From the penalty of the Law"
know I got to thinking about this, and I thought, there's
something else here that really hits me, blesses me.
And I wanted to share it with you now in the few minutes
that we have left. I want to share with you who your new husband
is like, or what your new husband is like.
Who he is, is Jesus Christ.
You were married to the law.
And I had this brilliant, brilliant idea, an illustration
for this, as soon as our worship was going to stop.
And I had this all planned, right up to, what, Friday?
Then I chickened out.
But I was going to have, as soon as we stopped singing,
and I stopped praying, all of a sudden you were going to hear
the pipe organ start to play the wedding march, and a beautiful
bride was going to walk down the aisle. And up here was going to be a manikin, or a
policeman, I wasn't sure.
I mean, the policeman would represent the Law, you
see. But the manikin
would be even better because the manikin could represent the
Law and be sort of lifeless and unable to do anything. I mean, can you imagine being married to a manikin?
You say, 'Yeah, I feel like I am.'
But I mean, this manikin, all he could do, we would
have the Ten Commandments on the front of his Tuxedo, and
all he can do is stand there and tell you "Don't do this,
Don't do that, Don't do this, Oh, remember this.
And Don't do this, Don't do this."
But was he any help to you?
Hey, it was a relationship. You were married. I was going to perform the ceremony and everything
with you as witnesses. Now
there's no way you can get out of that, except when one of
the partners die. And
then I was going have some handsome dude come up dressed in
a Tuxedo too, and when the bride died, and I didn't how for
sure I was going to have the bride die, but you know, some
illustrations just aren't practical, work better on video
tape probably. So anyway, the Bride was going to die, but then
when she came back to life, the Law would be moved aside and
here would be this handsome dude that would probably be her
real life husband, you know. And he would come up and just embrace her and
we would realize that now they're happy, now they're going
to live happily forever. Here's
someone who can understand her.
Here's someone who can help her.
Here's someone who just won't say 'Do this', but will
help do it. [That is
just what I have been saying, for here, Pastor J. Mark Martin
has just described the promise of the new covenant in Jeremiah
31:31-33 and Hebrews 8:6-13, where God promises "I will write
my law upon their hearts and in their minds."
The Law, whether your Christian conscience leads you
to use the Old Testament 10 Commandment Law or New Testament
Law of Christ, is not done away.
But it's purpose has been changed, it's now our spiritual
mirror, and God himself by Jesus indwelling us with the Father,
through the Holy Spirit, writes his law within us, washes
the sin away. The law's
the mirror, the Holy Spirit is the "water". This precious analogy is in the Old Testament
in the Brazen Washbasin that was made of women's brass looking
glasses and filled with water, and whenever the priests have
to begin their priestly duties, they had to first wash their
hands and feet in this huge basin, to wash 'the dirt' off
of themselves.] And
I thought, what a beautiful illustration.
You see, we've been delivered from the husband of the
Law. We died to the Law, but now we've been raised
again, and now the Bible says in verse 4, "that we have been
made to die to the law through the body of Christ that we
might be joined to another, to him who was raised from the
dead." We've been joined
to Christ, he's our husband now.
He's the one who loves us now.
[Now here's were analogies, even in the Bible break
down. For here it is saying we are right now married
to Christ, yet in Revelation 19 we are referred to as the Bride
of Christ, and that marriage has not yet taken place, but
will at the return or 2nd coming of Jesus Christ. We are really a Bride-in-waiting, and are now
supposed to be cleaning ourselves up in preparation for that
wedding, as Revelation 19 says.
So, yes, the old husband of the Law is dead, the penalties
of the law can't touch us, but we are supposed to be cleaning
ourselves up, sanctifying ourselves by the overcoming of sin
in our lives, using the spiritual mirror of the law of God
and the "water" of the Holy Spirit, letting God write his
law upon our hearts and in our minds.
That in reality is where we stand.
The actual marriage hasn't happened yet.
