THE LAW OF LIFE
BY: CHIP BROGDEN
THE LAW OF LIFE MEANS CONTINUING IN CHRIST
THE LAW OF LIFE MEANS CHRIST IS OUR SATISFACTION
THE LAW OF LIFE MEANS THE WAY TO GOD IS OPEN
THE LAW OF LIFE MEANS “NOT I, BUT CHRIST”
THE LAW OF LIFE MEANS CHRIST WILL TEACH US EVERYTHING WE NEED TO KNOW
THE LAW OF LIFE MEANS “HE MUST INCREASE, BUT I MUST DECREASE”
“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)
Two laws are mentioned in this passage of Scripture: the Law of Life, and the Law of Sin and Death. We who are in Christ Jesus have been delivered from the Law of Sin and Death and are under a new law, which is the Law of Life.
The difference between a theoretical walk with Christ and a practical walk with Christ hinges upon being able to differentiate between the Law of Life and the Law of Death. In the Garden the choice was between the Knowledge of Good and Evil (Law of Death) or the Tree of Life (Law of Life). We must make the same choice today. Christians are much exercised in trying to discern between good and evil, right and wrong, Spirit and flesh. It seems the more we try to figure this out the more frustrated we become. Instead, God would have us come to the Tree of Life. This Life will instruct us in all things, including what is right and what is wrong, yet it is deeper than mere knowledge.
Since it is the Law of Life then we can count upon it to work every time. A law is something which states that a predictable result will occur whenever the same conditions are in place. If it happens once it may be an accident. If it happens two or three times it may be a coincidence. But if it happens a million or a billion times without fail then it is a law. For example, because of the Law of Gravity, if I release a ball into the air then it will fall to the ground. It does not matter how many times I perform this exercise, the result will be the same. It is a law.
Similarly, there is a Law of Sin and Death and there is a Law of Life. In order to live victoriously we do not need ten or twenty principles or keys. All we need to do is cooperate with the Law of Life. It is a sad fact that too many Christians find it easier to cooperate with the Law of Sin and Death than they do the Law of Life. They have no doubt as to the power of the negative law, but they have difficulty believing in the power of the positive law. Hopefully as we discuss these things it will be an encouragement to many who are struggling to overcome sin, self, and satan.
THE LAW OF LIFE MEANS CONTINUING IN CHRIST
“Unless you eat My flesh and drink My blood you do not have eternal Life in you [Gate]… Whoever continues to eat My flesh and drink My blood continues to live in union with Me and I in union with him… Whoever keeps on eating Me will live because of Me [Path].” (John 6:53, 56, 57b) (Williams Translation)
It is amazing to see just how often Christ presents us with a Gate and a Path. I believe by now we all know what the Gate is. My burden is to see disciples brought down the Path, so I see the Path everywhere I look in the Scripture. How does this relate to our study? In this way: the Gate of eternal Life is to receive the Lord as food and drink, but the Path is to continue eating and drinking.
The Lord’s words here are not meant to be interpreted literally, for He says, “The words I speak are Spirit and Life, and the flesh profits nothing.” But let us look at literal food and drink for a moment. The Lord tells us that He is meat indeed, and drink indeed. Just how often do we eat and drink? Unless we are fasting, our eating and drinking occur daily, several times a day in fact. That is why I selected the Williams Translation of these passages, because it gives us the continuing action of the Greek verb – “keeps on eating” and “keeps on drinking”. It is not just a once-and-for-all thing, but a continual thing. It is abiding. It is a Gate and a Path.
Now where have we failed? By thinking of eternal Life in terms of a Gate and not a Path. This accounts for our weakness. Eternal Life is not everlasting existence (everyone has that already); it is Christ living in me and I living in Christ continually. I do not eat a single meal at the beginning of my life which is meant to sustain me for the rest of my life. Not at all! Every day I require food and drink, not only to remain healthy, but to simply maintain my natural life. How can it be any less true of Christ?
The Law of Life says our Life is contingent upon continuing in the Lord Jesus as we received the Lord Jesus (Colossians 2:6). I do not have Life today because I received the Lord in 1979. No! I have Life today because today I received the Lord, eating His flesh and drinking His blood. I have no Life of my own, so I am dependant upon His Life to sustain me daily. Since we must have Life every day, we must eat His flesh and drink His blood everyday. Everything hinges upon this.
