15 我們這生來的猶太人，不是外邦的罪人； 16 既知道人稱義不是因行律法，乃是因信耶穌基督，連我們也信了基督耶穌，使我們因信基督稱義，不因行律法稱義；因為凡有血氣的，沒有一人因行律法稱義。 17 我們若求在基督裡稱義，卻仍舊是罪人，難道基督是叫人犯罪的嗎？斷乎不是！ 18 我素來所拆毀的，若重新建造，這就證明自己是犯罪的人。 19 我因律法，就向律法死了，叫我可以向 神活著。 20 我已經與基督同釘十字架，現在活著的不再是我，乃是基督在我裡面活著；並且我如今在肉身活著，是因信 神的兒子而活；他是愛我，為我捨己。 21 我不廢掉 神的恩；義若是藉著律法得的，基督就是徒然死了。
15. “We who are Jews by birth and not ‘Gentile sinners’ 16. know that a man is not justified by observing the law, but by faith in Jesus Christ. So we, too, have put our faith in Christ Jesus that we may be justified by faith in Christ and not by observing the law, because by observing the law no one will be justified.
17. “If, while we seek to be justified in Christ, it becomes evident that we ourselves are sinners, does that mean that Christ promotes sin? Absolutely not! 18. If I rebuild what I destroyed, I prove that I am a lawbreaker. 19. For through the law I died to the law so that I might live for God. 20. .I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. 21. I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness could be gained through the law, Christ died for nothing!”
- “(A) man is not justified by observing the law, but by faith in Jesus Christ” (v16). Many people go to temples, burn incense, and engage in meditation and generous donations in the hopes of receiving peace and prosperity. We tell children that Santa Claus checks “his list twice to see who’s naughty or nice” in order to give them gifts at Christmas accordingly. Is there any difference between the two examples? How is Jesus’ gift of salvation different from them?
- If Santa Claus existed and had a list with my name on it, what actions might be listed to determine whether I was naughty or nice? Bring this list to God and thank Him that He is not like Santa. Tear up the list and throw it to the garbage. Once again, thank God for all the grace gifts given me without my working for them.
Prayer & Journaling:
Stay with God for a little longer. Continue to converse with God and listen to what he wants to tell me. Then write down any thought and/or prayer in the 2011 “Spiritual Journal” book.
Family Time (Begin this time by reading the passage above using a children’s Bible.)
Refer to the two questions in Meditation. Discuss the lyrics of “Santa Claus is coming to town”, esp. “He’s making a list and checking it twice”. Parents, this is a good time to explain God’s free and precious gift of salvation to your children. If a child wants to accept Jesus, help him/her to make the decision and pray for him/her. Write the decision on your Family Devotional Journal.