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The Daily Word of Righteousness
Dealing With Sin Under the New Covenant, #4
Because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death. (Romans 8:2 NIV)
Everything depends on how we interpret the above verse. We can interpret it to mean that although we are condemned to keep on sinning, we need not worry because the "law of the Spirit of life set me free" is a way of saying even though we sin God keeps on ascribing the righteousness of the Law of Moses to us.
Or, we can interpret the verse to mean we no longer are under the Law of Moses so we can forget about the condemnation resulting from our inability to observe the Law. We now are under a new law, the law of the Spirit of life. The law of the Spirit of life leads us from victory to victory over our sins, giving us the wisdom and power to break every chain of sin that binds us. As long as we are following the Spirit of God the blood of the Lamb of God is making an atonement for us and the righteousness of Him who perfectly obeyed the Law of Moses is being imputed to us.
Can you see the uncrossable chasm between the two interpretations of the three verses? The first is fatalistic, condemning us to a life of bondage to sin. It is the current viewpoint and accounts for the eternal babyhood of the believers. They have been taught that Christ has power only to forgive our sins, not to deliver us from sin. If we are willing to accept the forgiveness we will go to Heaven when we die.
In addition, the implication of the first interpretation is that there is no law that governs the Christian. Christians often resent the implication that they are under any kind of law, and sometimes will declare "There is no law but the law of love!" Did you ever hear a believer say this? It is quite unscriptural.
The second interpretation of the three verses brings us into slavery to the Spirit of God. The Spirit of God takes the place of the Law of Moses. This is extremely important to understand. We are not without law, we have passed from the Law of Moses to the law of the Spirit. The Holy Spirit is our law under the new covenant.
The second interpretation of the three verses produces victorious saints. They understand the blood is cleansing them from all sin only as they are obeying the Spirit of God, only as they are walking in the light of God's will.
But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin. (I John 1:7 NIV)
All Christians believe righteous behavior is desirable. The issue is joined over the question of what takes place if we do not behave righteously. Numerous preachers of our day claim and teach that even though we keep living in our sinful nature we are without condemnation and will go to Heaven when we die, with many stating no Christian need have any fear of the Judgment Seat of Christ. This truly is a dreadful wrenching of the Scripture!
Christ and His Apostles, however, taught that if we keep living in our sinful nature we will die spiritually, we will not inherit the Kingdom of God.
It is our point of view that the first interpretation of the three verses destroys the Kingdom of God.
To be continued.