Friday, July 27, 2012

In Christ, We Live Above the Law

The Jews received the law on Shavuot. Three thousand died.

On Pentecost, which corresponds to the Jewish festival, the Holy Spirit descended upon the earth, initiating the age of grace. 3,000 people were saved on the first day.

The law was never meant to justify man, but rather to expose his sin and need for a savior:

“Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God.

“Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.

“But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets;

“Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference:

 "For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3: 19-23)

 The law prevents man from making excuses for his behavior. The law makes it very clear that we cannot be justified through our own efforts. Driving us to despair, we receive the righteousness of God in Christ.

 God’s love is then poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit (Romans 5: 5). Under His dominion, we receive righteousness, peace, and joy (Romans 14: 17).

 The Holy Spirit leads us, keeping us from living out the flesh and bringing us above the law:

“This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.

 “For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.

"But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law.” (Galatians 5: 16-18)

 We are called not to leave by our own efforts, which produce sin (Galatians 5: 19-21) The fault lies not with the law, but with the fallen nature of man, as death has reigned in the human race since the fall of our first parent, Adam (Romans 5: 17)

Now, God has not removed His prompting from our lives. Instead of trying to live up to an impossible standard, God infuses us and leads us from within:

“For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people:  

“And they shall not teach every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for all shall know me, from the least to the greatest.

“For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more.” (Hebrews 8: 10-12)

Because the Holy Spirit lives within every believer, He leads us to love:

“Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.” (Romans 13: 10)

In Christ, therefore, we live above the law, transformed by His perfect law of liberty (James 1: 25)

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