13 February 2012

now we are released

City Nature – Pomegranate Tree, Nizamuddin Chilla
My brothers, you also have died to the law through the body of Christ, so that you may belong to another, to him who has been raised from the dead, in order that we may bear fruit for God. For while we were living in the flesh, our sinful passions, aroused by the law, were at work in our members to bear fruit for death. 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.
-Romans 7:4-6

The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.
-Galatians 5:22-24


Where we once bore deathly fruit, living as slaves to sin and thus fearing the law because of our inevitable guilt, we now bear the fruit of life, living as slaves to righteousness and free of fear.

Thanks be to our Saviour, there is no law that can torture us with condemnation.

I think that last Galatians phrase-- against such things there is no law-- is one of my favorite in   Scripture, because deep down (maybe not so deep!) I am a legalist. I want to know exactly the right things to believe and do and say, no gray areas please. When I'm not clear on What to Do, I fear that I've missed the mark somehow, that I am disappointing God or missing out on His blessing. Have I broken some rule? I wonder. What am I doing wrong and how can I fix it?

But here I find comfort in simplicity. Listen, Rebekah, pursue godliness in these things; pursue love, peace, kindness, self-control. No law will condemn you for that. And what's more, the Holy Spirit himself will help you. Your salvation is already assured, and now, you can walk in freedom rather than fear.

{image credit: Manyank Austen Soofi}

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