THE LAW OF LIFE MEANS CHRIST IS OUR SATISFACTION
“I am the Bread of Life. He that comes to Me will never hunger, and he that believes on Me will never thirst.” (John 6:35)
Here we have another principle of how the Law of Life operates. The presence of this Life within the believer will create hunger and thirst for Christ. What is more, this hunger and thirst for Christ cannot be filled or quenched with anything else – including blessings, power, spiritual gifts, or Christian service. It is hard to convince new converts of this, but those of us who have been around a long time should know by now that Christ is what makes a Christian.
Teresa of Avila wrote, “Anyone who fails to go forward, begins to go back, and love, I believe, can never be content to stay for long where it is.” It is a paradox that A.W. Tozer wrote about in “The Pursuit of God”: how can one who has found the Lord continue to hunger and thirst for Him as though He was yet undiscovered?
The answer is two-fold. In the first place, the Lord is much higher, deeper, longer, wider, and larger than we have imagined Him to be. He is so great; in fact, that it will takes additional ages and generations beyond this dimension in order for us to come to the epignosis of Christ. Paul certainly knew the Lord, but near the end of his life he proclaimed his highest aspiration was, “to know Him.”
In the second place, as we have seen already, the Law of Life requires a constant abiding. Having once come to the Lord as Life, now we continually receive Him as our Life. Why are so many dissatisfied? Because they are looking for other things – even good things, spiritual things – to fill a void which only Christ can fill. I am not talking about sinners, I am talking about Christians who look for religious things to fill the void Christ was meant to fill. They are no different than sinners who look for sinful things to fill the same void. This Life accepts no substitutes. It does not perpetuate itself through religious activity, spiritual experiences, hours of prayer, listening to sermons, or long periods of meditation. The Life is perpetuated when we touch the Living Christ directly. And once we know how, we may touch Him immediately and constantly.
So how does Christ satisfy our hunger and thirst? Of course the crowds were looking to have a miracle performed to fill their stomachs. To a certain extent we expect the same sort of miracle. We have no abundance; hence multitudes of Christians flock to churches every week to be fed. We wonder why we live such an up-and-down existence.
Christ is Life. Where is your life? Is it in a church? Is it in a ministry? Is it in a series of mountaintop experiences? Is it in a system of worship or prayer or spiritual exercises? It is possible to have all this as something apart from Christ. How do I know it is possible? Because I have sought all those things for myself and discovered that it is possible to have those things and not have Christ. That is not to say that they do not leave a good feeling or make one think he is spiritual – but Christ is not in my feelings and He is not in my emotion.
Those who hunger and thirst after Righteousness – Christ – will be filled. Thus, the one who is filled is never hungry or thirsty. So on the one hand I want to know the Lord and my desire for Him increases day by day; but it is not the desperate search of a hungry or thirsty man who is fainting and wasting away. I am full of Him because He fills me. There is my “Life, and Life more abundantly.” My Life is not in what He gives me, but in Who He is.
The ones who do not know this are the ones who have to run all over the world looking for a spiritual experience, the next move of God, or a more powerful “anointing”. They are the ones who simply MUST be inside a church building once or twice a week, and if they miss one service they immediately become depressed or backslidden. How is this possible? Because they have been taught that Life is church attendance, or power, or anointing, or feeling God move upon them in a tangible way. But if this were so then they would not need to be constantly filled and refilled.
On reading what has been written thus far I am sure some people are turning in their Bibles to Ephesians 5:18, where Paul writes, “Be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess – but be filled with the Spirit.” They will correctly point out that the Greek tense here is “be being filled”, in other words, be continuously filled. Does this not justify a pursuit of spiritual experiences and additional fillings, they will ask? Not at all; rather, it underscores what we have been saying all along. If we abide in Christ and come to Him then we will be continually filled with His Spirit. We will be satisfied, and will not have to seek out some kind of experience that tickles our flesh.
As a drug addict is never satisfied, so a religious addict is never satisfied. The drug addict and the religious addict must always search for a bigger and better “high”. Without this high they are irritable and bad-tempered. Deny them their “fix” and they will become intolerable. Suggest that they have a problem and they will begin to view YOU as the problem. Some say they are really hungry and thirsty for God, so they are going to go here or there because they want “fresh fire” or “greater anointing” or whatever. What they are really hungry and thirsty for is a fix, a spiritual experience, a feeling of power, a manifestation, the feeling of a gentle breeze blowing on them, someone to wave their hand over them and give them a “new word” and so on. Where is Christ in this kind of an atmosphere? In this orgy of sensation He is nowhere to be found.
