3 For what the law was powerless to do
because it was weakened by the flesh,
God did by sending his own Son
in the likeness of sinful flesh to be a sin offering.
In a book of devotions excerpted from his sermons, John Wesley points out no one can be saved by following the law. No matter how closely we adhere to them, the principles laid out in scripture will not make a place for us in the Kingdom of Heaven. For many that truth is hard to swallow.
But Mr. Wesley’s words remind me of another truth. Like the law, I cannot save anyone. Like the law, I am powerless. Though they follow me or mimic my life, they’ll still miss life abundant and a home with my Heavenly Father.
Too often I invest time and energy into discipling a person. After building a relationship, studying scripture with them, praying with and for them, I find myself disappointed when they don’t accept Christ or grow as quickly as I think they should. And then I remember, I am not a savior.
Paul said the law helped him see his sin, but it couldn’t provide deliverance. Much like preachers and teachers; we can reveal sin and bestow knowledge of sin, but only the Trinity frees us from sin. When we cling to a human, expecting them to get us in good with the Father, we might as well hold on to the law for salvation.
The law is powerless, and I am too. Keeping that in mind as I share the gospel gives me freedom. Like the law, I am weak, but that’s OK, because as the familiar child’s song says, “He is strong.”