Sharing from the WORD
Then what becomes of our boasting? It is excluded. By what kind of law? By a law of works? No, but by the law of faith.(Romans 3:27)
Paul's Letter to the Romans may seem harsh at times, and when I first read it his tone honestly made me uncomfortable. Why does he seem so demanding that the Romans understand salvation is by faith?
For me, I'm a works-based guy. I work hard in things like school and sports, and I'm proud when that hard work pays off. It makes me feel accomplished, recognized, and capable. However, Paul is clear when he underscores the ultimate futility of works without faith. Just as a mother chastises a child for trying to drive a car or start the stove on his own, Paul is similarly stern--even harsh--as he tells us not to fool ourselves. The more I read this passage, the more I realize he is speaking out of the same love as any human parent.
Although I may like to pride myself on what I can achieve through my own effort, I need to lay down this haughtiness before God's grace, just as a servant can only accept his king's honor with unadulterated awe and gratitude. Or, to give another analogy, if a lifeguard had just saved my life, would I pretend that I had rescued myself through my own strength? Anyone watching would understand how silly my boasting would be. Moreover, just as with the child who thinks she can start a fire on her own, I am only setting myself up for failure if someone doesn't point out my naivety soon.
Like the child when she grows up, I should only be more grateful the more I understand this.