Shoutout to Luther: Law and Gospel (Devo, January 30)

“Now the law came in to increase the trespass, but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more, so that, as sin reigned in death, grace also might reign through righteousness leading to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”
-Romans 5:20-21

The Law was given so that we might know our sin. It makes sense, when you think about it. How does a child know that what they are doing is wrong unless a parent says so? Otherwise, they will continue acting in what they perceive to be a normal fashion. We, too, needed to be told that what we were doing wasn’t right-because the pattern of sin that has invaded earth is normal to our flesh. It is normal to us. So the Law was given-the perfect, unbending, unchanging law of God that governs everything from outward actions to inward thoughts. It is in this perfection that the Law came “to increase the trespass”. People got used to the idea that the Law just had to do with what we should and shouldn’t do. When Jesus came, however, He showed them that really it extends down to thoughts, control of emotions, etc…it ran deeper than anyone knew. We had been sinning way more than we cared to acknowledge, and still care to today. There is no one that can fully keep the Law in deed and thought and spirit. It’s impossible, and therefore no one is exempt from the condemnation that it brings. We are all guilty under the Law of God.

Praise be to God, though, that there was One who COULD perfectly keep the Law-and that He did. Because even though our sins increased through the Law, grace increased infinitely more as Jesus came to fulfill that same Law. He said that He did not come to abolish it, but to fulfill it, down to the smallest detail. The only man who ever lived a completely perfect life was the one who could perfectly accept the punishment that was meant for us. The transgression of the Law, even one small part, requires payment; it requires death. Jesus paid that debt; He gave up His own life so that we wouldn’t have to. He did what we could not so that we could have life, and life to the fullest!  Praise be to God that we have a God that loves us so much that He gives us a way out. The war has already been won! Victory has already been claimed over the Law and sin and death through Jesus Christ!

And all it requires of us is just surrender everything.

We don’t have to strive to keep every ounce of the Law; we do not need to work to get to God, for one cannot possibly  do such a thing. We just need to surrender to the work that God has been doing in us, and allow this grace to abound all the more than the sin and brokenness in our life. Let Him transform you into the son or daughter of the Most High that He desires you to be. The Law will always condemn us. But Jesus is greater than that condemnation.

Will you let Him work in your life today, transforming you from a condemned sinner into a member of the body of Christ? Will you let Him continue to show you areas of your life that are abundant in sin, and let Him wash them clean with the overabundance of grace He offers? Will you let Him do what He came to do?


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