Instead of seeing ‘law’ (in a theological sense) as a set-in-stone (literally?) objective set of commandments etched by God, I’ve come to know law as an accusational inner voice that can’t ever totally be stopped in this life.
Law is the relentless inner voice that convicts us in an endless amount of forms and disguises.
It doesn’t matter if you left the church when you were a kid because you thought it was stupid and harmful (I get it). I don’t care if you’re the most enlightened person on the planet. If you’re human, the law still speaks to you and to all of us. No matter how many Orange Theory classes we do. No matter how many minutes we’ve clocked in the Headspace app. No matter how enlightened, moralistic, or woke we think we’ve become. The voice still follows us.
When we’re in a separated state from God (“in sin”), ANYTHING can strike the human soul as law. Anything and everything can convict and threaten us in our separated state, even the “rustling of the leaves” as Luther so poetically quipped.
In this sense, law is seen not as an objective thing, but for what its effects are.
The gospel puts an end to the accusational voice of the law. It comforts. God’s action in Christ crashes in on our world, unexpectedly disrupts our schemes, puts an end to the old way of being, and brings to life a new way in the light of undeserved and unmerited grace.
This is the hound of heaven and it’s more relentless than any hound of hell. The hound of heaven is incessant and never sleeps. God is in the business of continually tracking your ass down to revive you and soften your heart. God uses the law to bring death and the gospel to bring new life.
When the hound of heaven gets ahold of us, the voice of the law ends when the old creature in us dies and we become fully what we were intended to be - created creaturely beings imbued with the image of God.
Not living in opposition to that relationship,
but at rest in it.
Grace + Godspeed,