It is not law, but love that produces obedience. If laws could make people do right, then, there would be no wrongdoers in America. Think about it; this country has more laws than you can shake a stick at. Still, lawlessness abounds in todayâ€™s America.
According to the Apostle Paul, Godâ€™s law didnâ€™t stop men from sinning, but actually stirred up sin within men (Romans 7:7-13). Its purpose was not to save us from our sin, but to convict us of our sin. Godâ€™s purpose in giving the law was threefold: (1) to prove our guilt (2) to leave us without an excuse, and (3) to make known to us our sin problem (Romans 3:19-20). Once convinced by Godâ€™s law of our sin problem, we were prepared for Godâ€™s Son to come, knowing at last our desperate need of a Savior.
Whereas the â€œletterâ€ of the law kills, the â€œspiritâ€ of the law gives life (2 Corinthians 3:6). Jesus came in the â€œspiritâ€ of the law to give us life, both abundant and eternal (John 10:10). For instance, consider the story of the woman caught in adultery (John 8:1-11). The letter of the Old Testament law called for her stoning, but Christ, in the New Testamentâ€™s spirit of the law, gave her salvation. After experiencing the love and forgiveness of Christ, the woman went away with her life changed. No longer would she live a life of sin, but she would now strive to â€œsin no more.â€
According to the Apostle John, it is our experiencing of Godâ€™s love in Christ that makes Godâ€™s â€œcommandmentsâ€ no longer â€œgrievousâ€ (1 John 5:3). Once weâ€™ve fallen in love with Christ we will want to do what He commands. As Jesus said Himself, those who love Him keep His commandments (John 14:15; 15:10). Indeed, it is their love of Him and relationship with Him that makes obedience to Him their delight.
Is serving Christ something that you do with gladness (Psalm 100:2)? Are His commandments grievous to you? Is His law your delight or an absolute drudgery (Psalm 119:77, 174)? Is your Christian life about relationship or rules; are you freely obeying Him or always having to force yourself to do so? Your answers to these questions speak volumes about the condition of your current relationship with Christ!