We must stop looking for a Jesus “out there” and look for the Christ who is within us. If we would just once come to Christ in simplicity we would immediately meet Him. It would be better for us to lock ourselves alone into a room and just sit there quietly before the Lord for one hour than to travel back and forth to all these meetings, looking for something loud, powerful, and demonstrative. It is the Spirit which gives Life; the flesh profits nothing. I have one question: are you satisfied after all those experiences? If you are, then why do you have to keep running around for more of the same? Do you abide in Christ as Life, or not? And if you are not satisfied, can you not see why?
So what are we saying? Simply this: the Law of Life says that the presence of Christ within the believer results in spiritual satisfaction. If we have Him then we will never hunger or thirst again, because He is Infinite Supply. Anything less than spiritual satisfaction indicates that there is a problem. I am not saying that one should be content with their progress and present knowledge of Christ so that they stop growing; but I am saying that no matter what stage of progress you may be at presently, Christ should be your satisfaction. We must differentiate between seeking Christ and seeking some feeling in our emotion in the name of an “outpouring” or “move” of God. May I emphatically state that God already poured out everything He has when He gave His Son to us to be our Life! If we are still waiting for God to “move” then I have to believe we do not fully appreciate that God’s greatest move was revealing His Son in us. How can we keep looking for anything else when we have everything in Him already?
THE LAW OF LIFE MEANS THE WAY TO GOD IS OPEN
So how do we touch Him directly? “He who comes to Me.” Can it really be this easy? A better question is, why should it be difficult? I can come to Him whether I am driving down the street, walking down the sidewalk, or sitting in my chair. I can come to Him whether it is Sunday morning or Tuesday night or Friday afternoon. I can come to Him in a large group, or with two or three, or all by myself. I can come to Him in the desert, in the garden, in the church building, or in the prison camp. I am prevented from doing many things due to circumstance, location, state of mind, or resources. But one thing I cannot be prevented from doing is coming to the Lord.
Must I stand, or bow down, or lay on my face? Am I supposed to whisper, shout, or say nothing at all? Should I sing, or pray, or recite the Scriptures, or be still? What difference does it make? None at all, so long as I come to the Lord. He does not tell us what to do, what to say, or what to expect. He just says, “Come to Me, and you will not be hungry or thirsty.” Religion would like to teach us a method and a formula for everything, but Christ is no religion. There are no ceremonies, rituals, rites of initiation or barriers to entry as in the Old Testament. Nor do we have to spend hours and days praying, fasting, or meditating. This is a New Way, and this Way is open. All we have to do is present ourselves to Christ.
Many of us are still prone to asking a lot of questions about how to have this kind of relationship with Christ. But if we will trust in the Life, then the Life will lead us. By comparison, I am not concerned with the Law of Gravity. I do not worry about floating away into space, and I do not have to keep reminding myself to walk according to the Law of Gravity. I just go along as usual and never give it a thought, confident that gravity will keep me where I am supposed to be. Even if I do not know there is such a thing as gravity I am nevertheless held firmly to the earth. If we would have that same faith in the Law of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus then all our questions would be answered. This Law of Life will operate whether we understand it or know about it (of course, we do want to know how it operates so we can cooperate with it, but it works in spite of our ignorance).
The branch who abides in the Vine does not have to know how it abides. So long as it abides, it shares in the Life of the Vine. It does not have to ask how it works, and it does not have to be concerned with producing the fruit. It does nothing but abide, and the Life of the Vine keeps it. The Vine and the Branches is a reality; it is not a parable. Jesus did not say, “The Kingdom of God is like the Vine and the Branches.” That would have been a parable. Instead, Jesus says, “I am the Vine, and you are the Branches.” This is no simile or metaphor, it is reality. What does it mean? That we are one, and we share in a common Life. Everything happens according to the Law of Life in Christ. But since it is easy to become philosophical and ethereal concerning this, let us quickly bring it down to a practical application and discover how we may cooperate with it.
THE LAW OF LIFE MEANS “NOT I, BUT CHRIST”
“I am crucified with Christ, nevertheless I live: yet not I, but Christ lives in me.” (Galatians 2:20a)
You may be interested in knowing how the Lord taught me to live according to the Law of Life. I learned from the Scriptures that Christ lived in me, and I had no life of my own. I understood that Christianity is not about trying to be like Jesus, but is about Jesus Himself living in me and through me. This is what is called the Law of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus. So then I realized that it is not about me at all, my weakness, or my feelings one way or the other. All that mattered was Christ in me, doing what I cannot do in myself.
