“For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do.” – Romans 8:3
Every religion in the world, except Christianity, has these presuppositions behind it. One is that all humanity is not morally disabled as a result of sin entering the world, sin does not really exist even, we are just flawed in our evolutionary process. Another presupposition is that all men can measure up to their god’s righteous standards by their own efforts. Each religion takes different forms, but ultimately, you are the one who must perform and then the deity is either appeased or in your debt. This mix of presuppositions leaves the weight of moral performance and toiling at your feet. Even the Roman Catholic Church leaves this weight at your doorstep, Christ is just there to help. This was the problem Martin Luther had with Rome in the 1500’s, amongst many other things. Many equate Christianity with Roman Catholicism. This is just not the case. Christianity, though many Christians really do an awful job of displaying this to the world, is totally different. For that I apologize on their behalf. If you want to see what Christianity is about, don’t always look at the most vocal followers (TV evangelists especially, etc), but look at the Scriptures themselves, it attests to itself. Evaluate it and examine it yourself apart from them. This verse in Romans 8, in a very concise manner, sums up what authentic Christianity is all about.
Just like all other religions, Christianity has presuppositions of its own, however they greatly differ. One is that all humanity has been corrupted, corroded, and morally disabled by the fall of humanity into sin. We cannot appease God by our “righteous acts” because we have none in relation to Him. That’s not to say we cannot do good things in relation to other men, but we’re not talking about other men, we’re talking about God. Another presupposition is that we cannot possibly measure up to His righteous standards, it is in fact impossible. It is like attempting to jump to the stars above. So how can we be saved? God is so creative, imaginative, and infinitely powerful, that He can do the impossible. “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” (Matthew 19:26). So in Christ, God has done what the law couldn’t do: save men from eternal condemnation. The law cannot save, and so attempting to maintain it your whole life is impossible. Why? Because, as the verse says, it (the law) was weakened by the flesh (through our sin), rendering it impossible to maintain by man. Therefore, God had to do what we couldn’t: fulfill the law perfectly for us, in our place, on our behalf. The rest of verse three into four says, “By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he (God) condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.” God the Father sent His Son into the world, to live up to the standards of the law that we could not keep. Christ entered human history as a man and lived a morally perfect life, living up to the standards of God. He did so to the point of death on the cross, and died the death we should have for our wickedness, in the place of those who trust Him for salvation, taking their condemnation and guilt. Now all the weight is off! Trust in Christ for your salvation, give up on trying to please God with your detestable “righteous acts” that cannot save you anyway and submit yourself to the cross where Christ suffered in the place of sinners. We are commanded to submit to the Gospel! Repent and believe in Jesus Christ.
I want to make something clear though, as Paul says at the end of Romans 3 in verse 31, “Do we then overthrow the law by this faith? By no means! On the contrary, we uphold the law.” Because Christ has shown is so much love in the cross, how can we not by His power in the cross obey the law now? We are finally accepted, now we just pursue Christ more so that He makes us pure, in order that we obey His law. What God commands in His law, He grants the ability to do through Faith in Christ. The Gospel is backward from the way men think. Most think we do something, and then get a payout from God. But what if you can’t do anything right in God’s eyes by your own strength and power, even if you blindly think you can? What if in God’s eyes, everything you do is so tainted by sin and mixed motives, that even your good acts are soaked with sin? What then? What is your due? Eternal condemnation, simply because those wicked acts slap God in His face and state to the world that His glory is worthless. But through faith in Christ, you can gain His perfect record! Praise God for Christ and His work on behalf of sinners! Trust Him that you may escape the wrath of the coming King and find more joy in Him than you can possibly imagine!