16 Mar One Simple Statement
The discussion was about best practices in teaching reading. My graduate students, most of them elementary teachers, were talking about the use of literature circles, journaling and other techniques used to enhance children’s reading skills. Then it happened one of them said, “You have to teach phonics until the children know how to read then you no longer need it.”
Ahh! There it was in one simple statement. In principle my student had summed up the book of Galatians. We need the Ten Commandments until by the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit we become assimilated into the likeness of Jesus. It is then one no longer needs an external law. The underlying principles become the standard of life. We do not need to be told not to steal. We don’t want to steal. We do not have to be told not to tell bad stories about our neighbor. We don’t want to hurt his reputation.
Paul says it like this. “So the law was put in charge to lead us to Christ that we might be justified by faith. Now that faith has come, we are no longer under the supervision of the law.” Galatians 3:24-5
Sometimes this verse confuses people because they think Christians are then free to live lawless lives. Quite to the contrary, the principles become as natural as breathing. We don’t have to have a command telling us to breath.
Wsritten by Roger Bothwell on September 13, 2002
Spring of Life, 151 Old Farm Rd. Leominster, MA 01453.