Saturday, November 4, 2017

When You Don't Want the Law to be Lethal Anymore

If we think about them, most major medical treatments are brutal.  Surgery involves cutting and bleeding and all that jazz.  Chemotherapy is poison.  Radiation treatments are... well, radiation.  And we acknowledge that these are done for the best and noble reasons, even necessary reasons - but they remain fundamentally violent actions that take their toll on your body - even if there is the hopes a greater good.  Let's cut you, but to really cut out the bad.  Let's poison and radiate you, but hope we get the bad stuff before we get you.

If you ever need a procedure done, or some sort of strong treatment, you can't go into it (or ought not) thinking that it is of no consequence.  If you are having open heart surgery on Monday you'll need to cancel your Tuesday tee time at the golf course.  Chemo and running a marathons.  Even though the procedures are good for you - they are hard on you.  Pretending otherwise would be utterly delusional.  And, of course, if your Doctor doing your full knee replacement were to say, "Oh, no, don't worry, this is no big deal! There's no recovery time at all," he'd be an utter charlatan.

Likewise the Law of God.  It kills.  Always.  It is given to show the depths of our sin and its wages.  Always.  And even as we acknowledge that this is good for us - that it curbs us and keeps us from falling into greater wickedness, that it shows us what is good and God pleasing - it still kills and accuses us.  Always.

Unless we are delusional. 

Consider the following verses - Romans 3:19 and 20:  "Now we know that whatever the law says it speaks to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be stopped, and the whole world may be held accountable to God. 20 For by works of the law no human being will be justified in his sight, since through the law comes knowledge of sin."

If you think that the Law ever stops accusing, you've missed the point.  The Law has to accuse us as long as we are in this life, because we NEED the accusation.  The accusation of the Law constantly breaks down the sin that would make us ignore Christ Jesus.

So what happens, what are you saying when you want the law to not accuse, when you want the law to no longer show sin but rather just give nice advice? It would be like saying you want chemotherapy that doesn't attack the cancer.  It would be saying you don't want God to kill you and then raise you - you'd rather just a bit of a brush up now, have a more comfortable or virtuous life let that be that.

The Law has to be lethal.  Otherwise it's not the Law.  Otherwise it's pop self-help gussied up with religious language.  It becomes a cruel placebo that doesn't do its job, but might make the person feel better about themselves instead... while they get worse and worse.

Nope.  Preach a Lethal Law, then preach a Christ who raises the dead. 

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