Archive for July, 2017

A Tale of Two Laws

A Tale of Two Laws

Once upon a time… a friend wrote to me… he said,
“I was “under the Law” when I was a rebellious sinner, but when I turned around, repented, and asked Jesus the Christ into my heart and my life, I was no longer “under the Law” for condemnation. I was, and am, in a sense, “on top of the Law”, in that I acknowledged that there was no way that I could have my sins forgiven by keeping rules. The great good news that all you need to understand is, that:
” Christ is the end of the law… FOR RIGHTEOUSNESS!!!!!!!!!
to every one who believes.”
That’s a Ten Four, good buddy – Romans 10:4

But, now that I am no longer “under the Law”, I delightfully and graciously desire to be obedient to my calling and love the commandments, as did our dear Saviour.

It is my great privilege and pleasure, since I am “free from the Law” to share this good news with whoever will listen.(or read)

“There is therefore no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death.” Romans 8:1″

Looking at my friend’s statement, I have to ask, “which LAW is he referring to?” Which LAW do most people think of when someone asks, “Are you under the LAW?” Do they think of the Ten Commandments?? Is that the LAW they have in their minds when they state categorically that they are NOT under the LAW? I mean, hey! Just how BAD is that LAW?? Is it evil or satanic? Does it cause all who are ‘under it’ to be SLAVES??? What gives?

Roman 8:1 .. offers much encouragement!

Quote: Rom. 8:1
1 There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.

Awesome! Now, no condemnation! Think about it! Before
they were ‘in Christ Jesus’, there was condemnation. They were
considered sinners and they were condemned. But, as the verse says, “now”, there is no condemnation. Awesome!

But, I have a few questions…
Who? Who is it that truly has “no condemnation”.. now?
And, why? What makes that lack of condemnation possible?

So.. Who? and Why?
I think that part of the answer is in the last part of that verse… “..them.. who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.”

Does that make any sense to you? It does to me… I feel that the
information that is needed to understand these verses is available to
those who really want it… those who seek it. I see part of
the answer in this verse.. That is the “who”… Those who are
striving… those who are walking after the Spirit, and not after the
flesh… for them, there is now, no condemnation.

NOTE: (One cannot ‘walk after the Spirit’ unless they have the Spirit)

Please understand! Without Christ and the indwelling of God’s Holy
Spirit, no one can even begin to walk in the Spirit! Without the sacrifice of Christ, no one can access that help and comfort to do a thing like ‘not walking after the flesh”! No one!  It takes the power of God to even begin to utilize the FAITH that is necessary to walk the path that pleases God!

I could type until my fingers wear down to nubs and still not be able
to express the Glory of God necessary to achieve even a
beginning at this sort of life! Alas, ALL have sinned and ‘come
short’ of that Glory! It is only through the sacrifice of Christ and
His GRACE that any are able to begin that journey! But, I

Quote: Rom. 8:2
2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.

Wow! Here we have a verse that speaks of two separate laws.

Could there be any law that is beneficial to a modern-day Christian?
What about the two different ‘laws’ that are mentioned in the above
verse? Surely, the latter… the ‘law of sin and death’ isn’t
beneficial in any way! Surely! But, what of the other law?? Is that
law something that a Christian would want in their life?

What is this ‘law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus’? Is it good
or bad? Does anyone have a good, clear, easy to grasp and understand definition of that ‘law’? Or, is that phraseology just a Bible writer’s way of saying we have to live by GRACE?

Here’s what I think….
I think it would be easier to discuss the other ‘law’ first.

What is the ‘law of sin and death’?

Did you know? There really is a ‘law of sin and death’! It is just as
active and reliable as the law of gravity. It is with us all. It is
with me and it is with you! You probably haven’t heard too much said about this ‘law’ in your church services. I don’t think it is
preached very much. But, it is a law that every Christian should be
aware of and concerned about.

