Thursday, April 13, 2017

Dial Daily Bread: Under Law or Under Grace?

Dear Friends of "Dial Daily Bread,"

If our understanding of our inheritance in Christ has grown so that we can appreciate Him as our High Priest, we can make an intelligent choice as to where we will stand. Our privilege is as follows: "Sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under the law but under grace" (Rom. 6:14).

To be under the law means to be a slave concerned for one's own security, out of our fear of being lost in the darkness and emptiness of hell. This is still a form of selfishness, although a highly refined one, to be sure.

All egocentric motivation is what Paul meant by his phrase, "under the law." It is being under the constraint imposed by a fear of the punishment that the law can inflict, for "the law brings about wrath" (Rom. 4:15).

But to be under grace is to sense the constraint of a new motivation, a sense of soul-consuming gratitude for redemption, an awesome appreciation of a love that has infinite dimensions of width and length and depth and height, measured by the arms of Christ's cross.

Obedience, loyalty, purity, devotion--these are not goals we work toward; they are gifts we discover in our response to His open arms of love and forgiveness. "Sin shall not have dominion over you." In this new captivity to grace we discover freedom at last.

We want to nudge Paul to move over so we can kneel down beside him: "God forbid that I should boast of anything but the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world is crucified to me and I to the world" (Gal. 6:14, New English Bible). "For me to live is Christ" (Phil. 1:21).

This is the beginning of everlasting life, a new quality of life. You have passed from death unto life. You are a citizen of heaven, a new kind of person in Christ, for you have believed the gospel to be what it is--good news!

--Robert J. Wieland

From: Gold Tried in the Fire, 1983.
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