Living By The Law Leads To Despair Or Pride (Problem 3 of 8)

Living by the Law ultimately leads to one of two polar opposite results: self-righteousness or despair.  One living by the law goes the way of self-righteousness when they deceive themselves into believing that they can accomplish the demands of God.  On the other side of the coin, one goes the way of despair and hopelessness when they look at the Law and realize the enormity of its demands.  Either way, self-righteousness and despair lead us away from the accomplished work of Jesus on His Cross on our behalf.  The Lutheran Study comments further on this saying,

“If we think we are living a fairly good life-not like the people we read about in the papers—we become proud and self-satisfied.  This was the attitude of the Pharisees in Jesus’ day.  On the other hand, if we realize the true enormity of our sins—how they daily color our thoughts, words, and actions—we can easily fall into complete despair.[1] 
 (See Mark 10:17-22)

[1] The Lutheran Study Bible (Concordia Publishing, 2009), 2005.


Steve Martin said…
Spot on, Pastor Matt!!

One or the other, with a little phoniness thrown in for good measure.

The law must do it's work on us, so that the gospel can do it's work.

Thanks very much!