Wednesday, June 30, 2021
What would it take for you to renounce your heritage, your upbringing, your value system, and your loyalties? For example, imagine being born into a Wisconsin family that for generations has supported the Packers. What would it take for you to become a Chicago Bears fan?
I hear the shouting already. “I WOULD NEVER! THERE’S NOTHING THAT COULD EVER MAKE ME CHANGE!”
Now you can relate to the Apostle Paul. Yet something motivated him to renounce his national heritage, his values, and his loyalties. That something is actually a someone named Jesus.
Prior to meeting Jesus, Paul was convinced that obedience to and defending the Jewish law and traditions was the way to become right before God. But everything changed when he met Jesus and discovered an Old Testament truth found in Habakkuk 2:4.
“Behold, his soul is puffed up; it is not upright within him, but the righteous shall live by his faith.”
When the Apostle Paul met Jesus, his life was transformed by the truth that our religion, our heritage, or our works cannot earn us a right standing with God. Only faith in Jesus can justify us before the Father. Only the standing Jesus has before the Father is valid, so only those who are in Jesus can have the same standing.
This truth was so important the Old Testament passage is quoted in three New Testament books that teach the truth of justification by faith and not by works. Look them up: Romans 1:17; Galatians 3:11; and Hebrews 10:38.
Here’s how Paul declared the truth to us in Galatians 2:16.
“…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.”
Look carefully at Paul’s words. “So we also have believed in Christ Jesus.” When Paul was confronted with the truth of being made right by grace and not by works, he immediately renounced his past, switched his loyalty, and became a believer in Jesus.
What would it take for you to renounce your national and religious heritage? What would drive you to abandon your value system? What could possibly make you drop your loyalties to people, politics, possessions, or purpose? There’s only one answer – JESUS. He is the truth and the only truth, and when we believe Him, everything changes.