Imagine trying to help a neighbour quench an engulfing fire emanating from the neighbour’s kitchen stove. You ran into your house and brought out a bucket of liquid with a mindset of helping to quench this fire which is about ‘getting out of hand’. In a quick swift from a distance, you splashed the content of the bucket towards the fire… Only to remember that the content of the bucket wasn’t a ‘liquefied fire extinguisher’ but actually ‘PETROL’…
I believe you know how that story ended! You had a sincere heart. You sincerely wanted to help. But you were sincerely wrong! Your ‘help’ aggravated the matter into a conflagration! Because of your action, that fire has now become worse.
You fit perfectly into a group of sincere people described thus: ‘…I know what enthusiasm they have for God, but it is MISDIRECTED zeal…’ (Romans 10:2 NLT) Your ZEAL ended up in a REAL problem.
Why am I saying all these? It is because of those who preach the LAW to believers!
‘…For while we were in the flesh, the SINFUL passions, WHICH WERE AROUSED BY THE LAW, were at work in the members of our body to bear fruit for death…’ (Romans 7:5)
Ever since the fall of man, the human body had in it something called ‘the flesh’.
‘…For I know that in me (that is, in my FLESH,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not…’ (Romans 7:18)
This ‘flesh’ is also scripturally described as ‘sinful passion’. The NIV bible on Romans 7:5 has this footnote: ‘…the Greek word for flesh (sarx) refers to the sinful state of human beings, often presented as a POWER in opposition to the Spirit…’ I like to define the flesh as a ‘false or mirage personality’ that tends to confuse a believer of his Real personality in Christ!
Listen carefully: until the second return of Christ, in which our mortal bodies will be transformed into glorified immortal bodies, the sinful passion is somewhat attached to our present human bodies. (Philippians 3:20-21)
Please get this: the ‘sinful passion’ of the ‘flesh’ was NOT removed by the death of Christ from our present bodies…rather it was CONDEMNED.
‘…God did: sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and as an offering for sin, He CONDEMNED SIN IN THE FLESH…’ (Romans 8:3NASB)
The sin in the flesh which is defined as ‘sinful passion or tendencies’ is still somewhat in our current human bodies…but while we await our new bodies, God CONDEMNED the ‘sin in the flesh’ which means it cannot bring us into CONDEMNATION before God anymore. (vs. 8:1) (Meanwhile, what I just wrote above deserves a shout of ‘Hallelujah’ if you understood it!) This is why though our bodies still have these tendencies; the HOLY SPIRIT has made our bodies His temple…because sin in the flesh has been ‘condemned’ by the death of Christ. The seal of the Holy Spirit in every believer is a guarantee that we will receive our new bodies at the coming of Christ!
‘…The Spirit is GOD’S GUARANTEE that he will give us the inheritance he promised…’ (Eph. 1:14 NLT)
Oh…I love the word ‘guarantee’! Now, a believer that lives a sinful lifestyle is a believer that has the sinful passions of the flesh AROUSED! The question is this: what arouses the ‘sinful passion’ of the flesh?
‘…For while we were in the flesh, the sinful passions, WHICH WERE AROUSED BY THE LAW, were at work in the members of our body to bear fruit for death…’ (Romans 7:6)
The sinful passion is likened to ‘fire’…while the preaching of the LAW is likened to ‘petrol’! Just as fire is aggravated by petrol, …sinful passions are aroused by the LAW! So any minister that preaches the LAW to people is simply AROUSING SIN in people!
‘…The old way, with LAWS etched in stone, led to death…’ (2Cor 3:7 NLT)
The more you teach it, the more you lead them to a path called ‘sin and death’!
‘…But sin used this COMMAND to AROUSE all kinds of covetous desires within me! IF THERE WERE NO LAW, SIN WOULD NOT HAVE THAT POWER…’ (Romans 7:8)
Oh, can you imagine how many people get ‘petrol’ added to the ‘flesh fire’ after every Sunday ‘lawful’ sermon?
I will conclude this post by introducing you to TWO teachers. I know you don’t want to live a sinful lifestyle but it is good you choose the right Teacher. The first TEACHER is called LAW…while the second TEACHER is called GRACE.
‘…the law was our guardian until Christ came…’ (Gal 3:24NIV)
The Law was not actually meant to be a teacher…but a ‘guardian’ or ‘schoolmaster’ who takes care of a pupil until he hands over the pupil to the real Teacher. The problem now is that many believers today now made the ‘schoolmaster’ into a ‘teacher’! And when the Law is made to ‘assume’ the role of a teacher, what it has to say will only end the believer into guilt and condemnation!
‘…Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it SAITH to them who are under the law: THAT EVERY MOUTH MAY BE STOPPED, AND ALL THE WORLD MAY BECOME GUILTY BEFORE GOD…’ (Romans 3:19)
If you stay under ‘Teacher’ Law, sin will just be empowered in your life!
‘…and the STRENGTH of sin is the LAW…’ (1Cor 15:56)
You ran to the Law in order to be holy…but you never knew that the LAW is like ‘petrol’ to the ‘fire’ of sinful passions! I tell you the truth, do not make the LAW your Teacher! The problem is not the Law….the problem is the ‘flesh’!
‘…What shall we say, then? Is the law sinful? Certainly not!…’ (Romans 7:7NIV)
Petrol is not a problem…until you splash it into fire’! Did you get that?
What about the second Teacher? This teacher is the Real Teacher! He is the Teacher that the Law was designed to hand you over to! His name is Grace.
‘…For THE GRACE OF GOD that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, TEACHING us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ…’ (Titus 2:11-13)
What a Teacher!
‘…And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more…’ (John 8:11)
Would you believe that the very power that says to you that ‘neither do I condemn you’…is the same power that TEACHES you to ‘Go and sin no more’? If Teacher Grace teaches you ‘neither do I condemn you’…the resultant effect would be a lifestyle that glorifies Jesus! Let Grace be your Teacher!
Just as the ‘strength of sin is the Law’ …that is how the ‘strength of Righteousness is GRACE’!
‘…But even greater is God’s wonderful GRACE and his GIFT of righteousness, for all who receive it WILL LIVE IN TRIUMPH OVER SIN and death through this one man, Jesus Christ…’ (Romans 5:17 NLT)
What a Teacher!!! Why not leave ‘Teacher Law’ alone. Even Teacher Law is telling you that its job has ended and he is not the real Teacher.
‘…The law was our guardian until Christ came; …until we could be made right with God through faith…And now that the way of faith has come, WE NO LONGER NEED THE LAW AS OUR GUARDIAN…’ (Gal 3:24-25NLT)
Let the real Teacher take over! Stop pouring Petrol on Fire! Stop employing the Law to teach Righteousness to believers! Let Grace Teach. And the resultant effect will be a lifestyle that ‘goes and sin no more’.
I hope this blessed someone. Remain under Grace.