Thursday, September 22, 2011

Romans 3:31

Romans 3:31
It's always difficult in a garden to thin the plants. Everything in me cries out to let them grow. What if the plant I remove is the one that would have done the best? What if the plant I leave is eaten by a garden pest or succumbs to a wilt or other disease? Won't thinning reduce the number of tomatoes or cucumbers (or whatever that particular plant produces) that I get to harvest later in the season? Of course the reality is that removing some of the overcrowded plants helps the remainder grow healthier and stronger, actually increasing my harvest later on. The actions that at first glance seem opposed to my ultimate goal are the ones in this case that actually support it and strengthen it.
All Paul's talk about faith as being the path to our salvation certainly makes it sound as if he is wholly opposed to the Law. But here at the end of the chapter he turns around and claims that his arguments in fact support it. The Law was given within a context which included faith. Removing one aspect of it creates a very weak structure which will not give life or joy to the people living by the Law. Understanding the larger picture of faith in God lived out daily by following His Commandments and loving Him with our whole heart, soul, mind and strength, is not a contradiction but rather a support of each individual aspect or "plant" within the whole picture. Removing the distractions that look like they are part of the focus (e.g. extra rules that help some follow the Law but hinder others) is not an annulment of the Law as a whole, though it may seem so at first glance. It is instead supporting and strengthening our true purpose.

No comments:

Post a Comment