In this second installment of Pastor Kevin’s three-part “Start Over” series, he looks at Jesus’ interaction with Zacchaeus while answering the question, “How do we let go a past that won’t let go of us?”
It’s time to end the secret guilt, the secret shame. The guilt of what you’ve done or failed to do. The shame of the bad done to you, or the good deprived. It’s time to take the rock out of the enemy’s hand, or to maybe even let go of the rock you’re holding over another.
Today, whether you feel like Bob Wiley on your way up a ladder, or Dr. Leo Marvin on your way down a chute, know this: God is with you. And the game’s not over until he gets you across the finish line. He who began a good work in you will see it through to completion, not because you’re so good - but because he is (Phil. 1:8).
Why did God give us the law? Here, Paul says that it’s not to justify us; it’s not to give us a roadmap to earn forgiveness (justification) through good behavior and religion. It’s to make us look deep into sin’s wound, to diagnose the breadth and depth of our need of healing, and drive us to the only One who can deliver us: the Great Physician, Jesus Christ.
Even so, though we are saved by faith alone, the faith that saves is never alone. By enjoying the means of God’s grace in obedience, we do not earn our salvation. However, apart from them, we cannot fully enjoy it.
Paul shows us that we cannot fix broken humanity; only God can. The law can diagnose our condition, but it cannot deliver us. It’s a leveler, not a ladder. It can expose us, but only God’s Spirit can empower us.