“So, you Christians think you can do anything you want and then ask God to forgive you. You’ve got it made. But don’t try to pretend you’re better than me, you’re just working the system.”
This man would be right if the system was still “The Law.” One: I’m not better than him–we’re all sinners. Two: We both know right from wrong, and we both found ourselves doing the wrong thing. Three: Yes, God will forgive me, but freedom means I am renewed in relationship with God and moving to be more and more like Him. It’s an inner change, a heart change.
|OBLIGATION TO THE LAW||A NEW WAY OF LIVING|
|The law’s power ends at death. When Christ died He ended the Law’s obligation and left it in the tomb. (1-4)||We have died alonside Christ to the powers of the Law, we are no longer slaves shackled to its oppressive regulations and codes. (6)|
|As believers in Jesus Christ, we (sinners and our sins) were crucified with Him, so we also died to the Law. (4-6)||Free from the law, released from the control of sin, we may serve God with the power of the Holy Spirit who now lives in us. (6)|
|In our old life, sin called the shots and we did whatever we felt we could get away with. Under sin, we looked for ways to circumvent the law. (5)||The law code itself is God’s good and common sense, each command sane and holy counsel. (12, MSG)|
|Sin deceived me so that the very commands intended to guide me tempted me to do whatever I wanted, to get away with sin and more sin, to do what would finally destroy me. (8-13)||I long to do what is right, but will-power is not enough to accomplish it. I need help. (17-24)|
|The Law shows me what is good and what is wrong. It is sin’s power over me that causes me to decide one way (i.e. for good), but act another by doing things I absolutely despise. (14-17)||This is the gospel message of salvation through Jesus Christ who has provided a way out. (25)|
Because of Jesus Christ, my renewed mind is fixed on
and submitted to God’s righteous principles.
Here’s the word that got stuck in my mind as I read this chapter: DISENTANGLED.
If I try harder, depend on my own willpower, determine to follow my my mind’s knowledge of right and wrong, I WILL FAIL. I am a sinner living in a fallen world, and every day the prince of this world is battling to recapture little bits of me. Every time I give in, sin’s power over me grows, ties another knot so I can’t get away. No matter how hard I try, no matter how good my intentions are, I cannot win the battle that I have to fight every day. I cannot, on my own, untie the tangle of knots that binds me to sin.
The good news is, that I don’t have to. God has already done it. What I have to do is make a habit to daily renew my relationship with the Lord, learn to listen to His voice, ask for His Spirit to rule in me, and in the name of Jesus Christ shred all the knotted ropes the devil is trying to re-attach every day. It is through the strength of God the Father, Jesus Christ the son, and the Holy Spirit who dwells in me that I find freedom and renewal so that I can serve God with all my heart and mind.
My picture clearly shows the tangles I can let myself get in when I shove my relationship with Jesus Christ to the background. Sin keeps trying to creep back in.
The more I try to untangle these knots, the tighter the hold sin has on me.
It is when I turn to God, confess how these knots are attached to my sould and I am unable to untie them, maybe I have to ask for the desire to untie them…then I have to ask for help.
I am free because Jesus Christ has already declared victory over death, and I and my sins are united with Him. His victory is mine through His sacrifice.
My relationship with Jesus is the habit that I wear daily.