The Special of the Day… From the Orange Moon Cafe…
(This is a repeat from 2016, which correlates with yesterday's message, and also reminds me of a special time in life).
"A Greater Law"
I write this on Thursday, October 27th, during my first flight ever, as members of our family join me during a brief vacation to celebrate my upcoming 60th birthday. I know, I know, I'm way overdue for a first flight, but there's just never seemed to be a need to travel by plane. I like driving, and seeing the sights at ground level. I must admit, however, it's really nice to see those same sights, but from 4-5 miles in the air! And that takeoff was much better than any amusement park ride I've ever experienced (and without feeling queasy!).
I write because the occasion provides opportunity to consider one of my favorite passages of Scripture, along with one of my favorite illustrations regarding God's truth in the Lord Jesus Christ. Indeed, I've wanted to write the following from an airplane in flight for decades!
"The law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death. For what the law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh, God, sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh, that the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the spirit" (Romans 8:2-4).
The law of gravity that presses objects toward the earth did not cease to exist when our plane took off. Instead, the laws of aerodynamics temporarily overcame gravity for the purpose of lifting the craft from the ground. Furthermore, applying the laws of propulsion move the plane forward, presently at a speed of 578 mph. Thereby, the aircraft overcomes gravity by forces powerful enough to keep it in flight until we reach our destination.
In the same manner, two laws exist in believers: "The law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus" in our spirits and "the law of sin" in our flesh. As we trust and submit to God, the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus overcomes the law of sin, enabling us to fly, as it were, in faith and faithfulness by the power of God.
"I delight in the law of God after the inward man, but I see another law warring in my members… So then, with the mind, I myself serve the law of God, but with the flesh, the law of sin… If ye through the Spirit mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live" (Romans 7:23; 25; 8:13).
God does not immediately glorify or perfect us when we trust the Lord Jesus as Savior. He rather spiritually births us, and then institutes a lifelong process of growth in the grace and knowledge of Christ (John 3:7; II Peter 3:18). The "law" of our Lord's indwelling character resides within our spirit in the Person of the indwelling Holy Spirit (I Corinthians 6:17). Thereby, the law of sin in our flesh can be overcome as we trust and submit ourselves to our Heavenly Father. The overcoming is temporary in the sense that we must consistently respond to the Lord and His truth if we are to consistently experience the power of the law of the Spirit, which is far greater than the law of sin. Just as the crew of the plane must engage the physical potential to fly, so must believers engage our Christ-enabled spiritual faculties to overcome temptation. Thus, the principles of gravity, aerodynamics, and propulsion that govern flight beautifully depict the dynamic process whereby believers "walk in the Spirit" and overcome the inclinations of our flesh (Galatians 5:16).
It thrills me to write this while flying, just as much as the flying itself! In spiritual terms, we get to soar in this way every day as temptation challenges us by tempting the law of sin in our members. Through Christ, and by His Spirit and Word, we can overcome the inclinations of our earthly frames and faculties. A greater law than the law of sin indwells us, enabling us to take off in faith and obedience. I've wanted to write this while flying since encountering Paul's treatise on the two laws. Hereafter, I look forward to remembering the experience as an encouragement and challenge to more consistently apply the greater law - the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus - whereby we may soar when tempted…
"They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles."
"Greater is He that is in us than he that is in the world."
(I John 4:4)
Weekly Memory Verse
O taste and see that the LORD is good, blessed is the man that trusteth in Him.