Here is the difference between Jesus and the law: The law tells you what to do, but it can’t give you the power to do it. Jesus tells you what to do, and he gives you the power to do it. That is where strength, hope, and faith begin. It begins because the Son of God has come. It does not begin in us. It begins in him.
Listen to how the apostle Paul puts it: “God has done what the law…could not do” (Romans 8:3). What could the law not do? The law could not forgive past sins, and it could not empower future obedience.
So, how did God do what the law could not do? He did it “by sending his own Son…” What did the Son of God do, that would forgive past sins and empower future obedience?
- “He condemned sin in the flesh” (Romans 8:3). By dying on the cross, where his flesh was torn and his blood was shed, Jesus Christ made provision for all of our past sins.
- But it does not end there. He rose from the dead, and as the living Lord and the ascended Savior, he works by his Holy Spirit to give strength, hope, and faith.
- He did all this “in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit” (Romans 8:3-4).
I was reading this week about a woman who endured a long period of darkness and depression. When, by God’s grace, she finally got relief, this was her testimony: “I realized after all these years that I was looking to find in myself what I needed to find in him.”
The good news for the person without strength, without hope, and without faith today is that it does not lie in you. It lies in Jesus. There is a Savior who can be trusted, and in him there is hope and there is strength for you.
“These are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name” (John 20:31). There is a Savior whose Word brings strength to the powerless, hope to the hopeless, and faith to the faithless. May his Word bring new strength, new hope, and new faith to all of us today.
Taken from Pastor Colin’s sermon “He Gives Strength.”