Cars and Children
Driving around my neighbourhood. I take special care backing out of the driveway, stopping at two specific points and looking round, both in the mirrors and directly, before I cross the footpath, and then before entering the road.
I drive slowly when there are a lot of cars parked in our narrow street too, scanning for possible kids hidden from view (they love to play football on the street too, real footy, Aussie Rules).
All this caution is because I LOVE the neighbourhood kids, not because I’m worried about the law. In fact the law does not even enter my mind each morning as I get in the car.
I was reading Romans 3 a couple of nights ago (I’m going through Romans right now in my evening reading) and I was struck by the determination of Paul’s language as to the place of the law; that is, it is still there, but NOT what drives him.
Here is the transition in chapter 3 that got my attention
Rom 3:19-20 Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be silenced and the whole world held accountable to God. (20) Therefore no one will be declared righteous in God’s sight by observing the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of our sin.
And then, having dealt with ‘law’ Paul goes on into what he passionately wants to tell the Roman church.
Rom 3:21-24 But now apart from the law the righteousness of God has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. (22) This righteousness is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference between Jew and Gentile, (23) for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, (24) and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.
So, as Paul writes, yes, the law is still there to convict those who do not yet act out of love for neighbour, but once love rules the heart, we don’t drive ‘under the law.’
Likewise, with God’s moral law, we no longer are constantly looking at the law books and interpreting and applying to daily life like the Pharisees and lawyers of Jesus’ day. No, we look to Christ, who lives and works in and through us, in the Spirit.
I pray, soak in the gospel this morning, the good news of God’s grace, His love for you, your love for Him, and thus your love for fellow man, before you ‘enter the road’ today.