A Faulty System of Works

Sermon Devotional from Luke 6:1–11

Luke 6:9–11, Luke 6:5, Ephesians 2:8–9, Titus 3:4–6

Jesus’ words, “The Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath” say to the religious person, “We are saved by grace, and not by works.”

Sometimes our actions have the exact opposite result than we desired or expected:

  • Trying to slowly ease yourself into a cold pool. Once your foot feels the cold, you aren’t getting in.
  • Trying to diet by only taking a small sample of a delectable chocolate cake in order to ease your temptation. Once you’ve tasted it, you are going to devour a huge piece.
  • Trying to deal with your tantrum throwing toddler by getting angry and yelling at them, and you end up freaking out right alongside them, being reduced to their same infantile level of insanity.

The Pharisees legalistic control of the Sabbath achieved exactly opposite of what they intended. They wanted to save their nation from destruction by careful obedience to God’s laws—even adding laws to create a religious buffer zone for further safety. What they achieved was a dead religion that stifled true relationship with God by faith! It didn’t save their nation: it doomed it!

The moment we create a system of works to save ourselves from spiritual dangers is the moment our relationship with God is replaced by a substitute—an idol! And a substitute god can never save!

Religion—as a system to achieve salvation—won’t save.

Relationship with Jesus is by grace, through faith, because of His mercy and kindness.