Grace will be difficult
For Moses has been preached in every city from the earliest times and is read in the synagogues on every Sabbath.”
James in standing against circumcision for the Gentiles as evidence of salvation has been showing that it was the intention of God that they be saved. But also that there should not be hindrances placed upon the Gentile to observe the law of Moses such as the food laws etc.
Then in closing we have this sombre verse.
Sombre because James is simply saying ‘this is going to be difficult’. ‘For many years the law of Moses has been preached in every city and right up to their present day it is read in the synagogues every week’.
Basically it is inherent and it is widespread. ‘This is going to be tough to keep the Gentiles in grace’.
Things haven’t changed in our generation.
Fight for grace.
The Pharisees are all around us.
Law is taught and law is digested.
Grace-killers are everywhere.
I hear of Pharisees who applaud the community projects of the church but who would rather the community didn’t come in and spoil their church.
I hear of Pharisees who point fingers at sinners but ignore their own sin.
I hear of Pharisees who know exactly what God wants and does and thinks and what He doesn’t. They know so much about God they sound higher than Him.
‘This is not the way we do things around here.’
‘I will not be moved on this.’
The laws of history can kill the grace of today.
Law is needed for no one wants lawlessness. We need discipline. We need rules. We need accountability. We need all this but NOT for the reason of proving to man that we are acceptable to God.
The fight for grace is the fight against performance.
We have a tough battle before us.
Let’s make a start today.