So what started as a simple observation in a lawyer’s office has turned into a three post series on the law: The Ten Commandments ~ It Was Never About The Law; Mission Impossible ~The Law, and finally this week’s post Mission- All Things Possible. We would all be discouraged if the story ended with “mission impossible.” But praise be to God that with Him all things are possible; not because of what we can do but because of what He has done and what He can do!
I GIVE YOU A NEW COMMANDMENT
1 John 2:7-8 Dear friends, I am not writing you a new command but an old one, which you have had since the beginning. This old command is the message you have heard. Yet I am writing you a new command; its truth is seen in him and in you, because the darkness is passing and the true light is already shining. Walking in the Spirit is walking in the light of truth and love for one another.
The foundation of God’s Law was to love God and to love your neighbor (people) as yourself. Luke 10:27 He answered, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.” But God’s people attempted to follow the Letter of the Law instead of the Spirit of the Law. We know that trying to follow the letter of the law is an impossible mission and in God’s perfect timing He brought a new commandment. In a sense, I guess God was calling His people to switch gears.
Now I don’t know about for you but for me it can be almost impossible to switch gears at times. My wife, Amy, and I have had countless arguments – I mean “discussions” on this topic (smile). Amy is the first to admit she can have trouble switching gears and I’ve learned over the years it’s best to not “spring things on her.” When the girls were small we’d be out to dinner and heading home in the early evening. We’d pass by a store that would catch my eye and I’d say, “Hey, why don’t we stop by such and such and take a look around.” Amy would shoot me a look and bite my head off, “Are you crazy! It’s going on eight o’clock and I’ve got to get the kids down!” She had it in her mind what she wanted to do and had a heck of a time switching gears. Now, I’ve learned that if I say it differently, it is received differently. Like this, “Now we don’t have to do this but depending on what you’ve got going on maybe we could stop at such and such and take a look around.” Surprisingly, more often than not she’d say, “OK!” You see the first way felt like a “have to” rather than a possibility. What does this have to do with anything? I’m glad you asked – I suppose when Amy would take my words as the letter of the law rather than the spirit by which it was intended her response followed suit. So it is with God, He wants us to look at the spirit of the law.
THE SPIRIT OF THE LAW VERSES THE LETTER OF THE LAW
Galatians 3:23-27 Before the coming of this faith, we were held in custody under the law, locked up until the faith that was to come would be revealed. So the law was our guardian until Christ came that we might be justified by faith. Now that this faith has come, we are no longer under a guardian. So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. The law is good but it was never intended to replace God or Love! I love what Paul shares with the Galatians regarding being baptized into Christ’s death and being clothed with Christ. You may remember that after John baptized Jesus the Holy Spirit descended upon Jesus in the form of a dove. Matthew records And a voice sounded from heaven this is my beloved Son; with him I am well pleased. This, too, was done for John’s encouragement and ours. For it was foretold to him that when he witnessed the Holy Spirit coming down and remaining on a man He will be the one who will baptize with the Holy Spirit. Being baptized with water is symbolic to dying to the desires of the flesh and being raise to the newness of life in the Holy Spirit. So we are no longer clothed in our own righteousness but, clothes in the righteousness made possible through Christ, in the Holy Spirit.
Romans 8:1-8 Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set your free from the law of sin and death. For what the law was powerless to do because it was weakened by the flesh, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace. The mind governed by the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so. Those who are in the realm of the flesh cannot please God.
MAN ON A MISSION
I am sure that most if not all of you have heard the phrase, “He or she is on a mission.” What exactly does this expression mean to you? Here’s a definition I found on the internet: Being on a mission refers to acting in a determined way and so focused in doing something that he/she is oblivious of anything else around him/her. You see being on mission requires determination and intense focus on an individual or a group’s part.
There are broad based missions and narrowed based missions. I consider Paul’s mission broad based. He was a man on a mission sent by Jesus to preach the gospel to the gentiles. I have made it a personal mission to share my relationship with Christ and His gospel wherever, whenever and however, as the Spirit of God leads me. My intent is to bring glory to God, all of
There is no better life for a Christian to live then walking in the Spirit. I think by now we can all agree that it is impossible for you and I to keep the law. We’ll keep one law while breaking another. So then, the law is powerless to keep us from sinning and is made weak by our overwhelming fleshly desires. Praise God that He saw fit to set us free from the law and has made all things possible with His covenant of mercy and grace through his Son Jesus. In writing this post I now have a deeper appreciation of being aware of Jesus’s presence in my life, not just some of time but all of the time. Having an awareness of who Jesus is and what He has done for me personally keeps my mind on the things that are pleasing to God. The Holy Spirit leads God’s children to do what’s acceptable to God. He’s a source of great strength when I am weak. He’s the voice of reason when I choose to doubt and more then that the Holy Spirit is a comforter. I’ll leave you with these scriptures and I pray that they will be a reminder regarding the great comforter that Jesus sent to reside inside of every believer’s heart.
2 Corinthians 12:10 That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
Matthew 21:21 Jesus replied, “Truly I tell you, if you have faith and do not doubt, not only can you do what was done to the fig tree, but also you can say to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and it will be done.
2 Corinthians 1:3-4 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.
Philippians 4:12-13 ” I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty”. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength.