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.
As we’ve seen in our last two readings, Romans 6 ends with God having freed us from the law and giving us a new heart that is heaven bent on loving God and obeying his will.
Admittedly, at first glance this can look really risky, like God is leaving our sanctification up to us. Can I really trust this new heart? And if I’m not guided by law keeping, then what on earth would make me obey? How do I stay in God’s good graces? How do I earn his blessing?
This is exactly why so many Christians stay trapped under the burden of the law. They simply cannot see another way to live without a cause-effect system to guide them. They can’t fathom living without a system of doing A in order to achieve B. Making progress. Finding success. Do more to get more.
But “do A to get B” leaves us falling short of love. It is just another form of legalism that desires a fruitful life from God without intimacy with God. It makes our present reality our ultimate reality, rather than causing us to long deeply for our ultimate reality in God’s presence one day. It fails to show us that what we most desperately need every day is God, not just his blessing.
Sadly, for many Christians (myself included) life is often reduced down to following Christian practices in order to gain God’s “blessing.” Follow God’s principles for marriage and have a happy marriage. Follow God’s plans for your finances, tithe 10%, and God will bless your business. Train up a child in the way he should go and he’ll never walk away from God. Use accountability partners and you’ll overcome your addictions. But these Christian principles can be just another form of law – the very thing we’ve been released from according to Romans 7.
You see, this way of living is not the way of the Spirit. It is not faith in the life, death, and resurrection of Christ. It’s the old way of the flesh and not the new way of the Spirit. When we are freed from the demands and the condemnation of the law, we are free to live by Gods own life itself. The Spirit. The indwelling life of Christ.
But isn’t God taking a big risk by freeing us from the law? Without the law to guide us aren’t we all just doing whatever we want?
Yes. And doing whatever we want is sort of the point. God wants us to be free to do what we want. Our union with Christ accomplishes this very thing. It changes what we want to do by giving us the heart of Jesus himself. The desires of the Spirit. 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 has also tethered us to his very own heart.
“To live is Christ” means that his life and his love now control us. The new way of the Spirit makes knowing God intimately both our greatest good and our greatest desire in life.
Can you recognize where you are still being controlled by the flesh (including Christian principles)?
You in Christ
How does our union with Christ free us from having to live within a life that we control?
Christ in you
Who can you SERVE in the new way of the Spirit today?
Playlist: The New Way.
Click Here to this playlist on Spotify!
To see today’s post from the TLIC Family blog –> Click Here