----- Forwarded Message -----
From: Rob Smith <email@example.com>
To: Rob Smith <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Sent: Saturday, January 28, 2017 8:14 AM
Subject: faith and the law
The question of how to find peace with God has echoed through time. The Jews of Old Testament times were given the law of Moses, including the Ten Commandments, along with a multitude of rules that touched every aspect of living. They believed that it was necessary to keep all of the laws to please God. But they were unable to do so (as God knew they would). The Apostle Paul teaches in the book of Romans that when we try to reach God through our efforts, as in keeping the law, we are living as if God is far away and we are trying to reach Him. We picture life in three separate dimensions (Here, Heaven and Hell). But Paul explains that the Lord is not far away. He is near and can be next to and within us...not by keeping the law or doing good things. Those have an appearance of goodness but they keep God at arm's length. Faith/trust/belief in the God who is here is the dynamic that opens the door for Him to come in to share our inner lives now. The good work has been done by the only one who is truly good. It is a revelation to realize that our part is to gratefully accept Him and move forward with Him. Then our works and our walk will reflect Him.
Romans 10:5 For Moses writes about the righteousness that is based on the law, that the person who does the commandments shall live by them. 6 But the righteousness based on faith says, "Do not say in your heart, 'Who will ascend into heaven?'" (that is, to bring Christ down) 7 "or 'Who will descend into the abyss?'" (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead). 8 But what does it say? "The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart" (that is, the word of faith that we proclaim); 9 because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.