If you don’t know what ‘law’ this could be, then with the help of
God, let’s turn in our Bibles and locate the scriptures that speak of
this law and even define it for us. You can turn in your Bible and
read it for yourself. I recommend that you use the KJV translation
to get the full effect. And, please… just believe your Bible! Don’t let the well meaning arguments of others keep you from understanding!

Tell you what… Let’s take the WHOLE CHAPTER of Romans 7 and
see what is revealed about these TWO LAWS…

Turn with me now…. Romans Chapter 7, verse 1 —
1 ¶ Know ye not, brethren, (for I speak to them that know the law,) how that the law hath dominion over a man as long as he liveth?

Look! This verse says that the law “hath dominion over a man as long as he liveth” … man and ‘mankind’ interchangeable… men and women are under the dominion of the law, as long as they live! That’s what it says, but will you believe it?

Then, there is an example given that will illustrate that dominion…
:2 For the woman which hath an husband is bound by the law to her husband so long as he liveth; but if the husband be dead, she is loosed from the law of her husband.
:3 So then if, while her husband liveth, she be married to another man, she shall be called an adulteress: but if her husband be dead, she is free from that law; so that she is no adulteress, though she be married to another man.

Here is an example of the relationship between us and the law… as long as you live, the law has dominion over you! As Ripley would say… “Believe it or Not!”… but, that is not the point… The point is, that in order to be ‘free from the law’, one has to die! But, like
that little song says, “..nobody wants to die..”… But, there IS a
way… In reference to the example given.. There is a way to ‘become dead unto the law’ without physically dying… Here’s how that works!

4 Wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ; that ye should be married to another, even to him who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God. Dead to the law by the body of Christ!

Now, don’t get carried away with the same old assumptions! Yes, we CAN be ‘dead to the law’ by the body of Christ, but let us understand what that means!

Christ died for us. We, in turn, must die as well… this ‘death’ is pictured by Baptism! When we are baptized, we are ‘buried with Him and raised to a new life’. We become ‘dead to the law’! In symbol, we died, were buried, and are(symbolically) raised from the dead to bring forth fruit unto God.

Notice please that there is a ‘marriage’ mentioned in the above
scripture… Who? Us? Married to another? What can this mean?
In human marriage, when two people are married and one dies, the
marriage is dissolved! The surviving member of that marriage is ‘free from the law’ as relates to the other, the deceased.

The marriage is over and the survivor is then FREE to marry someone else without breaking the law! Obviously, verse 4 is speaking of US, as being free to marry another… free to marry Jesus and become the ‘bride’ of Christ! Perhaps this understanding should give us pause to wonder… THINK ABOUT THIS : who was it we were married to BEFORE we ‘died’ in that watery grave?

5 For when we were in the flesh, the motions of sins, which were by the law, did work in our members to bring forth fruit unto death.

Now wait a minute! I know what you are thinking! You are thinking,
“See!! There it is!! “..the motions of sins, which were by the law”.
Yes, many sincere preachers and teachers have seen this verse as condemning the law of God.

Some who believe that law is bad, have pointed to it as proof that we can’t keep the law and that to do so would actually be sin…
.. Somehow, denying the GRACE of God.  But, wait!!!!! What law are we investigating?? God’s law? or the ‘law of sin and death’?
Surely you don’t think they are one in the same! ?

There is a law of sin and death and it is with us all.
It operates in all our lives, all the time, whether we are Christians
or not… THAT is the ‘law’ being spoken of in that verse! Let’s read
that verse again!

“For when we were in the flesh…” – We are still in the
flesh…physically speaking… and, spiritually speaking..
unless we have been BURIED WITH HIM in baptism! Think about
this!!! What law brings forth fruit unto death?? By what ‘law’ are the
‘motions of sin’? Of course!! It is the ‘law of sin and death’! Not,
the law of Almighty God! How clear it could be, IF God will open our eyes to this simple truth! It’s the ‘law of sin and death’ that
produces the ‘motions of sin’! Not God’s Holy, Just and Good law!

