The Gospel according to chewing gum!

Chewing gum
How is it that it is a crime to sell chewing gum in Singapore but not in Malaysia? It is because Malaysia is a different country. It is the law that determines the crime. The law in Singapore determines that eating chewing gum is a crime. The law in Malaysia doesn’t. The law is however determined by the power or sovereign who creates and executes it.

Similarly when we died in Christ and raised to His new life, we are now transported from this world into the Kingdom of Light. There is also hence a change of government and law. Hebrews tells us when there is a change of high priest there is a change of law. We are no longer under Aaron but Christ. As such what might be sin in this world is no longer sin in the Kingdom of God. This is because it is the law that determines the sin and the Kingdom of God works under a different principle. The world operates on the law, whereas the Kingdom of God works under grace. This what Paul meant by sin has no power over you for you are under grace and not law. Paul also explains in Romans 7 that if a woman is married but marries another she commits adultery. However if her husband dies and she marries another she is not an adulteress.

Notice the illustration, there is a common denominator in the two circumstance, yes she did the same thing, “she marries another”. In one circumstance she sins, in another she doesn’t. The difference is this the husband died. Paul states that the law does not apply anymore because the husband died. When he died she is released. Dear friends, the great news is this we too have died to the law when we died in Christ. The law cannot apply to dead people. This is also because people who died have served the full measure of the law. Hence when you died you are released from the law. So you are released from law, its condemnation, effects and has deemed to pay for ALL the penalty the law demands from you. Since we are dead the law does not apply to the dead.

Also we have to been raised to Christ. We are in another Kingdom. We operate under a different set of laws. Paul calls it the law of life and of the Spirit. It is distingush from the Law of Moses and the law of sin and death. (see Romans 7 and 8). A lot of people err on this, they think they died and when God raise them with Christ they have been raised to a life which operates under the Law of Moses and the principles of this world.

Paul says in Colossians when God nailed the law on the cross the principalities and powers of this world have been stripped of its authority. Paul then states the mechanics of how this work is that we died with Christ to the principalities and powers of this world. Hence the wisdom and fine teaching of this world has no power of us.

Paul uses the same arguement in Romans 6 and states “how can we who died to sin live in it any longer. It is no longer I who sin but sin in me.” He is actually saying that he cannot sin anymore because he is dead and lives under a new government.

In other words he was speaking from a legal viewpoint. We are dead. Hence we are no longer live under the law and principles of this world. The law was given to determine what sin was. Since we died we are freed from the law. We thus do not live in a system of what the law tells or dictates as sin anymore. We live under a completely different Kingdom. This means when we are this Kingdom we are under a different law. This simply means what is sin in this world (since the law dictates it), that same act in the Kingdom of God is not sin (because the law does not apply anymore.)

The most brilliant of lawyers usually gets the client off or wins his case on technicalities and not merits. God used a technicality and won this case for us. He gave us Jesus. He fulfilled the law for us. He allowed us to be independent from the law by allowing us to die with Him. He is raised by God and that same God raised us in Christ. He is the giver of new law under the Kingdom of God. It operates on a different set of princiiples. Here the principle is not law but grace. Forgive not to be forgiven but forgive because you have been forgiven is just an example of how different the old world and the new Kingdome is like.

God is brilliant. Since we died with Christ we also died to the law. This means the law does not apply to us anymore because we died. Then he raised us to a new life (NOT THE CURRENT LIFE) and because of a change of law and “country” our act of sin is not sin in the NEW LIFE. Remember although the woman married another she is not in sin because the husband is dead. Same act. The act is only sin when the law applies. Once the husband dies the law does not apply anymore. Hence Paul with great joy says we died. Hence the acts (which we called sins) althought no different when the law does are no longer sin in this new Kingdom.

That sounds terribly unsound. But listen to this Paul says “When I sin, it is not I who sin but sin who sins in me.” That also sounds unsound. But that is biblical. Paul is actually saying I have died and uis under a different set of laws. He appreciated that we are freed from a technicality. I am a lawyer myself, I do not care whether I get off wether of merit or technicality. God freed us on a technicality. He is simply awesome. That technicality is Jesus.

Who says “murder” is sin? It is the law. If you are dead to the law. It is still sin? Because the law is done with, there is no” murder”. It is a very technical arguement. Paul himself states in Romans “where there is no law, there is no sin”. Paul says this:

Rom 7:17 Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.

Rom 7:20 Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.

It is no longer Paul who sins but sin who dwells in him.

I hope this helps. Let’s say you are a Singaporean and you have been caught for the offence of eating chewing gum. Before the authorities can arrest you, you suffered a stroke. You died. The government issues you a certificate of death. You are legally dead. Your mom comes and takes your body to her home in Kuala Lumpur Malaysia. While they are mourning you death in your funeral, an evangelist past bye and raised you from the dead. The 1st thing you do after you have been raised from the dead is to eat chewing gum. Can the Singaporean government charged you again for eating chewing gum in Malaysia? Does it mean he is no longer eating chewing gum anymore? No he still has this “weakness”. It is just that it is no longer a crime. The Singaporean government cannot charge you anymore because the law says you are already dead (even when you are not dead phyiscally).

The answer is no. Why? Because even you are not dead phyiscally, the law in Singapore had pronounced you dead. Further the law in Singapore in relation to chewing gum only operates in Singapore and has no jurisdiction in Malaysia. Why? Because Malaysia has its own law. Same act. It is a crime in one Country but not the other. Paul is not saying he does not do “sinful acts” anymore. He is merely saying that because he is dead. The law cannot touch him. 2ndly, even he does those”sinful acts” the law also cannot touch him because under this new government he is in, the new law does not call it sin anymore.This is because under the Kingdom of God different rules apply. The 10 commandments do not apply in this Kingdom. Hence in this technical arguement Paul says it is no he who sins but sin who sins who dwells in me that sins.

If you note Romans 7 Pauls speaks about 2 laws, the law of God and the law of sin and death. In Romans 8 Pauls speaks about the law of the Spirit and Life who gives him power over the Law of sin and death. There is a new law.

I am not advocating licence to sin but merely illustrating the incredible brilliance of God to win for us the arguement against Satan who had power over us. This is because the sting of sin is death and the power of sin is the law (1 Cor 15). But when God nailed the law on the corss Satan is stripped of his power (Col 3).

As an attorney I marveled at how God is so wise he took a techincaility from the law and fulfilled it in Christ and place us in Christ for our death and ressurection. It is this technicality that enable God to see us in Christ and hence allow Him to see us as not sinning anymore while we are still in our weaknesses. Some of you may accuse me of spliting hair. I am an attorney. It is by spiltting hairs we win our cases. God did so and he won for us. Does it want to me to “sin” anymore? It makes me want to worship. It makes me want to appreciate my salvation and the love Jesus has for me. It makes me want to come to a God who is so awesome. It makes me fear and tremble because I worked out my salvation. I finally realised how it works and I fall in humility knowing my “righteous acts” are filthy rags.

That is the reason today I am madly in love with Jesus. He is my righteousness. He is my new life. He is my salvation. He is my God.

Like the chewing gum illustration (though a relatively weak one), whatever the law said amounted to sin in this life is not sin in the new life. (I know may of you will have trouble with this statement. Here I ask you appreciate the way God deals with the techinicality of the Law and not the moral aspect of it.) That way God delivers us from sin by deliveriing us from the law. God is simply the most brilliant lawyer there is. In this new Kingdom, Christ is our life and because He is our righteousness, our lives thus becomes righteous lives. God is simply awesome.

I fall in awe to worship.