Video Transcript: Free from the Law

How would you like to be married to somebody perfect. Somebody who is never wrong,  somebody who is spotless, somebody who only expects of you what they have a right to  expect? Does that sound like a fantastic possibility, you're just dreaming of marrying that  perfect person who only expects of you what they have a right to expect. It might not be quite so good as you might think, to be married to somebody perfect, who also happens to be a  perfectionist? who expects of you exactly what they have a right to expect? And doesn't assist you in any way to be who you want to be and who you need to be. But they're always right.  They're always perfect. And I'm not just saying they think they're right. They are. Wouldn't  you like to be married to somebody who is always right, and expects you to be always right,  but doesn't help you along the way to be that way. That would be in many ways a nightmare  of a marriage. And don't blame your spouse, because they're perfect. And I mean, they are  perfect. Whenever there is a problem, it is your fault. It would be very, very hard to be  married to somebody who is always perfect, and expects perfection from you. And the  problem is you can't deliver perfection. So that kind of a marriage though all of us dream of  marrying the perfect person, we would be in major trouble if we were to marry the perfect  person expecting us to be perfect as well. Well, that's the picture that the apostle Paul gives  us to start Romans chapter seven. He's returning to a theme that he's talked about earlier in  the book of Romans, the relation that we have to the law of God, and the law of God is  perfect. It's always perfect, and it expects you to be perfect. And it doesn't help you to be  perfect. It expects it, but does not cause it to occur in you. Romans seven says or do you not  know brothers for I'm speaking to those who know the law that the law is binding on a person  only as long as he lives for a married woman is bound by law to her husband while he lives.  But if her husband dies, she is released from the law of marriage. So when you make your  promises, at marriage, you say till death do us part. It is a marriage promise that lasts until  one of you dies. Accordingly, she will be called an adulterous if she lives with another man  while her husband is alive. But if her husband dies, she is free from that law. And if she  marries another man, she is not an adulterous. So if death occurs, then that marriage is over.  And then you are free from the law of marriage and you're free to marry somebody else and  you're not guilty of adultery. But if you're tired of one spouse, and you just up and decide to  go off and marry another one, you are an adulterer or an adulterous if your spouse is still  living, because you promise till death do us part. Likewise, my brothers, you also have died to  the law through the body of Christ, so that you may belong to him to another to him who has  been raised from the dead, in order that we may bear fruit for God. So you're married to the  law. And the law of God, being perfect expects you to be perfect, and you're married to that  law, as long as both of you live. And unlike in Paul's illustration where the husband dies, and  the wife is free to be married. Paul applies it where something else happens where, in a  sense, the wife dies, he says, You're married to the law. And if somebody is going to die, it's  going to have to be you because the law doesn't. The law doesn't die on its own, but you die  to the law. Through the body of Christ. You died to the law when Jesus died. And here is a fact  that the Bible makes very clear The only way to be free from God's law and its demands and  its condemnation of you is for a death to occur. And that death has to occur through us dying  with Christ, and Christ dying for us. That's the only way to be free from that perfect spouse.  Like I said, in the abstract, it sounds great to be married to the perfect one. But the law  though it's perfectly pure in every way, condemns us, because of the kind of people we are.  And so the apostle says a death has to occur, if you're going to be free from that law's impact  on you, and that death has occurred in the death of Jesus Christ, and this death occurred so  that not just that you'd be free from law or so that you'd remain dead as a doornail. But so  that you would belong to him who has been raised from the dead, and you'd be raised from  the dead too not just in the future when your body is raised from the dead and perfected. But  right now in this life, you come from death, back to life again, and you're no longer married to the law, you are married to Christ. And you're married to Christ in order that we may bear  fruit for God. In a normal marriage where both partners have healthy bodies, there is fruit that is born children. And when you're married to Christ, there is fruit that results from that. The  fruit of a life of a person married to Christ is the fruit of a godly life or the fruit of the Spirit,  love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self control, that fruit 

