Thursday, October 18
AN ILLUSTRATION FROM MARRIAGE
Since I am speaking to those who know the law, brothers and sisters, don’t you know that the law rules over someone as long as he lives?
2 For example, a married woman is legally bound to her husband while he lives. But if her husband dies, she is released from the law regarding the husband. 3 So then, if she is married to another man while her husband is living, she will be called an adulteress. But if her husband dies, she is free from that law. Then, if she is married to another man, she is not an adulteress.
4 Therefore, my brothers and sisters, you also were put to death in relation to the law through the body of Christ so that you may belong to another. You belong to him who was raised from the dead in order that we may bear fruit for God. 5 For when we were in the flesh, the sinful passions aroused through the law were working in us to bear fruit for death. 6 But now we have been released from the law, since we have died to what held us, so that we may serve in the newness of the Spirit and not in the old letter of the law.
SIN’S USE OF THE LAW
7 What should we say then? Is the law sin? Absolutely not! On the contrary, I would not have known sin if it were not for the law. For example, I would not have known what it is to covet if the law had not said, Do not covet. 8 And sin, seizing an opportunity through the commandment, produced in me coveting of every kind. For apart from the law sin is dead. 9 Once I was alive apart from the law, but when the commandment came, sin sprang to life again 10 and I died. The commandment that was meant for life resulted in death for me. 11 For sin, seizing an opportunity through the commandment, deceived me, and through it killed me. 12 So then, the law is holy, and the commandment is holy and just and good. 13 Therefore, did what is good become death to me? Absolutely not! On the contrary, sin, in order to be recognized as sin, was producing death in me through what is good, so that through the commandment, sin might become sinful beyond measure.
Verse 6 summarizes the theme of this passage really well. Because we died when Christ when died on the cross, we are dead to the law and delivered from the control it had over us. This means that the law is no longer the thing that justifies us (makes us in right standing with God) or the thing that sanctifies us (makes us more holy, like Jesus). This is the case SO THAT “we may serve in the newness of the Spirit.” We have been set free from the law, not so that we can stop serving, but so that we can serve better in the midst of a better covenant and a better power. We now serve out devotion to Christ, not out of devotion to the law. The law no longer condemns us. It now serves to reveal the weakness in our lives so that we can continually see our need for Christ’s power.
Are there ways you’re allowing the law to condemn you rather than to point you to Jesus? The gospel leads to change, not to guilt. You have died with Christ and your guilt died with him. Now, just as Christ was raised you’re raised to new life. Better life. A life intended to serve Christ out of passion not out of guilt.
God give me a desire to see your law as something that points me towards holiness. Give me the grace and power I need in order to be more like Jesus.
Pick Four More Activities
Listen and Worship.
Pray a Psalm.
Read a Book.
Retell the Gospel to Yourself.
Take Some Notes on Today's Devotional.
Pray for Yourself, Your Family, Your Church, and the Lost.
Memorize a Verse.
List Five Things You're Thankful For.