For through the law I died to the law so that I might live for God.
This is the national anthem for just about everyone today. It’s all about me. I’m the center and most important person in my universe. But not just my universe, but the universe, including everyone and everything. No one has the right or authority to tell me what I can and can’t do. But their decisions mean that everyone around them has to bow down and do what they say.
But the funny thing, or rather the tragic thing, is that they’ve put themselves into a prison of their own making. They put up walls with a moat around themselves. They’ve made themselves like those pictures of the beaches of Normandy before D-Day. Impenetrable.
They’ve not only made themselves into a kingdom of themselves, but they’ve also become a law to themselves. They get to decide what’s right and wrong. Not only does this make them totally alone, they become lawless because they refuse to agree with anyone.
There is no love, justice, or even friendship. Other people become tools that are to be used only when they help. And then, they are thrown away, to be replaced with someone else.
Paul was like that when it came to the law of God. He was blinded by unthinking obedience, mowing down people that got in his way. Unthinking obedience had become an end in itself. He missed the whole point of God’s love and mercy that was in the law and turned it into mindless obedience.
He came to realize that God’s commandments were more than a list of things not to touch or eat. They weren’t to disconnect us from our Heavenly Father or others. On the contrary, they were to connect us with him and the rest of humanity.
But now, in Jesus, he’s dead to the law. He’s got no connection or relationship to it. All the laws and heavy backpack of trying to obey each and every one of those 613 laws had been replaced with a deeply personal and intimate relationship with his creator and loving Heavenly Father God.
Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.
The law showed us that there was no way that we could ever be good enough to know God, to worship and serve him, enjoying him today and forever. That’s why God himself had to come to fulfill it all in a way that we’d never be able to.
Jesus lived his entire life under the law, fully obeying all of it. He also took on himself all the guilt and penalty that we deserved through our lawlessness towards God. human race incurred by having violated the law, and in dying under the law satisfied its requirements.
No matter what kind of laws you think you need to follow, you’re doomed to failure. I say this with respect, but Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, Spiritualism, The Golden Rule, are pretty much all the same. They are laws that only beat you down. They don’t give you power or desire to obey with love.
Which is just the opposite of Jesus and his good news.
Do this and live, the law commands,
but gives me neither feet nor hands.
A better word the gospel brings.
It bids me fly and gives me wings
The gospel, the good news of Jesus is that he paid the price, eliminating our debt before our holy God. Now that the debt is paid, we need to respond by accepting his gracious gift. This means that we believe and receive the gift of his payment for our sin, wrapped up in himself and his love is the bow on top.
When we receive a gift, we make ourselves vulnerable. In a sense we become weak when we accept something. We humble ourselves to the point of saying that we don’t have everything we need. We admit that someone else can give us something we need.
That’s why receiving and believing is so important. We come to God, not with clenched fists, but with open hands. Empty hands that desperately need to be held. To be cleaned. To be comforted. To be filled. Filled with him.
We were made to be held and filled by our loving creator. Our Heavenly Father made us to only be complete, filled by him and him alone. Everything else is a cheap substitution.
That’s why you need to believe and receive. Admitting your need and giving yourself to him. This is the total opposite of “It’s All About Me” because “It’s All About Him.”
How has the “It’s All About Me” idea impacted our society and country?
What’s God’s response when we make it all about us?
How was Jesus’ death on the cross the total, eternal opposite of “It’s All About Me?”