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Yellow Balloons Devotional Series: Advent

Romans 7:6

The Apostle Paul writes to the world-renowned believers in Rome, the center of the world at that time, in order to answer a slanderous charge made to them against Paul and his message. Paul’s detractors claim his emphasis on faith overturns the law. Paul says that ” just living by the law” does not achieve personal justice before God, while “just living by faith” does. Paul then demonstrates what a just life looks like: harmonious living with Jesus as the leader. Paul also makes clear the choice a believer has: to walk in faith and the power of the resurrection and experience resurrection life, or walk in sin and unnecessarily experience the negative consequences.


Paul shows that while we are free from the law, there remains a true battle with sin that resides within us. The sin nature battles with the redeemed nature. The sin nature is so strong that only the power of Christ can deliver us from it.

This of course pulls the rug out from under the main point made by Paul’s opponents (the competing Jewish “authorities”). They have argued that the law is what brings us to righteousness. Paul’s counter is that the law actually shows us our sin, and it is the power of the Spirit of Jesus that delivers us from the power of sin in our daily walk.


Our faith in Christ separates us from the Law and allows us to live in our new nature that comes from the Spirit.

 

Before faith in Jesus, we are under the jurisdiction and authority of the law, but when we put our faith on Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection as the payment for our sin we have been released from the Law (3:23-27). When we become believers we don’t need to serve the law anymore; we are called to serve in the newness of the Spirit.

 

When we are under the law we have an obligation to obey the law, without the power to do so. But when we have faith on Jesus we serve under the newness of grace, through faith, that we have been given, and are given the power of the resurrection of Jesus to live a new life, having died to that which we were bound. This is given to us through the newness of the Spirit. Just like if you get remarried after your spouse passes away, you are no longer bound to the old spouse but to your new spouse. It is like graduating from Junior High to High School; the student is no longer under the authority of the principal from Junior High, but is now under the authority of the principal of High School. In this same way, Paul is showing his audience that those who believe should serve in the new nature of the Spirit, not in the oldness of the letter (law).

Biblical Text

But now we have been released from the Law, having died to that by which we were bound, so that we serve in newness of the Spirit and not in oldness of the letter.