The God Who Gives Us Everything
Paul reveals another key truth: In Christ, we are new people with a new status and therefore a new way of living.
When Jesus died, we died with him. When Jesus rose to life, we rose with him. No longer enslaved to sin, God has liberated us to live a new life—to choose the ways that lead to life.
So what role does the law that God gave Moses have in the life of a believer now? Paul explains that the law served its role with Israel because it showed his people that they were sinful. But the law couldn’t give life. The law pointed to life, but since no one could keep the law, it brought death. So God sent Jesus, the Messiah, and then his Spirit, to do what God’s people couldn’t—fulfill the law and give life.
We are people of the Spirit. And we must choose to follow him as he leads us in the ways of life. While God’s Spirit is at work within us, God hasn’t renewed us completely yet. We wait, along with all of creation, for that day—even God’s Spirit inside of us groans with longing. But God is working out all things in our lives to shape us into the pattern of his Son Jesus. Nothing can stop his loving work.
The King’s Heart
God knew after the fall that there would be no way for us to keep his law. We had something foundationally wrong with us; even if we had wanted to live rightly, we couldn’t. The sin in us lured us to live otherwise.
We were stuck. We didn’t just need help, we needed rescue.
And God provided it for us in Jesus. Jesus was innocent, yet he died and paid the penalty for our sins. As if that wasn’t incredible enough, God included us in Jesus’ death, so that the sin-enslaved us died too. As if that wasn’t incredible enough, God took our sin-stained slate and gave us Jesus’ righteousness. And if that wasn’t incredible enough, God included us in Jesus’ resurrection, giving us new life in him. As if that wasn’t incredible enough, he moved inside of us to guide us to the ways of life.
God removed every barrier that kept us from him. Then he set us up to live the most abundant life possible. Oh, how he loves us.
God told Jeremiah that in the new covenant, he was going to put his law in his people’s minds and write it on their hearts (see Jeremiah 31:31-34). God is explaining the fulfillment in this part of Paul’s letter.