It is almost impossible to meet someone that has not broken at least one law. Think about the red light you skipped or the speeding ticket you received. Maybe it was something else—such as not paying your taxes or illegally downloading movies or music. The bottom line is, we are all guilty of breaking the law.
Most of us only know of the Ten Commandments but did you know the Torah has 613 commandments? Can you imagine having to keep all 613 laws? How would you even remember them? No wonder the wisest man that ever lived, Solomon, concluded:
Indeed, there is no one on earth who is righteous, no one who does what is right and never sins. — Ecclesiastes 7:20
The law is like broken glass on the windscreen of your car. It doesn’t matter whether you have a nasty chip in it or if the whole thing is shattered; you will still have to replace the entire windshield. That is what James meant when he said:
For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it. — James 2:10
That’s why it is humanly impossible to be legalistically righteous. In fact, this is the main reason why the law was given—to help us realize that it is impossible to be righteous simply by human effort. After thousands of years of people trying, Christ came and introduced the only way through which we would attain the righteousness of God: to die to the old nature. See, the law only has a hold on us while we are alive but upon death, there is no law. That is why, as Paul explained, the law no longer has dominion over us:
What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? By no means! We are those who have died to sin; how can we live in it any longer? Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life. For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we will certainly also be united with him in a resurrection like his. For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body ruled by sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin—because anyone who has died has been set free from sin.— Romans 6:1–7
- Think about what drives you to serve the Lord. Are you still serving the Lord out of the “oldness of the letter”? (see Romans 7:6)
- Is your service out of obligation or out of love?
Lord, help me not to live for my old self but to live for You. Thank You for making me a new person. Thank You for showing me the way of salvation. In Jesus’ name, Amen.