Saul2Saul Blog: November 3, 2017

Back to #lawVspirit:

Those who claim and proclaim their faith (their trust, belief, unshakable knowledge) in Jesus Christ are no longer under the law, for they have died in Christ, and have been made righteous. So in our lifetime, we who know (are aware of, can understand) the law, are bound by it.

Like a lady who gets married – which is a legal transaction – and so she is bound by the law of marriage (think marriage vows, especially “to death do us part…”). So, as long as hubby is alive, she is bound by the law. If she cheats on him, goes and lives with some other guy, she is considered an adulteress (bad), and can get in big trouble – they used to put a woman to death for that (Leviticus 20:10). But if her husband dies – she is no longer bound by the law [of marriage].

The law joins the woman to the husband, so when he dies the law has no claim on her – in the same way the “old self” is like the husband and wife (representing Adam) bound to the law. The ‘old self’ dies with Christ at the same time the Christian dies to the law. “Living in the flesh” is like living like Adam and Eve. Living in the Spirit is to live in Christ. Think back to the circumcision of the flesh (the letter of the law) and the circumcision of the heart (the spirit of the law.) I know what you’re thinking now – that means the law is sin! No, no, no. #Psalm19

Let’s consider Genesis 3 for a moment and think about it as if Adam himself was telling the story. He might say something like “I wouldn’t have known what coveting was if the law hadn’t told me (don’t eat of the tree…).” The serpent (think enemy, not snake) was able to begin that fatal conversation with Eve by referring to the commandment God had given.

So when I say “apart from the law, sin is dead”, I mean that the enemy has nothing to work with, because if there was no law, he would not have been able to act against it – when the law of coveting (as in coveting the forbidden fruit) was given to Adam and Eve, Satan saw the opportunity and sprang into action. He was able to exploit the commandment and deceive Adam and Eve beyond measure. Their penalty for their capitulation to the enemy was exile and death. UGH.

We can go to Exodus 32 as a parallel story – Israel’s great apostasy. Moses goes offstage for 40 days and the Israelites, bored and frustrated, say things to Aaron (Moses’s bro) like “get up, make gods for us…as for Moses; we don’t know what’s become of him…” Moses comes back, Aaron says “Dude, I don’t know what happened, they dumped their gold in and poof, out came this calf.” Yeah, right.

Moses is seriously angry. He throws the tablets down (the Big 10), grinds the calf to powder and make the people eat it. The story doesn’t end well. The people who made the calf perished in the desert. They never reach the Promised Land. Three thousand people met with a violent death. God is serious – what they did was terrible: Idolatry of the worst kind, coveting another god. Bad, bad, bad.

Genesis 3 and Exodus 32 represent the fall of humanity and the fall of Israel. They broke the law…so deeply sad, especially since we are all meant to delight in God’s law.

It is a conflict for sure since we also see the shadow law; the law taken over by sin in our flesh. There is always an internal struggle in each of us because we see the law as a good gift AND an opportunity for sin to deceive and kill us. Total tension.

We can’t walk away from our own bodies! We can’t walk away from our communities and the people we love. It is a great sorrow to know those who have not known the HOPE in Christ Jesus.

So we pray, we pray without ceasing and we love everyone into the Kingdom.