We, as Jesus showed in the parable of the Bride's maids
in Matthew 25, are awaiting the arrival of the Bridegroom,
which won't occur until the 2nd coming of Jesus,
Yeshua.] And if it's
weird for you guys to think about yourselves having a husband,
don't think of it that way, just think about the love of Christ,
because that's really what he's talking about.
How does Jesus, our new master, our Lord, our new husband,
how does he love us? Well,
it's a love that goes far beyond any human kind of love, he
loves us first of all, perfectly.
He loves us perfectly.
You have never been perfectly loved if you haven't
been loved by Jesus Christ. His love for us is unconditional. His love for us, is in sickness and in health,
for richer or for poorer, for better or for worse. He is always loving you. His love for you will not stop when you stop.
It's not just, 'Well, I'll do my 50 percent, now you
do your 50 percent.' I'm
sorry, Jesus, Yeshua has done 100 percent. Jesus loves you. And when you have good days he loves you, and
when you have bad days he doesn't love you one fraction less.
Do you understand that?
You got to get it through your heads, gang, that this
new husband of ours, he loves us not because of anything that
he saw in us. You know,
sometimes I talk to young men that are getting married, and
they're excited about their wives, their wive's beauty, 'Oh
man, Mark, she's just so gorgeous, oh!'
And I think, 'Well, that'll pass.'
[loud laughter] I
mean, I mean you look at a couple that's been married sixty
years, maybe, and you know, beauty isn't the thing that's
holding them together. Beauty
isn't the thing that's holding them together. 'Man, my wife, boy she's a cook. Boy, I can hardly wait for those home-cooked
meals.' But you know,
all that kind of love is so conditional, you know.
I mean, what about when she flops, she cooks, and you
say 'We're eating adobe bricks today?'.
The beauty begins to fade as the children come on,
and there's not time for her to get all decked out every day,
and dress in her finest, and all the makeup and whatever girls
do, they sure look different, don't they, after they put it
on, than before they put it on.
It's like, whoa, whew!
So, but I mean, you realize guys, before you get married,
that things are going to change once you get married.
But human love is sort of conditional, well, you know.
'He doesn't spend enough time with me.so I'm not happy
with him anymore.' And when women get unhappy with their husbands,
then they begin saying things like 'I don't think I love him
anymore'-because they're very feeling oriented.
And if the feeling's not there, they mistake a feeling
for what real love is. Jesus,
Yeshua loves us absolutely, all
the time, even at our worst, even when we're doing the worst things that we could
possibly do, he loves us.
And he loves us, knowing everything about us.
I advise couples before they get married, to make sure
that they see each other in all sorts of different circumstances,
so they don't get surprised by something-I hope you have a
fight before you get married-I say that to couples, you know,
that I've counseled, they look at me like 'Oh!', grabbing
each other's hands frantically, 'who, us?'
[laughter], 'Oh no, our love, our love is like the
love of the angels, why we would never.oh we are just so in
love with one another.' Leslie
and I are going 'Awwg' you know [lots of laughter]. 'Give me a break.' It's such baloney, such malarkey. Get real! Fight!
[laughter] I tell them, 'You know, Leslie and I have learned
a lot through the fights that we've had. 'Fights?! You've
fought?! Maybe we should
find someone else to do our counseling for us.
We're looking for a perfect marriage.'
Yeah, and boy you two are going to land on your heads
after your honeymoon, aren't you.
He loves you, knowing everything about you.I have yet
to see a couple who hasn't, sometime after that blissful honeymoon
is over, that one of them or the other have awakened in the
morning (they didn't say it out loud, thank God, but they
say it to themselves), 'I married him?' 'I married her?' 'Isn't there some way we can undo this? I mean, can a priest write a piece of paper
and I can get excused from this?'
'No, honey, you said till death do us part.'
'Well, that's an idea.' [laughter]
But Jesus loves you, and he never gets any surprises. No surprises whatsoever. I think of my wife, and what she's lived with,
especially the last two weeks, I tell you, urine has been
everywhere in our house with these kidney stones.
