I fully intended to begin studying the Fruit of the Spirit today beginning with love. I had all the ideas mapped out in my head for this week, but God has other plans. As I was doing devotions with my family, we read a section in Colossians that I will come to later this week that fit so well with what I have been writing about. It gave more explanation about the law and how it fits in for us today and how we are to replace our sin with the Fruit of the Spirit. This week, I feel as though the theme is “Find and Replace,” just like a find and replace search on a computer. We are going to continue digging and find the sinful nature that God wants to take out of us and we are going to learn how to replace it with the fruit that God desires to see in us. The devotion that we read today likened it with a tree in the spring that still has dead leaves left on it from the fall. We had a bush like that in our yard; it drove me crazy because I would look at the leaves in the winter when they were turning slimy and black and think of how ugly it looked. However, in the spring the new leaves would push the old leaves off.
I want to explore a little more of how the law is viewed for us today. I had mentioned before that the law was written as though it was a marriage covenant between God and His people. Looking at the law in that light, it really does make God’s references to the Israelites as having prostituted themselves when they worshipped other gods seem even stronger. I, by no means, consider myself an expert of the Old Testament law. Please understand that anything I write is not an “expert opinion;” I am just writing what I feel God is showing me. Please look at Colossians 2:6-15; I think this explains a little better than I could possibly put into words what Christ’s sacrifice means for us today in regards to the law. I am going to zoom in on one verse in this section, but before I do that lets just rejoice in what verses 13-14 says: “When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your sinful nature, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, having canceled the written code, with its regulations, that was against us and that stood opposed to us; He took it away, nailing it to the cross.” Can you let that truth wash over you and truly believe it? God made you alive in Christ and forgave all your sins!
I am going to zoom in on the fact that Christ “cancelled the written code with its regulations” and nailed it to the cross! The law was nailed to the cross. Remember the law was a marriage covenant? Please look up Luke 22:14-20; I am getting excited! Verse 20 says, “In the same way, after the supper he took the cup, saying, ‘This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you.’” Jesus was the beginning of a new covenant sealed in His blood for us. Are you touched and overwhelmed by His incredible love yet? I am not going to minimize the importance of the Old Testament law at all; we can read the law and see that God wanted us to love Him with every part of ourselves and to love everyone around us. He still wants that. What Christ changed for us was our chance for salvation; we were supposed to face punishment. He took our penalty according to the law and nailed it to the cross and conquered death. This doesn’t mean we are free to go on sinning; we have already read that in Galatians, and we will read more about it in Colossians. We can know that Jesus changed everything and told us that we are to live in the Spirit.
Have you fully embraced the new covenant? Do you live a life full of love because of the tremendous outpouring of love we have received from our incredible Savior?