Certainly we know that the law is spiritual, but I am unspiritual, sold as a slave to sin. For I do not understand what I am doing, because I do not keep doing what I want. Instead, I do what I hate. And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. (Romans 7:14-17—EHV)
To what extent does the law apply to us Christians? Since Christ has fulfilled the law, can we say that the Christian has no use for the law? There are many who make such a claim. They will say that we Christians are no longer under the law because it has been fulfilled by Christ and done away by him. And so, we are free to do what we want in order to show our love for God. But this is not only misleading, it is only half the truth. Many sadly teach such things perhaps because they want to indulge in the sinful things of this world and don’t want to be burdened by God’s commands.
Last week we talked about the freedom that Christ has given to us. Through the work of Christ, we are free from the law and the law’s condemnation. So, we are no longer under the law—this is true as far as the new man is concerned. The new man loves God and loves his Word. It strives to obey God’s commands out of love and thanks for everything that Christ has done. For the New Man, the law serves as a guide for what to do in order to follow God’s will—for how we can obey God’s commands. The problem is that each and everyone of us doesn’t just have a New Man, but also an Old Adam. The Old Adam, or sinful nature, hates God and wants nothing to do with his Word. This is why we sin constantly. Therefore, we need a constant reminder of our sins and what our sins deserve. This is what we call, the first use of the law—the law as a mirror. It shows us our sin and the condemnation that our sins deserve. Because we still have the Old Adam and are not 100% New Man, we need the law.
The passage above is part of a longer argument by Paul on how the law still applies to Christians. We are at the same time both sinners and saints. There is a constant battle between our Old Man and New Adam going on inside of us. As Paul says, if we want to do good but don’t do it, then we must admit that the Law is a good thing—something that we sinners need on a constant basis so that we see our sins and repent of them.
The Law is good because it leads to repentance. The Law convicts us and leads us to Christ—that is, it shows us our need for a Savior. And it is the gospel that shows us that Christ is our Savior. It was Christ who set us free from the law’s condemnation by keeping the law perfectly yet became a sinner for us and suffered the eternal punishment that our sins deserve. Because of Christ we no longer have to obey the law perfectly to be saved and because of Christ the law no longer convicts us. Yet, because of our sinful nature, the law still applies to us as it shows us our sins. But that is a good thing, for when we see our sins, we see Christ. As Paul writes in Galatians 5, The law came in to increase the trespass, but where sin increased, grace overflowed much more. Yes, the law does apply to us; and yes, the law is good.
—Pastor Andrew Frey
Summer Sunday Bible Study
We have started our new Summer family type Bible Study which is being held on all non-Communion Sundays this Summer. The study is entitled, “The ABC’s of Worship — Lutheran Customs and Practices.” Our next classes will be in July on July 14 and 21 starting around 9:00 am. The classes have been well attended and many good questions have been asked and answered. Even if you have missed the first lessons, you can still join us. If you would like one of the study booklets, please talk to one of the Pastors
Bible Information Class
Our next Adult Instruction Class began on Tuesday July 2 at 6:30 pm. If you or someone you know are interested, please speak to Pastor Gartner.
We are in great need of more ushers—especially for the late service on Sundays and on Monday evenings. We pray many of our men are willing to step up and use their time to help God’s people worship him. For more information, speak to any usher; to volunteer contact Kris Wilson or sign up on the sheet in the narthex.
Timber Rattler Game
Come and join fellow members for the Timber Rattler game on Saturday, August 3. Game starts at 6:35 pm. We have reserved 50 tickets behind home plate. After the game there will be a fireworks show, and the kids can run the bases. It is also Storybook Princess Night 2. Elsa, Anna, Jasmine, Rapunzel, and Snow White will be at the ballpark to say “hi” throughout the game. The first 500 princesses and princes age 12 and under receive a tiara. The cost is $9 per ticket if 20 tickets or more are sold. A sign-up sheet is on the counter in the entryway; the deadline to sign up is Monday, July 15.
The quarterly voters’ meeting will be held on July 23 at 7:00 pm. Please note: the quarterly meeting will be July 23, and not July 16 as stated in the July newsletter and calendar. At this meeting we will be voting on recommendations from the council concerning many changes to our by-laws. For the most part these are the same changes we discussed in April, although they have been amended slightly. There are copies of the proposed changes (as well as what our by-laws currently say) in the narthex at Church. We encourage everyone to look these over carefully. Although every congregational meeting is important, with the proposed changes to our by-laws and thus altering some structure of our congregation, this meeting is especially important. We strongly encourage all men ages 18 and over to attend.
Join us this Tuesday, July 16th at 9:00 am for our Men’s Bible Study as we continue looking at “This We Believe,” the official doctrinal statements of the WELS. We pray that many of our male members are able to join us for this study and some good fellowship.