Christ, not the Law, is the rule of our life

Vaclav's picture

The law has occupied my mind for many years, and it almost killed me. I think, especially in many reformed circles, the law, rather than the person of Christ is the center of focus. We hear it said, "the Law is the rule of our life". But is that true?

As believers under the New Covenant we certainly do not discard and ignore the law, but we fulfill it, but as if to say, indirectly, by the Spirit's work within us, writing it on our hearts, changing us from within to love God and to love others - which also sums up the whole law.

We love him, Jesus Christ the ever living one, and everything he teaches us, in an intimate communion with him. We strive to please him, we are "looking unto Jesus", for forgiveness, cleansing, justification, holiness, power, for everything. If you read the NT, you never hear Jesus or Paul say, "the law is the rule of your life" (as some theologians say), or live by the law. No, we live by faith in Jesus Christ. Depending on his Spirit within us we seek to please him. We look for opportunities to love our neighbor, whoever they are, friend or foe.

I know i need Jesus, not because I look to the law to see my sin, but I look at Jesus and I see that he is perfect, holy, good, and I am convicted, and I repent, and turn to him and give him my sin, and take his righteousness and power to walk as he did. The law reveals what God is like - perfect in his character. But the law never gives us power to be like God or to fulfill it. Only as we look to Jesus and depend on him and his Spirit within us, are we empowered to obey him - to love him and to love others as ourselves.

The Jews didn't want God to speak to them directly, they have rejected for the most part, a direct communication between them and God. They wanted Moses between God and them. And they chose to look to the dead tablets, the letter of the law which could not help them, it only exposed and condemned their sinful hearts. So the law was given to the Jews, to further show them their self-sufficiency, their sinfulness and the need of a Savior, so they would look away from themselves to God and his mercy and provision to save them. When the law was given to them they said, "all that you said we will do", not knowing their own rebellious hearts. For soon after it, they made a calf and worshiped it as God, and God was angry with them.

Us, who are under the New Covenant do not deal with the letter of the law, but with the Spirit of Christ within us. "Christ in us, the hope of glory". And glory in this sense is the holy character of God, of which all fall short, miserably, and every day.

In union with Christ we have, in his life fulfilled the law perfectly, in his death paid the penalty of the broken law, and by the Spirit in us we fulfill the law every day (though imperfectly), as we love God and those around us. Before, in the Old Covenant the commandments were demands - "you shall NOT". Now in the New Covenant, in union with Christ, his commandments have become promises - "you SHALL not", you will not do this or that, because his Spirit in us is life and power. May we trust him and depend on him, for everything we need to love and please our good Lord.

"For sin shall no longer be your master, because you are not under the law, but under grace." (Romans 6:14)

Thank God for his mercy, grace and faithfulness to us, to those who have put their trust in Jesus Christ, our substitute, sufficiency and our only hope!