"The Righteousness of the Law" (part 2)

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Netchaplain

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But take the born again Christian—not when he is yielding to the old man (which all occasionally do—NC); take him where, in truth alone, so to speak, we can rightly think of a believer as such—in the exercise of his faith, in the manifestation of the new life which the grace of God has given him; and what is the character of his life? It cleaves to the Father, it delights in His Word, it loves His will, and it is attracted by whatever manifest Him. All proves that the believer loves the Father in heart and soul, loves Him better than himself, for he hates his old life (Jhn 12:25; Luk 14:26), and is ready to own, just so far as faith is in operation, his own folly, his frequent and shameful failure, while he seeks to justify and cleave to his Father, and delights to make Him known.

How comes this? It is that divine principle of resurrection, new-creation life, and the energy of the indwelling Spirit of God manifesting the life of the Lord Jesus, acting in the new man which enjoys each thing that flows from and manifests the Father, and is the exercise of the new nature which we derive from our Father. Again, the believer, just in proportion as he has the Lord Jesus before his soul, walks in the Spirit according to the will of the Father. If he has not the Lord Jesus before him, it is as if he had no new nature; life there is, but it is only Christ Jesus who maintains, manifests and brings it out, giving it its full exercise and scope.

The believer’s heart goes out towards misery, yea, towards poor guilty and lost sinners. Flesh despises and hates, or is indifferent; but the new nature, under the Spirit’s power, goes out in compassion and desire for another’s blessing. There, I say, is love again; and thus you have the two great moral principles: love to God, and love to man. The believer, and the believer alone, walks in them; if he has the risen Lord Jesus in his eye, he has them in his heart, and the Holy Spirit strengthens him to walk accordingly. “Love worketh no ill to his neighbor, therefore, love is the fulfilling of the law” (Ro 13:10).

It is thus that the “righteousness of the law is fulfilled” (“in” but not by us, but Christ—NC) in those who walk after the Spirit (putting the law behind and moving forward to the Lord Jesus—NC). The Spirit of God is careful to show it is fulfilled in them that walk after Him, not in such as only stand for the law. “Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.” “For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh:
That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit” (Gal 5:16; Ro 8:3, 4).

The attempt to mix the forms and Spirit of grace with the old ways of Judaism, would only end—not in mending Judaism nor in preserving Christianity, but—in the ruin of both. What Satan aimed at was to mingle the old Jewish ordinances with Christian truth (Mat 9:17), and this precisely has been the issue in the history of Christendom.


—J N Darby (1800-1882)







MJS daily devotional for September 20

"Do not be afraid of the Father’s training school. He both knows His scholars, as to what they are, and He knows for what service they are to be fitted. A jeweler will take more pains over a gem than over a piece of glass; but the one he takes most pains over is longest under discipline and most severely dealt with. Once finished, however, the burnish never tarnishes, the brightness never dims. So with us. If we are placed, at times, as in a furnace, it is not merely for earthly service, but for eternity. May you so appreciate the plans of your Father that you can triumphantly glory in the love that subjects you to such discipline, though the trial itself be sharp and to the flesh hard to bear.”

—James Hudson Taylor (1832-1905)