Romans 7:4 tells us that in Jesus Christ, we died to the Law. Paul uses an illustration of a husband and a wife, saying, if a man is married to a woman, and the wife goes with another man then she's committing adultery. BUT if the husband dies, the wife is free to remarry and that will not be considered adultery.
Paul then goes on to use this as an illustration of us. We were married to the Law and that relationship had to end. God couldn't kill the Law because the Law was holy, perfect, and good; it abides forever. So what did He have to kill? He killed us, through our union and in our faith, He placed us on the Cross with Jesus so that we died and our relationship to the Law could end. Because of our resurrection with Jesus, we could be married to Jesus Christ instead.
“But now we have been released from the Law, having died to that by which we were bound, so that we serve in newness of the Spirit and not in oldness of the letter.”Romans 7:6 (NASB)
Do you see, beloved? What Jesus did, ended the Law. It's as clear in the New Testament as anyone can make it!
As you continue to read the New Testament, you'll find a lot of commands: Don't go here, don't go there, don't quench the Spirit, submit to one another, don't gossip, don't let the sun go down on your anger - lots and lots of commands! We need to understand that the New Testament did not remove the imperative verb - we're supposed to live according to who we are, as it’s what would only be natural.
So, how are we to look at these commands? We are to look at them two ways,
God’s commands are a reminder of who we are.
When the Bible says don't steal, it's calling you to your true identity. Of course you shouldn't steal, you’re not a thief, you’re a child of God. Don't gossip, well of course I can't gossip, that's not who I am. I speak the truth in love, as Colossians says, because I am a lover. When you see a command, don't look at it as something to do, look at is as something that you are.
2. God’s commands are promises.
We have been given the Life of Christ and the Life of Christ is a wonderful Life. And so when you see a command, let it draw you to Jesus Christ. Don't let it be something to do, let it bring you to a someone. When the Bible says don't steal, remember the promise, His Life is not a stealing life. And you’ll find yourself walking in intimate union with Jesus. Don't gossip, well that's a promise from Jesus that His Life is not a gossipy life. His Life speaks wholesome words.
We can thank Jesus for His commands as they remind us of who we are and who He will be to us as we trust Him by faith.
Don't fall into the trap of performing and doing, let those commands remind you of your identity, and remind you of the Person who will live that kind of life in and through you, He will fulfill those commands. It's all about Jesus, and it's about you trusting Him. I hope you've been liberated in that glory, my friend!
Each week, Pastor Frank sends several short, encouraging videos to his circle of friends.
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