The Special of the Day… From the Orange Moon Cafe…
Part 3 - "A New Law"
"The law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death" (Romans 8:2).
I loved 5th grade at Morningside Elementary School here in my hometown, Mobile Alabama. Our teacher, Mrs. Jackson, was tough but fair. We attended class in an old wooden, one room building disconnected from the main structures of the campus. The classroom had no air conditioning, and an ancient stove served as the only heat source. We sweltered in the fall and spring, which made freezing in the winter almost welcome. I had a great year nonetheless, with good friends, enjoyable subject matter, and something I'll always remember. Mrs. Jackson strongly encouraged her students to read, which was right down my alley. After finishing each subject, we often had time to open a book, or peruse copies of the daily newspaper provided by Mrs. Jackson. I usually grabbed a World Book encyclopedia from the bookshelf to learn about whatever subject interested me that day, and then read the newspaper.
I'll never forget the headlines of the paper on Monday, December 4, 1967 (ok, I had to look up the date and the headlines. My memory is not that good!). "Heart Transplant Succeeds." Dr. Christian Banaard performed the radical procedure on patient Louis Washkansky, in Capetown, South Africa. The surgery was considered a success, although Washkansky died 18 days later due to complications from pneumonia. I recall sitting at my desk in the chilly room, mesmerized by the miracle of one person's heart transplanted to another, providing unexpected survival and life. "How can such a thing be?!" I wondered.
"A new heart also will I give you, and a new Spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you a heart of flesh. And I will put My Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in My statutes, and ye shall keep My judgments, and do them" (Ezekiel 36:26-27).
God's prophecy to Israel through Ezekiel still awaits fulfillment for Israel, God's chosen earthly nation. However, born again believers in the Lord Jesus Christ have already received the gift. "If any man be in Christ, he is a new creature. Old things are passed away, behold, all things are become new" (II Corinthians 5:17). The Lord performed a spiritual heart transplant in us when we believed, providing the presence of His own heart through the indwelling Holy Spirit and birthing us as new creatures in Christ. With this newness came "the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus" as the governing influence of our innermost being. How can such a thing be?! The grace of God in the Lord Jesus provides the answer, the miraculous redemption that transcends physical heart transplants by an infinite measure. Indeed, the Apostle Paul plainly states that it is "the power that worketh in us" whereby "God is able to do exceeding, abundantly above all we ask or think" (Ephesians 3:20). Paul furthermore declares such enabling to be a law, "the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus." This dynamic influence and power dwells within our innermost being and selfhood, enabling a life far beyond human means as we believe and submit ourselves to God's freely given provision in the indwelling Christ.
Many believers do not know the Biblical truth of a transplanted spiritual heart. They rightly believe their sins are forgiven, God is their Father, Christ their Savior, and Heaven their ultimate destination. They do not know, however, that God fundamentally changed who and what we are in our innermost being at the time of our new birth. They fail to know the truth of the new law, "the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus." This constitutes a spiritual tragedy of epic proportion. Indeed, the Lord Jesus suffered, died, and was forsaken by God and man in order to birth believers as new creatures. "He hath made Him to be sin, who knew no sin, that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him" (II Corinthians 5:21). In a chilly classroom more than half a century ago, I wondered at the miracle of a man receiving a new heart. I now wonder far more that born again believers in the Lord Jesus have received new and Christ-inhabited hearts. And I pray that we will all better know the glory of its governing influence and power, "the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus."
"Christ Jesus, whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in His blood, to declare His righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God, to declare, I say, at this time His righteousness: that He might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus. Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? Of works? Nay: but by the law of faith."
Weekly Memory Verse
The law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.