For merely listening to the law doesn’t make us right with God. It is obeying the law that makes us right in his sight. Even Gentiles, who do not have God’s written law, show that they know his law when they instinctively obey it, even without having heard it. They demonstrate that God’s law is written in their hearts, for their own conscience and thoughts either accuse them or tell them they are doing right.
—Romans 2:13-15 (NLT)
Just listening to the law doesn’t make you right with God. Only the love of Jesus on Calvary creates in you a clean heart, and makes you right with Him. Do you know you can instinctively know and follow God’s written law without having even heard it? When the law is written in your heart by the grace of Jesus, you unconsciously know what you haven’t heard. When your own conscience convicts you that are doing wrong or encourages you that you are doing right, you demonstrate that God’s law is written in your heart. You choose to allow the Holy Spirit to guide you into all truth, and to live a life that is pleasing to God.
“Clearly, you are a letter from Christ showing the result of our ministry among you,” Paul wrote. “This ‘letter’ is written not with pen and ink, but with the Spirit of the living God. It is carved not on tablets of stone, but on human hearts” (2 Corinthians 3:3, NLT). At Calvary, Jesus wrote His righteousness upon your heart. He imparted it to you when you accepted Him as your Savior. Your heart is a “letter” carved by the Spirit of the living God. It beats and pulsates with His love and grace and wishes to live the worthiness that He imparted at Calvary. It is not a heart of stone that demands performance. It is a heart of flesh that beats with His Spirit. “And I will give you a new heart,” God promised, “and I will put a new spirit in you. I will take out your stony, stubborn heart and give you a tender, responsive heart” (Ezekiel 36:26, NLT). He gave you a new heart when He gave you Jesus. You don’t live by the old covenant. Jesus has torn the veil that separates you from a holy God and given access into His presence. The letter of the law kills, but the Spirit gives life.
“To this day whenever the old covenant is being read,” Paul wrote, “the same veil covers their minds so they cannot understand the truth. And this veil can be removed only by believing in Christ” (2 Corinthians 3:14, NLT). If you know Him, you don’t need to perform for a merciful and loving God because you fear judgment. You live righteously because of His grace.
“Whenever someone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away,” Paul continued, “for the Lord is the Spirit, and wherever the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.” Live in the freedom that Jesus purchased for you. Live by the Spirit of the living God, and do not try to earn the forgiveness He purchased for you. It is His gift—not your job.
All of us who have had that veil removed can see and reflect the glory of the Lord. And the Lord—who is the Spirit—makes us more and more like him as we are changed into his glorious image.
—2 Corinthians 3:18 (NLT)
© 2018 Lynn Lacher