of the Spirit, the apostle says, against such things, there is no law, you're not doing it,  because the law is forcing you to but because you're married to another to Christ, and the  Spirit of Christ is working in you. You're bearing fruit. Now, if you have two people of the same race, let's say, and they're married, and when they have children, those children are mixed  race children, what would you conclude? You'd say, well, that woman was in the arms of  somebody who wasn't her husband. And when there is fruit that comes from your marriage,  and it doesn't look like the fruit of the Spirit, and it doesn't look like God, then you've been in  the arms of somebody besides God. That's why the Bible compares idolatry or the worship of  idols to adultery. It's having somebody who's not your rightful spouse, and bearing the kind of  fruit that comes from that when you're not belonging to God and worshiping God then the  fruit of that is something that's mixed. Now, I'm not saying anything of that a mixed marriage  is wrong, a mixed race marriage, that's fine the illustration is, if two people in the same race  produced something that looked child that looks very different, you'd conclude that that was  not a result of that particular marriage. And when there are things in our lives that are wrong,  it's definitely not the result of a healthy marriage, to the living God. So the apostle's saying,  you die to the law, you enter into a new relationship with Christ as the spouse, and out of that relationship with him. It's a life producing fruit producing relationship in order that we may  bear fruit for God. For while we were living in the flesh, our sinful passions aroused by the law. We're at work in our members to bear fruit for death. Notice that the law arouses your sinful  passions, not because it's bad. But just because when you're told to do something, and you're living in the flesh in your old fallenness, the moment you're told to do something, you want to  do something else. Adam and Eve were told not to eat the fruit of the tree, the tree, the fruit,  the knowledge of good and evil you are not supposed to eat from that tree, and the minute  that command was given, oh man did that tree look good. It was delightful. To the eyes, it  looked like it would taste the greatest there were trees all over that garden that they had full  permission to eat from. But already when sin was entering, before they even grabbed that  fruit, all of a sudden with the command, the fruit starts looking good. So while we're living in  the flesh, our sinful passions aroused by the law, we're at work and our members to bear fruit  for death. But why now that were released from the law, having died to that which held us  captive, so that we serve in the new way of the spirit, and not in the old way of the written  code. The original language is literally newness of spirit, not oldness of letter. And here, the  apostle's talking about something new that comes with Jesus Christ, and Pentecost, the  outpouring of the Holy Spirit, it brings in a whole new era, in the life of God's people as a  whole and in your individual life, when you receive the Holy Spirit of God, it brings in a whole  new era into your life where you're no longer serving in oldness of letter, but newness of the  spirit. And that's what being released from the law brings about not just Okay, now, I can go  and be as bad as I want to be, and I live it up. But instead, there's a whole new power at work  transforming me bringing about what the law could never do. Now, what do we think about  the impact of this, maybe we could compare it a little bit to the effects of the letter and the  law and of commands on personal hygiene. Some of you may have children, where it's just a  little hard to keep them clothed. When they're wee little. They are little nudists. But then as  they get a little bit older, you still have some struggles with personal hygiene, shall we say,  you need a large team of horses to pull them toward the bathtub, you cannot get them to do  anything about their hair, they brush their teeth once a month, whether they need it or not.  And you you want to change that. So you say, you've got to brush your teeth, or your breath  will smell horrible. You're getting to be an age where you've got to take a shower or a bath, or  you're going to stink, you've got to do something with that hair. And while you're at it, get  some clothes on and look decent. And you can give those commands and you can give those  commands and you can give those commands. And every once in a while. You can even force  the child to do that. But they're a little bit like Pigpen in the Peanuts comic strip. I'm not dirty,  I'm hygienicly challenged, and he just does not want to change his personal hygiene. And  then something happened. That kid that you could not get to clean up or brush teeth or take  a shower or put on deodorant is suddenly monopolizing several sticks of deodorant and going  through toothbrushes. And toothpaste by the case and taking showers once or twice a day,  and making sure their hair is perfect. And spending hours and hours and hours in front of the 

