It seems to me that there’s still much confusion among Christians about where we stand with regard to the law. Many of us have grown up with the do’s and don’ts of evangelical tradition. There’s a temptation to reduce our Christian experience to mere observance of a list of things we must do in order to be accepted by God. We learn that we’re saved by grace alone, but then we still go on to try and impress God by the things we do, when of course we don’t need to impress God, because Jesus has done it all on our behalf. It’s finished. ‘For under the law I died, and I am dead to the law’s demands so that I may live for God’ (Galatians 2:19).
Nothing has hindered the growth of the kingdom more than the ugly face of legalism. In Romans 7, Paul explains that, at one time, we were married to ‘Mr. Law’. He was a hard, unrelenting husband. We were totally under his authority. We could never satisfy his continual demands, and he never lifted a finger to help us. He just criticised us and pointed out where we’d failed.
‘Mr. Law’ was always right, but completely impotent. He couldn’t impart life to us and was never going to die. What a husband! We seemed to be permanently trapped in a marriage to an overbearing, fault finding, but meticulously correct husband. In today’s scripture Paul goes on to show us the means of escape. God reckons that those who’re in Christ have died with Him. We’ve been released or discharged from the law, so we can serve in the spirit of the law and not in the letter of the law. We’ve died to the law, so we can be married to a new husband, Christ, and can bear fruit. It’s a completely new arrangement. We’re now living in the freedom of God’s grace. The tragedy comes when a new Christian believer, having discovered salvation through grace alone, goes back to their old husband to try and live life with him.
But we’re fully discharged from the law. Jesus has done it all for us. We’re free. Let’s fully enter into that freedom of lavish grace today.
Prayer: Dear Jesus, help me to completely understand that I’m saved through grace alone and there’s nothing I can ever do to add to Your finished work on my behalf, that I’m fully acceptable to God, and that this is the heart of the gospel. Thank You for Your lavish grace. Amen.