show us how much God loves us. Our most important choice in life, then, is whether we decide to seek to follow the law in our own strength, which we can never do, or to accept the grace of God and trust Him to restore our relationship with God. That should be an easy choice.
Oh Lord, in spite of what Paul said, I am the worst sinner I know. I look at others and point out their sins, even if only silently in my own mind, but I am burdened with my own sinfulness. Remind me Lord that I am not healed by comparing myself to others. Remind me that healing from sin only happens through Jesus Christ. I am grateful that Jesus came to save sinners – without Him I would have no hope.