| I love the law - it is my best friend and personal trainer.|
It does not seem that long ago when I was so blind and self-righteous. As long as we see ourselves living and doing the best that we can, we are under the law of "I've got to be a good person." Now we sure don't want to be evil, but hidden under all this self-goodness is law, law, and more law. It seems so backwards, but the truth is, the more law, the more we sin. Because, the "Strength of sin is the law" (I Cor. 15:56).
The New Covenant has but one law. The Bible calls it the "Royal Law," the law of love: love God, love neighbor, and love yourself. When all this responsibility to love unconditionally falls on us, our hearts sink; for we honestly must admit to failure. We simply cannot love. Yet, why did we think we should try to be like Christ anyway? We would have to be God to love that way. That is the point! Only God Himself can selflessly love.
What we don't understand is that our human vessel hasn't the capacity to love unconditionally. We were created to contain Mr. Love, Himself; but we were not created to produce it. Love is not a commodity to get, it's not a "how to" self-improvement program or an earned achievement. LOVE is a Person. We humans contain, not produce. When we discover that we are radically replaced by Christ, that "We don't live any longer, Christ lives in us," then we know we live by receiving, and not by achieving.
Freedom means that we are free to, or free not to, because we are led by the Spirit of God. "For as many as are led by the Spirit are the sons of God" (Rom. 8:14); therefore, all the "I should's" and "I ought to's" of the law have no more claim on us. We are "dead to the law" in order that we can be married to another who raised us up from the dead, even our Lord Jesus Christ (Rom. 7:4).
As long as you see yourself alive and separate from Christ, you will make a law out of most anything. That is why freedom only comes when you know you are "dead" and crucified with Christ and no longer live; then we know its Christ living in us and manifesting Himself as us.
Romans 6 is a freed self. "Freed" - not "free," made free by identification by faith with His death. A freed self. It says so here in verse 7. "He that is dead is freed from sin." We are freed selves in Christ's death and burial. But that's not the end of it. Oh, no, you come bang up against another problem in chapter 7. Now I'm a freed self, dead indeed unto sin, alive unto God in my Lord Jesus Christ. Now I get about it; now I serve the Lord. Shall I? Bang, I go down again in Romans 7, because Romans 7 says, "Do it then, try it out. Here you are; here are the standards. Serve Him, fulfill His law, try it out." Bang, bang, bang, down you go again because we've to learn the second lesson which is our helplessness - OUR HELPLESSNESS. And the heart of Romans 7 is verse 18, the last half, "for to will is present with me, but how to perform that which is good I find I haven't the power." So the lesson we have to learn next is this: Yes, you are a freed self, but though redeemed, still a helpless self. Romans 6 is a freed self. Romans 7 is a helpless self.
Now we are back in the garden of Eden. Now we are back in the very lesson which Adam failed to learn-his helplessness. The very lesson that Israel failed to learn at Mt. Sinai, was their helplessness. Now we have to learn it all over again. The redeemed self cannot do it, the redeemed self is merely a container that can't do a thing, "in me, in my flesh dwelleth no good thing." It's merely a container. It's a free container now. It's no longer a bound container, it's freed-free from sin free from the world, but it's still only a container. And if you up and try to serve Jesus, down you come again. You can't do it.
The law was my "PERSONAL TRAINER," TEACHING ME THAT I LIVE BY RECEIVING, NOT BY ACHIEVING.
Every time I tried to be good or avoid evil - bang! The law would shoot me and down I would go. I would do this and not do that - Bang!
I would make new promises - redouble my efforts - Bang!
This time I would get hold of "God's Power" and do it right. - Bang!
This time I will be better "FOR SURE" - BANG!
Bang - bang - bang - I was shot down thousands of times before I even started to learn my lesson OF COMPLETE HELPLESSNESS.
I could have never learned this so important lesson if the law did not shoot me. I now thank God for the law and all the bullet holes it put in me. Only the law could slay me of this self righteousness that I had. I had no idea that it even existed before the law shot me. It was the law the showed me that my "I" needed to replaced with Christ Himself.
