The Spirit of the Law
In II Corinthians 3:6 Paul wrote, “He has made us competent as ministers of a new covenant—not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.” I have watched good people struggle in a diminished state of despair over their inability to perfectly keep God’s law. When they are honest with themselves they know deep down they don’t measure up. Trying to keep the letter of the law kills. The alternative is to be filled with the Spirit and understand the law in terms of love, true justice and safety from harm. Keeping the spirit of the law brings life and joy because God gave us minds to discern how a loving person will react in any situation. With the power of the Spirit that we CAN do!
Once grasped we can begin to understand Ecclesiastics 3. “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens: a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot, a time to kill and a time to heal, . . . a time to love and a time to hate, a time for war and a time for peace.”
Last week in Afghanistan, terrorists donned doctor’s garb, entered a hospital, went floor by floor, room by room slaughtering. Some people have given up the right to life. The letter of the law would restrict justice. The spirit of the law would allow loving, thinking, compassionate people to do the right thing to those animals.
A life in Christ is a life of comprehension of what the law is and that true obedience is responding to the spirit and not the letter.