No Longer Bound By the Law (Day 14)

Read Romans 7:1-6
   When a person dies to the old life and accepts Christ as Savior, a new life begins. An unbeliever’s life is centered on his or her own personal gratification. Those who don’t follow Christ have only their own self-determination as their source of power. By contrast, God is at the center of a Christian’s life. God supplies the power for a Christian’s daily living. Believersfind that their whole way of looking at the world changes when they come to Christ. 
   Some people try to earn their way to God by keeping a set of rules, such as obeying the Ten Commandments, attending church faithfully, or doing good deeds, but all they earn for their efforts is frustration and discouragement. However, because of Christ’s sacrifice, the way to God is already open, and we can become His children simply by putting our faith in Him. No longer trying to reach God by keeping rules, we can become more and more like Jesus as we live for Him day by day. Let the Holy Spirit turn your eyes away from your own performance and toward Jesus. He will free you to serve Him out of love and gratitude. This is living in the new way, by the Holy Spirit. 
   Keeping the rules, laws, and customs of Christianity doesn’t save us. Even if we could keep our actions pure, we would still be doomed because our heart and mind are perverse and rebellious. Like Paul, we can find no relief in the synagogue or church until we look to Jesus Christ Himself for our salvation: which He gives us freely. When we do come to Jesus, we are flooded with relief and gratitude. Will we keep the rules any better? Most likely, but we will be motivated by love and gratitude, not by the desire to get God’s approval. We must not be merely submitting to an external code but willingly and lovingly be seeking to do God’s will. 

   Paul uses marriage to illustrate our relationship to the law. When a spouse dies, the law of marriage no longer applies. Because we have died with Christ, the law can no longer condemn us. Since we are united with Christ, His Spirit enables us to produce good deeds for God. We now serve God, not by obeying a set of rules, but out of renewed hearts and minds that overflow with love for Him.