mirror. What brought about this change? Was it brought about by Finally, your nagging has  had the desired effect. And finally, after 85 different times of taping, to their bedroom wall,  the list of things they must do for personal hygiene, they finally got a clue and said Yes, father and mother, I see the light, I shall now be a clean person who takes showers and brushes  teeth. Well, sometimes, when that great switch happens in personal hygiene, it is because  they hit a certain age where they got interested in the opposite sex. And all of a sudden, they  don't want to have bad breath anymore. The thought of BO horrifies them. And they're looking at their hair, and they're making sure everything is absolutely perfect. And why not because  all the commands you gave them on personal hygiene have finally sunk in. But because  something happened inside. And this is a hint at what the Bible is talking about when it says  not in oldness of letter. But in newness of spirit. When something happens on the inside, then  all of a sudden, you want all that stuff you were being told in order to do against your will  before because your inside has started to change. And so the newness of the spirit means  that now the spirit is written as law in your hearts. And he's given you a love for God, and  things you formerly had to be told to do and nagged to do and pushed to do and still wouldn't  do. Suddenly you're wanting to do and bearing more and more the fruit of the Spirit. So law  can't make you better sometimes just being told that makes you worse. And that naturally  raises the question, Is the law bad? Is it a bad thing? And when you read what the Apostle  says in Romans, and I'm just gonna take a sample from Romans not from some of his other  letters where he says some even more difficult things about the law. I'll just take some  examples from Romans, that God's righteousness comes a part from law. The law brings  wrath. Sin is not counted where there is no law, the law came in to increase the trespass to  make sin worse. We're not under law, but we're under grace. And we are released from the  law as we've read in today's passage, and you read all of that and say whew!, that law must  be a bad thing. It is just something to Escape to be gotten rid of. And the apostle brings that  question up. What then shall we say that the law is sin? By no means? So is he and he  answers the question right away. No way. I could never say the law is sin, because if it comes  from God, it's perfect. He's going to get around to that. But right away just says, No, the law is not bad. And yet, if I had not not if it had not been for the law, I would have not have known  sin. For I would not have known what it is to covet if the law had not said you shall not covet.  But sin seizing an opportunity through the commandment produced in me all kinds of  covetousness. So he says, The law didn't really do something bad. But boy, something bad  came out of it when sin started working in tandem with the law. For apart from the low sin lies dead, I was once alive apart from the law. But when the Commandment came, sin came alive  and I died. The very commandment that promised life proved to be death to me for sin,  seizing an opportunity, through the commandment, deceived me and threw it killed me. So in  those verses, we see three effects that the law has on us, One is that the law exposes sin. The Apostle says, if it had not been for the law, I wouldn't have known sin. And he gives an  example he says, I wouldn't have known coveting was wrong. If the law had not said, Thou  shalt not covet. Coveting is wanting what belongs to somebody else. And coveting is wrong.  Because you are not loving your neighbor as yourself, if you say, I wish they didn't have it,  and I could have it instead. And coveting is not loving God, above all, because you're saying,  God, and what he's given me is not enough, God has not been good enough to me, he should  have given me more. So you have a lack of contentment with what God gives you. And you  have an envy of what the other person has. And that desire shows that you don't love God  above all, or love your neighbor as yourself. So coveting shows us a sin that we might not  otherwise have recognized. The apostle Paul gives that as an example of how the law exposes what we might otherwise not have known was wrong. Most of us might think it's just kind of  natural, to want more, to want what other people have to not be satisfied, but to just get get  get. And the commandment says that's wrong. And in fact, it is the core, it's the launching  pad for all other sin. And there are other sins, of course, that the law speaks of that, at times  we don't recognize is wrong. We may agree with the law that murder is wrong. But if you live  in a society where abortion is extremely commonplace, you say it's a basic human right, and  a woman's right to control her own body. And so there's nothing wrong with killing, what is  growing inside you. We don't even know if it's a baby anyway. The Bible can speak all at once 

