Relationship vs. Rules

In His Presence: John 10:14-15

“My brethren, you also were made to die to the Law through the body of Christ, so that you might be joined to another, to Him who was raised from the dead, in order that we might bear fruit for God . . . What shall we say then? Is the Law sin? May it never be! On the contrary, I would not have come to know sin except through the Law’’(Romans 7:4, 7).

Romans 7 tells us that the Law is good. But the problem with the Law is that it can’t help us deal with sin. While it can show us what is wrong, it can’t empower us to improve. Only a relationship abiding in the presence of Jesus Christ can transform our lives. The Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil was irrelevant to Adam and Eve. They had abundant life already. “I came that [you] may have life, and have it abundantly” (John 10:10). It was a life based on a relationship with God.

So how do we combat what Satan wants us to believe—that restrictions and “do’s” and “don’ts” are unfair? We should focus on the goodness of God. “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, being justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus; whom God displayed publicly as a propitiation in His blood through faith (Romans 3:23-25). This demonstration of grace is what the Tree of Life in the Garden of Eden was all about.

One Minute Please

“From any tree of the garden you may eat freely” (Genesis 2:16).

Source:  Sermon Notes, July 6, 2003.

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