Thoughts for the Day

Monday, 24th June 2024: Justified by faith

Repentance Paul Faith Galatians 3 Sin Jesus

Reading : Verses from Galatians, Chapter 3

Ten commandments

Now before faith came, we were imprisoned and guarded under the law until faith would be revealed. Therefore the law was our disciplinarian until Christ came, so that we might be justified by faith. But now that faith has come, we are no longer subject to a disciplinarian, for in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith. As many of you as were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male and female; for all of you are one in Christ Jesus. And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s offspring, heirs according to the promise.

(Lectionary, New Revised Standard Version)


I have been reminded recently of learning the multiplication or 'times tables' as we called them. Today's children learn to multiply differently but after a conversation with one of my grandsons I woke in the night with the 8 Times Table running through my head. You know the kind of thing: "Once eight is eight, two eights are sixteen, three eights are twenty four" etc. I can still remember going over and over them, and constantly have to start again because I had gone wrong.

In earliest times all Hebrew children would have been taught the law like this - by rote - and not just the Ten Commandments (Exodus 20.1-20) but the extended law as found in books like Leviticus. The 'Law of Moses' was different from other legal codes in the ancient Near East (like the Code of Hammurabi) because breaking them was seen as an offence against God rather than solely offences against society. God's people had made a covenant with God and agreed to keep His laws, but by breaking them they were condemned ultimately to death for their sins. Like oil and water, God and humans were not going to be reunited.

But Paul says that Jesus offered us a way out. We are still heirs of Abraham - we are 'justified' (put right) through our faith in Jesus Christ. Jesus offered his life to pay for our sin, so that we could be forgiven. This doesn't mean we can deliberately sin knowing we shall be forgiven when we repent. It does mean we are called to try even harder every time we repent. Perhaps we can start by learning, not our 'times tables', but a modern bitesize version of the Ten Commandments (see Further Thoughts below) to help us resolve not to sin.


may we learn to observe Your commands about love -
by showing You and the Lord Jesus our love
in the power of the Spirit.
May we then extend that love
to our family and friends;
to those in need;
and to the rich and poor, alike.
Help us to refrain from being envious
of others,
and strengthen our faith
that we may grow in grace.

Follow Up Thoughts

You might like to look at this Bitesize account that includes a modern version, that is easy to learn, of the Ten Commandments:

You might like to look at this article:

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