I'm carrying it around, 'Look! Look!
Look what I've found!
Look! Look!' I
was passing kidney stones, and I had to strain my urine. Tell the whole world, why don't you. I had to strain my urine, and I had to put my
urine in this thing that you carry around, OK, and when I
was passing all this gravel, I really started getting excited,
because finally something
was happening, something was coming out, you know, and it's
like, I was giving birth to diamonds.
And so I would run, to the.Look!, look!'
And pretty soon my little girls were going 'Daddy,
Daddy, we want to see.' 'Look, there it is Honey, there it is Sweetheart.'
And they would run with me to the bathroom so I could
strain it, and I got so I didn't even care. This is nothing to me. But before I reached that point, you know what
had happened-this has nothing to do with the message, but
[laughter]-I got into the emergency room the first time, and
I was feeling terrible. And we can't go anyplace in this whole city
anymore, in fact almost the whole State without seeing someone
who knows us. And it's
just a weird feeling. Especially when 'I don't think I can hardly
talk.' you know, you're
dying. And going into the hospital, I said to my wife,
she was just dropping me off-heartless thing-no [laughter]. I told her to go on home, I knew what I was
in for, the kids and all of that, so I said 'Just drop me
off.' So anyway, I said 'Just pray, that I don't see
anybody from Church, I just don't want to see anybody right
now. I don't want to have to be Pastor Mark right
now.' So I had drunk,
drank, drunked, drink, I don't know, I had drank a whole lot
of water, OK, that's part of the therapy.I mean, my eyes were
watering, I was sitting there, and I was in pain.
And I said 'I've really got to go to the bathroom.'
And the nice lady, I said, 'But I've got to strain
my urine, I got to catch it and everything.' She said, 'OK, just a minute.' She went and got this huge container, with a
handle on it which you can see through, and a strainer, and
she said 'Just go over there Mr. Martin.'
And I thought, 'why didn't she put me into the emergency
room, you know there's a bathroom right there behind closed
doors, it's private.' Instead,
I have to march across the lobby [laughter] with this thing,
it's empty right now, and so you're nonchalantly, in agony,
and you have to go to the bathroom, and so the door of the
bathroom opens right into the lobby, it's just like if there
was a door right here to the bathroom [he's on the front stage,
in church], OK, just right here.
And I do my thing, and I gather it, and it's almost
full, because I drank so much water, and I step out, and I'm
thinking 'Please, Lord, no, I don't want to see anybody',
and I hear "Oh, Pastor Mark!
What are you doing
here?" And I look over,
and here in the lab is one of the sisters from Church looking
right at me. And I said "Cheers!" [loud laughter] But I'm not bashful anymore about any of that
stuff. I'll show any
of you my urine any day. Now
my point is, my point is this.
I'm sure that when my wife married me, she had no idea she would
be doing and seeing the kinds of things that she has had to
do and had to see and participate in.
It might have taken her aback slightly.
But there are no surprises when the Lord gets you.
God sees your entire messy history.
He sees your problem.
He sees your sin.
And the Lord accepts you, and he loves you, absolutely
perfectly and unconditionally, knowing full well. You know, the Lord already sees the very worst
you're ever going to do in your life.
Let's say it's never happened yet, but it's gonna happen,
an unthinkable thing. He
knows it right now, and he loves you 100 percent, knowing
what you're going to do. Because God knows the future as well as he knows
the past. Right? And then our Jesus, our new husband Jesus, he
just doesn't love us perfectly, he loves us permanently. He says in Hebrews 13:5, and you might look
it up, he says "I will never leave
you or forsake you." Hebrews
13, verse 5, the latter part he says "I will never," (in the
New American) "never desert you, nor will I ever forsake you."
Jesus, Yeshua loves you perfectly.
The Greek actually gives a double negative, Oume [Strongs #3364] it says in the Greek, it says it
twice, it says "I will never, no, no never."
