So, God gave us the law. He made it, knowing we were never going to be able to be able to live up to the expectations it created. He knew all along we would need a Savior aka His Son Jesus. He created the law in our world to reveal the nature of our sin. We wouldn't have any way to recognize our sin without the law.
But then, in typical sin fashion, it took advantage of the law. Sin used something God created for good, to bring spiritual death to us. If you're anything like me, you're probably asking yourself, 'Paul, why does this matter?'. Here is my best attempt to help make sense of this passage.
We need the law in our life to show us that we are sinful but we also need it to show us that we need something more than the law to live towards and something more to save us. We will always fall short of what the law commands. That is why we need Jesus. We need something more than the law, we need a Savior. But without the law and sin, we would have no clue at all that we need anything, much less a Savior. So, Paul tries to move our standard from the law to the Spirit.
Jesus is our standard. If we use the law as our standard, it will fail us because sin creeps into the law. But sin cannot and will never be able to effect Jesus. So we focus on Jesus and the life He lived and follow Him as best we can with the help of the Holy Spirit. If we are following Jesus, following the law will come, but we cannot strive for the law, we can only chase after Jesus.
God, give me the heart to seek after You and Your commands. Give me the grace to follow You even when it is hard and even when I don't feel like it. Thank You for Your grace and mercy when I don't deserve it. Help me to chase after You and the abundant life You have for me. In Your name, Amen.
- Alex Raines