Bible Reading: Romans 7:1-25
“Therefore, my brethren, you also have become dead to the law through the body of Christ, that you may be married to another—to Him who was raised from the dead, that we should bear fruit to God” [Romans 7:4].
Some years ago I read an interesting story that helped me to understand the relationship between law and grace. It demonstrates the difference between being married to Mr Law, and being married to Mr Grace, Jesus Christ. It is really helpful in understanding how damaging the teachers who wrongly use the law can be. Let me share this story with you:
A beautiful young woman married her childhood sweetheart. He was a good man, in his way, but he did not understand her weakness. On the first night of their honeymoon he handed her a list of duties and responsibilities he demanded that she fulfil as a wife. It was a miserable marriage, because Mr Law always pointed out our failings. And the worst of it was, he was always right! She spent the next ten years trying to comply with his rules but she could never measure up. Then, one day her husband died.
A few years later, this beautiful woman remarried, but this time she married a real prince. He loved her and lavished affection on her. No matter how much of a mess the house was in, and how screwed up she was he still loved her. Many years passed. One day she was cleaning out some papers, and found the list of expectations that her first husband had given her on their honeymoon. As she remembered his demands anxiety began to fill her heart, but then something remarkable happened. She suddenly realized that all the demands that she could never fulfil when she was married to her mean husband had become the things that she did naturally for years out of love for her prince.
Here is a perfect description of how the law points out our weaknesses and makes demands that we could never fulfil because of our weakness. This perfectly describes Paul’s experience of bondage in Romans chapter 7, but then Jesus came and died to set us free, and we became “married” to Him. When someone falsely teaches that a Christian must obey the rules and regulations of the law it brings bondage. We have been set free from the law and because we love Jesus we cannot help but please Him.
What is the main point that you have learned as you have read this story of Mr Law and Mr Grace?
Why do you think that grace is so much better than law?
Do you think that as we now live in the power of the Holy Spirit, that He would ever lead us to break God’s law?