Stop!  Freeze!  Don’t go any further – close your eyes, look away … cease reading now!  Do not continue!  Do not read this article!  Why are you still reading?  You must follow the rules …

Well, I hope you don’t get upset, but I wrote all this to illustrate a point regarding us.  Now if you did what you were told, the point will be totally lost since you are presently “not reading” this months Heart to Heart.  For the rest of us I guess we just don’t follow the rules well or at the least our curiosity gets the best of us.

So what’s the point I endeavor to show?  Simply that rules and commandments don’t, and can’t, bring us to righteousness.  The law of commandments was never meant to change us, it can’t make us behave.  When the law said “no”, the flesh screamed “yes”.  The truth is scripture says that while we were in the flesh the law stirred up the sinful passions in our members (Romans 7:5).  The law was added to bring sin to light; to show sin for what it was (Galatians 3:19; Romans 5:20).  The law is holy and just, but it was powerless to bring true change to any of us.  As I’ve shared before, to preach the law as a means to get rid of sin is like pouring gas on a fire in order to put it out.  It actually fuels the very thing it comes against.  The law gives a command without empowering us to carry it out, and then that very law condemns us when we fail and fall short.  Now this doesn’t mean that we are to be lawless, without anything to govern us, as we will address in a moment.

Yet so many christians try to live by keeping external rules and commandments and find themselves as Paul said, in a place where the very thing we don’t want to do, we do and what we want to do, we don’t do.  This will always be the outcome of trying to live by the law.  Again, the scripture says that the law is holy and just.  The problem wasn’t a flaw with the law, it was a flaw in us called sin.  You might say that our ultimate problem was not that we were lawless, but that we were lifeless (spiritually speaking).

The cross and resurrection of Jesus dealt with the sin of Adam that plagued all and brought us a new life in Christ – resurrection life!  For we must see that the law was a tutor to bring us to Christ and justification by faith.  And now that faith has come we are no longer under a tutor (Galatians 3:24-25).  For we are not under law, but under grace (Romans 6:14).

The truth is that although we are not under the law we are not left without something to govern us because we are now given a life – Jesus’ life.  So by no means are we to abandon the law for a state of lawlessness.   We are to embrace His life in and through us and that is a place the Spirit reigns through grace and thus where no outward law is necessary.  Whereas the law was weak through the flesh God has provided all we need through His life by the Holy Spirit within us.  As a new creation with a new identity we cannot be governed by an old external law, it just will never work.  So enters the law of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus.

May we not simply just look for another law or rule to keep but instead look to the life that will keep us.  What a wonderful journey of learning to live out of the new identity of Christ is us the hope of glory!

Love in Jesus,

Pastor David Hughes