A short series on Romans 8 – 11. Part 5.
We are governed by laws crafted for the organization and structure of civilization. These rules give us guidance and discourage lawlessness. During times of discord and upheaval, we see the lawlessness of human nature. We can easily tip too far, erring in lawless ways. The insurrection at our nation’s Capitol on January 6, 2021, is a vivid example.
The arrival of Christ Jesus brought an end to the Biblical law through his death, burial, and resurrection. Ending the law was not an overthrow of the regulations set in place by civil governments, but a fulfillment of the Old Testament Biblical law by Jesus Messiah.
As discussed earlier, ancient Jewish legalists adopted rigid regulations, adding extra restrictions to the Biblical law. These Pharisees believed they could keep these extra regulations as well as the Biblical law. That arrogant assumption led them to a hypocritical observance of the letter of religious and moral law without regard for the spiritual essence of the law. In other words, they failed, as do we all.
The prophet Malachi wrote that this type of pride would be eradicated by God himself, “For behold, the day is coming, burning like an oven, when all the arrogant and all evildoers will be stubble. The day that is coming shall set them ablaze, says the Lord of hosts, so that it will leave them neither root nor branch” (Malachi 4:1).
No one on earth would ever want this total wipeout — burned up like stubble, no family tree, no lineage, no believer’s legacy — horrifying!
Before he became a follower of Christ, the apostle Paul was a Pharisee, the son of Pharisees (Acts 23:6). He was nurtured on Biblical scholarship and rigid adherence to the additional rules that had been added to the Biblical law. Thus, he zealously sought to wipe out the earliest followers of Christ, thinking he was keeping the law by eradicating them.
When Paul met Jesus on the road to Damascus, everything changed. After a time in the wilderness, enlightened by the Spirit, Paul recognized his pharisaical actions for what they were in his misguided zeal. He wrote:
“Brothers, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for them [the Jewish nation] is that they may be saved. 2 For I bear them witness that they have a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge. 3 For, being ignorant of the righteousness of God, and seeking to establish their own, they did not submit to God’s righteousness. 4 For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes” (Romans 10:1-4 ESV).
Verse 2 – 3 typified the Pharisees, and verse 3 is also true of the rest of the human race! None of us can meet the perfect standard of holiness necessary to come into God’s presence, for God is utterly holy, and we most certainly are not. And yet, God loves us and desires for us to be with him forever. How can this happen?None of us can meet the perfect standard of holiness necessary to come into God's presence, for God is utterly holy. And yet, God loves us. And so, he sent his own Son to intervene by paying for our sins. Click To Tweet
And so, God sent his own Son to intervene by paying for our sins, offering himself in sacrifice, once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous. Jesus of Nazareth was the Only One who could fulfill the requirement of perfection, for as God the Son, he lived his entire human life without any sin, no matter the temptation.
In Rom. 10:4 above, the end of the law “means an end, termination, completion. Christ is the end of the Law for righteousness to everyone who believes. This means that the Law as a demanded obligation has come to an end because Jesus has fulfilled its demands and imparted His righteousness to those who believe. Christ has freed believers from its tyranny” (Zodhiates, S. . The complete word study dictionary: New Testament. Chattanooga, TN: AMG Publishers).
This was God’s plan from before time began. Plan A. We don’t always understand why Christ’s sacrifice was necessary, but in the unseen world of God’s domain, all knew what had to be done. All was established in ancient times and was perfectly understood by every ancient culture: “Indeed, under the law almost everything is purified with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins” (Hebrews 9:22 ESV). An earlier post sheds light on this: Click here.
Returning to the metaphor by C.S. Lewis that our Lord and Savior is not a tame Lion, The Chronicles of Narnia portrayed these realities as The Deep Magic, a set of laws placed into Narnia by the Emperor-beyond-the-Sea at the time of its creation. The Deep Magic was written on the Stone Table, the firestones on the Secret Hill, and the sceptre of the Emperor-beyond-the-Sea. This law stated that the White Witch Jadis was entitled to kill every traitor. Analogous to this, in our real world, Satan takes the witch’s place.
Ten truths about Satan the Liar: Click here.
Jesus’ perfect life, his sacrificial death, and his triumph over the grave fulfilled the requirements of the law and set us free from the law of sin and death that had governed us (Romans 8:1-4). Jesus won.Jesus' perfect life, his sacrificial death, and his triumph over the grave fulfilled the requirements of the law and set us free from the law of sin and death that had governed us. Jesus won. Click To Tweet
All that remains for us to do is this:
8b “’The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart’ (that is, the word of faith that we proclaim); 9 because,  if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10  For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved. 11 For the Scripture says, ‘Everyone who believes in him will not be put to shame.’ 12 For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, bestowing his riches on all who call on him. 13  For ‘everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved’” (Romans 10:8-13 ESV).
There it is. The way to salvation explained simply and clearly three times.
Christ paid the penalty for our sin. His blood expunges all the sins throughout all time of all who believe. “Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness” (Romans 4:3b ESV). So it is with us.Christ paid the penalty for sin. His blood expunges all the sins throughout all time of all who believe. "Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness" (Romans 4:3b ESV). So it is with us. Click To Tweet
When that commitment is made, that faith embraced, we enter into God’s family. These then are the blessings we receive when we have come to Christ, members of his family who inherit everything the Lord has for us:
“1There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. 2 For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death. 3 For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do. By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh, 4 in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit” (Romans 8:1-4 ESV).
As believers, we will never be condemned to an eternity away from God’s presence, nor will we be found guilty of any trespass we have committed. Christ has paid for our every wrong or injustice committed, taking all of our sins upon himself on the cross. We have been set free!
“13 And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, 14 by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross” (Colossians 2:13-14 ESV).
We are no longer governed by our flesh, nor are we governed by the Old Testament law. We are now governed by the Holy Spirit and by the living words recorded for our admonishment and instruction in God’s Word.
When we fail in our obedience and stumble in our growth, we are forgiven, set back up on our feet, dusted off, cherished, and encouraged as we turn around to go the right way again.When we fail in our obedience and stumble in our growth, we are forgiven, set back up on our feet, dusted off, cherished, and encouraged as we turn around to go the right way again. #Faith #GodIsGood Click To Tweet
In a dark world, Jesus is the light. As his followers, filled by his Spirit, we walk in the light as he is in the light. Be the light, not governed by the remnants of our sinful natures, but rather walking in the Spirit, relying on the Lord as we do what is kind, just, and loving.
5 For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. 6 For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. 7 For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law; indeed, it cannot 8 Those who are in the flesh cannot please God. 9 You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him” (Romans 8:5-9 ESV).
As believers, we have this promise in Christ Jesus:
“No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it” (1 Corinthians 10:13).
Thanks be to God for his great and precious promises!
Previous Posts in this Series:
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