Remember, back in the day when you were in school. Things were kind of carefree. Except you had school – classes, homework, and exams. If your parents were like mine, there was great pressure to produce good grades. The good thing was, if you actually learned something, you got to advance. The bad thing was, if you didn’t, you either didn’t advance or you paid for it later.
The children of Israel wandered through the desert for 40 years in what should have been an 8-day walk. Why? Because they never benefitted from the lesson; instead, they had to keep taking laps around the mountain.
Before we become citizens of the Kingdom of God, we wander spiritually. God, in a sense has us in school. I like to call it “Law School” because, as long as we don’t have a revelation of Jesus Christ, we’re doomed to repeat the grade, do the laps, or endlessly pay for our mistakes.
Now I say, That the heir, as long as he is a child, differeth nothing from a servant, though he be lord of all; But is under tutors and governors until the time appointed of the father. Even so we, when we were children, were in bondage under the elements of the world: But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons. And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father. Wherefore thou art no more a servant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ (Galatians 4:1-7)
Why is this so important? Because the law serves to amplify our sin and sin leads to death. Graduating “Law School” is the beginning of eternal life!
The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. (1 Corinthians 15:56)
I don’t know about you, but when I was in school, I thought it was a curse. As I got older, I learned it was for my own good! I also learned that what I learned AFTER graduation was far greater than what I learned in school. When I graduated, I was free to learn as much – or as little – as my heart desired. Jesus has set us free from the tutors and schoolmasters!
For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them. But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just shall live by faith. And the law is not of faith: but, The man that doeth them shall live in them. Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree: That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith (Galatians 3:10-14)
Just like the rule system of your school doesn’t make you into the citizen of the world you are, the law doesn’t make you who you are in Christ!
We work hard to graduate from school to feel liberated because, when you graduate from school, you are no longer bound by its rules! However Jesus said His yoke is easy and His burden is light…in other words, we don’t have to work to graduate His “Law School,” we only have to trust in Him and rest in His work!
But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law. (Galatians 5:18)
For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace. What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid (Romans 6:14-15)
The law cannot save you. It cannot sanctify or justify you! It is only faith in Jesus that does that!
Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law:for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified. (Galatians 2:16)
If you continue to resurrect the old you, the student of the law, you frustrate the grace of God by nullifying the finished work of the Cross.
I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain. (Galatians 2:21)
The law was established to identify sin, thus amplifying man’s enmity with God. Jesus came to make peace and reconcile us back to God!
Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace; And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby (Ephesians 2:15-16)
Now just as we learned that school was good for us, we need to know the law WAS (past tense) good for us. But the law is good only if it’s used lawfully – that is, as a tool to bring us to grace. Just like the purpose of school is to help prepare you to become a productive citizen, the law points the sinner to Jesus, who enables that person to become a Kingdom Citizen.
But we know that the law is good, if a man use it lawfully; Knowing this, that the law is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and for sinners, for unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers, For whoremongers, for them that defile themselves with mankind, for menstealers, for liars, for perjured persons, and if there be any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine; According to the glorious gospel of the blessed God, which was committed to my trust (1 Timothy 1:8-11)
But, just like you’d be out of place if you went back to your old school after graduation, going back to the law is equally awkward. In fact, it can be deadly! Because if you go back to any portion of the law and don’t keep the whole law, you’re guilty of it in its entirety! In other words, trying to maintain aspects of the law like tithing, observing feasts and Sabbaths, and “pleading the blood” bring you back under the yoke of the law!
But if ye have respect to persons, ye commit sin, and are convinced of the law as transgressors. For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all. For he that said, Do not commit adultery, said also, Do not kill. Now if thou commit no adultery, yet if thou kill, thou art become a transgressor of the law. So speak ye, and so do, as they that shall be judged by the law of liberty (James 2:9-12)
But, Glory to God, we have the New Birth, because of which, we now abide (dwell) in Christ and His Spirit abides in us. So, if in Him is no sin – and you are in Him – you can no longer be counted as a sinner! You are no longer under the bondage of school and the yoke of the law!
Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law. And ye know that he was manifested to take away our sins; and in him is no sin. Whosoever abideth in him sinneth not: whosoever sinneth hath not seen him, neither known him (1 John 3:4-6)
When you graduate, you get a diploma or degree – this is the evidence of completion. In the Kingdom of God, Jesus confers the degree to which He loves the world upon us. Love is the evidence that you are a disciple of Christ and, therefore, a graduate of “Law School.”
Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law. (Romans 13:8)
Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law. (Romans 13:10)
Those who opt to return to the Law after experiencing Grace suffer a setback that return them to school – even though the matriculation requirement has been satisfied.
Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace. (Galatians 5:4)
Got it? Good.
© 2014 – Derrick Day (www.derrickday.com)