“For the law brings wrath, but where there is no law there is no transgression.” Romans 4:15
The law, or at least the sense of the law surrounds us. We know how to behave to earn things. We follow a speed limit. It is everywhere. Even more so when our minds attempt to figure out how to relate to God. ‘Surely I must do this or that” we think as if our actions will generate love from God. It is just not true. And even in our best moments we fall short and can’t live up to the expectations we think are put on us.
Allow the burden to be lifted: “because Jesus Christ perfectly obeyed every facet of the law in your place and then died bearing all the guilt and wrath that was rightfully yours, you are no longer obligated to obey the law as a way to avoid his (God’s) wrath.” Whew. No way! At Jesus’ obedience I am freed from the burden of behavior and the law.
This freedom is amazing. It is the hope of grace because I know how incapable I am and how my best efforts always come up empty. But Christ; his effort is all that is needed.
It is from this place of grace then that I can obey. Since I am loved I am motivated! “Faith is all that is necessary. However, not only is faith necessary for your salvation, but it’s also necessary for your ongoing obedience. Responding to his love and grace is the only way to true or what I call “gospelized” obedience, because all other obedience always degenerates into penance or trying to avoid punishment. Other forms of obedience simply don’t measure up, because love for God isn’t the motive. And if love isn’t the motive, your obedience will always be motivated by love for yourself. It seems upside down to say that God motivates our obedience by freeing us from law and by declaring that he has no wrath left for us, but it’s true, and true faith embraces it.”
Now without the burden of the law I can live obediently out of love and in a sea of grace as I stumble along the way. The burden is lifted in Christ. Live that today.
Lenten reflection from Comforts from the Cross by Elyse Fitzpatrick. Day 2.