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Tuesday, April 24, 2012

The Law is for the Lawless, Not for You!

By Mark Drake

1 Tim 1:8-9- “But we know that the Law is good, if one uses it lawfully, realizing the fact that law is not made for a righteous person, but for those who are lawless…”

If you have received God’s free gift of righteousness by Christ coming to live inside of you, then you are the “righteous”, not the “lawless”. Therefore, the Law is not made for you. You have something far better than the letter of the Law. You have the Lawgiver, Himself, living inside of you!

Why the New Covenant is Better than Law

The miracle of the New Covenant is “Christ in you, the hope of glory”. (Col. 1:26-27) The New Covenant enables us to live the “Inside Out” life rather than the vastly inferior life of “Outside In”. When the Lawgiver is living in us, we are empowered by Him from the inside out.

We Must Always Start at the Right Starting Point

We must always start with the reality that we have already been made righteous by putting our faith in the work Christ did for us on the cross. Then, as we learn to allow Him to live His life in and through us, His righteousness nature begins to live through us, affecting our actions. Our goal now becomes to cooperate with Him for inner transformation; not to become “right with God” because we are already “right with God”.

Though we will not learn to cooperate with Him perfectly in this life, we are on a progressing journey into righteous behavior which culminates in our physical death, when we will be completely changed and fully transformed into His perfect image. (Rom. 8:29) The journey does not make us “right with God”. We are already right with God because of what Christ has done, once and for all! But traveling on this life journey is dramatically “easier and lighter” (Matt. 11:28) when we understand the true New Covenant.

When the Lawgiver is living inside of you, you do not have to live struggling to outwardly obey a list of laws, by your own power and by making more sincere promises to God. Instead, He will empower and guide you from within. This is what makes the New Covenant…New! Living in the true New Covenant is intended to give us the successful life of Inside Out, instead of the failure of Outside In.

Example of Lawlessness – Traffic Laws

In civil society we must have traffic laws, because our lawless human nature is motivated by selfishness and the fear of punishment. If I drive through your neighborhood thinking only about myself and how fast I want to get to my destination, then my lawlessness (not being motivated by love) makes me a danger to others.

But if I am being motivated inwardly by agape love, I will be more careful than the traffic signs demand because my concern will be the safety of others rather my selfish desires. I won’t need the threat of punishment or the outward restriction of law because I am being controlled by a higher inner law. I will be even more careful than the law requires because I am being controlled by God’s love for the well-being of others.

True grace empowers us to live beyond the letter of the Law. True grace produces a better life than Law ever could. This is why Paul could confidently say “Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the law. (Rom 13:10)

This is the power of true biblical grace; Christ’s life inside you, controlling you from within, as a free gift from a loving Father. And this is THE Good News!

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