Before Paul became a Christian, verses like this one (Leviticus 18:5) mattered much to him. At that time, Paul was working hard to obey Godís law. In that way, Paul believed that he could obtain a right relationship with God. This verse, Leviticus 18:5, seemed to say that, by those efforts, Paul would receive life.
Now, however, Paul understood that verse differently. He had seen that his own efforts were too weak to obey God completely (7:14-25). So, Paul realised that he must depend not on his own efforts, but upon God himself. He must believe and trust in God; then God, by his Spirit, would give Paul the strength to serve God properly (8:1-14). The result would be the kind of life, in Paulís own spirit, that can never end (John 11:25-26; 1 Corinthians 15:51-54).
That fact changed how Paul understood the Bible. Now he could see that, long before him, Abraham and David had already discovered these things (4:1-8). They too did not depend on their own efforts, but on Godís kindness. They too had accepted Godís promises by faith (belief and trust in God).
Paul could even see that Moses himself was teaching these things. In the next few verses, Paul will discuss some of Mosesí final words to Israelís people, from Deuteronomy 30:11-14. In that passage, Moses insists that Godís commands were not too difficult for his people to follow. God was not giving them rules that they could never obey. Rather, God was placing his word into their hearts and mouths. They simply needed to accept it; and then God would work in their lives. In other words, he would make them into the kind of people that he wanted them to be.
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© 2018, Keith Simons.