I once had the idea that if I wrote down all the commands of Jesus in the New Testament, then I would know how to live a really good Christian life. It seemed like a good idea. I mean I wouldn’t be able to adhere to all the commands but it would improve my hit rate. Thankfully as I began to list all of the commands, something didn’t smell right. Lists of rules and regulations were part of what God did in the Old Testament but now we are living in a different era. The Jews couldn’t keep all the laws and Christians can’t either, that’s the point of the Law, to reveal our weakness and our need of a champion. Jesus never broke the Law and He fulfills all the requirements of the Law on our behalf. He lived the perfect life and now we live in Him.

I don’t have to keep the Law perfectly. The Ten Commandments don’t demand my perfect obedience. I don’t have to follow the recommended lists of good works that pastors so often preach. I don’t have to do the impossible because Jesus has done it for me. He lives His life in me so that now I will do some good works automatically. As I open my heart to God and receive His love and life more fully, that love and life flows out of me so good works happen. Not all the time of course because I am a work in progress but it removes the pretense of having to be some super clean living person because I am not. God no longer condemns me because Jesus was condemned for me and I am free to respond to the love and life that the Father and the Son bring to us. I choose life not law anymore!

– Jim Watt