It's the strongest way that they could say something
in the negative. There
is absolutely no way, listen to how the amplified Bible translates
this verse, it's so cool, just see if you can follow along.
"For he himself has said 'I will not in any way fail
you nor give you up, nor leave you without support.
I will not, I will not, I will not in any degree leave
you helpless nor forsake nor let you down and relax my hold
on you, assuredly not." Oh
I love it! If you think
that the Lord isn't going to hang onto you, you better read
that verse, you better meditate on that verse, because Jesus
isn't some fly-by-night husband that's here now and gone when
things get tough [I had a fly-by-night wife]. When Jesus took you, he took an oath that said
"I will never leave you or forsake you."
Jesus is never
to divorce you. He
you, no matter what you do to him, no matter what you say
to him. He will never, ever separate himself from you. Divorce was never a part of God's original plan
for marriage. That's
why I like to have the young men, or whoever the guy is, getting
married, I like to have him pledge to his wife that very verse,
"I will never leave you or forsake you."
You see, Christian marriage is supposed to reflect
the relationship that Jesus has with us, individually and
as his Church. And
that's why divorce is not an option for Christians.
Now I understand that there are some horrible things
that happen to people, I understand that sometimes the pieces
are so terribly broken, and I understand that there is a provision
for divorce in the Scripture. The provision was there out of mercy, you understand.
Because the Bible said if you broke your marriage vow
by adultery the penalty was death [in the Old Testament Law],
well finally they allowed divorce so you wouldn't have to
die if you committed that sin, so it was mercy that divorce
was ever allowed. But the Bible also says divorce was allowed
because of the hardness of people's hearts.
Some of you are contemplating divorce, and you have
no real grounds for your divorce.
You say, 'Well, Mark, isn't adultery grounds?'
Yeah, but it doesn't say 'you have to get a divorce
because of adultery.' You don't have to separate because of adultery.
Marriage was meant to be for life, till death do us
part. Sadly, most people
today including Christians don't have this conception of marriage
ingrained in them. Oh,
we give lip service to it, but when things get tough in our
marriages, you see that people are operating on an entirely
different level of thinking.
A lot of people have this idea about marriage, 'Till
hassles do us part.' 'Till
incompatibility do us part.'
Man, I've heard incompatibility.
I'm sick of it. What does that mean, you bump each other when
you're brushing your teeth in the bathroom in the morning? Does it mean that you like one television program
and she likes another? You
like white meat, she likes dark meat on the turkey?
[Man, that's just right, each gets more of what they
like on the bird! People
look at it all wrong.] Incompatibility. I know there's things we're not compatible on
in our marriage, but I'm not going to divorce over it. Others operate on this, 'Till economics do us
part.' Hey, economics
can really hit you in your marriage.
And if your marriage isn't solid economics will really
deal you a below the belt kind of a punch.
Others say 'Till hurt feelings do us part.'
Well my feelings have been hurt.
Well, they'll heal. 'No, I'm not going to let them.' (Oops, I didn't mean to say that. [laughter])
That's where some of you are at, tough!-you little
sheep. Listen, hurt
feelings, hurt feelings in a marriage, if you nurse and brood
those hurt feelings, you can blow them up so out of proportion,
you can make a big deal about a little thing with your hurt
feelings. And yes,
I'm not making light of hurt feelings, but you need to deal
with them, you need to forgive them.
Divorces happen because of hard-heartedness.
I've seen this, and it's breaking my heart, it really
is. This week I went home and I cried, and the week
before I went home and I cried, as I deal with precious people
who are having their lives ripped apart now because of hardness
of heart. You know, I do not understand this. But it seems like, you know you can be praying
for that husband or wife to come to Christ, and you've prayed
for five years, and then you're so surprised when things start
going wrong. What do you think it takes to get someone to
Christ? A lot of times,
it takes a lot of trouble to get someone to accept Christ.
I haven't read recently of someone who won the Ten
Million Dollar lottery, and saying 'The moment I won I fell
on my knees and said I accept you Jesus as my Savior!
