Justified – made right – by the law and not grace. Dr. Andrew Farley with whom I am just only beginning to become familiar, caught my attention in a video interview where he was talking about this difference – the difference between the law and grace. He questions whether Christians are really living into the fullness and freedom of Christ as long as they hold fast to any part of the old law. I came to understand the idea this way: a bifurcated life whereby the law is selectively used to trump the good news of forgiveness and grace is not the way of an authentic Christ-centered life.
Today’s reading in Galatians brought Farley’s interview to mind as well as a recent debate I had with someone regarding what criteria people use to determine in a dispute between two or more people, the right thing to do. Conclusion of that debate? Most of us will seek and expect to find justice, guidance, an answer, a resolution, justification, in the law. Law, not grace.
So I am left to wonder as I absorb the reality that it is to the law most of us will gravitate when something breaks in a human relationship, about God, my Abba Father. And I’m thinking how brokenhearted He must feel each time He sees one of us seek justification in the law and not in Him.
And at the same time I am left thinking what little difference it appears to make to a relationship forged in the Spirit and in grace if at the end of the day, it is to the law we turn to justify and adjudicate.
That, as a dear friend would say, ain’t right. It just ain’t right.