How do we understand laws? Have you ever considered the different types of laws? Think about the speed limit. It is a law made by man through legislation and different jurisdictions set different laws based on their authority. For example, in Canada we have laws that are federal in nature. They are established by the House of Commons and apply to everyone in the country. Provinces have some degree of autonomy and set laws like provincial building codes and taxes because they fall under their authority. Towns and cities set bylaws around parking and municipal speed limits because they fall under their authority.
If we think more broadly we have laws that we refer to as ‘laws of nature.’ They are laws like gravity, the effect of the sound barrier, the speed of light and others. We often refer to things done by ‘mother nature’ and mention things like the ‘laws of nature.’ As a side note I find it both sad and amusing that many people who claim to not believe in God turn around and deify nature without even thinking about it.
For example, one time I ended up in a discussion with a fellow at the fitness centre who it turned out was a biology professor. When I pointed out in our dialogue that when he referred to the things that ‘nature’ was doing he and others were just replacing God with ‘nature’ the way he used the term and the powers he ascribed to nature. He was a bit taken back, however he saw what I was talking about and it did open the door to some sharing about the gospel.
So, why am I going on about the law? Primarily because we tend to view laws as restrictive. However legislation is generally written in two ways, as either restrictive or enabling and the overarching purpose is generally intended for the good of the populous. If we think broadly of the Mosaic Law in terms of the Ten Commandments “(see Ex. 20:1-17) we find most of the commandments are restrictive.
In the New Testament we find something new introduced in relation to law. While we are told that the whole of the law is to love the Lord and our neighbour we are not given the strength to do so, that is until after Jesus resurrection and the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost (see Acts 1:8, 2:1-4). As we move further into the New Testament Paul explains what happened on the day of Pentecost when the church was birthed; a new law was introduced and he tells us what it is.
2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death. Romans 8:2 (NKJV emphasis mine)
The new law we are called to live under and by is the ‘law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus.’ I invite you to meditate on the significance of this law. More to come…