The following piece is taken from a Lord’s Supper talk. I plan to do a book on Lord’s Supper talks soon….
In these Lord’s Supper talks, we sometimes look at what the death of Christ accomplished from a fresh angle. Among many other notable achievements, Christ died to freely give us a new kind of law:
- “Law of Christ” – Gal. 6:2
- “Law of Faith” (as opp. to a “law of works) – Rom. 3:28
- “the Perfect Law, the Law of Liberty” – Ja. 1:25
The one unique thing about this law is that there is built-in provision for human failure. There is grace. There is mercy. There is forgiveness built into the system. So freely is this forgiveness granted that the apostle Paul goes so far as to say in Rom. 6, not once but twice, that we are “not under law but under grace” (v. 14, 15).
Now some people mistakenly conclude that this component makes it too easy to make rebels out of us, that forgiveness makes violating God’s law too convenient. Sin whenever you want, and get forgiveness like cash out of an ATM. Nothing could be further from the truth.
Quite to the contrary, the standards are now even higher:
- Rom. 6:1-2 – “What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it?”
- Rom. 6:14 – “For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace.” (I.e. precisely because we are “not under law but under grace,” we aspire to a much higher standard than someone driven by “legalistic” motivations).
- Mt. 5:48 – “You therefore must be perfect, even as your heavenly Father is perfect.”
Built-in mercy means that we are able to look at a New Law through New Eyes. Instead of viewing the “law of Christ” as an alien force that shackles us against our will, we fully embrace it, from the inside out:
- Lk. 6:36 – “Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful.”
- Mt. 5:7 – “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.”
- Gal. 6:2 – “Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.”
- James 2:12-13 – “So speak and so act as those who are to be judged under the law of liberty. For judgment is without mercy to one who has shown no mercy. Mercy triumphs over judgment.”
It’s called a “law of liberty,” because it frees us up to do the right thing for all the right reasons, with the highest possible motivation – to show mercy, because we need mercy. You see, the blood of Christ shed on the cross not only washes away our sins but gives us the motivational fuel to be the best that we can be in serving God and in serving the needs of other people.
Jesus died to redeem a people for himself… to give them a new law… and a new heart in obeying that law.