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Sunday, July 31, 2011

God's Law

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-"So I find it to be a law that when I want to do what is good, evil lies close at hand. For I delight in the law of God in my inmost self, but I see in my members another law at war with the law of my mind, making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members. Wretched man that I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!"-Romans 7: 21-25

Paul wants us to know something important.  Are you ready?  There was a problem with the way we, humans, understood God's law.  And the problem was this, the law actually made us more sinful.  The principle is pretty simple, really.  If you were staying in my house, and I told you that you could go anywhere and do anything in it, only that there was one door you should not open, then which door would you want to open?  Of course, the one I told you not to open.  The law functions the same way.  Because of our sinful nature, when we are told not to lust, not to steal, not to gossip, we spend all of our time and energy trying, in futility, to follow the law whilst actually thinking only about the sin.  Got it?  The law actually makes us think more about sin, and thus more likely to sin, not less.

So the solution?  For Paul it was simple, Jesus Christ.  When we focus on Christ, we we make following him, obeying him, serving him our goal, then we are attracted only to the good. The difference between the two is significant.  While staying at my house, you might stay out of the forbidden room one way or the other, but if you stay out because you are scared you will get caught, or because you would never dishonor or friendship, then those are two very different motives, and eventually the former will let you down.  Our desire to not do bad is not as strong as our potential desire to serve and know Christ.  Thus it is Christ, not the law, in which we will find our salvation.  See, clear as a bell!

Prayer:  Holy God, help me to make you my focus.  I want to serve and know Christ.  I want to follow him with all my heart.  I want to want what is right. Help me, O Lord.  I pray in Jesus' name.  Amen.

[Phillip Blackburn, Fist Presbyterian Church]

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