Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered outside the gate. Therefore, let us go forth to him outside the camp, bearing his reproach. For we have no continuing city here, but we seek one to come.
Select a thought to read by choosing a collection, the month, and then the day:
“Woe to those enacting crooked statutes and writing oppressive laws. . .”
Sin is not always an illegal act. There is much sin in this world that is perfectly legal. In fact, many sins are often encouraged by political leaders and institutions. Be wise. Do not confuse the difference between what is legal and what is sinful. Just because leaders of nations have power to make laws that are binding on people does not mean that the laws they make are good or right. It is an easy trap to fall into for a person to begin to justify a sinful act based upon the fact that a certain human law permits, or even commands such behavior. It is not rare for this to happen; people all over the world do it every day.
In human history, dictators often have sought legitimacy for their outrageous conduct by forcing governing councils in their land to pass laws sanctioning their brutality against innocent people. I wonder how it would have been if, at any given point in history, everyone in a country had loved Jesus and refused to submit to a dictator’s wicked will? What great evils could any dictator accomplish if no one in his domain was willing to sin legally? This interesting scene might well have been played out somewhere along the bloody path of man’s history if people had really believed that God will bring every one of us into eternal account for the deeds we have done, whether those deeds are legal or not.
The resolution of every conflict on earth is found in submission to the will of the true and living God because in His will there is no wrongdoing, no murder, no thievery, no unkindness or injustice of any sort. In His will is love for one’s neighbor and a willingness for others to have what they desire before demanding what you prefer. The love of God, put into action, would bring an immediate and permanent end to all wars.
The children of God have a law engraved onto their hearts by the holy Spirit. By that law, they can rightly govern and judge their actions as well as the actions of others. This law is “the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus”, and it sets men “free from the law of sin and death.” To keep that law is to keep one’s soul from eternal damnation. The kind of life which that law demands that we live is described by Paul in Galatians 5:22-23. It is a life characterized by “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faith, humility, and self-control.” Against such a life, Paul adds, “there is no law.”
To live a life in the Spirit of Christ is to live a life that is superior to any laws that men can make. It is to live better than any earthly law demands that we live. For God’s children to stoop so low as to justify any ungodliness on the basis of its being legal on earth is itself a great sin; it is an affront to the holy Spirit that lives within him. Do not do that.
Always remember, my dear friends, that in the Final Judgment, we who believe will be judged by no law made by men on earth. We will be judged by “the perfect law of liberty” that is given to us in Christ.