Today, we move on to the book of Esther – which is unique in the fact that it is the only book in the Bible which never mentions God by name. But God’s hand is woven throughout its pages – in the faith of the main characters as they trust Him for their very survival.
Today’s chapters serve to introduce us to the main players of the story. Mordecai and his cousin Esther, faithful Jews living under the gluttonous Persian king, are foiled by the evil and vain Haman who plots the annihilation of every Jew throughout Persia! This dramatic story will continue tomorrow, but for now let’s turn to Galatians 3…
Remember, Paul is writing to the churches throughout Galatia because even though they accepted the gospel of salvation through faith, they were being tempted by false teachers to add aspects of Jewish law to their new Christianity. We would call this “legalism” in our modern circles. Whatever you call it, it’s wrong!
Paul makes his argument stronger by pointing out the fact that Abraham was justified by faith before the Law was given. In other words, justification by faith trumps the law!
But if it’s impossible to be saved by observing the law, this leads to the question… why did God give the Law? This is a great question because the answer reveals a meaningful truth…
The purpose of the Law is to display the holy character of God and establish the standard for righteousness. So when we compare ourselves to this holy God and this perfect standard, we can respond in one of two ways… self-justification or repentance.
Consider Adam. He had one law. Just one. And Adam had the chance to repent immediately after he had sinned in the garden… But Adam chose self-justification instead of repentance. He made excuses. He did not own his sin and ask for forgiveness.
So what is our response when we break God’s law? Will we justify ourselves and make excuses for our sin? Or, will we own our sin and ask for forgiveness? In other words, will we repent?
Repentance and faith levels the playing field. No nation, gender or race has preferential treatment – for all have sinned, and all need to be saved. The covenant of grace is powerful enough to save anyone.
There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s offspring, heirs according to promise (Galatians 3:28-29).