Monday, March 15, 2010

Reflection for the Week

I continue to be baffled by how many Christians seem to be so bound to the Law. God, they conjecture, is the mighty Lawgiver who condemns them at every turn. It’s as if Christ is absent. Somehow the relevance and superabundance of, “now, therefore, there is no condemnation for those in Christ Jesus,” is remarkably silent in the vocabulary and voice of the one who speaks under the Law. Yet, and this is the power, “Christ condemned sin in flesh so that the just requirement of Law might be fulfilled in us who walk (conduct our lives) not according to flesh, but according to Spirit.” Be free and start walking.

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8 comments:

Susan said...

I continued to be baffled as well.

Greg said...

Susan,
Thanks. Good to have your comment. May the Lord give strength to his children to walk without condemnation and in the power of the Spirit.

Lukas und Céline Kuhs said...

Greg, what do you mean exactly by not being bound to the law (or on the other hand being under the law)? Do you have a short comment and/or maybe some reading to propose?
Thanks, Lukas

Greg said...

Lukas,
Thanks. By bound to the Law I had in mind that Christians often seem to find their orientation in the Law and not in its fulfillment by Christ. The Law acts as a taskmaster that controls their lives, and this tends to emphasize that they see themselves as this way.

Romans 6-8 are some of the best chapters to read on this.

Lukas und Céline Kuhs said...

In Romans 7 at the end and Romans 8 at the beginning I find three (at least) different kind of laws... Under which law are we no longer? The law of Moses? The law of sin and death? The law of the spirit? Surely not the last one. But how about the first two... Seems to make a big difference for me...

Greg said...

Lukas,
Seems to me that the law of sin and death is the Mosaic Law that one is freed from by the law of the spirit of life in Christ Jesus. So yes, I believe, that we are not under the first Law as we are free from this through the law (a play on law of sin and death) of the spirit of life, and very importantly Paul does not leave it there but adds, in Christ Jesus. Surely though Paul's argument is that the problem is not with the Mosaic Law - the law of sin and death is holy, just and good.

Lukas und Céline Kuhs said...

Don't know if I can equate the two laws here...

How would you explain "find their orientation in the Law and not in its fulfillment by Christ"?

Is there no orientation in the law? Doesn't it tell some things about God, his nature and his will?

Greg said...

Lukas,
I think Paul indicates in those Romans passages that the Law of Moses=the law of sin and death because this was the goal of the Law - to point to God's holiness and to sin, which leads to death. So the Law has a validity, but it is now fulfilled by the crucified and risen One. As a result therefore, our orientation is not to the flesh=sin and death, but the spirit=truth and life. Especially RM 7:4-6 and 8:1-4. The problem is not with the Law, but with us who cannot keep it - hence the need for Christ to fulfill it on our behalf so that we can be discharged from that which bound us and have new life.