Are you trying to add Jesus Christ to your life? Are you trying to apply His teachings to your life? This is NOT TRUE CHRISTIANITY! You do not apply Him or His teachings to your life at all. You have died and you have His LIFE. He applies HIs Life to you and in you - it was an total exchange. You died - He lives. You no longer have a life - He is your LIFE!
Gal 2:20, "I am crucified with Christ: neverthless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me."
Now look at this part, "yet not I, but Christ liveth in me." the "I" was replaced with the person of Christ. So the old you that was servant and slave of sin was crucified and buried with Christ. When Christ arose from the dead - the new you was raised with HIM - with HIS LIFE.
Now the truth is that you are not separated from Christ. You just do not have Christ but Christ Himself is NOW you!!!! You have died and Christ Himself is your life. This was an exchange of lives - not a change. Your old life was taken away in death and buried. Then Christ gave you His life in the place of your old life. Before you where just an container of sin and the devil's life - now you are a container of Christ's life. A container only contains the life of another it has NO life in it self or any ability to apply anything to itself.
Here is the real truth - you are not separated from Christ - you are a container of HIS LIFE. Christ has united Himself to you - you are NOW one with HIM! CHRIST HIMSELF IS NOW THE REAL YOU! IT IS HIS LIFE expressing it self in your body (container)
Here is the key "I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me" YET NOT I - BUT CHRIST who is now me! So the old you that was servant and slave of sin was crucified and buried with Christ. When Christ arose from the dead - the new you was raised with HIM - with HIS LIFE.
Christ has united Himself to you - you are NOW one with HIM! Yes He UNITED Himself to you - you did NOT unite yourself to Him!
THERE IS NO SEPARATION between Him and you. CHRIST HIMSELF IS NOW THE REAL YOU! IT IS HIS LIFE expressing it self in your body (container)
Here is the key "I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me" YET NOT I - BUT CHRIST who is now me!
So embrace the law and hug it till it kills you!
| 2016/5/27 8:59|
| Re: I love the law - it is my best friend and personal trainer.|
Ha! I really enjoyed this, especially the last line;)
I think this is what Luther and Wesley got ahold of and why they were quoted as saying things like "Preach 90% law and 10% grace"...
I asked my pastor about this once early on in my walk and he explained that in order for grace to truly have its value, the law has to finish its work in us first....
Once (and it took a while) I began to understand this, I really began to appreciate the likes of Finney, Ryle, Gurnall and other "hard" preachers. Where once I saw them as a bit overzealous and mean spirited I realized they loved far deeper than I knew possible and really had a burden for the lost and would tirelessly give themselves to the cause. It has been a great blessing for me to humble myself and receive what they were serving:)
| 2016/5/27 10:23||Profile|
| The law, therefore, was the first form of God’s grace|
The law, therefore, was the first form of God’s grace, because it imposed an impossibility on man - that the selfish one should be selfless - and gave him the chance of discovering his truly lost condition.
| 2016/5/27 10:46|
| Re: The law, therefore, was the first form of God’s grace|
Brethren respectfully I find this title troubling. At the risk of sounding heretical. I do not agree with the Puritan/Calvinistic idea that the law must be preached to plow up the heart to bring one to Christ.
Consider the words of
Jesus in John 16:8-10
... And He (the Holy Spirit), when He comes, will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment; concerning sin, because they do not believe in Me; and concerning righteousness, because I go to the Father and You no longer see Me; and concerning judgement, because the ruler of this world has been judged...
Jesus is inferring that since we are under the New Covenant and the Holy Spirit is the dynamic of the New Covenant. It will be the Holy Spirit that will convict one of their sins.
If we want to see how God deals with sin. Then let us not go to the Mosaic law on Sinai. Let us not preach the law of Moses. But let us preach the cross. Indeed Paul opens up the first chapter of Corinthians by saying he preach nothing but Christ crucified. He preached nothing but the cross. For here we see how God deals with sin.
I have recently been meditating on the hymn, Stricken, Smitten, and Afflicted. I think these words by Thomas Kelly illustrate far more eloquently what I'm trying to convey.
