"The Greater Law"
No less than the Apostle Paul realized that during his earthly lifetime, he would be susceptible to fleshly desires that lead to sin if not overcome.
"I know that in my, that is, in my flesh, dwelleth no good thing" (Romans 7:18).
"I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection, lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway" (I Corinthians 9:27).
Regardless of how well we know and devote ourselves the Lord Jesus Christ, flesh will be flesh in our current existence. Paul taught that a "law of sin" exists in our earthly faculties and members inherited from Adam (Romans 7:23; 25). Salvation does not yet eradicate this disposition to distrust and disobey our Heavenly Father. Thus, no amount of prayer, Bible reading, faith, consecration, and even love eliminates the challenge we face with contrary inclinations and impulses that tempt us. The law of sin is much like the law of gravity. It pulls us downward and away from walking with God and His Truth. "The flesh lusteth against the spirit" (Galatians 5:17).
Thankfully, Paul also taught that another and greater law exists in believers. "The law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from sin and death" (Romans 8:2). This law is actually the personal character and nature of God Himself dwelling in us through the Holy Spirit. Through Him, we can overcome the law of sin as we trust and submit to His working in us "both to will and to do of His good pleasure" (Philippians 2:13). Like the laws of aerodynamics temporarily overcome the law of gravity to enable flight, so the Holy Spirit empowers our ability to transcend fleshly desires and inclinations. Through Him, we "mortify (put to death) the deeds of the body" (Romans 8:13). A greater law overcomes the lesser law, again, as we believe the Word of God and submit to its promises and commands. We "live through Him," as opposed to embracing the death offered to us by lusts of the fleshly law of sin. Or, as a dear friend recently proposed, "we follow the Good Shepherd to His green pastures rather than responding to the the beautiful but poisoned fields of the world, the devil, and the flesh."
A day will come when our glorification in Christ will completely deliver us from the law of sin in our body. Until then, we carry on in our overcoming through Christ. Flesh will be flesh today in every believer. More importantly, however, Christ will be Christ today, in every believer. Thereby God calls us to both the blessing and challenge of walking in the Spirit and thereby putting to death fleshly desires that can lead to sin. "Walk in the Spirit and ye shall not fulfill the lusts of the flesh" (Galatians 5:16). The confrontation is great. The capacity to overcome is far greater. The law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus is always present and available for the triumph of the Spirit, and of our spirit as we respond to the greater law.
"Now thanks be unto God, which always causeth us to triumph in Christ, and maketh manifest the savor of His knowledge by us in every place."
(II Corinthians 2:14)
Weekly Memory Verse
For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.