I am home this weekend after several weeks on the road. It was good to be in my home church community. Pastor Jonathan did a fantastic job challenging all of us to embrace the Holy Spirit and the testimony of His power in our lives in a fresh way. As I face this week, I am ready to embrace the presence and the power of the Holy Spirit as I head to Bulgaria in a couple of days.
The Holy Spirit is the power of God’s grace at work in our lives. Outside of Christ mankind is bound to an administration of the knowledge of good and evil. In Christ, we find the liberty of an administration of the Tree of Life. The tree of the knowledge of good and evil is an administration of information and by it humanity is limited by the external forces of information and thus they are bound from receiving true change in their hearts and minds. In Christ, we receive the internal transforming force of life. In Christ, we are empowered by God’s grace, but before we were in Christ we were under the law or under the influence of our own human conscience. Law is an informing force. The human conscience is the same. An administration of information restrained us, but it didn’t change us. It communicated to us our need for something more. Don’t kill anyone. You shall not murder. These are mere informing commands of law. There are always people who break the law, but if you break the law you suffer the consequence of breaking the law. People who break the law try to get away with it as much as they possibly can without getting caught, but when they are discovered they suffer the consequence of breaking the law. The truth is; perversions in their character, nature, way, power, and authority are the true source of their transgression of the law or even the violation of their own conscience. They ignore the law and their conscience and even seek to redefine them both according to their own thinking and desires. Law or conscience only manifest their internal flaws.
Law doesn’t really change us. It just makes us a killer in prison or it makes us a killer restrained from acting upon our internal desire to kill. If we have a soft spot in us of any kind, we may begin to think there must be something more. What have I done? What did I do? I don’t want to be in this situation anymore. A violator of the law does not just need to be free from prison, but to have a changed life so they never go to prison again. Grace is the presence of the Holy Spirit in our lives that empowers us to never need to go to prison. We all find ourselves in different kinds of prisons in life. If you find yourself in a prison of some sort because you made a mistake, Grace doesn’t just free you from prison; it changes your character and heart so you will never go to prison again. Law puts people in prison, or restrains them from acting in a way that will put them there. Even human conscience can put you into a prison of guilt and condemnation, but it cannot give you the freedom of transformational change. Jesus didn’t come so there would be no more law! He didn’t come so we could rejoice in the death of law. Outside of Christ there is plenty of law and plenty of prisons. There are righteous laws and righteous prisons, but they don’t have the ability to change the hearts and minds of men. They are a lower level of government than where humans should live. Humans should live with their minds in heavenly places. Their hearts are meant to be in a relationship with a heavenly God living by a higher law. That law is one of love. Love produces a fruit of change that looks like law, but it is really an internal passion.
Let me define law a moment. Gravity is a law. It is a good thing if you don’t violate it. It works for us when we use it rightly. It prevents us from floating around in the air. Losing the law of gravity would require another law to bring stability. We may have to install magnets to our shoes and use the law of magnetic attraction. Magnetic attraction can be a higher law when gravity is missing. These laws are not harmful when these laws serve us. If we jump off a high building the law of gravity is not going to serve us. We are going to come under the law of gravity and plummet to the ground and suffer the consequence. We cannot break a law, we can only violate it and then it breaks us. This is true is all laws.
My son fly’s helicopters. You must apply laws to the helicopter that serve the piece of metal and make it go in the air. Lift, thrust, and propulsion are all laws of physics that are necessary to defy the law of gravity and make that metal object fly. You must put those three laws into effect to prevent the metal box from falling out of the air. When you put those laws together in a way that serves the desired result, those laws become a blessing to the desire for flight. I am trying to paint a picture that reveals that Jesus didn’t come to get rid of law. He came to get us to no longer be under law. Law is a witness of us. The shadow of our lives should be a testimony of what law looks like. In the law, you shall not kill. This law is simply a witness to our character, nature, and way. We don’t serve it, it is a testimony of us. You shall not commit adultery is not a law you are under, it is a witness of you when your character, nature, and way are empowered by grace in Christ. That is all it is. It is a witness of you. You shall not steel what belongs to your neighbor is a testimony of your external witness of your internal character, nature, and way. You are not under the law. It doesn’t rule you. It speaks of you. It testifies of what you are like. Some people think that when we come into grace there is no law. Some people come into grace and they want to put the world into a system of grace and there is no law. The world cannot live in grace. They must live under law! They are under law until they boldly come and receive mercy. They must boldly come and they then must find grace. You cannot give it to them. It is something that each one must find!
Ted J. Hanson
Thank you so much to those of you who have been able to contribute to our cause. In this past month I have been in the Netherlands, Ireland, Wales, England, Spain, and again in England. This week I head to Bulgaria and after that I will be in Luxembourg. Without your prayers and support we are limited in our ability to do our part in the place of our calling in Christ. If God blesses you to bless us, please consider supporting House of Bread Ministry. Checks Payable to: House of Bread Ministry, 3210 Meridian St., Bellingham, WA 98225
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