Several years ago I was ministering in church on a Wednesday night and I asked, “who was the enemy Jesus defeated in his flesh on the cross?” Without hesitation, the congregation shouted out “Satan!” I then had everyone turn to Ephesians 2:15 and read:
15 having abolished in His flesh the enmity, that is, the law of commandments contained in ordinances,
Did you catch that? This verse says the enemy Jesus defeated on the cross was the law of commandments. The Apostle Paul goes on to explain the law was a ministry of death in 2 Corinthians 3. Does that sound different? Many teach and preach the law is our friend, yet the Bible actually says it’s our enemy that will kill us. How could this be?
“The famous Chinese general and military strategist, Sun Tzu, said, “All warfare is based on deception.” With that thought in mind, let’s remember that Jesus said Satan is the father of all lies. His nature is deceptive and the art of all deception is to make the lie appear true so no one can tell the difference. Think about how Satan deceived Eve. The Bible says she ate when she saw the tree of the knowledge of good and evil was GOOD for food. She was drawn the to GOOD, not the evil.
This is how Satan deceives Christians with the law today. He uses the law to show us good; the good we should do and the evil we should avoid. He then whispers, this is the good we must do to be right with God. When we sin, he magnifies our shortcomings and whispers in our ears, “If we really loved God, we wouldn’t do that” or “God won’t answer our prayers because of sin in our life.” At first, most Christians, hear this voice and believe it to be the Holy Spirit speaking to them and they thank God for showing them their sin and then recommit to try harder for God. With great zeal, they set out to get it right this time only to fail miserably again. This cycle continues in most people’s lives for a period of time until they finally break and give up! They can’t live it. Some walk away from God altogether, while others live a nominal Christian life that lacks passion because they just can’t get it all right! Like a masterful military strategist, Satan takes our enemy (the law) and has us draw close to it, believing it is our friend. He then uses it to beat us over the head and destroy us.
At this point, you may be wondering, “if the law is our enemy, why did God give the law anyway?” That’s a great question. Look at Galatians 3:19:
19 What purpose then does the law serve? It was added because of transgressions, till the Seed should come to whom the promise was made,
The law’s purpose was to bring us to the Seed. The Seed is Jesus. God used the law to show us our need for a savior. According to Romans 3:19-20, God gave the law to make us guilty and reveal sin in us. He didn’t do this to make us feel bad ourselves; He did this so we would give up hope trusting in ourselves and commit to totally trusting in Jesus for everything. When we learn to do this, we are set free because it is not about us doing good or bad, it is all about Jesus. We are freed from yo-yo, up and down Christianity because our performance is no longer in the equation! It’s all about Jesus and he performed perfectly.
Like a mirror, the law reveals what is placed before it. Often when I look into a mirror, I see I need to shave. The mirror is serving its purpose. It shows my need, however, if I then pulled the mirror off the wall and used it to shave, I would cut myself up. In a sense, the mirror would become my enemy. The purpose of the mirror is to point me to a razor, the same way the purpose of the law is to point a person to the savior!
If you would like more information on this topic, I included a link to a message I taught on our deliverance from the law here. I was able to go into quite a bit more detail and covered some additional questions I couldn’t cover in this short article. Now, be blessed and got enjoy your freedom today!