The Tabernacle Scroll

Issue 62

“Without me you can do nothing” - John 15:5

Someone once said "the true Christian life isn’t hard to live – it’s impossible! In fact, only one person in history has lived it perfectly –Jesus Christ".

Our situation isn’t hopeless, however. When Jesus returned to His Father, He sent the Holy Spirit to help us live in a supernatural way. Jesus promised, “And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you forever: Even the spirit of truth: whom the world cannot receive, because it sees him not, neither knows him: but you know him: for he dwells in you, and shall be in you” (Jn. 14:16,17). It is the Spirit who enables us to walk in close fellowship with Jesus.

Jesus instructed: “Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine, no more can you, except you abide in me. I am the vine, you are the branches. He that abides in me, and I in him, the same brings forth much fruit: for without me you can do nothing”(Jn. 15: 4,5).

In the book of Romans, Paul tells us about his attempt to live the Christian life (Ch.7: 15-23) and how he found the victory (Ch.8: 2-4). In essence Paul was saying that all of his efforts (i.e. his striving, his actions towards fulfilling the written code) were futile in enabling him to overcome sin. He concludes he is only able to overcome sin with the Holy Spirit’s help (i.e., the law of the Spirit of life).

What Paul found to be true for himself is true for each one of us. When we try to conquer sin in our lives by coming back under the law (“do not touch”, “do not taste” etc.) we will fail miserably. Paul explains quite clearly that the law was never intended to prevent people from sinning. Rather, its purpose was to show how far they fall short of God’s standards.

The most well intentioned Christians often err on the side of putting people back in bondage to the law. In Paul’s time there were similar zealous people (Judaizers) who insisted on gentile converts being circumcised after accepting Christ. Jesus had a similar running battle with the zealous ‘Pharisees’ whom he admonished as having no understanding of the law, in spite of their great knowledge. He called them ‘blind guides’, ‘hypocrites’ and ‘whitewashed sepulchres’. He accused them of following ‘the traditions of men’ (man-made laws). He said that they went to great trouble to win a convert, but when they did they made them “twice as much the son of hell’ as they themselves were! What an indictment!

Let us not be guilty of the same offense. We must continually point people to God’s grace rather than to observing the law. That and that alone will set them free!

            Devotional                                                                                                                            Preach The Word The Word with Pastor Joseph Rodrigues