I need you. I see my sinfulness. I see I can't do it myself.' I've never read of that, have you? Maybe I'm reading the wrong magazines, but I've
never ever read of someone.Good times, man, people just say,
'Oh, see you later God, don't need you right now Lord, maybe
some day when I'm old, you know, hopefully.
Don't come too soon.'
Trouble drives a man to his knees. Wives, if you've been praying for your husband
for years, and now trouble has got him on his knees, but the
trouble is bugging you too now.
Well that's because you're one, the two of you are
one. Of course you're
going to be in the mess with him.
And now he comes and he accepts Christ.
And you know what I see now happening over and over
again? That at that point when he accepts Christ, the
believing partner then decides all of a sudden 'My feelings
are hurt, and I'm not going to have anything to do with you.
I'm going to let you hurt for awhile.'
Hard heartedness. Hard
heartedness. The world encourages hard heartedness. Beware of who you get your counsel from. [Oh, that is so very true.] Psalm chapter 1 says "How blessed is the man
who does not walk in the counsel of the ungodly." The ladies at work are not good counselors for
you. The guys at work
are not good counselors for you.
They don't know the Word of God.
Are their marriages good? No. 'Well,
there's this lady at work, she's telling me that I should
leave my husband.' How
many times has she been married?
'Oh she's on her sixth marriage now.'
Oh, she's an expert, isn't she.
Yes. Listen to her, and you'll be just like her. And maybe you've been married six times, God
bless you. I'm not
putting you down, but I'm saying-each time, didn't you wish
that would be the last time? Huh? Of
course you did. Do
you love going through divorces?
Is it fun, is it what you do for spare time?
No. It's ripping every time, and God would have
spared you that kind of a life had you known Christ, and walked
in his will. I see the children crying 'Where's Daddy? Why isn't Daddy coming home?' And I see hardness of heart, hardness of heart.
'Me, I'm going to live for me. I want to be happy now. I'm going to be happy now.' Hey, but you're not going to be happy going
against God's plan, going against God's will.
Hardness of heart.
Let's call it what it is.
Why don't you just tell me, 'I'm hard-hearted, and
I want out, because my heart is hard.' Tell me that.
Let the Spirit speak to you, let Him convict you, teach
you that this is wrong in your life.
Jesus is never going to divorce you, he's never going
to abandon you. He loves you too much to ever do that. He's never going to leave you for any cost.
Do you understand that? Your relationship in him is secure. You're not going to get out of it. He loves you.
[And if you are not born-again, yet think you are,
you will be able to "get out of it" (your relationship with
Jesus Christ), and that should scare you, and you should do
something about it (2nd Corinthians 13:5).] And you know what? Hard-heartedness can be broken by forgiveness.
Forgiveness. Forgiveness, let's just nail down what it isn't.
Forgiveness isn't you're going back into the same situation
with no change. Forgiveness
isn't you're telling your husband or wife 'That's OK honey,
what you did.' Because
that's a lie. It's
not OK, right? When you forgive somebody isn't asking you to
say 'Tell them it's OK', and here you are broken, your heart's
broken. 'Tell them it's OK.' That's not what forgiveness means, never.
That would be a lie. When Christ was hanging on the cross to die
for the forgiveness of our sins, was God saying 'Oh, it's
OK.'? No, someone died to pay the price of that sin.
It wasn't OK. That's why Jesus had to die. So forgiveness does not mean saying 'It's OK.'
Forgiveness means you drop your case, you drop your
charges. That's what
God has done for us in Christ.
He dropped the case, didn't he?
He's dropped the charges against us.
And that's what forgiveness means.
God never says 'It's OK that you sinned.'
No way. But
he says 'I have dropped the charges against you.'
And in your marriage, some of you are hanging onto
hurts from ten years ago, some of you twenty years ago.
