The Special of the Day… From the Orange Moon Cafe…
"A Heart Like This"
Part 7 - The Royal Law
Two laws exist within born again believers in the Lord Jesus Christ.
"With the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin" (Romans 7:25).
"The law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death" (Romans 8:2).
Dwelling in the "new creature" of our born again spirits, the Holy Spirit works within our innermost being to lead us in a life of faith and faithfulness whereby we love God and others (II Corinthians 5:17). Conversely, a "law of sin" remains in our flesh, that is, the faculties and members we inherited from Adam in our original birth. This law leads us downward into unbelief and self-centeredness when allowed to control us. "The flesh lusteth against the spirit" (Galatians 5:17). Every believer faces the challenge of seeking to live by the law of the Spirit, while still possessing a law of sin in our earthly vessel.
Of the many truths that can be considered regarding this dichotomy, perhaps the most important involves the completely different dispositions motivated by the two laws. First, the greater law, the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus, directs us upward, outward, and away from ourselves, igniting us as shining suns devoted to God and others. The lesser (but still influential) law of sin in our flesh can be characterized in terms of a black hole that draws all things unto and into itself. In simple terms, one law motivates, guides, and empowers self-sacrificial love. The other fosters egotistical self-centeredness. The Apostle Paul alluded to the conflict in his command to the Philippians: "Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others" (Philippians 2:4).
Regardless of how we feel or our past experience, every believer must affirm the greater law as our most guiding and empowering influence. "Reckon ye also yourselves… to be alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord" (Romans 6:11). We must believe that "a Heart like this," namely, the Spirit of God, dwells within our innermost being to serve as the Life of our lives.
"Ye are not in the flesh, but in the spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwells in you… I delight in the law of God after the inward man… The love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit which is given unto us" (Romans 8:9; 7:22; 5:5).
Without minimizing the presence and potential of the fleshly law of sin, we must emphasize and focus on the greater law, "the royal law according to the Scripture... love" (James 2:8). Our King dwells within us to constitute His law not only as a command, but also as His promise to "work in us both to will and to do of His good pleasure" (Philippians 2:13). Wondrously, the law of the Spirit of life in Christ provides God's might as the power to obey His mandates. Paul rejoiced in such enabling: "God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that ye, having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work…. "But by the grace of God I am what I am: and His grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I labored more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me" (II Corinthians 9:8; I Corinthians 15:10).
Find the most fallen believer on the planet in this moment, the Christian most governed by the law of sin in his or her members. The greater law abides no less than in the most faithful child of God. To the carnal Corinthians, Paul begins the prescriptive application of his epistle by directing their focus to the Master who lived within them no less than He dwelled within more faithful brethren: "Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?" (I Corinthians 3:16). Indeed, the great tragedy of a believer felled by sin is that he lies wounded along the path of righteousness, while inhabited by the teeming life of the risen Lord Jesus. He has allowed the lesser law of sin to rule his thoughts, attitudes, words, and deeds (Romans 6:12). Through unbelief, he has forgotten or ignored the supremacy of the royal law, that is, God's love lavishly poured out into his Christ-enlivened spirit. Tragedy indeed, and one that need never happen to any believer. "He did not many mighty works there because of their unbelief" (Matthew 13:58).
The law of sin will abide in our flesh during the entirety of our earthly lives. The potential will exist for its influence to tempt us with self-centeredness. However, the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus will abide with us forever. Its holy potential will empower us to "walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us" (Ephesians 5:2). Which law is greater? We all know the answer. We may not always think accordingly. We may not always speak accordingly. We may not always act accordingly. The truth, however, will always be true. Yes, our King will always dwell within our born again spirits to lead us in His royal law of love. Much was sacrificed to make this a living reality in our spirits. Let us therefore honor and requite the price paid by our blessed Lord Jesus whereby a Heart like this empowers hearts like ours to "walk, even as He walked" (I John 2:6).
"The LORD his God is with him, and the shout of a King is among them."
Weekly Memory Verse
"For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith."
(I John 5:4)