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Is the Law of God bad? By no means, the rules of the game are pure and true and perfect. He does not intend them to become a burden in our lives. In the context of community they are intended to bring life and direction. His Law is righteousness. Whom other than the creator God should have the voice to tell us how we ought to use or body, mind, and spirit? God’s word to us is within the framework of covenant relationship, and out of his steadfast love and faithfulness does he seek us out, reveal himself, and maintain the relationship.

It is the law that gives opportunity to sin, for sin cannot live on its own. Sin and evil are like parasites, which latch onto the host body, to steal kill and destroy. Sin perverts what is good, only for the benefit of evil. Evil becomes sort of like the knucklehead child who moves about the room tearing down Lego’s and Lincoln Logs, what is good, what other children have created. And perhaps this same metaphorical knucklehead kid wishes only to play with others, but yet somehow lacks the ability to do so, and instead does only that which he knows how to do and do well, destroy (not that kids who cause trouble are evil, but that evil tears down what is good). I may be wrong, but this is what I think Paul is talking about in Romans 7.

The Law shows us the way to true living, and yet evil is close at hand. We delight in the Law of the Lord with our minds, but do not act like it is true. Who will deliver us? Christ Jesus! Therefore there is no condemnation for those in Christ because he gives us the gift of his Spirit, the gift of his life in our heart, and writes his words on the fleshy tablets of our hearts. While we were his enemies he died for us, for the world, for all of creation, to set things right.

Let me just finish with this, if you hear condemnation and shame in your church, from your friends or parents, or in your mind, that is not the voice of Jesus. Jesus says to us what the Father said to him, “You are my beloved son or daughter in whom I am well pleased.” This blessing is one that brings us to life, the eternal kind of life here and now, on this side in this reality. It is his love that sets me free. Paul says at the end of the famous chapter 8 of Romans, “38 For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

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