Dear Friends, In Romans 8 Paul says that that the law of the Spirit of life has set us free from the law of sin and death. In this section of scripture Paul is exploring the role of law in the life of those before and after their reconciliation with God through Jesus. I suspect that most of don’t get up every day and think about how our lives relate to the law. But, we should understand something about how our relationship with the law has changed since our coming to faith in Jesus. Consider the following. Before we can have familial enjoyment with God, we need legal standing before God. But prior to our salvation and because of our personal and persistent sin the only standing we have is “guilty of having transgressed the law.” In life, the law (any law) is good in the sense that it promotes the well being of human life by protecting a well-ordered society, punishing wrong doing and rewarding those who do right by the law. However, the law has no power to restore the law breaker, it can only condemn or judge as guilty. This means that while the law’s intent and purpose is good, it has now power to save. In order to provide forgiveness and restoration something else is needed. This leads us the second aspect of our relationship to law. We cannot look to law to save us. As the scripture says, once we have broken the law at one point, we are guilty of all of it. And of course, God’s righteous and perfect law “love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul and mind and love your neighbor as yourself, “is simply out of reach for all of us. This puts all of us in the unfortunate situation of “falling short of the glory of God.” “All we like sheep have gone astray, each of us have turned to our own way.” Thus, we are guilty of having broken the law and the law cannot do anything to help us. It can only tell us where we have gone wrong. This leads to a third truth. “For God has done (emphasis mine), what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do. By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin he condemned sin in the flesh.” This means that God has done something utterly unexpected. David Seccombe puts it this way, “What he makes clear is that he rescue achieved on the cross was at its heart the overcoming of the death penalty standing against us by virtue or our repeated disregard of God’s law. God achieved this, not by setting the law aside but by meeting its every demand – in Jesus. (emphasis mine). By providing all that the law legally demanded, the law breaker discharged of any further liability.” (The Gospel of the Kingdom p. 130). The fact that this has happened to those who have looked to Jesus for their salvation means that they now have legal standing before God. The law has been fully satisfied by Jesus’ life and death, which is no applied to the one who trusts in him. This is what makes Romans 8:1 true for us, “there is now no condemnation for this in Christ Jesus.” May I encourage you this week to rest in, rejoice in, glory in this truth that the law and all its demands have been met in your case and because of that you now have both legal and familial rights in God’s presence. Praise His Name!