Breaking Down the Law

I disliked high school.  Don’t get me wrong, there were some good things about attending high school: being educated, playing sports, um . . . I’m sure there were probably more, and at all points I was thankful that I was attending high school and not, you know, attending prison or some such worse place.  But still, I didn’t much care for it.

The cause of this dislike was all those structure-providing rules. Be in your seat by 8 am.  The 8:05 bell signifies a tardy. Go see the secretary to get a note saying you can come back to class after receiving a tardy. Show up tardy three times and you land yourself in detention and don’t even think about being tardy for that! Do your homework . . . all of it.  Don’t copy.  Walk, don’t run. Take that hat off.  Wake up! Shhhh . . .

I mean really we could go on rehashing high school reprimands for at least an entire school day.  But then came a magical day on which I graduated.  Somehow.  I followed the rules of graduation–Be on time. No inflatables or other shenanigans.  Long pants under robe.–and then was permitted to receive my diploma and walk across the stage.  It was a brilliant walk that removed me forever from bells and tardy slips.

However, some moral rules remained intact.  I don’t know about your high school, but where I went to high school murder was strictly forbidden.  That one didn’t go away upon graduation.  The same was true for arson and vandalism and many other “wrongful” activities.

And so it goes with the Law.  The Bible says much about the Law, and while the Law doesn’t change, its affect on us changes in a similar way that my life saw changes post graduation.

This weekend we dug into the Law as an introduction to our new “Write It on Your Heart” series which will cover each of the Ten Commandments.  We saw that the Law doesn’t save (Romans 3:20) and that it doesn’t sanctify (Galatians 3:2-3), but that it does show us our sin (Romans 3:20 & 5:20).  And in that showing it should send us to Jesus (Galatians 3:24).

So in Christ, I am no longer under the Law in much the same way that bells have been removed as my life guide.  I still need to be on time for things and honor commitments, but there is no longer a secretary or principal to see when I don’t.

And that becomes the challenge in looking at the Law.  It was not given for me to post on my wall and dutifully maintain as a means of righteousness.  It is not a way of return to God.  It will not save me, no matter how hard I try to fulfill it.

Yet God is still Holy and hates sin.

So where does this leave me?  Can I disregard personal responsibility for conduct?  Can I do whatever I want, whenever I want?  Can I torch the tardy slips along with everything else?

Developing a biblical worldview regarding Law, Grace, and Sin–especially in terms of what Christ’s death on the Cross accomplished–will help answer these, and other, questions.  Listen to the weekend sermon to help better understand the Law  ( and tune in for the rest of the “Write It on Your Heart” series to grasp what it is to “walk by the Spirit” away from the “set of rules mentality” yet toward a life defined by increasing Christ-likeness.

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