says, Thou shall not kill, and of being fearfully and wonderfully made in our mother's womb.  But without that law, then there are some things that we would not know they were wrong. If  we didn't have God's word telling us, we live in a society where sexual behavior is considered  okay, because it is your right to be happy. And so anything just about goes, as long as your  behavior doesn't spread diseases to other people, you should take proper precautions. But  other than that, there is no other command to limit your behaviors. The Bible says You shall  not commit adultery, says you're an adulterer. If you walk out on your marriage and find  somebody else, it says your a fornicator if you're sleeping with somebody, before your  marriage, it says you're a sodomite if you're doing things with people of the same sex, and  you wouldn't know these things, just growing up in our society, if you didn't have the law of  God telling you because in any society that you're living in, you get kind of used to what  people are doing, and you get kind of used to doing what you feel like doing. And then the law comes in and messes things up and tells you, this is what God wants. And you realize that it's  exposing you the things you thought were okay. aren't. And the only way you know that is  because God says so. So the law exposes sin. And beyond that, as we've already pointed out,  the law arouses sin or Wakes, sin up sin seizing an opportunity through the commandment  produced in me, all kinds of covetousness Eve having heard the command wanted the fruit all the more and of course, we're a long ways beyond Eve. At one point she still hadn't fallen into sin. If you already have a fallen sinful nature then a command really goes to work on you, it  really arouses your desires. And here again, we need to understand that this is an impact of  the law. Some people feel that if you only read people the riot act, it will help them to  straighten up. But so often, that is not the case. If someone for instance, has a drinking  problem, and the only thing you say to them is, you got to stop. You need to stop drinking,  drinking is bad for you, it's wrecking your life. Now stop. Well, good luck with that. The more a person with an alcohol problem is nagged very often, the more deeply into their alcoholism,  they will sink unless something just happens, where they see that this is killing them. And  where they see that there's the possibility of turning their life over to someone higher and  more powerful to God. But just being told to quit, doesn't help very much. If someone has a  pornography problem, and they are told, Now, that's wrong, you need to stop that. Knowing  it's wrong, in and of itself doesn't stop the problem. And it makes it even more gripping. The  same is true of some of our self harm. And the behaviors we do that are that are bad for us,  and we know it. Some of us may have a problem with eating or with gluttony. But the guiltier  we feel about it, the better that third doughnut looks, and the better that 60 ounce Sugar Pop  looks, then just being told to clean it up. Makes it almost more attractive. And it may sound  weird, but you know what I'm talking about. Because it happens whether it sounds log, of  course, is not logical. Nothing about sin is logical, who said it was logical. But it's a it's a  power that has a grip on you. And sin, seizing opportunity through the commandment drives  you deeper and deeper into it, produce in me and me all kinds of covetousness but also it  produces in me all kinds of other desires and behaviors as well. And the third thing the law  does is it condemns sin. The Apostle says the commandment that promised life proved to be  death to me. So those are three effects of having the perfect spouse is that the law exposes  sin for what it is it drives sin. And sin uses the commandment to make us even worse. And  then it brings death, condemnation. These are the effects of the law. And Some of these I've  talked about in previous messages, you say why bring it up again? Well, because I'm  preaching through Romans and Paul brought it up again. Okay, there's a lot of things we don't get the first time, there's a lot of things we got to think through again, and again, from  different angles. This is the first time he's used the marriage analogy and some of this  language about law, we have to understand what law can't do. We need to know that for  ourselves, we need to know it as parents. I already mentioned the example of personal  hygiene, you want to get your kid to do something, and you think that nagging and an even  longer list of commands and good behaviors is going to bring it about. Don't be shocked when it doesn't, because you were already told, the Bible says that you can throw the book at them  you can throw the law at them you can try to make your kids live by the oldness of the letter.  But unless something new happens inside them, unless the Holy Spirit is taking over, then at  best, even if law seems to be working a little bit, it will just be getting them to behave a wee 

