A gracEmail subscriber asks: “What role does the Law of God given through Moses play in our sanctification? Should the believer continually revisit the Law in order to remain convicted of sin? Or is that out of place for one who has been liberated from the penalty of the Law?”
* * *
Galatians 5 tells us that Christ has freed us from law as a governing (and always condemning) principle. Instead we are to live by the Spirit and “walk” by the Spirit. The chapter ends by describing what a person who lives by the Spirit will not do (“works of the flesh”) and the traits that such a life will naturally display (“fruit of the Spirit”). As it happens, such a person ends up manifesting the morality the Law commanded but could not either produce nor enforce.
Similarly, Romans 13 tells us to live in love. Again, the person who does this ends up living according to the morality to which the Law pointed. In the same way, we are to follow Christ, imitate Christ, let Christ live in us. Again, this results in a life that is harmonious with the moral aspects of the Law. Indeed, Christ personally embodied and faithfully kept God’s perfect intent expressed in the Law.
The truth in all three approaches is that true righteousness does not come through commands, for commands have no power to enable us to keep them. Instead the person who trusts in Christ and abides in him is righteous by faith. God works in such people the life of the Risen Christ by the power of the Spirit, so that the righteousness of the Law is fulfilled in them (Rom. 8:1-4).