As I was taking a shower one morning the Spirit began to repeat to me over and over again, “Trust in My Life! Trust in My Life!” I thought that was too easy to do, Christianity must be more difficult than this. But this soft Voice was persistent. It was not a command, but a challenge. Finally I agreed to trust in His Life, and I went about my business.
It was not long before the first test came. I did not like to wash dishes, but the first thing my wife asked me to do that morning was wash the dishes. Oh no! Immediately I clenched my jaws together and felt my blood pressure rise. You must understand that I used to have a temper which once caused me to slam a car door so hard that I broke the glass out of it. So my natural response to this dirty kitchen was to explode and say that I was too busy and besides, it is not my job anyway! That was my first thought.
But at that exact moment I recalled what the Spirit had been telling me: “Trust in My Life!” So I went to the Lord, not outwardly, but inwardly, and said, “I cannot clean this stupid kitchen! I have better things to do. I hate this dirty job. Nevertheless, I trust in Your Life to do in me and through me what I am unable and unwilling to do myself.” Neither my feelings nor my emotions went away, but I obediently began washing the dishes, and waited to see what, if anything, would happen.
I cannot say when exactly it happened, but at some point I became conscious of the Law of Life taking over and washing those dishes. What was at first a repulsive thing soon became a joyous occasion, and I began to smile. I realized that it was not I, but Christ, Who was doing this chore. It was almost as if I was observing myself doing it, marveling at how well it was going, but at the same time, incredulous that it was so easy! It was like riding a bicycle for the first time, when you finally “get it”, and you wonder why it took you so long to figure it out.
The dishes were soon done and the kitchen was cleaned, but the lesson learned that day stayed with me forever. It convinced me that Jesus Christ lives. I know that Jesus lives because Jesus washed those dishes! That was more proof to me than a thousand sermons. I could not do what I just did. Or to be more correct, I could do it if I forced myself to, but I could not do it with such joy and peace! It was not so much the outward thing that was done as it was the spirit and manner in which it was performed. My Christian life changed from “What Would Jesus Do?” to “Watch What Jesus Does!”
Now you may think that is a silly example, but we must begin with baby steps. There is no need to go out and put yourself through a major test. If you cannot pass the smallest of tests, what makes you think the larger tests will be any easier? It is not the size of a thing that matters, it is learning the lesson of the Law of Life. The Lord was not trying to teach me about doing housework, but was teaching me how to cooperate with His Life.
The Law of Gravity brings objects to the ground. It does not matter to Gravity how large or small the object is. It works the same with acorns as it does with airplanes. Likewise, I know today that it does not matter if I am called upon to wash dishes, mow the lawn, write an article, preach a message, cast out a demon, love my neighbor, forgive my enemy, or lay down my life. It makes no difference to the Life. It is not I, but Christ, who does these things. The principle is the same, and the Life cannot fail. If I give up my life, if I give up my self-effort, then He begins to do what I cannot do. This is Christianity.
The Law of Life means that I do not try to be or do anything in my own strength. Instead, the Life leads me, the Life instructs me, and the Life gives me the words and the actions. I am not a Christian because I believe in the Bible, follow the teachings of Jesus, and live a good life. I am a Christian because Christ is my Life. Since Christ is my Life, I no longer live, but it is Christ who lives in me. I do nothing to achieve this, it just is. Because He lives, I live. In Him I live; in Him I move; in Him I have my being (Acts 17:28a).
Again, let us make this practical. Does a fish become a fish by swimming under the water, or does it swim under the water because it is a fish? Does it say to itself, “I am a fish, therefore, I must learn to act like a fish. I must remember to breathe through my gills and move my body back and forth.” Absolutely not. Or what about a bird? Does a bird become a bird once it learns to fly through the air? Or does it fly through the air because it is a bird? Which is it? Of course, the bird is a bird, and therefore it flies. It does not have to be instructed per se, but when it is pushed out of the nest it flaps its wings. It is its nature to do so. So doing does not create being, doing flows out of being.
Now the Law of Life in Christ does not try to make us into something we are not. The very presence of the Life in us demonstrates that Christ already indwells us. We are not trying to be like Christ, and we are not trying to live like a Christian. Since we ARE in Him, we WALK in Him. Our works come from what we are, not what we are trying to be. We do not receive His Life so that we can work very hard to be like Jesus. That is like the fish having to remind itself that since it is a fish therefore it must swim. Or, like a bird having to keep telling itself through positive confession that it must remember to fly. Yet Christians keep reminding themselves, “Now that I am a Christian, I must remember to read the Bible, pray, and live a holy life. I must not forget to love my neighbor and smile no matter what happens.” Can you see the problem here? With this mentality we cannot cooperate with the Life, because we would be depending on our life instead of His.
