I think a lot about the things that we are supposed to do. Whether they are laws or just strong suggestions, I am preoccupied quite frequently with the actions that I should or should not be taking. Should I be going the exact speed limit or the widely-accepted five to ten over? Should I return my shopping cart to the corral? Sometimes I ask these questions because I feel like I’m the only one following the rules; sometimes I ask because I want to know how bad it would be if I broke the rules just this once. What good is it to be a good person and do what we are supposed to do?
15 We ourselves are Jews by birth and not Gentile sinners; 16 yet we know that a person is not justified by works of the law but through faith in Jesus Christ, so we also have believed in Christ Jesus, in order to be justified by faith in Christ and not by works of the law, because by works of the law no one will be justified.Galatians 2:15-16, ESV
Paul’s words in Galatians remind us that what we do does nothing for our standing as sinners. We can and should do the right and lawful thing, but we are all the same in that we are solely justified through faith in Jesus Christ. So, instead of being worried about whether we should be following the rules or if doing so is paying off or how our level of commitment to the law compares to our neighbors, we should be focused on what it means for us to have faith in Jesus Christ. What does that faith call us to do?