Drop your case. You know, that last couple weeks I couldn't
sleep very well, so I was up late at night watching TV, and
you know what I noticed?-just my little informal survey-is
that all the attorneys who prosecute for accidents are on
late at night. My theory
is it's because people who had accidents and are in pain and
need an attorney are still awake late at night.
sleep. So the attorneys are on, this attorney is there,
takes off his glasses, "Are you in pain?" "Did that bad man hit you?" "Did your car get totaled?" "I want you to know that we care about you."
"I want you to know that here at Martin and Sons, we'll
prosecute the pants off of them. We'll get everything they've got, and more. Call us." And
then they have a testimony at the end of some guy who's living
in a mansion, and says "You know, since I used Martin and
Sons, my whole life has changed.
I've broken my back, but look at me now."
[laughter] And so, you've been hurt. You call the attorney, he says "Yes, you've
got a case here, yes Mam, you've got a case, man we can win! Oh, they're not going to have anything left
when we're through with them."
And part of you says 'Yeah, yeah, yeah, that's what
I want to do.' 'I want them to hurt like I've hurt, I want
them to experience what I've experienced.
Yeah!' But then
the Holy Spirit begins to work on you, and the Spirit of God
begins to speak to your heart, saying 'Hey, drop the case.
Forgive, drop the case.' And so you call up and you say "Hey, yeah, I'm
dropping my case, I'm going to forgive my wife. I'm going to forgive my husband. I'm going to forgive my father. I'm going to forgive my mother. Yeah, I know I could win, I know. I know I could make life miserable for them,
that would be worth a million dollars, yes I know. But I can't go through with it. How can I not forgive them when God has forgiven
me so much, Good bye." Click,
you hang up. But that
doesn't end it, because this attorney, he's persistent.
And you may decide this morning to forgive, to drop
the charges, but I want you to know that Satan will be back
on the phone tomorrow morning, saying 'Are you sure?
Let me remind you of what you went through.
Let me remind you what she [or he] did to you.
Let me remind you of what he said.'
He'll be back on the line again.
And you're going to have again say "I'm sorry, I've
dropped the charges. Get
out of my face." And
I've found in my own life that I don't forgive just once,
it's usually a process of like every day for a week, and then
I'm OK for maybe once a week for a month, and then maybe.you
know I'm sort of excited, usually this time of year there's
one thing that happened in my life that I had great bitterness
and unforgiveness over, and usually once a year I have to,
I get the phone call, and I say "No, I've dropped the charges-bug
out, I never want to hear your voice again!"
And this year the 'phone' hasn't rung.
But it's been ten years.
So it's a process, yes. But how can we not forgive one another-when
God in Christ has forgiven us so much.
Our Christianity, gang, has to extend down into our
marriages, down to the person that we live with, that we're
real with. Look, Christ loves you, his love for you, his
marriage with you, doesn't have divorce as an option. It just isn't a side issue here this morning,
don't you have divorce as your option.
Listen to me. Listen
to the Word of God. Don't
listen to those who don't understand the Word, don't listen
to those who don't know what Christ can do.
How blessed is the one who doesn't walk in the counsel
of the ungodly, but how unblessed, how unhappy is the one
who does walk in the counsel of the ungodly.
Finally, I just want to tell you that Jesus loves you
passionately. He loves you with a love that sent him to the
cross. He doesn't just
care a lot about you, he immediately stepped in to take your
place. It could have been you or death. And he took the place for you. Jesus, loves you. He loves you even if you're struggling right
now with unforgiveness. He
loves you. He loves
you all the time. You don't have to try to please him more.
He loves you. Let's pray." [transcript of "FREE FROM THE LAW,
Romans 7:1-6", a sermon given by Pastor J. Mark Martin, Calvary
Community Church, PO Box 39607, Phoenix, Arizona
found that most problems in marriage are a result more of
ignorance-ignorance of what the emotional needs of the other
spouse are. Jesus
commanded us to love one another as he loved us (John 13:34-35). He also told us to do unto others as we would
have others do unto us-the royal law.
