But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the LORD: I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.
– Jeremiah 31:33
Natural law? Sounds like it. A law that is imprinted in our hearts even before any posited law is imposed on us. (But see how even this law within us is ‘written’!)
I wonder how the tension between natural law (from Original Holiness) and our disordered desires (from Original Sin) bear out. Are they equally balanced? Or do we tend towards one side? Or maybe they operate on different levels – if we live the unexamined life, we tend towards sin; but if we still ourselves and reflect, we can hear our conscience speaking. I don’t know.
And then, did Jesus change our nature? Or alter this tension in any way, as the verse suggested that He would (assuming that He is the New Covenant that Jeremiah is talking about)? He should have, right? If the call to holiness and our disordered desires were once co-equal, then the inscription of the law in our hearts via the New Covenant must have skewed the balance. It must be easier to be holy after Jesus came.
Theologically, He made a world of difference, of course. But anthropologically, psychologically, were we changed? Were we transformed?
Because if the law is really written on my heart, I wonder why it is still so difficult keep His commandments. I wonder why it is still so difficult to follow Him. I wonder why it is still so difficult to do His will.