The law is inapplicable to the spirit

Without appreciating the spirituality of the New Testament, those declaring, God’s Law is done away with, are misleading people. As applicable to the physical nature, the law is not done away with. One has to first accept the reality of death, before accepting the reality of not being under the Law.

“For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin—because anyone who has died has been freed from sin. Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him.

“For we know that since Christ was raised from the dead, he cannot die again; death no longer has mastery over him. The death he died, he died to sin once and for all; but the life he lives, and he lives to God. In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus” (Romans 6:6-11 NIV).

The key phrase is “death no longer has mastery over him.” A person who fears death cannot be the one declaring not being under the law. One cannot declare being not under the law, and yet, at the same time, be afraid of death. There would be no consistency in that declaration.

At baptism, one should appreciate committing oneself to death, which is feared by all. That is what Christianity entails. Unlike the spirit, the physical universe is governed by God’s laws. All scientific laws are as workable and descriptive of everything governed by God’s laws.

This is just as it is known that the sun cannot rise from any other direction except the east, and it sets to the west. Anyone arguing against that reality can be considered insane. If one jumps from a high tower, that person would be committing suicide. If animals cannot behave differently from how they were created, why do humans have problems with God’s laws?

If created to eat grass, an animal cannot have an appetite to eat meat. Meat-eaters will always crave meat, not grass or any other vegetation. Animal species are excellent keepers of God’s laws. But they were not educated to observe God’s laws. However, domesticated animals can be crossbred.

For instance, a horse and a donkey can be crossed to produce a mule. However, left in their own habitat, animals behave as God intended. For anything wrong with the planet earth, nothing else can be blamed, except humans. God would be perfectly justified if He were to decide to destroy the human race from this planet.

Humans are foreigners in the physical world and are in need of behavioural laws, to coexist with the physical world. With animals, God’s laws are inherent in them because they were designed for this world. However, humans are not in harmony with this world.

As different from brute animals, humans were created to improve and not degrade creation. A human’s superior nature justifies authority over everything physical. As created in God’s image humans are spiritual, and not dust. The assignment to dust came after the Garden of Eden incident.

After failing the test, humans were allowed to continue existing under sinful conditions. In His loving concern, God made a provision to redeem humanity, through Jesus. Adam’s formation should not be assumed to be a creation, as most people often mistake this to be.

Adam’s formation was a temporary configuration, designed to develop the character of humanity. The nature of humanity is Godly, but that did not include God’s character. Humanity could not be entrusted with Godly character without passing the test of character.

God’s image should not be assumed to be robotic. This was pure Godly nature, without any variation. However, God’s image requires the aspect of self-determinism. To be God-like, one needs a Godly character, adopted by himself out of self-determinism. Otherwise, one would not be of God-kind.

The chemistry of God’s image requires self-determinism. A person has to choose to be God’s child, out of the free will. From the time of Adam, human life has never been easygoing. The planet on which humanity survives is physical, and yet humans were created with spiritual attributes.

Existence on this planet is complicated by an angelic spirit called Satan, whose attribute is pride. Had Adam defeated Satan by not succumbing to eating the forbidden fruit, Adam would have taken over Satan’s authority.

The only sin that causes human failure is pride, emanating from Satan. Very few people appreciate that Satan is currently in charge of the planet earth. When one refuses to be under Satan’s authority, one risked being punished.

“Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendour. ‘All this I will give you,’ he said ‘if you will bow down and worship me.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Away from me, Satan! For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.’ Then the devil left him, and angels came and attended him (Matthew 4:8-11 NIV).

The above passage describes a titanic battle between Jesus and Satan. This is the same tempter who won the battle against Adam. Satan knew that humans, created in God’s image, had authority over everything on this planet, including Satan. Therefore, Satan tried to use the same tactic that he used on Adam. But, unfortunately, Jesus knew better.

Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground” (Genesis 1:28 NIV).

From which base, was Satan assuming that all kingdoms of the world were his? The above scripture shows that human beings were granted authority at creation. Satan was right, in attesting to the kingdom remaining under him. The bloodless coup had been conducted in the Garden of Eden.

Adam had failed the test of appreciating what Jesus said to Satan: “For it is written: “Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.” Therefore, Jesus overcame where Adam failed, thereupon, Satan was defeated. The sword used is in; “Worshipping the Lord your God, and serve him only.” That alone is what identifies a true Christian.

