White-erings 2016-02-15 23:23:00


What, none? None at all? But surely that is law-LESS-ness, and as far as it befits the things of God, is to be avoided at all costs. Surely such a condition could never be conceived of in our earthly state. Is it not so that without law to hold us back, unbridled sinfulness will break out and there will be no constraint on our wickedness. Surely it is true that even for the Christian, unless we live under the commands imposed by the authoritative ‘thou shalts’ and ‘thou shalt nots’ of the holy God, we will be self-driven and at enmity with Him, hostile to His purposes and foreign to His ways. For is not sin yet present in our earthly bodies, and we must wrestle with temptation and our desires, and without law we will be lost before we start. Surely …

But ‘NO LAW’ is written in God’s word!
We gasp! Where do we find this incredible claim? How will we thus live without it? Where will we go for the leash which restrains our lusts? Well, it is here, in Galatians 5:

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.
Against such things there is NO LAW.
Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.
Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.”

There it sits, nestled in the middle of these statements of the Apostle. He has listed many examples of the ‘works of the flesh’ (vs 19 -21), and he says clearly that those who engage in such things are not Christians, not believers at all. They will not inherit the kingdom of God. But on the other side of this great divide, there are those who are Christ’s, in whom this astounding work has been wrought, and in whom is the very Spirit of God. They ‘belong to Christ’. And if so, the old nature, the flesh, has been put to death at the cross – do you see that? Thus mortified, they are alive in the Spirit, and they walk with Him, hand in hand; they are to ‘keep in step’ with His drumbeat.

And here it is, shining in all its glory. We who thus live, redeemed and cleansed, washed in His blood and renewed in the inner nature, we who are His grow from the inside this wonderful fruit, this sweet produce to His glory. He changes us by infusing us, nurturing us with His holy sap, and we cannot fail but to bring forth His fruit, as we abide in Him, and He in us. There it is in nine-fold fullness. And the verdict the word of God brings is with it –

Against such things – THERE IS NO LAW!

You see, ‘law’ is, by its nature ‘against’. What it does is to oppose wicked behaviour. It attempts to tie it down, so that it will not have free reign and produce its destructive havoc. That is the purpose of law. But this fruit needs no restriction. Let it grow as it will. It spills out goodness, love and joy. You see that you cannot describe it without using the very words Paul does. It is freedom. It is Christlikeness. To legislate it is like trying to tell sunlight how to shine – that is a totally unnecessary lesson. It just does it. 

And this is how the Christian is to live – with NO LAW. No law, but a crucified flesh, with its passions - that is already accomplished. No law but in step with the Spirit - this we must do. For the substitute for the shadowy life-pattern of law-control is Spirit-freedom. And, believer, that is precisely what you were born for in Christ.
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About David White

Until recently David White served as a leader and preacher at a small village church in Lavendon, Buckinghamshire, England. At the present time he resides in Barton On Sea in the UK. He has been a Bible-soaked Christian for half a century, trained at London Bible College (now London School of Theology), but more importantly in God’s school of life.