"So, my brothers and sisters, you also died to the law through the body of Christ, that you might belong to another, to him who was raised from the dead, in order that we might bear fruit for God. For when we were in the realm of the flesh, the sinful passions aroused by the law were at work in us, so that we bore fruit for death." Romans 7:4-5 NIV
An X-ray reveals a serious break in your leg: Do you blame the X-ray for the problem? Do you blame your doctor for informing you of a life-threatening situation? Do you blame the chair for tipping as you stood on it?
Of course not!
In the same way, the law was designed by God to diagnose the sinful condition of the human race—to make people aware of their need for a Savior.
In The Pilgrim’s Progress, John Bunyan gives this illustration of the relationship of the law to the gospel of grace, as spoken through the interpreter.
WALK WITH JOHN BUNYAN
“This parlor is the heart of a man who was never cleansed by the sweet grace of the gospel; that dust is his inward corruption that has defiled the whole man.
He who began to sweep at first is the law, but she who brought the water and did sprinkle it is the gospel.
Now, so soon as the first began to sweep, the dust did so fly about that you were almost choked therewith. This is to show you that the law, instead of cleansing the heart from sin, does revive, put strength into, and increase it, for it does not give the power to subdue.
Again, the damsel sprinkling the room with water is to show you what happens when the gospel comes in.
As the damsel settled the dust by sprinkling the floor with water, sin is vanquished and subdued, and the soul made clean through faith; and consequently made fit for the King of Glory to inhabit.”
WALK CLOSER TO GOD
The law merely reveals the soiled condition of the human heart.
What the law of God stirs up, only the grace of God can clean up.
It’s enough to make even twenty-first-century pilgrims respond in grateful praise!
"But now, by dying to what once bound us, we have been released from the law so that we serve in the new way of the Spirit, and not in the old way of the written code." Romans 7:6 NIV
Let's be cleaned by the Spirit, living in the realm of grace freely given by Christ.