If I rebuild what I destroyed, then I really would be a lawbreaker.
Thoughts for Today:In our passage today, Paul is basically telling us that it takes a radical revelation of the Gospel of grace to abandon our faith in the "works of the law" (previous passage), and exchange it for the only true standard of righteousness: Jesus Christ. He alone is the righteousness of God. Anything short of that is rebuilding what was destroyed.
So what is the difference between a "work of faith" and a "work of the law"?
In Philippians 3:9, Paul wrote: "[Let me] be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ-the righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith." In 1 Thessalonians 1:3, Paul further states: "We remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ." A work of faith is the fruit of our relationship with the Lord, an expression of gratitude for the grace and mercy that has already been granted to us in Christ Jesus.
On the contrary, any rule, command, or law that we observe in an attempt to be accepted by God is a "work of the Law". "Works of the law" are those things we do as a means of trying to meet God's standard for righteousness (which will always fall short). In other words, it is our effort to obtain or earn a relationship or favor with God. On the surface, the work may appear to be the same, however the motivation is vastly different. So it's not the action, but the attitude. Works of faith and works of the law are in reality polar opposites.
Questions to Ponder:Our attitude in the way we serve God says a lot about what we believe about works. If we're happy and joyful, then we're probably responding in gratitude for what God's done for us on the Cross. However, if we're trudging along, slugging it out, day in and day out, all the while fearing that if we don't do everything possible, then we might miss God's blessing -- we've probably missed the point. Does your attitude need adjustment? Are you involved in works of the law or works of faith?