The Jews really struggled with letting go of the law? Why? It is so comfortable knowing that everything you need to know can be found in one place. It limits you and, in a way, it limits God. People would often rather be led by the law than by the Spirit. I realize it may not be a popular view (but it’s true) that God does what God wants. He is not bound by any limitations. It is true that He is not slack concerning His promises (II Peter 3:9), and is described as unchanging (Malachi 3:6), but if He wants to remove, revoke, or supersede a previous statement… He is God! He can do it! If you don’t believe that do a study of Bible covenants and how many times God uses the term “forever” in Scripture. He does what He wants and offers no apology.
Have you read the book of Job? It is the story of a man who was raised on a “black and white” scenario: Live right and get rewarded. What did he do when his world turned upside down? He spent days and hours debating it (Job 3-37). He defended himself. He defended his children. He even defended God! How did God answer Job and his friends? Basically He said, “I am God. You are not.”
If you tell me there is a grey area I might just run to one end or the other to pick a side! We choose black or white. We have no middle ground. I used to hear an old preacher say, “It’s dangerous in the middle of the road. Choose the right or choose the left. Anything else and you’ll get run over!” But, Paul is writing to the Galatians so that they would release their grip on the law (right or left). Galatians 5:18 says, "But if the Spirit is leading you, you are not under the law." (NCV)
Listen carefully to what Paul says. We live under a new law where we do not always have the luxury of knowing what to do for every single decision life throws at us! Sometimes the Bible is silent on certain matters. What then? We pray for wisdom (James 1:5-6). We study God’s Word (II Timothy 3:16-17). We ponder what Jesus would do (I Peter 2:21-25). Then, we let the Spirit lead us and guide us to do it.
If you were given the choice would you rather live under the Old Law or the New Law? If you are unsure read Hebrews and then answer the question. If you like the Old Testament, and want to be guided by the law, you don't need the Spirit. As a matter of fact, you don't need Jesus either! You might be lost in your sin, but if you memorize the book of Leviticus you will be able to find a temporary solution to the problem. And, if God would honor it (you know better), you would safe until the next time you sin.
The Holy Spirit of God must lead His people. Otherwise we are not His people at all! Think about Romans 8 and what Paul said about our adoption. We need the Spirit if we want to be called the children of God! He needs to lead us and guide us. We do not have all the answers and anyone who says he does, or that he/she is perfect, mark them. We need to surrender to the will and work of God! Have a great week!
You are loved.
Dr. Ray Reynolds
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