There can be something oddly comforting about law. Having clear black-and-white no-nonsense rules can give a sense of security. You always know where you stand. You’re either in or out, pure or sinful. Yet, here’s the deal on the law: it is meant for the immature; it is designed as a guide to lead us to maturity. If we live by law, we are bound by law. Law can only take us so far in our walk with God. Slavish commitment to rules must, at some point, give way to the greater virtue of grace.
The Galatian church wanted a religion they could hold in their hands. But Paul was dogged on his devotion to a life of grace: “Christ has set us free! This means we are really free. Now hold on to your freedom and don’t ever become slaves of the Law again.” We are free to live in such a way that brings grace, love, and hope to others. We are free to bask in the forgiveness we possess in Christ. If our Christianity is reduced to some sort of point system and following the rules, then we have missed the point of the law to begin with – that it is meant to lead us to Christ and it must, at some point, give way to the larger law of love.
Yes, the law has its place. But we are perpetual slaves if we never outgrow it and move into freedom. This is not an anything goes kind of life; it is a life attuned to the Spirit, and aware of living for Jesus through the fruit of the Spirit. It doesn’t break laws; it fulfills them. All Christians must grow up and become spiritual adults. That means leaving childish ways of the law behind and embracing the freedom of the Spirit. So, where are you in your Christian life?
Gracious God, you have sent your Son, the Lord Jesus, to fulfill all the demands of the Law. Help me so to live for Christ through the Spirit that I ooze his love, grace, and truth in all I do and say. Amen.