Dying by the Rules 

7-Day Devotional

Do you sometimes become discouraged by not being able to keep God’s commandments? Do you really understand that salvation is only possible through grace, not by keeping the Law? In this Plan, we will explore the limitations of legalistic faith in a logical way. I hope that your joy in Christ will increase during this journey of grace.


Our journey to a better understanding of salvation through grace starts with accepting that we can never succeed at keeping God’s commandments. Even on better days when we manage to resist a few temptations, there are still more than a few failures. And again we are unable to save ourselves from condemnation, just like the day before.

Joyce Meyer explains our losing battle to keep the law excellently: “If the Grand Canyon is 18.5 miles wide, the person who can jump one mile and the one who can jump 17.5 miles are both dead.” In the case of keeping the law, an overall decent attempt does not erase the ugly little details. “For the person who keeps all of the laws except one is as guilty as a person who has broken all of God’s laws” (James 2:10, NLT).

In Matthew 5, Jesus goes even further to make us aware of our inability to save ourselves by keeping the law. In God’s court, a moment of anger carries the same judgment as murder (v. 22). And just a pinch of lust for a beautiful woman is enough to get you stoned for adultery (v. 28). It is truly a losing battle.

I am sure that some of you may sense a familiar feeling of inadequacy creeping in now. But that is where the Good News begins! Only when we really understand the magnitude of the battle for salvation, we can receive the grace of Christ in full. “So it is clear that no one can be made right with God by trying to keep the law. For the Scriptures say, ‘It is through faith that a righteous person has life” (Galatians 3:11, NLT).

Do you find it difficult to accept that your efforts to keep God’s commandments are in vain? Do you believe that Christ wants to set you free from the daily disappointments of not getting it right?

Let us dig a little deeper into God’s logic of salvation. Over the next few days, we will look at a few logical problems with treating the law as a means to eternal life. I hope that these scriptural truths will bring you much freedom in Christ!   

Scripture readings:

James 2:8-12

Galatians 3:1-14