When we repent of our sins and are baptized, we are buried with Christ and raised to a new life… we are a new person, free to marry another! We are delivered from the law…(remember which law we are delivered from…).. it is not God’s law! That law has dominion over us as long as we live.

6 But now we are delivered from the law, that being dead
wherein we were held; that we should serve in newness of spirit, and not in the oldness of the letter.

No, not delivered from the obligation to keep the law(of God), because it has dominion over us as long as we live… but, delivered from the sentence of death that was over us before we repented and were baptized. We are raised clean and pure in the sight of God. We are a new person. We are no longer bound by the guilt of breaking God’s law. And, before your thoughts drift off target again and you start thinking the same old scenario you always think, read the next verse!!

7 ¶ What shall we say then? Is the law sin? God forbid. Nay, I had not known sin, but by the law: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet.

Read that again! UNDERSTAND!!! The law(of God) is not sin! It is not a sin to keep the law of God, it is a sin to break the law! The writer explains that he would not have known what sin WAS if it had not been for the law explaining it to him! Sin is the transgression of the law that says “Thou shalt not covet” – That is the ‘good law’ – that is not the ‘law of sin and death’. Let’s keep that in mind as we discover what that bad law is…

8 But sin, taking occasion by the commandment, wrought in me all manner of concupiscence. For without the law sin was dead.

It’s true… if there were no law,(the law of God that DEFINES SIN)-
there would be no sin! Do you believe that? I hope so, because it’s
the truth! Without the law, sin is dead! If there were no law to
break, there would be no such thing as sin! Tell me… does sin still
exist? Is there such a thing? You know there is… don’t you? Many
preachers and teachers see these verses as depicting the law of God as the evil thing that New Testament Christians are to shun… but, it
should become obvious that is not what these verses are saying.

It should become obvious that TWO different LAWS are being spoken of.

9 For I was alive without the law once: but when the
commandment came, sin revived, and I died.

He’s speaking of his realization of what sin is… When the
commandment came, and he understood what it was to covet, then he knew what sin was, and it became exceedingly sinful! He realized
that he was, as they say, ‘dead in his sins’.

10 And the commandment, which was ordained to life, I found to be unto death.

Let’s understand what this means. He is realizing that he has broken the commandment.. The commandment was intended to be his guide of right from wrong… It was ‘ordained to life’- if he had obeyed that commandment, he would have lived… but, he broke it and was counted as a transgressor… the death penalty was then upon him… He was no longer ‘under Grace’! -Please take your time and contemplate this carefully…

11 For sin, taking occasion by the commandment, deceived me, and by it slew me.

Those who think the law is bad and not to be obeyed… think about
this! Read it carefully… Was it the law(of God) that deceived him??
No!, it says “For sin…deceived me…” and by that deception, slew
him! He became guilty of sin, and the wages of sin is death! The
‘occasion’ he is speaking of is his ‘breaking’ of the commandment.

12 Wherefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good.
13 Was then that which is good made death unto me? God forbid. But sin, that it might appear sin, working death in me by that which is good; that sin by the commandment might become exceeding sinful.

Verse 12 is very clear… hard to misunderstand… (other verses are a
little vague and those are the ones that satan prefers modern-day
Christians to read and dwell upon…) but, verse 12 is true and clear
as a bell. Do you believe it? I hope so! The law(of God) is good!
Verse 13 points out that this ‘good law’ was not made death unto him!!  It’s that ‘other law’ that is the culprit!!!

14 ¶ For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin.

God’s law is a spiritual law!! That ‘other law’ works in the carnal,
fleshly mind, bringing it into captivity!

15 For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I.

Have you ever wondered what the writer is talking about?? I’m sure you have read these verses many times… what can he mean?? It almost sounds like there is something that causes him to do wrong. Think!!    When YOU do wrong, what is the cause?

