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Follow the rules… yeah right

I’m a rule-breaker. You are too. We were born that way. That is why Paul says we need to be freed from the law. When we die with Jesus, we not only die to the evil and receive his goodness, we die to the life of rule-following.

Why is that important? Because we can’t do it. We can’t keep rules. Rules just make us worse. You know it’s true. If you don’t believe me, tell a child not to touch the stove.

Rules don’t make people better. They simply show us how messed up we really are. At least that what Paul argues.

“When the commandment came, sin came alive and I died.” In other words, once there was a standard of righteousness laid out, it became obvious how broken he was.

Isn’t that all of our stories? That is why many of us rebelled against the rules our parents set out before us. When the rules come, the disobedience sometimes comes even stronger.

It is because we are broken. We cannot fix ourselves.

When we died with Christ, we died to our own efforts at being righteous. We admit that we can’t be righteous. We admit we’ll never be good enough.

We die to self-sufficiency. We die to our silly belief that we are good enough, or that we can be good enough, or that one day we will be good enough, all on our own.

Many people I talk with about these things call Christianity a crutch. I tell them, “Absolutely. And I am a cripple. I need one.”

If you’re honest, you’re a cripple too. We all are. We are not self-sufficient. We can’t do it. And we have known it to be true ever since we were given our first rule and broke it.

We are all cripples. We all need a crutch. The commandment makes that obvious.

 

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