I fought the law

I’ll bet you can finish this song lyric: “I fought the law and…”

Did you complete it with “the law won”? You probably even sang the tune in your head. The song was written by Sonny Curtis and first recorded by the Crickets in 1959. It was then a top-10 single for the Bobby Fuller Four in 1966. My favorite cover was released by The Clash in 1979. It’s a slightly angrier version than the original. Anarchy!

Did you know that the law wins every time? I’m not referring to crime and punishment here. I’m talking about you and me. Each of us is struggling in a lifelong wrestling match with the law and, spoiler alert, we all get pinned. Sorry.

Our desperate situation is summarized in a single sentence by Paul in his letter to the church in Rome.

For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard. (Romans 3:23)

The “all” is inclusive. God gave the law to provide boundaries that keep us safe. Each of us has crossed the line, though. Envy, selfishness, bitterness, lust, greed, pride, and on and on. Once broken, the law cannot be repaired. We all fall down. This is Humpty Dumpty, my friend.

So now what?

Our Father in Heaven loves us far too much to leave us without hope. Paul follows chapter 3 with the wonderful promise of chapter 8.

1So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus. 2And because you belong to him, the power of the life-giving Spirit has freed you from the power of sin that leads to death. 3The law of Moses was unable to save us because of the weakness of our sinful nature. So God did what the law could not do. He sent his own Son in a body like the bodies we sinners have. And in that body God declared an end to sin’s control over us by giving his Son as a sacrifice for our sins. 4He did this so that the just requirement of the law would be fully satisfied for us, who no longer follow our sinful nature but instead follow the Spirit. (Romans 8:1-4)

Through Jesus’ death and resurrection, he satisfied the law-penalty on our behalf. When you choose to believe in Him as the Savior from your sin, there is no longer any condemnation. You are free!

Why fight a losing battle? Surrender to Jesus and you’ve already won.

Pray this: Jesus, I need you. I have sinned against you and I am condemned by God’s law. There is no escape for me. Except you. I believe that you came to accept the punishment for my sin. I believe that you died on the cross and then rose again. I believe that you are God’s Son. I accept your forgiveness and ask to know you more. Thank you!

About Tony Schmitz

Tony Schmitz received his BS in Mechanical Engineering from Temple University in 1993, his MS in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Florida in 1996, and his PhD in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Florida in 1999. He is a mechanical engineering professor at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.
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