“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other” (Galatians 5:22-26).

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Along with being my second blog post of the day, turns out Against Such Thing There Is No Law is part three in a blog trilogy after How Much Money Does Jesus Want? and A More Excellent Way. My journey in Jesus Christ has been more glorious than I could have imagined fifteen years ago, although unbeknownst to me, my journey had already started to unfold fifteen years ago, and in that time, God revealed a most splendid mystery of grace.

The mystery begins with Jesus’ response to the question which commandment in the Law is the greatest. Jesus said that the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind” and “Love your neighbor as yourself” (Matthew 22:36-40). This is where I began to see how Jesus didn’t come to abolish but to fulfill the law. But all of this seems easy enough to understand, yet I’d find myself reverting back to legalisms, toiling to meet guidelines in the name of establishing, maintaining, and evaluating order. How else would I know whether I’m pleasing God if not for comparing my life against a series of codes? But then God showed me that my need for legalism came out of fear that the Holy Spirit may fail to come through; I misunderstood the mystery and was committing idolatry all in one fell swoop. Yikes! The only way to live out the Law and the Prophets is to live by the Spirit.

The law says to give God ten percent, but Jesus says that my heart is with my treasure. I realized that one need not negate the other; instead, one completes the other; completion is the key, and that’s God’s work not mine. God has shown me that getting all caught up in debating whether some laws, as ceremonial and cleanliness and dietary, as opposed to moral, are still in effect or not misses the point; a snare set by the enemy to stumble me. Jesus showed me the more excellent way of the Spirit. “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other” (Galatians 5:22-26). Faith without works is dead, and the fruit of works without faith is idolatry. What a relief it was to stop trying so hard and to just surrender and believe.

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