The Tabernacle Scroll

Issue 49

“The law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death” (Romans 8:2).

We live every day subject to natural (physical) laws, but never give much thought to it! As we go about our daily lives, the planets in our solar system continue their orbits around our sun. They have been doing this for thousands of years, according to a principle (or law) that our mighty Creator God put into place when he created the world. We know we cannot jump off the earth, because we are aware that the law of gravity would keep us earthbound. In fact, the law operates even when we are ignorant of it! However, even though this law of gravity operates to keep us on this earth, there is a law of aerodynamics, by which gravity can be overcome. Birds and aeroplanes fly; eagles soar and rockets leave the earth’s gravitational pull because they operate under this law of aerodynamics.

The principle I wish to establish is this: that we cannot stay earthbound, and neither can we break away from the earth’s pull simply by the exercise of our willpower! We are earthbound because we are under the law of gravity (whether we like it or not). But from time to time we can use another law to counter its restraint on our movement - the law of aerodynamics. These two natural laws (and the other universal laws that have been put in place by God) are outside our control. We cannot change them, but we can learn how to use them for our purposes. Let's try and relate this to our spiritual life.

Many believers are trying to reach and to maintain spiritual heights by sheer willpower. Paul talks about two spiritual laws: (1) the law of sin and death and (2) the law of the Sprit of life in Christ. How do they operate in out lives?

The ‘law of sin and death’, like the law of gravity, drags us downward. This law cannot be ignored because, like gravity, it is there, and it will continue to exert its influence on us whether we like it or not!

But there is another spiritual law that enables us to counter the law of sin and death. Paul calls it ‘the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus’. It sets us free from the power of the law of sin and death. However, this law only comes into operation when we totally entrust ourselves to the spirit of Christ living in us and maintain an attitude of dependence on him.

If we are living by willpower, then our Christian life hasn’t really “taken off”. If we are to ‘rise on wings like eagles’, we must submit to the Spirit of Christ in us. Freedom is rooted in an inner influence on our hearts - not an external application of do’s and don’ts. Let us ask God’s Spirit to do that inner work in us!



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