All other humans are under Satan’s dominion, but unaware of that reality. It might appear exciting to enjoy prosperity in this world. However, that projects vain glory, under the dominion of a ruler whose fate has been sealed. Overcomers are galvanized by: “Worshipping the Lord your God, and serve him only.”

“And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers so that they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. For we do not preach ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake. For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ” (2 Corinthians 4:3-6 NIV).

If created in God’s image, then Jesus is the mirror of that reality, according to the above passage. The deception of Satan no longer holds. As long as belonging to Christ, one is no longer of this world. That person would be spiritually governed, as to be no longer governed under the laws of this world. The person would have become God’s child, just as Jesus is God’s Son.

This world is extremely interesting to those still living in the flesh. What makes this world appeal is the ego giving a sense of worth. But how can one carry a sense of worth, when temporarily surviving in the flesh? One can be regarded as great or can be regarded as small. But that person’s impending death would be as certain as the rising sun tomorrow.

After having reached the level of Jesus, it becomes unnecessary to talk about the laws, governing this world. One can walk upon sea-waters without drowning. One can also jump from a high-storey building without getting injured. One does not even need to depend on work, in order to survive. This is why, during his bouts of tempting Jesus, Satan pronounced:

“If you are the son of God, tell these stones to become bread.” Jesus answered, “it is written: ‘Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.” Then the devil took to the holy city and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. “If you are the Son of God.” He said, “throw yourself down. For it is written: “He will command his angels concerning you, and they will lift you up in their hands so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.” Jesus answered him, “It is also written: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test” (Matthew 4:3-6 NIV).

When analyzed carefully, all these temptations are designed to appeal to Jesus’ ego, of which Satan is a champion. Had Jesus succumbed, He would have been no different from his predecessor, Adam. However, Jesus had been crafted to champion the overcoming of Satan’s schemes. His duel with Satan did not end there.

The cross was to be the final battle that made all the difference. Jesus manifested the idea of the source of His power, in the Garden of Gethsemane. Scriptures show that Jesus prayed, to the point of sweating profusely until His perspiration appeared like drops of blood (Luke 22:42-44).

Jesus still existed in the physical body, sustained by the laws of nature. Anyone claiming to be Jesus’ follower ought to brace up for such a duelling test of character. The only way to win is to keep communication with the divinity. Prayer gives power, being the only assurance to win under those circumstances.

Jesus is the way the truth and the life. Walking in God’s light does not give room for boasting. It provides a responsibility that cancels attraction to anything in this world. Those attesting to financial blessings ought to appreciate the difference. Financial prosperity grants the esteemed ego, from the God of this world—Satan.

Trials and temptations grant the most disliked humiliation but are what ensure spiritual attainment. The idea of working hard in order to succeed in this world is not from God (See Matthew 6:25-33). It comes from the devil’s authority, whose idea of making wealth attractive, appeals to most people.

God’s true child does not rejoice in wealth, but in trials and temptations. God’s child is not under anyone’s authority but gets instructions directly from God. Those accepting worldly adulations; miss the real reason for Christianity.

“Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for, in the same way, they persecuted the prophets who were before you” (Matthew 5:10-12 NIV).

What those of this world would consider a disadvantage, would be an advantage to true Christians. It follows that, what is considered a blessing; by those of this world, would be Satanic. When Jesus says “rejoice and be glad when insulted and persecuted,” He was not mistaken. Jesus knew what He was talking about. It takes only those with spiritual eyes to see.

The greatest blessing that true Christians yearn for is departing from the physical body. While those of this world wish to survive longer. Paul highlighted opposition to the two principles. One cannot entertain ego and honour, and be God’s child at the same time. If Jesus was never honoured, why would one seek to be honoured?

“So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature. For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature. They are in conflict with each other, so you do not do what you want. But if you are led by the spirit, you are not under the law.” (Galatians 5:16-18 NIV). 

Human beings were never created to be governed by the laws of this world. As God’s children, they have authority over everything in this world. But this cannot be in their physical nature, governed by natural laws. Like Jesus, God’s children can never have it both ways, when in this world.

Andrew Masuku is the author of Dimensions of a New Civilization, laying down standards for uplifting Zimbabwe from the current state of economic depression into a model for other nations worldwide. A decaying tree provides an opportunity for a blossoming sprout. Written from a Christian perspective, the book is a product of inspiration, bringing relief to those having witnessed the strings of unworkable solutions––leading to the current economic and social decay. Most Zimbabweans should find the book as a long-awaited providential oasis of hope, in a simple conversational tone.

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