Sunday, December 16, 2007

Freedom from the law

Ha! Got your attention, didn't I?! I'm referring here to The Law in the Bible. So I'm continuing on with my observation that the law no longer applies to us once we accept Christ. There are several reasons Paul gives in Galatians:
1) We are saved by grace, not by following the Law.
2) When we claim salvation (by faith), we die to the law and to sin - meaning we are no longer bound to either one.
3) It's the Holy Spirit who works within us to sanctify us - which means that, once we are saved (by faith), we don't then turn to the law to "make ourselves better Christians." The Holy Spirit's work within us is the only work that can make us more like Christ ("better Christians").
4) The promise of blessing was given from the very beginning on the basis of faith, and not on the basis of our following the law (Abraham believed and it was credited to him as righteousness).
5) We receive God's blessing because it is our inheritance as children of God. We become God's children when we identify ourselves with Christ - when we believe in Him and are baptized into Him.
As I was studying all this about the law, I began to wonder - why is it that, even after we are saved, we try to continue to live under the law? It's not a very comfortable place to be -the law makes us recognize our own sinfulness and, indeed, condemns us (that was it's purpose from the very beginning). So why, when God says we are free from the law when we believe in Him, do we continue to put ourselves under the law? I can think of two reasons that at least apply to me:
1) It's easier to pay attention to an external set of rules than it is to allow the Holy Spirit to refine us, to change us, to trust our growth and development to something we can't see, touch, feel, or - sometimes - hear very well.
2) The enemy wants us to feel condemned. He wants us to try to make ourselves better because he knows we can't do it. He wants us to feel bad about ourselves - even though God has already told us that we did not earn our salvation and we cannot sanctify ourselves.

You know what's interesting? It seems like the more I learn about God, the more I learn that I need to let go! It's weird because usually the more I learn about something, the more in control I feel and the more I try to control things. I guess this is just one more of those instances where God's wisdom and my "wisdom" don't match up!

No comments: