January 7. Romans 7:6. Release from the Law, China’s Social Scoring System, and the New Way of the Spirit.

Romans 7:6. But now we are released from the law, having died to that which held us captive, so that we serve in the new way of the Spirit and not in the old way of the written code.

In Christ we have been given a brand new operating system. The old flesh operating system (F.O.S.), powered by the law, is now obsolete for us. We have been released from the law. Now, in it’s place, God has given us the Spirit Operating System (S.O.S.). We serve in the new way of the Spirit.

If you’re not sure what a F.O.S. looks like we have an example happening in China right now with their social scoring system.

“Every personal experience is a transaction.” China’s social scoring system uses a points system and public shaming to motivate good behavior. Did you hear what the gentleman in the video said when his score went back up? “I’m finally a normal person again.” Isn’t this what we’re all chasing every day? Some level of normalcy? And so each of us is living with our own internal social scoring system, our F.O.S.

But China’s system is a flesh (selfish) based system. It is rooted in the idea that we can earn our status. And who knows, maybe in China you can. But not with God. And not as a true human. We are in need of a whole new internal operating system. This is why God has given us the S.O.S. That is, the life of Christ. A system that no longer keeps score.

When we are freed from the demands and the condemnation of the law, from our indebtedness to it, we are free to live by Gods own life itself. The Spirit. The Spirit of Christ. The indwelling life of Christ.

We might expect all this talk about being dead to the law and being released from the law to lead to a life of living free from God himself. “Live as you see fit.” “Make all your own rules.” Isn’t God taking a big risk by freeing us from the law? What if we all just go nuts and run around doing whatever we want?

Well doing whatever we want is sort of the goal. You see the S.O.S. actually changes what we want to do. Now we WANT to serve God. We WANT to be instruments of righteousness. We WANT to be God’s slave. God doesn’t fear our freedom from the law, because he hasn’t freed us from his life. His life and his love now control us. Not the law. The life. Jesus.

This new way of the Spirit is what the rest of this letter to the Romans, starting in chapter 8, will be about. The new way of the Spirit IS “to live is Christ.” We are free from sin and free from law. Therefore, we are free from our F.O.S. Now we will live from our S.O.S. We will live to know God though Christ. This will be our highest goal. To know him and love him and serve him. Every situation we face in life will force us to answer this question: “Do I want to know Christ and the fellowship of his suffering becoming like him in his death?”

Might the new way of the Spirit allow us to forgive ourselves and our enemies?

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