bit better temporarily. Watch him leave the house for the first time and see what happens  when they move out. Some kids that have grown up under plenty of laws and commands go  absolutely wild because all along the inside hadn't changed much. So again, this is not to say  the law is bad. And we'll we'll get to that in more detail. Don't blame the law for what sin  does. The law is holy, and the commandment is holy, and righteous and good. God's  commands are good, did that which is good, then bring death to me? By no means it was sin,  producing death in me through what is good, in order that sin might be shown to be sin, and  through the commandment might become sinful beyond measure. In a sense, the law is given to make sin worse and worse and worse until finally you say sin is sinful. It is really really  really sinful. It is sinful beyond measure. And the commandment itself is holy and righteous  and good but boy does it show me how bad sin is and how much of a grip sin has on me until I die to it through Christ and have a new life through the Holy Spirit. And even then you're  going to be duking it out with SIN sometimes just because remnants of your old nature are  still harassing you So does that mean that the law is bad? No. I've mentioned before the  example of a crime boss. And a crime boss is not a great keeper of the law. But a crime boss  can very often know how to use the law to manipulate it. Let's say one of your criminal  enterprises is smuggling in illegal immigrants. That crime boss can threaten again, and again, if you don't do what I say, I'm going to turn you in, and you will be thrown out of the country,  or you'll be thrown into jail or face worse penalties. And once you've done some bad stuff for  him, he may have evidence of what you did while giving himself some plausible deniability. So he's not directly involved. And he says, If you don't keep doing what I'm doing, I'm turning you into the cops. So you have somebody who is actually a criminal mastermind, who is using the  law against you. Does that mean that the laws of the nation are bad? Oh, no. But it sure  means that that criminal is bad. And the apostle says that's what sin is like. It uses even God's holy and righteous law to get you into deeper trouble. And it keeps threatening you with that  law. But meanwhile, it's the sin. That is the problem. But the fact remains that once you've  got that sin problem, once you're in cahoots with that crime boss, you're in trouble with the  law, and something's got to happen that will help you. So you might say, what puts you in  prison ask that question, what puts you in prison? And one way to answer that is, the law puts you in prison, the police put you in prison, the judges put you in prison, the judicial system  put you in prison, it's the law that put you there. And that is firstly true. There is however  another angle to it. Crime, put you in prison, you did the crime you do the time, it was your  bad behavior that put you in prison. And the law was simply dealing with your bad behavior.  So both things are true. Crime puts you in prison. But the law puts you in prison. Also, in  Romans six, the apostle is talking about crime, and sin being your master and sin running  your life and how to be rescued from that. And then here in chapter seven, it's talking about  the law side of things where the law puts you in prison, and you need to be free of sin and  crime. But you also need to somehow be free of that law. Because the law and the crime are  what put you in prison. The Apostle says in so many words, in Galatians chapter three, the  Scripture declares that the whole world is a prisoner of sin. Jesus also said everyone who sins  is a slave to sin or a prisoner of sin. So it declares that the whole world is a prisoner of sin so  that what was promised, being given through faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe before this faith came, we were held prisoners by the law locked up until faith should  be revealed. So what's got you locked up? Well, sin has you locked up and held prisoner and  law has you locked up and held prisoner and so we need to be free from sin we need to be  free from law. Sin imprisons you because the whole world is a prisoner of sin. And so the  badness of sin imprisons us. But the flip side is that the law imprisons you. And even the law  is good. It imprisons us by condemning our badness. The law is Good says, Paul. It's a good  law. But it's bad for those who don't obey it in another sense of being bad if it's good, but it's  bad for us. Just like having that perfect spouse who always expects perfection would be bad  for you. But just take that lesson home on marriage too. If you think your spouse was were  just a little more perfect, all would be well, not so much. So the law was our guardian, until  Christ came that we might be justified by faith. Now that this faith has come, we're no longer  under a guardian. So you're held prisoner and locked up, and then somebody comes along  and sets you free from the prison, you're set free from sin, you're set free from the law, and 

