The Need For The Spirit
One day in class, my 8th grade students and I discussed the need for Laws. The first day of school, that is all they hear: the “rules of the school”, the “disciplinary rules” of each teacher, the “rules for science labs”, etc. They have a Student Handbook that has grown in thickness over the years as new rules were added: Drugs, Drug Look-alikes, Cell Phones and their use, Cyber-Bullying, etc. As the fashion world changes, so does the “dress code” laws.
I explained that we only need Laws when we violate another person as a human being, when we have a negative influence or hurt him negatively. If people did not get drunk, we would not need D.U.I., Driving Under the Influence, laws! Cell phones are good, but misuse of them by taking pictures of partially nude friends, texting answers during a test, etc. caused the birth of new rules. If we just followed the Golden Rule, most rules could and would be eliminated.
When Adam and Eve sinned, they violated God’s will for mankind, that of communing with the Father, thus rules had to be made and eventually hewed into stone. As each of the 10 Commandments became violated, subsections were added to the Law, and soon we had volumes of does and don’ts! No matter how hard man has tried to keep these Laws, those Commandments, he has not been able to do it on his own, failing, proving his guilt. Even today we try to “legislate” laws to protect the innocent, but those laws hardly ever change the nature of those who break them.
But God made a way through the death and resurrection of His Son Jesus to pay the penalty for sin, the fine, the sentence. No longer under the Law of Sin because of His act of Redemption on our behalf, we can live the life we could not under the written Law only through the following of the Holy Spirit for whom the believers were to anticipate and wait. When the Holy Spirit fell on them at Pentecost, they began to live out a life they could not do before this event. The Logos, written Word, now became the Rhema, the living Word, and the believers in Jesus Christ began “living out” the Word. As the book of John begins, Jesus was the “word” and dwelt among us and “lived out that word”. Now we, His believers, can live out that word because the “living word”, the Spirit of Jesus Christ, is in us!
As I have heard somewhere, “if we have the Word without the Spirit, we will dry up; if we have the Spirit without the Word we will burn up.” Jesus said there would be a day when we can worship in ‘spirit’, the Rhema Word, and in ‘truth’, the Logos Word. We are living in that day, even now. We cannot survive without the Logos written Word or the Rhema living Word. Jesus “fulfilled” the Law, lived it out for He was without sin, and now has sent his precious Holy Spirit so that his believers too can live out that life. We need recognized that Jesus, the Word, the Logos, the written Word, and the Rhema, the living word, are all the same Word, the same truth, producing the same “life”!