I looked over the crowd of students as I climbed to the top of a workman’s ladder. The young men and women watched with curiosity, wondering why I might have been scaling such an object during our church meeting. I asked one simple question, “What would happen if I chose to step off the side of this ladder?”
One of the students shouted, “I’d be sad.” Another, “You would fall.” I decided to step down off of the tall ladder before those students began to feel too hopeful.
I would have fallen. We all know about the law of gravity. Some might define it at something that makes other things fall. Others might describe it as the pulling force that one object has due to its mass and centrifugal force caused by its rotation. Regardless of how we describe it, gravity is an un-amendable law that every physical object is subject to. There is no way that I could save myself from falling.
In the same way, most of us describe sin as a law. In fact, Paul refers, on more than one occasion, to the law of sin and death. Adam and Eve, the first people to roam the earth, were on a metaphorical ladder. This ladder can be compared to as a relationship with God. Both had the opportunity to climb higher, but they also had the choice to step off the side and fall. Man’s initial choice to step off the side of this ladder was sin, and the fall ultimately led to death. What’s the catch?
Jesus is. If I had chosen to step off the side of the ladder, something would have had to intervene so that I would not have hit the ground. In the same way something had to intervene to save Adam and Eve from an eternal death. Thus, Jesus’ sacrifice was planned from the foundation of the world. Jesus is the catch!
Here is the point. Every male and female born from the seed of a man is born in sin. This means that we were all born in mid-fall. Until we ask Jesus to catch us, we are still falling. In order for us to know that Jesus can catch us, we have to believe that Jesus has already been to the point below the fall (that is death), and that He overcame that death. Once we ask for that help, we can begin climbing the ladder and building a relationship with God.
I think that this was the very idea that Paul was communicating to the believers in Rome, “Therefore, there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death” (Romans 8:1-2).
Essentially, Paul is saying that we will not die spiritual deaths because of man’s initial decision to step off the ladder. It is now the decision of man, because we are born in sin, to ask God to catch us and place us back on the ladder.
Now that we belong to Jesus Christ, we are free from the law of sin and death! This means that we no longer have to be subject to it! Does this mean that we can go on sinning?
Even though we are free from the law of sin and death, we can still subject ourselves to it if we so choose. We can still choose to step off the ladder. Will God catch us? Yes, because we belong to Him, but we are hurting ourselves by subjecting ourselves to this law once again. Remember, we are free!
Here is my challenge to you. Do not fall of the ladder. God gives us the power to overcome! Why not overcome? Why not live free from the law of sin and death? Think about what exactly the law of the Spirit of life is and everything it took to make that a reality. Live free!