Tuesday, September 28, 2010

The Error of Making a Law Unto Myself

For several years on my route as a hospital courier, I've gone once a week to a certain hospital that has a parking lot with an entrance that was marked "Enter Only" and an exit that was marked "Exit Only." I didn't like following this "law," because the "Entrance" was a bit further down the road, and I would've preferred to use the "Exit" both when I came and when I left.

A few months ago, after many months of remodeling, as well as new construction at the hospital, the "Enter Only" and "Exit Only" signs on this particular parking lot were removed. (I suspect it's because this parking lot will now be used less, as an entire new addition has been built, and the main entrance is now there). I still use this parking lot, and the cool thing is that I'm now absolutely and unconditionally free to use either side of the parking lot to enter or exit. My problem is that I keep forgetting this!

All these years, I've been using the "Enter Only" entrance, so week after week I keep driving past where it used to say "Exit Only," and still entering where it used to say "Enter Only." Each time, after I pass the old Exit, I have a V8 moment in which I bop myself on the head and say, "I could've entered there!" The "law" has died - it has been taken out of the way - and yet I continue to make it "a law unto myself."

But even though I ignorantly/forgetfully continue to obligate myself to it, that doesn't mean that I am actually obligated to it or under it in any way, shape or form. It's me, myself and I who continues to put myself under the law. The hospital has released me from the law. The hospital no longer keeps me under it. They are the ones who removed it!

In the same way, God's law has been "wiped out," "taken out of the way" and "nailed to the cross." (Col 2:14). The law has died, and the entire world is free to come to the freedom of grace (to "marry" Christ), but some still ignorantly or forgetfully keep themselves under the law, even though God has no longer contained them under the law. They have made it a law unto themselves, so to speak. Our message to the world isn't to get them to see their sin through the law, but rather to see that the law has died and they can come freely to Christ.

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