Thursday, February 27, 2014

365 Days with God - Day 69: What good is The Law?

I'm giving myself a challenge. Read the Bible each day for a whole year, following the ESV Study Guide 1-year plan. Each day, I will post whatever God has revealed to me in His Word, and how it is changing me. A friend of mine once said that nothing has changed her life as much as reading the bible each day - and I'm excited for how this will change me. Join me on an adventure into the heart of God - and day by day, we can learn more about who He is and what that means to us!

- Andy Catts

Day 69, February 27, 2014
Readings: Psalm 69, Exodus 15:1-21, Ezra 5, Romans 6

Have you ever found yourself reading the Old Testament and wondered, "What's the purpose of the Law of Moses?" I know one of the most common questions/jeers I hear from non-Christians is often, "What's the deal with the Old Testament law, anyway? If I become a Christian, do I have to stone adulterers or 'insert obscure Old Testament law here'?" What's your response to that?

But thanks be to God, that you who were once slaves of sin have become obedient from the heart to the standard of teaching to which you were committed, and, having been set free from sin, have become slaves of righteousness. I am speaking in human terms, because of your natural limitations. For just as you once presented your members as slaves to impurity and to lawlessness leading to more lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves to righteousness leading to sanctification.

For when you were slaves of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness. But what fruit were you getting at that time from the things of which you are now ashamed? For the end of those things is death. But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the fruit you get leads to sanctification and it's end, eternal life. For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 6:17-23)

Are laws necessary when  no-one breaks the law? If you lived in a perfect society, with perfect citizens, would be there a need for laws? Or would everyone already do the right thing?

The Law of Moses has been abolished because Jesus came and sacrificed himself so that we could be that perfect society. We no longer need the Law to drive us to obedience. We are no longer slaves to a set of rules that condemn us. We are free from sin and the law. But along with that new heart, along with the abolishing of the law, we become obedient to Christ.

I think the language here is where a lot of people get tripped up - the term "slave" sounds harsh in light of humanity's evil. And in all instances, when humanity has instituted slavery, it has been evil. God is calling us to something different. He is perfect, loving and has given us everything he has, his most precious possession.  What earthly slave master gave everything to the slaves? What earthly master earned their obedience?

We are not slaves because God has forced us to be. We choose to be his servants. We choose to be set free from the slavery of sin. We are all servants of something or someone. But if we are slaves of anyone but God, we are slaves to sin. That is the distinction. That is why the term slavery is used. Because we are slaves. God has freed us from a cruel master, one who drowns the slaves to sin in all manner of evil and brokenness. God has brought us to his home, to rejoice in freedom.

The Law was put in place to identify our need for God, to help us recognize the slavery we were mired in. But all along the way, God pointed to His ultimate plan. His plan to set the captives free. To redeem our brokenness. The Law was a lighthouse...and Jesus is the safe harbor. Come home.

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