16 If then I do that which I would not, I consent unto the law that it is good.

Have you ever ‘done that which you would not’? Then, you too, have
consented unto the law(of God) that is is good!

17 Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.

Can this possibly apply to a Christian? How can sin dwell in a
Christian?? Well, let’s see… WHO was saying this?? Was he a ‘Christian’?  Well, at least it says, it is ‘no more I that do it’… And, if it is no more you that do it, then, there is now, no condemnation! But, the SIN is still there, in you (and me). Do you believe it?

18 For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not.

Ahh,, the good ole flesh!! We’ve all got it! And, in our flesh there
dwells no good thing! We are able to ‘will to do good’, but, without
the Spirit of God, we can not find the means to perform that
good! Not to the extent Christ spoke of on the Mt.

19 For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I
would not, that I do.

I don’t know… you may feel that this doesn’t apply to you, but, the
Bible tells me that ALL have sinned… so, I feel confident that all
of us are included… What is he really trying to tell us??? What is
it that makes it so HARD to do good?

20 Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it,
but sin that dwelleth in me.

Sin that dwelleth in me“!!… Even though he was a Christian,
there was still SIN in him and it kept right on dragging him down…
it kept right on pursuing him and trying to conquer him… but, it was
no longer him that did it… (He had died in the waters of baptism)…
He had been raised a New Creature.. to live in newness of life!
So what was it that made it so hard to do right??? You guessed it!!!
That LAW of Sin and death!

So, then, after he had considered his situation, he found that there was something that was responsible for this struggle…

21 I find then a law, that, when I would do good,
evil is present with me.

This ‘law’ he refers to in verse 21 is not God’s LAW, it is another
law… when ever he, or we would ‘do good’, evil is present! It was present with him, and it is present with US!!

That baptism… that symbolic exercise that Christians go through… it symbolizes the DEATH of the OLD MAN!!! …. BUT, the old man does not really die! It merely symbolizes that death! It is the NEW CREATURE that is begotten in us and begins to grow that is free from that law of sin and death! “…it is no more I that do it…” YES!!!
It is the OLD MAN who still lives according to that other law… the law of sin and death! Are you beginning to understand????

Yes! Satan is always there, seeking to tempt and destroy
us!! He hates good!! He hates righteousness!!! Satan and his demons are EVIL! And, any time that anyone is determined to do good, satan or his minions will be there, trying with all their might to discourage and derail our efforts to obey! That old man is STILL accessible to satan!! The devil still rules in the heart of the old man! That old man STILL DESIRES TO SIN! And, in spite of our conversion, sometimes he STILL DOES!! He still does the things that our New Creature ‘would not’!!! That old man, the ‘outward man’.. is still in tune with the evil… still fleshly!

22 For I delight in the law of God after the inward man:

The ‘inward man’… that New Creature!!

How different is the writer’s attitude toward the Law of God… Today, most Christians have been misled to believe that it’s the Law of God that is bad, heavy and burdensome. The writer of these verses tries to express his feelings about God’s Law, and to show the difference between it and that other ‘law’- the law of sin and death.

He delighted in the law of God… do you? God’s law(His Ten
Commandments) are HOLY, JUST and GOOD!!! Doing them is doing GOOD!! Obeying them is being RIGHTEOUS! Psa. 119:172

But, there is another ‘law’… the ‘law of sin and death’.
The writer goes on to explain what that other ‘law’ is and how it
works to oppose the good he would do…

23 But I see another law in my members,(the law of sin
and death) warring against the law of my mind,(God’s Holy,Just and Good Law) and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members.

