Day 57: The Law Brought Out the Worst in Us

Romans 7:5-6

For when we were in the flesh, the sinful passions which were through the law, worked in our members to bring forth fruit to death. But now we have been discharged from the law, having died to that in which we were held; so that we serve in newness of the spirit, and not in oldness of the letter.

It may seem very strange for Paul to linger so long in his discussion about how we are no longer under The Law. I think that’s because there is so much confusion today caused by teaching that suggests that we should follow The Law. To do that, however, is to entirely miss the pathway that God has laid out for us. This verse explains the problem.

The Law awakens “the flesh.” The law is not a pathway to righteousness, but an educator about the condition of sinful man. The Law had a purpose that was to be fulfilled and it was not intended to bring about righteousness. Mankind can’t do what only God is to do, but because mankind tries to be god, we attempt to follow The Law. An honest person, would give up and recognize that he cannot live up to God’s true righteousness as an individual. Our hearts tend to want to be god and stand on our own, and that’s our basic problem.

As Christians, The Law has already served its purpose. It killed us, and that is exactly what needed to be done. Praise God, He sent Jesus to take our place. Now we have no use of The Law as law. Instead, we serve out of our hearts in love. We don’t follow a set of rules because rules and relationships are very different things. Now relationships do have rules, but living only according to rules is different than recognizing our place in a loving Relationship. When we live by rules we serve ourselves and gain a position of goodness for ourselves. When we live in a relationship, we willingly give and receive out of joy, not duty.

I want to be perfectly clear as much as it is possible. I believe The Law still is useful in that it tells us about how God thinks and what He likes. I am just saying that there is no use in attempting to follow it in order to produce righteousness. It does tell us things about what righteousness is, however. There is much more to come on this subject.