My wife and I have been in northeastern Kansas for the last 3 weeks and are really enjoying it.
Last week I got into a conversation with a man from Houston, Texas. He is hispanic and has a very close family. Whenever he is home, they always make sure to attend church together.
Religious tradition for him has never brought him peace. The peace that we can know by being confident that God is not angry with us. How many there are that spend their whole lives trying to appease God, and are never confident that they have done so.
Concerning the Law, I explained that obedience to the Law was never intended to make God happy with us. The Law is holy, righteous and good, but it was intended to lead us to the cross of Christ. The Law is a mirror that shows us what and who we are, and that we need help.
In order to be accepted by God, we have to be just as perfect as He is. And we're not. We can see that. From as far back as we can remember in our lives, we can see where we have fallen short. And to strive for that perfection now, still leaves our past to be dealt with, because God has always been perfect. He never grew into what and who He is, He has always been the same: perfect.
Hopefully, the Law will take us to Jesus. He is perfect and at the cross dealt with our imperfection. He paid the penalty for that and offers to cloth us in His perfection. Whoever doesn't trust in his own work to appease God and instead trusts God who justifies us through what Jesus did at the cross will find the peace they have been looking for: that God will no longer be angry with us.
Religious tradition teaches us that we must do something to appease God. God tells us that He has done for us what we cannot do. To have peace with God is accomplished through the cross, not our own efforts.
The man I talked to will have to grapple with these two things: what he has learned from tradition, and what God says. I pray that he will clearly see the difference and choose the truth.