This is why we cannot look for a method, formula, or technique to try and teach people spirituality. It is like taking a bird and putting it in a school to teach it to fly. Just let the bird go and it will fly all by itself! Why do we not take a fish and give it a technique for swimming? You know very well that when you drop the fish into the water it will just swim away of its own accord. But we try to teach Christians three keys to spiritual growth, or four principles of Christian living, or seven ways to overcome, or a ten-step process to this thing or that thing. What we should be doing is letting these people loose and allowing them to discover how wonderful this Life in them is, how the Christ Who indwells them will teach them everything.
THE LAW OF LIFE MEANS “ABIDE IN ME, AND YOU WILL PRODUCE MUCH FRUIT”
“I am the Vine, and you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, will produce much fruit: for apart from Me you can do nothing.” (John 15:5)
It is amazing the number of Christians who believe it is up to them to produce fruit. This teaching is, to them, like trying to force a square peg through a round hole. They become obsessed with making something happen, thinking it is all up to their effort, their willpower, their determination, to grow up into Christ. To suggest that they cease from their labor is to make light of all their hard work up until now, and this offends them! They begin in the Spirit, but look to the flesh (self-effort) to complete the work. That is not the Christ-Life! The fruit will come of its own accord, provided we abide in Him.
But look at the last part of the verse: “Apart from Me you can do nothing.” It is similar to John 5:15, which says, “The Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He sees the Father do: for whatever the Father does, the Son does.” And John 14:10: “I speak nothing of Myself. It is the Father that dwells in Me, and He does the works.” As the Son can do nothing apart from the Father Who dwells within Him, so we can do nothing apart from the Son who dwells within us. The question is not whether or not we will work out our salvation, but under whose power will we work it out? Is it our willpower, or is it Christ? Is it our effort, or is it the Law of Life?
Are we making a case for idle passivity? By no means. We are not suggesting that Christians cease all effort, only that Christians cease all SELF-effort. The Law of Life is more powerful and active than anything generated or maintained by self-effort. With self-effort I am always at the mercy of how I feel. If I feel spiritual then I can pray for hours at a time. But if I do not feel spiritual then I cannot even pray five minutes. This is why so many believers live their lives like a roller-coaster. They do not live according to principle, according to the Law of Life. Thinking it is up to them to become Christlike, they turn an easy yoke and a light burden into a difficult yoke and a heavy burden – difficult and heavy for themselves, and for those who must live and work around them.
The one who rests in Christ will produce more fruit than the one who strives with self-effort. This is demonstrated in Scripture and in the real-life experience of countless saints. Paul proclaimed, “I labor, striving according to His working which works in me mightily.” There is no question that Paul worked, labored, and toiled. But the difference with Paul is he knew that he was laboring according to Christ working in him. Was Paul lazy? By contrast, he was more fruitful than ever. The end result is his statement, “I labored more abundantly than them all,” quickly qualified with, “yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.” (I Corinthians 15:10) The “I can do all things” must always be followed with “through Christ who strengthens me.” If we trust in the Life we will be anything but passive.
THE LAW OF LIFE MEANS CHRIST WILL TEACH US EVERYTHING WE NEED TO KNOW
“The anointing which you received from Him remains in you. And no need are you constantly having that anyone be constantly teaching you. But even as His anointing teaches you concerning all things, and is true and is not a lie, and even as He taught you, be constantly abiding in Him.” (I John 2:27) (Wuest Expanded Translation)
I hope every Christian will one day learn that they are already anointed, and that their Anointing is a Person named Jesus Christ. Then they will see that they do not have to travel to Brother So-And-So’s meeting to get the “anointing”. They will not seek out a prophet to give them a “word”. They will learn to live according to the Law of Life, and this Life will teach them everything they need to know. That will be a wonderful day, and thankfully, more and more believers are coming to the knowledge of this truth.
