Laying down the Law

Let me start by admitting that this was a tough one for me—bring out the commentaries!

Legalism seems to be the running theme; that point at which obedience to the law becomes the route to holiness. And, often leads to self proclaimed judgment superiority. Paul shows us that while the law is important it should not be our ruler. But we are divided—flesh and soul. Our flesh is grounded in man’s sinful nature and uses the law as a temptation.

As a mom and former preschool teacher I know there are certain phrases you shouldn’t say to a young child:

“Johnny, here’s the scissors. Cut the paper, but whatever you do, don’t cut your hair”
“Mommy needs just a few minutes of peace and quiet so please get along and don’t hit your sister”
“Don’t put that in your mouth!”

What does each of these phrases carry the potential to do? That’s right! It plants the idea—one that may not have existed before. This is what Paul is conveying. The Law which is God given, has been corrupted: “sin found a way to pervert the command into a temptation, making a piece of ‘forbidden fruit’ out of it” (The Message).

When we died to our old selves, we died to the Law. The Law that perverts, condemns, and misleads. Ugh! About now my head is starting to go fuzzy. How do we find the balance between obedience under the Law and living for the Law? WE don’t. Only through the leading of the Holy Spirit can our flesh be defeated and our obedience manifested in Him.

What do I take away from this? My life and walk with Christ should not and cannot be a list of do’s and don’ts. I must daily surrender both my flesh and mind to Him and the Holy Spirit.


  1. Well said, Lori! We can only find the balance through the Spirit!

  2. Interesting examples (scissors, siblings)

    God's laws are an expression of his grace (doesn't want us to hurt ourselves or each other) and a measuring stick with which justice can be administered. David meditated on and delighted in God's law. Without the law it would be difficult for us to examine our hearts and by the conviction of the H.S. lead us to repentance.

    Yet we often find the law to be an offense to our "self worth" or we allow it to become a burden to our freedom in Christ.

  3. Hats off to the bloggers. Paul has stated the case with such care as to make commentary a humbling task.