(Read Romans 7:1-6)
This morning we continue our series “Grace that is Simply Amazing.” In our last message we looked at how the Lord, through the power of the Holy Spirit, has equipped, enabled and empowered us to live a righteous life that is pleasing in His sight. In this message, as we continue to walk through Paul’s letter to the church in Rome, the Apostle continues to flow in that same vein. Paul says:
“Now, dear brothers and sisters—you who are familiar with the law—don’t you know that the law applies only while a person is living? For example, when a woman marries, the law binds her to her husband as long as he is alive. But if he dies, the laws of marriage no longer apply to her. So while her husband is alive, she would be committing adultery if she married another man. But if her husband dies, she is free from that law and does not commit adultery when she remarries.
So, my dear brothers and sisters, this is the point: You died to the power of the law when you died with Christ. And now you are united with the one who was raised from the dead. As a result, we can produce a harvest of good deeds for God. When we were controlled by our old nature, sinful desires were at work within us, and the law aroused these evil desires that produced a harvest of sinful deeds, resulting in death. But now we have been released from the law, for we died to it and are no longer captive to its power. Now we can serve God, not in the old way of obeying the letter of the law, but in the new way of living in the Spirit.”
So what does this mean to you today? A few things:
1. You are dead to the Law. Paul said, “You died to the power of the law when you died with Christ.” Paul uses the analogy of a marriage. The Apostle makes the connection between a wife who is bound to her husband in covenant, and a Jewish person who was in covenant with the Law. Paul explains that if the woman’s husband dies, the covenant dies with him. She would no longer be under the covenant of marriage, because her husband is dead. Likewise, Paul says, Jews who were once under the Law, but who were then Born-Again, are now dead in Christ and since they are dead, they are no longer under the Covenant of the Law. I keep mentioning Jews because they were the only ones under the Law in the first place. I am not a Jew and chances are you are not one either. So, for us Gentiles, who were never under the Law to the begin with, we should not feel any sense of obligation to a covenant that was never ratified for us. And even if you feel some sort of connection to the Law, it should have died when you died in Christ.
2. You are now united with Christ through the Holy Spirit. Paul said, “Now you are united with the one who was raised from the dead.” The Holy Spirit connects us, Spiritually, to Christ Jesus Himself. We know the Holy Spirit lives in us, but Jesus Himself is in us as well. When speaking to the disciples about the time that would come after His resurrection, Jesus said, “On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you” (John 14:20). Paul later wrote, “Christ lives in you. This gives you assurance of sharing his glory” (Col 1:27). The Holy Spirit lives inside of each Born-Again believer and He connects us to Christ Jesus Himself!
3. Release from the Law brings deliverance to sin’s power. Paul said, “But now we have been released from the law, for we died to it and are no longer captive to its power.” The Law had power, and it was the power to condemn. We accepted the condemnation, we acknowledged the fact that we were sinners, we acknowledged Jesus as Lord, we were Born-Again, we died to our old man, and we also died to the Law. We now get to embrace God’s Grace, to allow God to reveal His purpose for our lives to us, and to pursue that purpose through His power. This is a much better way to live. Forgiven, empowered and employed in the Kingdom!
4. Now you get to serve God by living in the Spirit. Paul said, “Now we can serve God, not in the old way of obeying the letter of the law, but in the new way of living in the Spirit.” Our focus should no longer be the letter of the Law, but rather the power of the Spirit. The Law told us what NOT to do. The Holy Spirit tells us what TO do. The Holy Spirit gives us access to God’s supernatural power, by His amazing Grace. Not because we deserve it, not because we have earned it, and not because we are so good. God uses us, through the power of His Holy Spirit, because He is so good! That’s Grace! Not just any grace; it’s the Grace of God and yes, it is amazing!
Closing Confession: Father, I thank You for teaching me more and more about Your amazing, unyielding and undeserved Grace. Your Word teaches me that I am dead to the Law because I am dead to my old nature. My old man died when I was Born-Again. I was crucified with Christ, nevertheless I live. The life that I now live in the flesh, I live by the faith of the one who gave His life for me. I am not perfect, but I am forgiven. I am dead to the Law and I am dying to self daily. As I do, I slowly become the man/woman You have called, destined, designed and desire for me to be. I walk in the newness of the life Christ Jesus died to give me. I am not focused on the Law. I am focused on Your purpose for my life. You reveal Your purpose to me, through Your Spirit who lives in me, and Your Spirit gives me access to Your divine power. I live in the Spirit and I do not fulfill the lusts of the flesh. Every day I die to sin and self, and I become more and more like You. And even though I am not perfect, I am forgiven and You choose to use me by Your amazing Grace. So here I am Father, I am ready to be used today, for Your glory! You and me, me and You, together let’s go make a difference! In Jesus’ name. Amen.
This is Today’s Word! Apply it and Prosper.