Obligation or spirit…

Romans 7:1-6

Or do you not know, brethren (for I speak to those who know the law), that the law has dominion over a man as long as he lives?  For the woman who has a husband is bound by the law to her husband as long as he lives. But if the husband dies, she is released from the law of her husband. So then if, while her husband lives, she marries another man, she will be called an adulteress; but if her husband dies, she is free from that law, so that she is no adulteress, though she has married another man. Therefore, my brethren, you also have become dead to the law through the body of Christ, that you may be married to another—to Him who was raised from the dead, that we should bear fruit to God. For when we were in the flesh, the sinful passions which were aroused by the law were at work in our members to bear fruit to death. But now we have been delivered from the law, having died to what we were held by, so that we should serve in the newness of the Spirit and not in the oldness of the letter.

Under law, we do whatever we do because we are obligated to.  There is no choosing for the consequences are sure and swift.  The only fruit born under that state leads to death.  The law serves to define what is wrong and the focus is on what is wrong.  Can we agree that when God stated not to eat from the tree of knowledge of good and evil or death will be the result, that was not a threat but rather a statement of condition.  A law existed and its consequences were sure.  If we drop the apple from the tree it will fall, the law exists and its consequences are sure.  The only release from the laws that exist is death.  Even a woman bearing a child has given birth to death. This is described by Paul as the before picture.   Before Christ.  There is life outside the law.  That life is in Christ.  We die with Him to the law and its consequences and are given life, as he rose to life, to a new existence that now extends for eternity.  No longer separated from the one who created us.

When we enter into that new place, we continue to act but now we live under the direction of the Spirit, not our flesh.  What motivates us is desire, a desire placed there by the Spirit of God.  And the mystery now comes to life!  Now what we do springs from love of justice and right living, and this bears fruit that lives.  “so that we should serve in the newness of the Spirit and not in the oldness of the letter.”

Take away: what we do;  is it done from obligation or from desire?  Are we driven by a law that states we must or from a spirit in tune with God that functions in the freedom to choose to do right? What is our mind-set?  Knowing who we are in Christ motivates us to act in love for what is right.  “serve in the newness of the Spirit

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