December 5 I Saturday
1 John 4
“…the law has authority over someone only as long as that person lives? For example, by law a married woman is bound to her husband as long as he is alive, but if her husband dies, she is released from the law that binds her to him.” —Romans 7:1-2
Imagine a young woman who falls in love with a wonderful man. Everything he does is perfect, good and right; he cannot be faulted at any point. This couple gets married and the woman feels secure with the man’s disciplined life. His name is Mr. Mosaic Law.
On the first day of the marriage, Mr. Law tells the woman, “I want you to behave exactly as I would. I have a checklist of all the things I want you to do. At the end of the day, I am going to check and make sure you have done everything on this list.” When Mr. Law returns, he demands, “Bring me the checklist. Let me see how you have done.” Mr. Law goes over the checklist and notes the ones that are okay, but most are not done well. The next day, Mr. Law gives the woman the exact same checklist, and at night, he goes over the list.
This goes on week after week, month after month. Mr. Law never once asked how the woman is doing. He never showed any love. He just makes demands and the woman becomes exhausted. She develops a huge inferiority complex, becoming full of guilt and failure. Then one day, Mr. Law dies.
Later, the woman meets another man, who is just as good as Mr. Law. Everything this man does is perfect, good and right; he cannot be faulted at any point. The couple marries and the woman feels an overwhelming sense of this man’s love. Even though he makes demands and his standard is exactly the same as those of Mr. Law, there is a huge difference. This man tells the woman, “I want you to know from the outset, you cannot do this alone. But with me, we can do this together. I am able to infuse inner strength, wisdom and goodness into you.” Sometimes the woman fails, but the man does not condemn her. He tells her, “I want you to understand. There is no condemnation in this marriage. In everything, I am there to help and to enable you.” This man’s name is Mr. Resurrection Life.
Was Mr. Law a bad man? No. Although the law reveals the character of God, it is totally insufficient to the needs of humanity. When the law died, we are released to be bound to another. The goal of the resurrected life in Christ is to restore the character of God that the law revealed. The Spirit of God living in a Christian will enable us, by His strength and His power, to keep the law. Whom are we married to: Mr. Law or Mr. Life?
Prayer: Dear Lord of Life, only by Your strength and power can I live this Christian life. Thank You that there is no condemnation in this relationship. Praise You!