If you’re familiar with Romans at all, you know that one of Paul’s main points was that the Law, as given to the Israelites, was a message of righteousness through works. As you know, such righteousness was inattainable by man… even the best of the Law followers (the Pharisees) failed miserably. If you’ve read Romans, you’ll also know that Paul preached the truth… that righteousness comes solely by the grace of God, and is granted as a gift to those who place their faith and trust in Jesus Christ.
With this background in mind, we continued our study of Romans this weekend in Sunday School, diving into chapter 10. In our study guide, we came across a question that, at face value, seemed pretty straightforward:
Why should it be easier to trust Jesus than to keep the Law?
Now the point of this question is obvious… the Law, with its hundreds (if not thousands) of rules and regulations, would certainly seem more difficult than trusting Jesus. How can one even know every jot and tittle of the Law… let alone keep it? It’s difficult to comprehend. Trusting Jesus for grace-gifted righteousness is surely easy in comparison. I thought so, at least… and as a Sunday School teacher, surely I was right (sarcasm, in case it wasn’t obvious!).
Not so. Several in my class didn’t like the question… they didn’t think it was easier to trust Jesus. Nor do I, now that I think about it.
What’s easier, following a command to do or not do something, or trusting someone to help you fulfill such an obligation? Pick the sin you struggle with most and insert that. What’s easier… not doing that particular sin, or trusting someone to help you avoid that sin?
The point? One’s impersonal… the other is HIGHLY personal.
The simple fact is that trusting other people is not always easy. Most of us, even with those closest to us, have limits with our trust. We have things we can’t share with them… we have situations we just can’t allow them to help us with. We’re terrified… scared that we’ll be hurt by them… worried they’ll reject us… concerned they won’t keep our struggles in confidence. We have thousands of reasons… and that’s with people we’ve lived with… people we’ve known personally our entire lives.
So trusting Jesus should be easy? Hardly… it can be one of the most difficult things in this world to do.
Think about your situation prior to salvation. None of us living today had seen Jesus. None of us had spoken with Him one on one. What we knew of Him, we had primarily learned either through writings nearly 2,000 years old, or through things others have told us about Him. And get this… we’re supposed to stop trying to do what’s right, but simply have faith in Him and trust Him to provide righteousness?
Not an easy proposition. As a matter of fact, it sounds preposterous… ludicrous… insane. Even the Bible seems to note this:
1 Corinthians 1:18
18For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.
Yeah… it sounds nuts, but that’s the message of the gospel. Trust Jesus and be saved. Not an easy thing to do… especially to take that first step of faith.
Obviously, certain steps of faith in trusting Jesus get easier after that… but not all. We learn experientially that Christ won’t let us down… that, as Romans 10:11 says, we “who trust in Him will never be put to shame.” But there will ALWAYS be decisions of faith… opportunities to trust Jesus. Many of these won’t be easy.
What do you do when Christ lays missions on your heart, and you know you’re supposed to pick up and go? What do you do when He prompts you to go next door to witness to your neighbor? What do you do when He asks you whether you love Him or (blank) more, and asks you to give (blank) up? What do you do if you’re faced with the ultimate test of your trust, as the persecuted church faces… deny Him to live, or claim Him and die?
No. Trusting Jesus with these decisions is most certainly NOT easy.
It’s just worth it.
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