Now the Scripture says that we do not need any man to teach us, for the Anointing (Christ) Who indwells us will teach us all things. More than anything else I consider myself a teacher, so I pondered this for a long time. What use is there for me to teach anything? For that matter, why do we need teachers at all? Would it not be better for each of us to be taught of God directly, without the interference of a human teacher? Then I received insight into this Scripture. It cannot be telling us that we do not need teachers, for it was God who gave apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers to His Church, to encourage, edify, and establish all of us deeper into Christ. Can the Holy Spirit in John contradict the Holy Spirit in Paul? By no means. What then? John was the sole survivor of the first twelve apostles, and now he is very old. Naturally he is concerned with the welfare of the Church after his death. So God comforts John, and then John comforts us, with this truth: even if we do not have access to the apostle, or prophet, or evangelist, or pastor and teacher, we are still instructed inwardly. The Church that Jesus is building is not dependent upon the great men or women of God. We are grateful to the ministry gifts when we have them, but we are not dependent upon them for our Life. The Life is greater than the ministers through which it may be ministered.
Some feel they just cannot get along without consulting someone who is perceived to be a spiritual authority so they can ask them what they should do. Such dependence upon man can become a snare – both for the ones seeking advice and for the ones giving advice. At times we should seek out the advice of others, but the point is that the Life will instruct us individually, and when the Life within us responds, then we “need no man to teach us”. The Life will also “amen” what others tell us, or it will voice its disagreement with what we are told. We can trust the Life completely, whereas we dare not put confidence in man, no matter how good and spiritual the counsel may be.
The problem with us is that we do not have the patience to listen for this inward instruction. We too quickly put our confidence in flesh and blood. It is easier and speedier to have someone tell us, “Yes, you should do this” or “No, you should not do that.” The question is not should or should not; the question is, how is the Life instructing you? If we do not know what the Life is telling us, then we should be still and be quiet until we DO know. But all too often we know well enough what we are to do, and we are looking for a way out of it; or we are trying to get confirmation from this thing or that thing before we will obey. This is why we have a hard time hearing to begin with. How many times does God have to repeat Himself? How many times does He have to confirm something before we will obey? It sounds spiritual and humble to question and wait, but if the Life has already instructed us then any delay on our part is really disobedience.
THE LAW OF LIFE MEANS “HE MUST INCREASE, BUT I MUST DECREASE”
“Let that which you have heard from the beginning abide in you. If what you have heard from the beginning abides in you, you will also continue in the Son and in the Father; and this is the promise He has promised us: eternal Life.” (I John 2:24, 25)
There is still much of Him to learn and to experience. There is much growing which must take place. The Path is a process. We are hardly ever as far along as we imagine ourselves to be. But we have not been talking about spiritual maturity, but spiritual satisfaction. If, in abiding continually in the Lord, He becomes our food and our drink, then we will grow. Growth is not the result of time, it is the natural result of Christ increasing and us decreasing. The Law of Life says that Christ must increase. Now we can do nothing to speed up this process, but we can certainly hinder or quench it.
According to Paul, it is the Law of Sin and Death that keeps me doing the evil that I do not want to do, and prevents me from doing the good I want to do. Ironically, this sounds like the normal experience of the majority of believers, and they call it the Christian life! It is not! How is that any different than any other person in the world? From observing Christians for years I now realize that most have an unwavering assurance and complete confidence in the Law of Sin and Death. They think it is normal to struggle against sin and work their way towards being Christ-like. Talk to them about holiness and they are full of excuses why it cannot be achieved (again, seeing holiness as a goal they must attain to instead of a Person they must abide in). The bottom line is this: they have more faith in the Law of Sin and Death than they do the Law of Life. The sort of life you lead is evidence to which Law you have the most faith in.
Greater is He that is within me! The question is not “what” will deliver me, but “who” will deliver be from this cycle of trying and failing? “I thank God [it is done] through Jesus Christ.” (Romans 7:25) I have the Man! I do not need anything else. I simply abide in Him, and the Law of Life takes over where I leave off. Before, I could not do the good that I longed to do, but what was impossible before is now easy with the Law of Life. Before, I could not keep myself from doing the very thing I hated, but with the Law of Life I am kept from doing the things I hate. The Law of Life stands over against the Law of Sin and Death, and if we will have at least as much faith in Life as we do in Death, we will soon walk as we should.
Thank God! The Law of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the Law of Sin and Death. HAS MADE ME FREE. With the Law of Life I do not have to struggle. To struggle is to strive, and striving is the Law of Sin and Death. The Law of Life is “not I, but Christ.” I cannot overcome, nevertheless, the One Who Overcomes lives within me; therefore I am an overcomer. It is not about me, and it is all about Him. It is all of grace!
May the Lord bring us into the fullness of His Life, and may we trust the sufficiency of the Indwelling Christ to perform the good work He has begun in us. Amen.
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LAW OF LIFE [Chip Brogden] 1