Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Romans 7:1-12

The problem with living in a fallen world is that sin creeps into everything, even those things that were meant to be beautiful. Paul writes here of that which was meant to be pure and holy becoming tainted by this world and our own selfish human desires. The law, which was meant to be a guiding light in the darkness, a way to discern evil from good and lead us closer to God, instead has brought corruption into our lives. We look at the law and what we are meant not to do, and instantly all we want is to indulge in that forbidden action. It is the age-old story of the forbidden fruit; just as Adam and Eve were tempted by the fruit which was forbidden to them, so too are we tempted by the sins forbidden to us by the law.

Unfortunately this is an innately human weakness, and I doubt that many of us could ever hope to be fully freed from temptation. It’s not that the law is evil; it’s that we are fallen creatures, and thus the law is tainted to us. However, Jesus recognizes this losing battle and steps in to redeem the situation; this is what Paul speaks of when he declares that “we die to the law through the body of Christ”. We follow Christ now, not the law. We belong to Christ, not the law. We follow him because he is a good and righteous God and we know that He wants the best for us and for our lives, not because we are following a law which preemptively mandates exactly what we must not do.

Just as we are given new lives in Jesus, we are given new opportunities. No longer do we have to nit-pick about what a laundry list of what not to do and what not to do; that is not to say that we do not try to follow the Bible and Jesus’ teachings. After all, we trust that He knows what is best for us. However, when we live for Jesus the strict guidelines of the law fall sort before the overwhelming power of God’s love for us; within Jesus, love becomes the do-all end-all, the final answer. After all, Christianity is about loving people, not about following a careful list of “do’s” and “do-not’s”.

No comments: