Why Is the Law So Hard?
“I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.” Ezekiel 36:26
The more I learn of God’s law, the more I’m finding it almost impossible to keep! Is that normal? Why do I keep on doing the things that I try not to do?
God’s purpose in the Gospel goes beyond forgiving our failures. His purpose in the Gospel is to restore in us a true reflection of His glory. Since His glory is expressed in the law, that means the purpose of the Gospel is to bring us into position where we begin to live according to the law of God.
The power to move down the track
I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws.” Ezekiel 36:27
You can think of the law as being like the rails for a freight train. The train cannot move without rails. The rails determine the direction in which the train will move. But you need more than rails if there is to be movement. The Spirit of God is the engine, whose power enables us to move in the direction determined by the rails.
When you understand that the Holy Spirit is given to empower and to enable you to move in the direction of the law of God, the whole of God’s law will take on an entirely new meaning.
Hear the promise of God
My friend Charles Price has a wonderful story about a man who was serving time in prison for burglary. During his time in prison, he came to faith in Christ and was wonderfully converted.
When he was released, the first thing he did was go to church. On his first Sunday morning, he walked into a church and sat at the back. At the front of the church, there were two large plaques with the words of the 10 Commandments written on them. As he looked up, he felt so condemned. “You shall not steal…” He was thinking to himself, “This is the last thing I need! I do not need to be reminded of my failure!”
As the service went on, he kept looking up and reading these commandments. As he did, he realized that he was reading them in a new way. Previously he had read, “You shall not steal!” They sounded like words of condemnation. But now as he read, it seemed that God was saying to him, “You shall not steal.” It sounded like a promise!
But how would this be possible for a man who has been stealing all his life? God says, “I will put my spirit in you and will move you to follow my decrees and keep my laws” (Ezekiel 36:27). When you come to Christ, God puts his Spirit in you. And when that happens, it’s possible to hear the commands of God as promises of God.
Where is your greatest battle today? Will you hear the promise of God?
This LifeKey is based on the message (Feb 6, 2000) called: “The Law,” by Pastor Colin S. Smith, from the series, “10 Keys for Unlocking the Bible.” To listen to this entire sermon, click here.
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Colin currently serves as Senior Pastor of the The Orchard Evangelical Free Church in Arlington Heights, Illinois. He is committed to preaching the Bible in a way that nourishes the soul by directing attention to Jesus Christ.