"Ye who think of sin but lightly,
Nor suppose the evil great,
Here maybe it's nature rightly,
Here is guilt make estimate.
Mark the Sacrifice appointed,
See who bears the awful load,
Tis the Word the Lord's anointed,
Son of Man and Son of God.
Brethren point a sinner to the cross for both conviction of sin and for salvation in Christ.
Simply my thoughts.
| 2016/5/27 11:37|
| Re: |
Normally I shy away from confessions of faith. But I found these two articles from the first London Baptist confession of 1646 to be right on. For they depict a New Covenant emphasis on the preaching of the Gospel.
Artcle XXIV or 24
Faith is actively begotten by the preaching of the Gospel, of the word of Christ, without respect to any power or agency in the creative, but being wholly passive and dead in trespasses and sins, doth believe and is converted by no less power than that which Christ raised from the dead.
Article XXV or 25
The preaching of the gospel by the conversion of sinners, is absolutely free; no way requiring as absolutely necessary, any qualification, preparations, or terrors of the law, or preceeding ministry of the law, but only alone and the naked soul, a sinner and ungodly, to receive Christ crucified, dead and buried, and risen again, who is made a Prince and a Saviour, for such sinners as through the gospel shall be brought to believe on Him.
Working through the quaint 17th century language. Tis sufficient to preach Christ crucified and Him alone for the conversion of sinners. One need not preach the law. But only preach Jesus.
Simply my thoughts.
| 2016/5/27 12:06|
| I had not known sin, but by the law|
What about these?
Rom. 7:7, "What shall we say then? Is the law sin? God forbid. Nay, I had not known sin, but by the law: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet."
Gal. 3:24, "Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith."
| 2016/5/27 12:34|
| 2016/5/27 12:42|
| Re: I had not known sin, but by the law|
another good post by tuc.
Read Romans 1-8
Paul spends the first two chapters proving without argument that all are under sin.
Much of Jesus teaching was spent proving all are under sin.
The Ray Comfort style of using the Law to prove all are under sin is very affective.
The issues arises when we confuse the law with the Gospel and people start believing that the Gospel is surrender to the law.
| 2016/5/27 12:49||Profile|
| Re: I had not known sin, but by the law|
Tuk in the scriptures you quoted I believe Paul is speaking more from his experiences as a Jew who was under the law. The law was given to the Jews only. It had no reference to the Gentiles.
In reading through Acts one will see that Paul will use the Old Testament in dealing with Jews. The Jews would know the Old Testament promises would point to a Messiah. Thus it would make sense that Paul would reference Moses and the prophets to preach Jesus.
But Paul would take a different approach with the Gentiles. We see this as Paul was preaching to the Greeks in Athens. In this case Paul took something the Athenians knew which was the phrase to an unknown God. And launch a sermon pointing to Jesus. Other times he would do miracles which would autheticate his gospel message. This happened when Paul confronted the Jewish false prophet bar Jesus in front of the Roman proconsul. In this case the proconsul was amazed at the power or the teaching of Jesus. And this resulted in his conversion.
It is interesting that many Muslims are coming to Jesus Through dreams and Visions without the preaching of the law. All I'm saying brother is that under the New Covenant we don't need to preach Moses. But we preach Jesus and the Spirit draws them.
Granted there are those preachers who preach the Ten Commandments as a means to plow up the heart. Open a sinner up to the terrors of hell Then these preachers will present Christ to them. Tell the sinner they are saved by grace. And then point them back to the law as a means of obedience. Then these poor souls are certainly condemned to a Romans 7 experience. At least this was my experience when I was involved with Calvinism. Particularly among the Presbyterians and Reformed Baptists.
Eventually God did deliver me through His grace and pointed me in the direction of the cross and the New Covenant. Also the Lord showed me that my heart was governed by the Holy Spirit and not by Moses. In other words it is Jesus who dwells in my heart and not Moses.
Simply my thoughts brother.
| 2016/5/27 12:53|
| Re: |
Those whom already know that they are under sin, the Law has already done it's work.
| 2016/5/27 13:08||Profile|