Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,
Sometimes I listen to Spotify, an online music streaming app, on the laptop while at work. Since I’m a little cheap, I won’t pay to get rid of the ads that come onto the feed every 30 minutes or so. One of the ads that get played is from the government of Canada about aiding students going to university with student loans. This ad was crafted around how those who are going to university are learning to be our future leaders. Often I don’t listen to these kinds of ads, but there’s a line in this particular ad that caught my ear: “We don’t break the rules, we rewrite them.”
Isn’t that horrible? I perked up in my seat, raised my eyebrow and shook my head a little bit when I finally heard that, and it truly registered in my brain. Is this really how we expect our leaders to act today? Do we really want a leader who’s ready to rewrite the rules, the laws that we live by, just because he, or she, doesn’t like it and sees themselves as so far above it that they can just rewrite it so they can do whatever they want? Can you imagine how much chaos there would be if that were to happen? It’d be pandemonium with the rights of people being abolished left and right all because we don’t agree with them and we want to shut them up (which points to the way people have learned to argue and debate in the post-modern age, but that’s a different, and far longer, letter).
Not a good thing, certainly, but we can also understand our sinful natures in the same way. The Fall was an attempt by Adam & Eve to rewrite the rules so that they didn’t break them. They saw themselves, in that moment tempted by Satan, as the lords over God’s law, and they could do whatever they wanted. The fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil wasn’t a bad thing to touch, or eat, no it was desirable, it would make them wise, it was good. You see, even though God said it was not good to eat, Adam & Eve thought they could rewrite the rule and say it was good. Now God says that we should pray for our government, respect them, and obey them, and we balk at the idea, as long as we don’t like the politician, what he or she does, or the kinds of laws they put into place. Now God says that we should help our neighbour improve & protect his or her possessions and income, and we can’t help but think they’ve got more than enough money anyway, so why should I help them? Now God calls us to forgive the trespasses of our neighbour, just like He forgives ours, but we want to rewrite that rule because so-and-so hurt me too deeply, or I just don’t like them and would rather not do that. Our sinful nature is constantly leading us to believe that we are able to rewrite the rules, so that we don’t break them. Only problem is that these are not our rules, they’re God’s rules, and we are not God. Nor will God ever rewrite His rules. He says, “For truly, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the Law until all is accomplished.” (Matt 5:19) God’s Law isn’t going anywhere, nor is it changing, but is there “so that every mouth may be stopped, and the whole world may be held accountable to God.” (Rom 3:19)
God’s Law isn’t changing, and neither are you and your desire to think you’re God and can rewrite the rules. So God has to do something. He sends Jesus, “born of woman, born under the law to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons.” (Gal 4:4-5) God doesn’t rewrite the Law, He places Himself under it and fulfils it. Every iota, every dot is fulfilled by Christ. Your mouth is stopped, but Jesus’ mouth is free, and through faith Jesus declares you righteous, forgiven, free of any law breaking. The One who could’ve rewritten the Law for you instead places Himself under it for you, and is killed by it for you. Thanks be to God that He doesn’t change it, that it can’t change anymore than God Himself can change. The Law stays the same, and so does Jesus. His promise remains the same, yesterday, today, and forever: Jesus died for you. He fulfilled the Law for you. He declares you righteous by His own death & resurrection for you. Now, being declared righteous, set free from the Law’s demands, you can begin to follow that Law. You can make a start of not trying to rewrite it, but trying to keep it, because He fulfilled it for you.
Your servant in Christ,