Thy Word is a Lamp unto my Feet, and a Light unto my Path

I will delight myself in thy commandments, which I have loved (Psalms 119:47). Oh how I love thy law! It is my meditation all the day (Psalms 119:97). Forever, O Lord, thy word is settled in heaven (Psalms 199:89). Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away (Matthew 24:35).

What is it about these words that compel us to further inquiry? Why, they are Spirit! and they are Life! (John 6:63)
Therefore shall ye lay up these my words in your heart and in your soul, and bind them for a sign upon your hand, that they may be as frontlets between your eyes. (Deuteronomy 30:14)

Now, what are you doing in your daily walk to lay up the words of our Lord and our God Jesus Christ in your heart and soul? What are you doing to bind them for a sign upon your hand? How is the Word of God’s Law becoming your prism through which you view all of heaven and earth?

If you are struggling with some wrong thoughts about the Law that are keeping you from its Wisdom; for instance, if you are imagining that the “Law” has somehow been done away with; or that the Law is a force of condemnation; or that the Law was “nailed to the cross”-then listen to the voice of Chrysostom (347-407 AD) (representing the best and brightest from the early church) as he speaks on this verse from Romans-a verse which proclaims with great boldness “For we know that the Law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin.” (Romans 7:14)
From St. John Chrysostom on Romans chapter 7, specifically verse 14:

After having said that great evils had taken place…
and that sin, taking occasion by the commandment, had grown stronger…
and the opposite of what the Law mainly aimed at had been the result…
and after having thrown the hearer into a great deal of perplexity;

The Apostle Paul goes on next to give the rationale of these events-
after first clearing the Law of any ill suspicion.

For lest-
upon hearing…
“that it was through the commandment that sin took that occasion…
and that it was when the Law came that sin revived…
and through it deceived and killed”-
anyone…
should suppose the Law to be the source of these evils;

the Apostle Paul first sets forth its defense with considerable advantage…
not clearing it from accusation only,
but encircling it also with the utmost praise.

And this he lays down, not as granting it for his own part…
but as declaring a universal judgment.

For we know, the Apostle Paul says, that “the Law is spiritual”…
which is the same as him saying…
“The Law being spiritual is a self-evident fact…
Due to the simple truth that it is so far from being the cause of sin…
or to blame for the evils that have happened!”

Now observe, that he not only clears it of accusation…
but bestows exceeding great praise upon it.

For, by calling it spiritual…
he shows it to be a teacher of virtue and hostile to vice…
for this is what being spiritual means…
leading off from sin of every kind.

And this the Law did do…
by frightening, admonishing, chastening, correcting…
and recommending every kind of virtue.

Whence then, was sin produced?…
If the teacher (that is, the Law) was so admirable?

It was from the listlessness of its disciples!…
That is by the free-will failure of men!

Wherefore he went on to say, “but I am carnal”…

giving us a sketch now with these words “I am carnal”…
of man prior to Grace
a sketch of man as he was comporting himself in the Law…
and before the Law…
a sketch of man as he was while he was still sold under sin…
that is before the Advent of Christ…
and the bringing of Salvation by Grace through Faith Alone!.

The Apostle Paul says this because with death…
which came forth from sin…
he means the throng of passions also came in.

For when the body had become mortal through sin and death…
it was henceforth a necessary thing for it to receive…
concupiscence…
and anger…
and pain…
and all the other passions…
which required a great deal of wisdom…
(a wisdom which is of course found only in the Law)…
to prevent their flooding us…
and sinking even “reason” into the depth of sin.

For in themselves the “passions” of life were not sin…
but…
when their extravagancy was unbridled…
it wrought this effect.

Thus (that I may take one of them and examine it as a specimen)…
“desire” is not sin…
but when it has run into extravagance…
being not minded to keep within the laws of marriage…
but springing even upon other men’s wives…
then the thing henceforward becomes adultery…
yet not by reason of the desire…
but by reason of its exorbitancy.

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