The Christian Corpse

Daily Reform, Day 152

Galatians 2:19 & Philippians 4:4-7

From the Reformer

To be dead to the Law means to be free of the Law. What right, then, has the Law to accuse me, or to hold anything against me? When you see a person squirming in the clutches of the Law, say to him: “Brother, get things straight. You let the Law talk to your conscience. Make it talk to your flesh. Wake up, and believe in Jesus Christ, the Conqueror of Law and sin. Faith in Christ will lift you high above the Law into the heaven of grace. Though Law and sin remain, they no longer concern you, because you are dead to the Law and dead to sin.”

—Martin Luther, Commentary on the Epistle to the Galatians

Pulling It Together

Every time I go to the funeral home, I hear these words: “He is in a better place now.” This comment, of course, means that the person is now in heaven. There are other pluses as well: he no longer has to pay taxes or abide by the other laws of the land. Imagine saying to a corpse, “Don’t forget to file your taxes. After all, it’s the law!” The law has no affect on that dead fellow. Even so, Paul says that we are now dead and that it is Christ who lives in us. (Gal 2:20) You cannot say to a dead person, “You must keep this or that law or Christ does not live in you.”

Yet we even tell ourselves that we must not be Christian because broke a law or tradition of the church. Remind yourself at such times that you have been crucified with Christ; you are dead to the Law. (Rom 7:4) Rejoice that it is Christ who now lives in you. Rejoice! I say it again: rejoice!

© Mark E. Ryman, Daily Reform: Devotions with the Reformers

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