The ‘body of this death’ is the human body, “the flesh”! With all it’s
weaknesses, it’s pulls and urges and it’s susceptibility to the
temptations of evil. As long as we are in this body, we are subject
to temptation and sin! Because of satan’s constant bombardment and constant attacks against us -because he is always there to try to
derail any good we would do, God’s Word calls it a ‘law’… While we
are in this body, we cannot fully inherit the Kingdom! We must be
delivered from this body! We must be changed! We must become spirit beings LIKE GOD IS, in order to be totally free from this ‘body’ and the ‘law of sin and death’.

That ‘law of sin and death’ is a very good reason that “flesh and
blood cannot inherit the Kingdom of God” We must be delivered!! But HOW? and by WHOM?

Who shall deliver us from that??

24 O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?
25 I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord.

God is the only one who can deliver us, through that sacrifice of Christ!!! With the Holy Spirit to strengthen us and the GRACE of God to sustain our FAITH, we CAN be delivered from the law! (The law of sin and death!)

25 So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.

Yes! It is possible to ‘serve the law of God’ with your mind..(IF you
have begun to see and understand that the law of God is not the evil,
heavy burdensome thing it has been described as..).. it IS possible…

…but, while we are in the flesh…while we are still FLESH & BLOOD, we will always have that ‘law of sin and death’ warring in our members! We will always have it there, dragging us down and tempting us to sin. And, even though there is now no condemnation, who would want to live like that for all eternity?? We must be free from that law! We must be totally free from the flesh!

And, because Christ gave His life… WE CAN BE FREE!!!

There they are… two different laws… I pray that you will study and
pray about these two laws and ask God to show you clearly just how
different they really are…

For those who seek to walk after the Holy law of God, to obey it… to
them, there is now no condemnation. The sacrifice of Christ is
applied to them and IF and when they stumble, they can call out to God for His forgiveness! When God looks at a person who is walking in the Spirit, striving to overcome and repenting of his sins, all God sees is the righteousness of His Son.

I wonder who he sees when He looks at one who is ‘walking in the flesh’?

Quote: Rom. 8:3
3 For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh:

Please understand! The law of God is not WEAK. It is Holy, Just, and Good! But, the flesh is WEAK… you’ve heard the old saying, the
spirit is willing, but, the flesh is weak. The flesh is weak and
cannot, of and by itself, follow, observe and obey the law… Not the way Christ described it when He magnified the law in His sermon on the Mt. …the very best of intentions won’t get the job done, because satan is always there, striving to deceive and undermine all human efforts. It is a law! It is the law of sin and death!

When ever anyone would be of a mind to do good, evil will be present with them!  In this life, that is as much a ‘law’ as the law of gravity!! Satan desires that we ignore and transgress the law of God! He wants us to be under the penalty of the law.

But, the simple fact is, God desires just the opposite of what satan
desires. He desires that we be righteous! Jesus was righteous and the Father was ‘well pleased’ in Him. Why should we want to be anything else? Do we not also desire that the Father be ‘well pleased’ in us?

The whole point is, God wants us to do right,(be righteous) and, the
righteousness He desires to be in us, IS NOT SELF    RIGHTEOUSNESS!!!  No!! The righteousness He desires to be in us, is the RIGHTEOUSNESS OF THE LAW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Read it!

Quote: Rom8:4
4 That the righteousness of the law might be
fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after
the Spirit.

That’s what it means to “walk after the Spirit”!! That’s what it means
to NOT walk after the flesh! The flesh is weak!! The Law(of God) is
strong! The Law(of God) is Holy, Just and Good! The only way we can be pleasing to God is for us to exercise our Faith and seek to obey His Holy, Just and Good Law! That is NOT WORKS!! That is doing righteousness!!

For those who will do this, those who will reject the flesh and seek
after the Spirit… those who will seek God and His Righteousness,
for them, there is “now, no condemnation”.

That other law, the ‘law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus’, should be a little easier to understand now…

I know and realize that some of these things will be hard to take, but for those who will struggle and strive to grasp and understand this information, there will be great blessings!

May God bless your understanding of the difference in these two ‘laws’, and how it is, that for some, there is now no condemnation.