I was sent this birthday card recently. The punchline is party with the 5th doctor. Sometimes I get so casual about reading Scripture that I miss its real power but the other day the words from the commentary jumped out at me and I realised their profundity. It was from Chrysostom' commentary on Romans 10.
' But he who has Christ, even though he may not have properly fulfilled the Law, has received the whole. For the end of the physician's art is health...He who does not know how to heal, though he may seem to be a follower of the art, comes short of everything: so it is in the case of Law and faith..For what was the object of the Law? To make man righteous. But it did not have the power for no one fulfilled it..but to this end Christ gave a fuller accomplishment through faith.'
Basically the Law failed to make people good.
Now we hear a different version of this. If people's conditions are improved they will become better people. O really?
I live in a traditionally poor part of London. Much of that extreme poverty has gone. Are people better?
In my area two people were killed in a firebombing over an argument over goods of ten pounds. People no longer talk to one another as their ears are stuffed with headphones. Cyclists threaten to plough me down on the street. Basically, people appear more selfish, less considerate and more arrogant. As the Law has failed to make people nicer so has improved living conditions. Evil as our Lord said comes from people's hearts. The only cure comes not from the doctor but from a change of heart. Christ can give that change of heart.