the law of God we cannot keep

from the the law of God we cannot keep reading plan

Exodus 20:1-17, Romans 8:1-4, Matthew 5:17

BY Diana Stone

Text: Exodus 20:1-17, Romans 8:1-4, Matthew 5:17

The Law of God That We In Our Own Strength Cannot Keep


We all know on a very rational level that we’re never going to achieve perfection in this life. Yet that doesn’t stop us from striving for it.

As Christians, our example of perfection is Christ. We study His words, we pray for wisdom and discernment, our hearts yearn for godliness. Every day we fall. Every day we bite the fruit and deny Christ.

God knows this, so he sent Jesus. “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death.” (Romans 8:1-2) His life, his perfection, covers all our sins.

So if we are unable to keep the laws our Lord set before us, and if Christ’s life covers that for us anyway, why would we try at all?

For some, it’s a checklist. A way to show others how strong we are on our own. “I’ve never killed anyone, I’ve never cheated on my husband, I pray every single day.” This line of thinking, the “good works” mentality, negates the grace of God. It tricks us into thinking that we didn’t need Christ’s sacrifice of His life because we can be perfect on our own.

Our desire to be more like Christ should come from love and gratitude. Christ fulfilled the law because He loved us so very much. When you love someone, you want to honor them. You desire to make them proud, to try your best. We strive for obedience and ask for forgiveness in our shortcomings because we love our Father and His Son.

God gave us the ultimate gift of love by sending His Son to take on on human form and be put to death just for our sins. Let us prepare our hearts and give thanks to Him in this season of hope and remembrance.

“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God — not by works, so that no one can boast.” (Ephesians 2:8-9)



Lord, as we prepare for the different parts of this holiday season, let us stop to remember your gift to us. We know that every day we fall, yet you still cover us with your grace. Thank you for letting the law, through Christ, become an act of love to you instead of a list of rules we have to obey.

Advent Action

Take time today to write and send a handwritten, anonymous note to someone you know, using grace-filled encouragement or words of comfort.


For an added layer of worship and study, we chose a beloved Christmas song for each day of our Advent plan. We invite you to listen to In The Bleak Midwinter today as we dwell on the truth of God’s word together.

Post Comments (28)

28 thoughts on "the law of God we cannot keep"

  1. Lucy says:

    Thanks be to God for his Indescribable Undeserved though Freely given gift of His Grace!

  2. SarahJaneL says:

    Ladies, I'd like to request your prayers. Last night I was out with a friend I've known for 17 years. We met in high school where we attended a Catholic school together. She and I had very similar upbringings, coming from fairly religious families, attending church weekly. Yesterday, she informed me that she no longer believes in organized religion, stating she never really did, but only participated in church activities and followed the "rules" so as not to disappoint her parents. This is a completely 180 degree change for her, as she and her husband met in a church youth group in high school, got married in the church, and had started to raise her 2 young children in the church. She now says her children will not be raised in the church because she doesn't believe what the church teaches and she won't be able to honestly answer their questions when they're old enough to start asking about church teachings. I know their extended families are also very disappointed and hurt by this recent choice. Please pray for this young family that they may turn back to Christ, especially so that their children can grow up knowing the Lord.

  3. I love love the idea of today’s advent action. ..

    It’s a selfless gesture for such a time as this..a lot of ppl are in pain and are enduring struggles, and ultimately encouragement anonymously not only gives them hope but I also see it as a way for the recipient to focus more on God and overcoming what they may be facing daily rather than the person who wrote it.

    Awesome Action!

  4. Emily says:

    This is such a great reminder. No matter how perfect we try to be, and no matter how many things we cross off our to do list, we are sinners. I am so thankful that my Lord sent his Son to rescue me. He rescues me daily, and it is only by his grace I’m alive and well. Praise be to God!! His grace is enough!

  5. Janee White says:

    "Every day we fall. Every day we bite the fruit and deny Christ." What a great way to visualize it!

    God gave us the Law. But through Jesus, we have been given a choice. To either be set free from the Law of Sin and Death; or to live free through the Law of the Spirit which brings life.

    Spirit of Life? Law of Sin and Death? Its a no brainer for me. I pray today, I be set from from my 'fruit' addiction, and find the freedom of life found only in a Life governed by the Spirit.

    1. Lucy says:

      Amen! ME TOO! Praying that same thing with you today!

  6. JoJo says:

    I'm sorry but sending handwritten anonymous notes, no matter how well intended, should not be encouraged.

    1. Carolynmimi says:

      Could you elaborate, JoJo?

      1. jesusgirl71 says:

        Well that is one thing I cannot do actually. meant to say that. Can't do handwriting except my signature as a blind person, and e-mails are much easier than trying to get someone to address an envelope for me. I cannot nor would I send an annonymous e-mail. That could be dangerous because I certainly wouldn't open one from someone. not sure I would open something handwritten that was annonymous either actually. in this day and age, how do you know it's not some kind of trap? I don't like to be cynical but I think I see her point and again, meant to mention I cannot do the action today. could send a note of encouragement to someone, which I think is the true point of this, but not annonymously.

        1. Row. says:

          maybe send a little thank you note to your neighbor or someone who helps you in someway, maybe at a coffee shop, grocery store, library? bus driver? something like thank you for getting so many people safely where you want to go, God Bless you and yours this holiday season. I think it can be done, try to be positive and think of the good. you will make somebody's day.

          1. Row. says:

            meant to write where "they" want to go : ) have a good day.

      2. JoJo says:

        Sure thing. My partner and I have been the victim of a stalker (an ex partner). Anonymous messages, silent phone calls etc. and so now, if I don't recognise a number, I don't pick up the phone.

        Many years ago I received red roses on Valentine's day and I never found out who sent them – it gave me the creeps (seriously). I just think that no matter how good or supportive the intentiion, sending anonymous letters is not to be recommended. I've been on the end of well meant and vicious anonymous correspondence – neither brought me joy and so I would never advise anyone to do the same.

        1. Carolynmimi says:

          I really feel where you are coming from, JoJo and can understand the "creepy" feeling. There are vicious people who can ruin a good thing for a lot of people. Thanks so much for sharing.

  7. Joanne Sher says:

    The law is a way of showing our love and gratitude – adore this!

  8. Candacejo says:

    I have always loved that scripture "…not by WORKS, so that no one can BOAST." Truly God was thinking ahead! If it was a WORKS salvation we would be a bunch of show-offs! (And even now some think that's the way we earn our merit points.) Not that we shouldn't strive for perfection and certainly strive to be Christ-like! But thanks be to God it does not work that way!

    Grace-through faith-it is the GIFT of God! Amen!

    We serve Him because we LOVE Him, because HE first loved us! Thankful today for that perfect example, born in a manger, the King of Kings, God manifest in the flesh, Jesus Christ the Righteous!

    1. Anonymous says:

      Good morning Candace! I just wanted to send you an note to encourage you today. May you find the answers, to un-prayed prayers. May you see the blessings, that may be hidden by lies. May you hear the Words of your Loving Father, telling you "Well done Daughther, my highly-favored, good and faithful servant".

      May today be the New beginning you have been seaking, and mark the end of what you have been praying for God to cease.

      God Bless You!

      1. Candacejo says:

        Thank you so much!! What a blessing today to receive these words of encouragement. God always knows just what we need, when we need it. Blessings dear friend. ♥

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