Greater Than the Law

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Proverbs 3:11-20; 1 John 3:18-4:6; John 11:17-29

From the Reformer

This does not mean that the conscience does not feel the terrors of the Law at all. Of course it feels them. But it means that the conscience cannot be condemned and brought to the point of despair by such things. For “there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” (Rom. 8:1); again: “If the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed” (John 8:36). Regardless of how terrified the Christian is by the Law and how much he acknowledges his sin, he does not despair; for he believes in Christ, into whom he has been baptized and through whom he has the forgiveness of sins.

—Martin Luther, Luther’s Works, Lectures on Galatians (v 26, p 447)

Pulling It Together

Blessed is the one who discovers wisdom and understanding. Often this comes through discipline. I remember well the discipline of my parents. By their reprimands, I was meant to come to an understanding. If you run out into the street, you will get hit by a car!

The Lord’s commandments also rebuke us when we break them. So they should. Blessed is the one who discovers wisdom and understanding from the law of God. Yet, there is a greater understanding to be found. When our hearts take the side of the law, condemning us at every turn, blessed are you when you understand that God is greater than feelings of condemnation and guilt.

You will surely break the commandments and die. Eventually, you may run out into the street once to often and meet that car. But whoever believes in Jesus, though he dies, he will live. Let the law correct you, but do not linger in the condemnation. Greater than the law is he who is in you.

Blessed is the one who receives this wisdom and understanding.

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