If you had a list of your spouse's emotional needs-to
do unto her as you would want her to do unto you would mean
that you would fulfill those emotional needs which she has.
To not fulfill her emotional needs makes her unhappy,
and to quote Jeff Foxworthy, "If she ain't happy, you
happy. And if she ain't
happy long enough, you'll be unhappy with half your stuff!" And the same goes for the wife toward her husband.
But I have found most men-not so much with the
women, who seem to be born with understanding on how
relationships work-but most men do not have a clue and wouldn't
if it hit them over the head-of what the emotional needs of
their wives are. If
you could possess such a list, Jesus would have you use it
to bless your spouse with-doing unto her as you would want
her to do unto you. That
is unselfishness, following the royal law. Well, such a list exists. And it in no way goes against the Bible. The
apostle Peter instructed husbands to dwell with their wives
with knowledge and understanding. But when someone offers that knowledge,
most don't want to hear it.
And don't think you apply these principles all on your
own, it is the Lord working with and in you, helping you do
this. For more information on how you can divorce-proof your
marriage, making it truly joy-filled, log onto http://www.HOWMARRIAGEWORKS.COM
. You will really learn
some interesting things about your spouse that you never realized
before, and about his or her emotional needs, and how the
two sets of needs were basically designed to be complimentary
to each other, not the same.
The Purpose of God's
from "Harper's Bible Commentary" relevant to these passages
in Romans 7:1-6, and my comments about the Law being a Spiritual
Mirror. On page 1148 of Harper's
Bible Commentary in the section titled "7:1-6. Through Acquittal to Commitment" Harper's
backs up my comment about this passage meaning that the "penalty of the law" has been removed, or nullified, not the law of God
itself, which is never nullified.
But the penalty has been rendered inoperative for the
believer. [Thus explains my addition in brackets [ ] to the
title of this sermon on page 1.] This is seen in the quote
"All seems clear: the woman is the Christian set free by the
death of Christ from
the law's condemnation." [emphasis mine throughout] Pastor Mark did not make that clear, so that
many people reading this may think the law has been "done
away". No, it's the penalty of the law has been nullified. Harper's goes on to say just what Pastor Mark
said, ".The Christian life is not merely a liberation, but
is like ending one marriage and beginning a new one." So
Pastor Mark's title "Free From the Law" is somewhat misleading. I didn't even like using it. But this is an accurate transcript, so I used
it. But that title
does not convey the actual truth.
So don't get the wrong idea about the Law of God.
It isn't done away.
It has a purpose. Now let's see the purpose which I described
earlier, backed up by Harper's Bible Commentary.
Then my comments about the purpose of God's law, for
which is must be used by the believer, is made clear in Harper's
next section, 7:7-25. A Backward Look:
The Power of sin to Use the Law to Effect Death."
Quoting key operative statements from this section: "The law magnifies sin (5:20).Yet the law in fact play[s] a role
in relation to sin: It identifies sin and makes it known." Yes! The Law of God is the believer's spiritual
mirror and magnifying lens, all rolled up into one spiritual
device! Harper's goes on with this key statement ".even in sin's use of it, the law remains God's instrument. The end result fits into God's purpose for the
law, namely to disclose the true nature of sin and show how
"incomparably sinful" it really is." Before, in
the Old Covenant, people were told, "Here's the mirror. Now go and clean yourself up." In the New Covenant, God is in effect saying,
"Here's the mirror (the law of God), and now here's the precious
water of my Spirit which I am providing for you.
Now use the water and mirror
to clean yourself up. I
will be inside of you, indwelling you, writing my laws into
your minds and upon your hearts" (cf. Jeremiah 31:31-33; Hebrews
8:6-13; John 14:15-23; James 1:22-25). This whole picture of what the new covenant
is, is symbolized by the brazen wash basin described in Exodus
30:17-21, Exodus 38:8 and 40:30-32, which is a picture of
James 1:22-25 and what I have been talking about here, the
purpose of the Law. editor