The other morning while driving to work I listened to an interview of singer/songwriter Leslie Feist. During the course of the interview, Feist made the comment that any romance that ends, for what ever reason, doesn’t end well.
What she said reminded me of an article by Lutheran theologian Gerhard Forde on justification by faith that I recently read. In the article, Forde deals mainly with the voice of the law in Romans 1-3. From Romans 1:18 (“For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men,”) to Romans 3:10-11 (“There is no one who is righteous, not even one; there is no one who has understanding, there is no one who seeks God,”) it is clear that humanity has no hope for reconciliation with God apart from Christ.
In one way or another, we are all under the law, a law which no one is able to satisfy (Romans 2:12). Whether we like it or not, we are caught in a bad and abusive relationship with the law. The law is like the oppressive partner who can never find satisfaction in the deeds of the other.
And there is no remedy for our unrighteousness according to the law apart from Christ. In other words, the relationship will always be ugly so long as we try to make it right on our own. As Forde says, “Who shall deliver us? How can the voice of the law be stilled? And the only answer to that… is Christ. Christ is the end of the law, that those who have faith may be justified.”
Through faith we are justified for Christ’s sake and our bad romance with the law is broken (please note that this does not mean that the law is discarded).