then you're set free through being justified by faith in Jesus Christ being made right with God  through faith in Jesus Christ. If that crime boss is threatening you to turn you in and to say  you're gonna get punished by the law. When I turn you in? Your answer is I died to the law. I  died to Jesus Christ. The law has nothing more to say that condemns me, because I am set  free and I am dead to the law. The power of sin is the law But then the Bible says that Christ  was involved in canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands this  he set aside, nailing it to the cross Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone  who believes Christ satisfy the legal demands of the law. And then he set them aside, as far  as it concerns us so that we're no longer condemned by what the law says to us Christ is the  end of the law, the Greek word telos end has two meanings. One is that's where it stops. But  there's another meaning to tell us as well, that's where it was aiming. That was the goal. So  and this is true in both senses, Christ is the end of the law for righteousness in the sense that  he brings the law to an end, as the thing that can, that is the primary way of us dealing with  God. But he's also the goal of the law. He was the one that the law was pointing toward all  along with its rituals. And with its symbols. He's also the one that the law was pointing to, in  the sense of showing us how much we need a savior. We've talked before about this, I'll just  remind you again, of what it means not to be under law, we're no longer under law, but under grace, the language of today's passage were released from the law, we're free from the law,  we're dead to the law, or however you want to phrase it. What does it mean, to be not under  law to be released from law? Well, it means that we're declared righteous apart from law. That was the great theme, verse of Romans. Now a righteousness from God apart from law has  been made known. We're right with God through faith in Jesus. And he kept God's law  perfectly on our behalf, he lived up to it. And so his righteous behavior, because we're in him,  is counted as ours and credited to us. We're also free from the law's covenant curses. The  Bible says Cursed is everyone who does not keep this law, as it's written, Cursed is everyone  who hangs on a tree. Well, Jesus hung on a tree, he suffered the curse. And so he canceled  the debt, and the curse of the law. And another sense in which were released from the law is  that transformation that happens inside, where you're no longer that little Pigpen, who can't  stand to be clean. But instead, something's changed you where you have a desire and a love  for cleanliness, because you want to get the girl of your empowered by something inside,  you're empowered by the Spirit, not by the law, it's no longer the commands on personal  hygiene so much as the desire to be clean. The Holy Spirit writes God's law on our heart, and  gives us the desire and the ability to obey. In a sense, you're still married to somebody  perfect. When you were married to the law, you're married to somebody perfect, who's also  perfectionist and demands perfection from you, and thus makes you worse. But when you're  married, to the new way, the newness of the spirit, when Christ is your spouse, then he  doesn't just say, here is my command, here's my standard of perfection. He also says, Here is  a desire, a growing desire, I put my spirit in you here is power, here's ability to start changing. So he not only is perfect, but he's in the process of moving you towards perfection, he'll  consider you perfect right away, because of what he did for you. But then he keeps giving you more and more desire to want to change. And he keeps giving you more and more ability to  change, you might not all happen in second. But it's happening. And so you're empowered by  the Spirit and not by the law. And then just historically, with the coming of Christ, the older  covenant is no longer God's way of administrating relationship to us. The signs that God gave, are now getting laid to the fullest. So you don't need to celebrate every feast that the  Israelites celebrated or offer every sacrifice that they offered on the altars, because now the  reality is come, and those things were just the signs. So you're released from the law, in that  sense, as well. And it is a glorious thing to be released from the law. But it does not mean that therefore you no longer want to have the kind of character that God wants you to have, that  you no longer want to be transformed. It just means you have a whole different way of  relating to God that truly and effectively changes who you are, and helps you to become more like our Lord Jesus Christ. Likewise, my brothers you also died to the law through the body of  Christ, so that you may belong to another. So you didn't just die to the law so you could do  what you wanted, but so that you could belong to another to Christ who's been raised from  the dead, in order that we may bear fruit for God, the fruit of the Holy Spirit, changing our 

