THE TWO WAYS THAT GOD DEALS WITH MAN

THE TWO WAYS THAT GOD DEALS WITH MAN

We are all familiar with the concept of national policies. These are the ways that the government has chosen to deal with the issues of the day and the people involved with them. But did you know that when it comes to man, God also has His own policies? Yes, He also has His own ways of dealing with man.

Now, of course, this should come as no surprise. God did, after all, give us the ten commandments through Moses. And the Bible is one big rule book, isn’t it? So what are God’s policies when it comes to dealing with man; and how do they affect us?

In Romans 8, Paul tells us that there are two laws, two polices, two ways in which God deals with man – the law of sin and death, and the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus. And it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that one leads to death and the other, to life.

But what is interesting about these laws, is not in what they are, but in how they are related to one another. Paul says,

“For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death.” Romans 8:2

These two laws are not equals to one another. If one can set free from the other, if one can liberate from the other, that one must be more powerful than the other, mustn’t it? But what makes the law of the Spirit of life that is found in Christ, more powerful than the law of sin and death? What makes it so special?

“For what the law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh, God did by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, on account of sin: He condemned sin in the flesh, that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.” Romans 8:3-4

Alright, that’s quite a mouthful. So let’s take this apart bit by bit.

When Paul mentioned ‘the law’, he was referring to the law of Moses, or simply put, the Ten Commandments. Now, make no mistake, the Ten Commandments was and still is a big deal, for here are the consequences for keeping to and flouting them.

“Now it shall come to pass, if you diligently obey the voice of the Lord your God, to observe carefully all His commandments which I command you today, that the Lord your God will set you high above all nations of the earth. And all these blessings shall come upon you and overtake you, because you obey the voice of the Lord your God:” Deuteronomy 28:1-2

“But it shall come to pass, if you do not obey the voice of the Lord your God, to observe carefully all His commandments and His statutes which I command you today, that all these curses will come upon you and overtake you:” Deuteronomy 28:15

In essence, the law of Moses was the policy of ‘do good, get good; do bad, get bad’. It was a rule book, a list of do’s and don’ts. It wasn’t a how-to guide and it didn’t give instructions on how one might go about keeping all those rules. So it is not surprising then that it was also known as the law of sin and death because all it did was highlight sin and pronounce death for all who sinned.

But God wasn’t happy with that first policy. He wasn’t happy dealing with man that way. So what did He do? He came up with a new policy; and Jesus tells us what that new policy is.

“…this is My blood of the [new and better] covenant, which [ratifies the agreement and] is being poured out for many [as a substitutionary atonement] for the forgiveness of sins.” Matthew 26:28 [AMP]

It not only is the new, but also, in Jesus’ words, it is the better covenant, one in which the lashes that Jesus bore on our behalf, the death that Jesus died, became the substitutionary atonement for our sins. As Paul says,

“…what the law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh, God did by sending His own Son…” Romans 8:3

A rulebook cannot save. A rule book cannot even tell you how to get saved. So that is why the Son of God had to come to “…condemned sin in the flesh…” so “…that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.” Romans 8:3-4

And from then on, that which was ‘do good, get good; do bad, get bad’ was superseded and became ‘we just believe and receive, for Christ has done it all for us’.

But why would God do something like that? Why would God make life so simple for us, at the expense of His own Son?

Now, here’s the thing that gets most people. Here’s the stumbling block for many who have yet to believe. Because in order to understand why, you need to believe that God can and does love you that much.

In our mortal minds, such love is outrageous, superhuman, unheard of, because it is unthinkable. Well, of course it is. This is God we are talking about. Would you expect any less? If He loved like any human would, no better than any human could, then God or not, He would really cease to be special, wouldn’t He?

You see, God our Father Himself has said,

““Do I have any pleasure at all that the wicked should die?” says the Lord God, “and not that he should turn from his ways and live?”” Ezekiel 18:23

“‘As I live,’ says the Lord God, ‘I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from his way and live.’” Ezekiel 33:11

And for this purpose, Jesus was sent, for as Jesus said,

“Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance.” Mark 2:17

And you know what? Right at this point, you would expect me to make a call to action and ask you to turn and choose to deal with God according to the new and better covenant, according to the law of the Spirit of life, right?

Well, the beauty of our Father’s love is, because you believe in Jesus’ gift of salvation and have received him, I don’t have to, for

“…you are not [living] in the flesh [controlled by the sinful nature] but in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God lives in you [directing and guiding you].” Romans 8:9 [AMP]

Already received Jesus, haven’t you? Already answered this call of His, right?

“Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me.” Revelation 3:20

Then live in you, Jesus most surely is. You are therefore no longer living in the flesh, controlled by the sinful nature, but instead, the Spirit of God is now living in you, directing you and guiding you; and you most surely are under the law of the Spirit of life.

You know, on this side of heaven, all those who are born after the inception of a law or policy automatically come under its power right? So how much better must it be on God’s side of heaven?

But can you still choose to deal with God in terms of ‘do good, get good; do bad, get bad’? Sure you can. I can’t imagine that God will be too pleased with that, especially considering what Jesus had to go through to get you into that new covenant; but He will honor and respect your decision. And when He does, just like He told the rich young ruler who asked Him,

“Good Teacher, what good thing shall I do that I may have eternal life?” Matthew 19:16

He will say to you

“If you want to be perfect, go, sell what you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.” Matthew 19:21

But at that moment, will you then respond this way?

“But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions.” Matthew 19:22

Beloved child of God, “…I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:38-39

Because God Himself has done everything that we could not do, right all the wrongs that we could never set right, just so that

“There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.” Romans 8:1

Why are we making life difficult for ourselves by trying to deal with Him on the terms of ‘do good, get good; do bad, get bad’? Shouldn’t we take Him up on His offer, accept and receive His gift of salvation and live the forgiven life, the one in which we have been already made the beloved children of God?

Of course we should continue to do good, for not only is that what we should do, it benefits us to do good. But don’t try and use that to earn your way into heaven. Because of what Jesus has done for you on the cross, you never needed to earn your way nor will you ever need to.

Instead, let’s just receive His love and be in awe of its magnificence and live the rested life that Jesus came to give us, the life free from sin and guilt, and the life free to receive His provision and protection.

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