The spirit of the law

The Spirit Of The Law

The Spirit Of The Law

Merriam Webster defines the spirit of the law as the aim or purpose of a law when it was written. That means you can be technically following the letter of the law, but defying the spirit of the law at the same time. How does that work? Well, if you think about the lawyers in your life – aka children, you will quickly find that they have an amazing capacity to do follow rules to such specificity that they run roughshod over your meaning.

The Letter Of The Law

Splitting Hairs

When I was a kid, I wasn’t allowed to have people over when my mother wasn’t home. Gotta love the latch-key 80s. We lived in an apartment building and a friend asked if he could use my phone to call home. I explained that he was not allowed in. So I opened the door and had him stand in the hallway – right up to the threshold. I then stretched the chord straight to reach him, had him tell me the number and dialed for him. Technically, I followed the rules – not the spirit. It was the same with me sitting inside the apartment on the floor while my friend sat on the floor in the hall so we could talk and hang out. The letter – not the spirit of the law.

law and gospel

Jesus Breaks It Down

I suppose that that’s why Jesus had to break it down for everybody in The Beatitudes. He cared enough to explain that there is more to faith than just the law – there is grace. Jesus is the embodiment of God’s grace towards us. First Jesus mentions the law, then He follows it by explaining the spirit of the law. It’s like today’s verse – the law followed by the spirit of the law. God wants us to follow Him and He wants you to know why.

The spirit of the law

40-Day Challenge Reading

Matthew 5-7

John 3:16-17 For God so loved the world that He gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him.

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