lives living in newness of the spirit and not an oldness of the letter. And so those are the  things that we learned from the Scripture today, we are not under law, but we're under grace. We are married not to the law, but to Christ. And we need to know this for a couple of  reasons. One is this. You if you are not in Christ, if you haven't put your faith in Him, you are  married to the law, whether you like it or not, okay? You're stuck with that way of being dealt  with. You cannot be free from the law, unless you die to the law with Christ. Otherwise, God's  law is binding on you. It's exposing you, it's causing you, in fact, to become worse, and it  condemns you. That's, that's just the truth of the matter. It may not sound very inspiring, but  it's a fact that without Christ, the law of God is the only thing that you have to appeal to,  when you come into God's presence. And there's an entire religion set up on that basis, the  religion of Islam is set up on the basis of God giving a law. And when you have that  information from that law, then you live up to Sharia. And that is your way of relating to God.  And I'm not making it up. But you can read the words of Islamic scholars that the great thing  God has done is to give us a law because people are basically good. And all we need to be  told is how to be the kind of person that Allah wants us to be. And for that he gives us the  Quran, he gives us the law. Just let me ask from your own experience, do you find yourself  becoming better when you have everything laid out the way you ought to behave? And just  from observation, do you find Islam making people and countries better? And it's not I mean,  there, there's flaws, I'm sure in the Quran, and in the kinds of laws, some of the laws are  good, some aren't so good. But the Muslim law is that the problem is not just that this or that  law might be incorrect. The problem is that the whole system is that you are supposed to  relate to God on the basis of commandments, and not on the basis of Christ or grace. And of  course, if you're not a Muslim, you say What's that got to do with me? Well, so many of us still think that God is going to admit to heaven those who kind of are about good enough. And we  know he grades on a curve with need be. That's not how it works, we must absolutely must be set free from the law, or we will be condemned by the law. And there is one religion, and only  one that brings God's grace in Jesus Christ, all the others, come and bring demands and tell  you this is what you must do in order to measure up. Here's the news that the gospel brings.  You can't measure up, pack it in, just die to who you are die to that whole system of trying to  measure up and come alive through faith in Jesus Christ. And then having done so another  thing that this message has to bring home to us. Don't go back to your old husband. Okay?  When you're made right with God, through faith in Jesus Christ, and you have the newness of  spirit, and the spirit is changing you, in your own life, don't go back into being condemned by  the commands. And don't use the commands as a club against other people to threaten and  cajole them to behave properly. It won't work. It won't work, you will not change yourself, just  by beating up on yourself more with some law, you will not change your children, you will not  change your fellow believers, just by beating them up with what they ought to be. They can't  be what they ought to be, just by commands alone. But it's a whole different thing if you're  living in newness of spirit, and if you're encouraging them to live in newness of spirit. So  again, don't think you can relate to God on the basis of law. And once you've learned that  Jesus is your Savior, and once his spirit has begun working in your life, then then turn to God  in prayer and ask for the helpless. I'm not saying you don't want to change and be different. I  am saying that it's got to be the fruit of the spirit that's growing from within you, not just the  commands that are given from outside of you. You will have a tremendous relief when you  realize that you are not under law, that there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ  Jesus, that that whole load has been lifted, that you don't have to earn your way into God's  favor. And even when you fall into sin, you can grieve over it. And you can ask for greater  power from the Holy Spirit to change. But don't say God, just give me one more law. Or just  give me one more chance and this time I'll get it right. No, you won't get it right just by trying  a little harder. Let God do his work in you by a spirit. Let the blood of Christ wipe away what's  been done wrong. Let the Spirit of Christ transform you and don't get frustrated if you're not  made perfect in a day. You won't be. But you can begin changing in a day. And you can  change a little more the next day as God's Holy Spirit works in you, thank God, that you are  not married to the law, but you are married to him who was raised from the dead. Dear Lord,  we pray that you will help us to walk in newness of spirit. We pray that in our own personal 

lives where too much we have just tried to keep a law by our own efforts where we've tried to  pretend we're good enough by keeping a certain percentage of the law help us just give up on that, to die to it all through Christ. And then Lord, work in us through the power that raised  Jesus from the dead, the Spirit of God, work that change within us more and more each day,  help us Lord when we get frustrated with ourselves, not to sink back into self condemnation  into beating ourselves up, but to turn again and again to the cross, and to depend again and  again on the work of Your Holy Spirit in us through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. Let's continue

Last modified: Monday, May 9, 2022, 9:56 AM