did you suffer so many things in vain—if indeed it was in vain?  does he who supplies the Spirit to you and works miracles among you do so by works of the law, or by hearing with faith, [galatians 3:4-5]
how do people change?
how do people change? how does the miracle of a changed life happen? how does the miracle of an ongoing transformed heart and life happen?
read the passage again and you will see that God, writing through the apostle paul, gives us two options: 1) works of the law, or 2) hearing with faith.
let’s gain some clarity about these options.
1) works of the law: this is keeping the rules and ways of God to gain God’s favor and action on our behalf. when we do this we are believing God changes us by works of the law, by our effort to keep God’s rules. let’s get real specific and practical with an example.
if i have a severely broken relationship that i helped break and i long for it to be repaired, my solution would be: double down in being godly in this broken relationship and my other relationships. surely, if i do my best to live godly, God would repair this broken relationship because of my effort to keep God’s laws.
ever lived a situation out similar to this scenario. in essence, we are “faithing” that our good works, our keeping of the law will gain God’s favor to fix our broken situation.
God tells us in galatiains 3:5 that when we live like this we are “faithing” the wrong thing.
2) hearing with faith: this is placing our faith, our trust in the work of Christ who has given us God’s Spirit to work change us.
whose work are you trusting to bring ongoing change in you? are you trusting your work to keep God’s law or God’s work through Christ and His Spirit in you – to bring change in you and others?
being good doesn’t change our heart. it is a reflection of a changed heart.
today ask God to help you faith that change in you and those you are praying for only happens by the power of Holy Spirit given to us by Christ’s work. it is a prayer that will begin to change your life! truly, by faith, by trusting the power of the gospel that gives us the power of God’s Spirit – you and i can be changed! join me in this prayer today!
Father, i believe you have made me right, clean, and acceptable before you by the work of Christ alone. i believe this has given me your Spirit to work in me and through me. i believe your Spirit alone changes me, transforms me in to your image. Lord, i believe these things – but i confess i often seek to change my heart by gaining your favor through my efforts. Lord, i believe your Spirit is the only one who can change me. i believe – help my unbelief!
~ john ryan