Someone wrote me the other day pointing out the obvious truth that the Bible has commands in it. So far so good, but he went on to say that the commands were “from Moses to Jesus to Paul” and that it is these commands “we must obey.”
Now, if we’re talking Moses, I could point out that there are over 600 “laws” in the Old Covenant, and most don’t have anything to do with us under the New Covenant. But I have a broader point I’d like to make:
Whenever someone says that we Christians MUST obey some rule or law, two questions are raised in my mind:
1. To what extent MUST we obey? 10%, 50%, 99%? If you say 100%, you’re correct. And thank God that Christ did it for us on the cross, ’cause we can’t DO a hundred. As the song says, “I’m running trying to make a hundred…ninety-nine and a half just won’t do.”
2. We “must”? What if we don’t? I mean, “must” is a pretty strong word. Well, the answer is, if we are a born again Christian, we are forgiven…period. Grasp that profound, radical truth! When you do, “must” becomes a moot point.
We “desire” to obey, in our very [reborn] spirit. And if we walk by the Spirit, we will obey. We will read His Word, desiring to know His heart, that we may walk in His ways. But if we walk by the flesh, all the “musts” get shaken off our backs like water off a wet dog. The key, then, is not the law, it’s the Spirit. Walk by the Spirit and you will not fulfill the lusts of the flesh.
You wanna “strive”? Don’t strive to follow the law. Strive to spend time in His presence, communing with Him, loving Him, basking in His love for you, talking to Him, listening to Him through His Word.
Then the fruit of His Spirit will rise up in you (love, joy, peace…), and the glorious law of Christ planted in your heart will make the written commands seem like mere shadows of a much higher glory, fulfilled in you by Christ, as He lives His life through you.
Mount up with wings, baby!