Unlimited: The Law is Spiritual
Nov 25, 2022 201
We know that the law is spiritual (Romans 7:14a).
The apostle Paul here reminds us of a fundamental principle, which, if you miss, will make it impossible for you to understand the nature of the law in the New Testament. The principle is that the law is spiritual.
However, Paul didn’t establish this principle. The Lord Jesus taught it in his Sermon on the Mount, saying that if you are angry with someone you have committed murder, and if you look at someone else with lust you have already committed adultery (Matthew 5:21–22, 27–28).
The law is spiritual.
The Jews in the time of Jesus and Paul considered the law to be an external system of moral control. If you hadn’t actually committed adultery with someone else’s wife, you hadn’t broken the commandment. But Jesus taught that the law is not fleshly, but spiritual. It is violated even through the most secret thoughts and motivations of our hearts. That’s why Jesus also taught that we are not contaminated by what comes from outside but from the inside (Matt. 7:1–14.)
The Jewish people thought that they were keeping God’s law, but they weren’t. The law was given that we may realise the impossibility of our obedience for righteousness and turn to the grace of God as our only hope.
How do you understand the important teaching that the law is spiritual? How does it enhance your appreciation of Jesus?