Relationship with the Lord happens on His terms. We come to saving faith at His invitation, and we agree to become new in Christ. We submit to thorough and life-altering processes, and trust His plan for our lives. We learn new ways to live, heal, cope, thrive, and progressively transform. There is no comparison between us and the people we used to be.
Glory to God!
Lawlessness then, is a threat to relationship with God. Let’s take two points from the introduction entry (last week) and examine them closer.
Photo by Mihai Surdu at Unsplash.com.
#1: LAWLESSNESS IN LIFE LOOKS LIKE A LIFE WITH NO BOUNDARIES. People who live without law decide government or rules are unnecessary. They become slaves to “free course living” where literally, they do anything they want to do. There is little regard to consequence, so wisdom is not the principal thing.
Paul the Apostle explained lawlessness in a counter example (Romans 6:19). Before salvation we were slaves to sin; we gave ourselves entirely to sin. When we cross over into new life in Christ, then we should give ourselves entirely to the conversion work of Jesus in our lives.
Let’s pay attention when we lazily apply personal government and stop caring about the necessary separations that mark us as belonging to God. We move into the dangerous territory of lawlessness.
Below is a short list of the ways we live according to “law” or boundary. When we agree to become a joint heir with Jesus, we agree to learning how to let Holy Spirit lead us. We learn to invest Godly seed into our lives and yield His fruit. We learn to value and guard His deposits and live by them, and live less according to our flesh.
Galatians 5:18 ESV But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.
Galatians 5:22-24 ESV But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.
Proverbs 25:28 ESV A man without self-control is like a city broken into and left without walls.
Proverbs 25:28 KJV He that hath no rule over his own spirit is like a city that isbroken down, and without walls.
Luke 12:12 KJV For the Holy Ghost shall teach you in the same hour what ye ought to say.
Luke 12:15 ESV And he said to them, “Take care, and be on your guard against all covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.”
#2: WE NEED BOUNDARIES TO HELP LAWLESS PEOPLE HEAR SOUND DOCTRINE. We find a list in 1 Timothy 1:9-11 of the people who need the law or boundary of God. The behaviors in the list demonstrate a lack of restraint, and… such were some of us. Paul the Apostle tells us the law or boundary of God teaches us to identify sin and make distinctions. We need this instruction to forge out godly paths in our lives.
Read this list in 1 Timothy 1:9-11 and let’s consider our gratitude for the protection and boundaries of the Lord. Anything against sound doctrine needs a boundary in our lives. It needs a checkpoint. We need to confront it, look it in the eye, and decline the offer to remove a safe boundary.
I hope this helps us understand the broader context of lawlessness, and how it is all around us and alive and well in the Lord’s church, among the Lord’s saints. Stay with me; we continue the lawlessness series next week. Until then, let’s apply Hosea 10:12
reap steadfast love;
break up your fallow ground,
for it is the time to seek the LORD,
that he may come and rain righteousness upon you. (ESV)
Love to all.