Duty or Delight
Father, give me insight into Your Word and myself that I might discover more of the freedom Christ gives me.
Read ROMANS 7:1-6
 Do you not know, brothers-for I am speaking to men who know the law-that the law has authority over a man only as long as he lives?  For example, by law a married woman is bound to her husband as long as he is alive, but if her husband dies, she is released from the law of marriage.  So then, if she marries another man while her husband is still alive, she is called an adulteress. But if her husband dies, she is released from that law and is not an adulteress, even though she marries another man.  So, my brothers, you also died to the law through the body of Christ, that you might belong to another, to him who was raised from the dead, in order that we might bear fruit to God.  For when we were controlled by the sinful nature, the sinful passions aroused by the law were at work in our bodies, so that we bore fruit for death.  But now, by dying to what once bound us, we have been released from the law so that we serve in the new way of the Spirit, and not in the old way of the written code. Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
ReflectWhat is a Christian's relationship to the Law?
Some people are enslaved by obligation. They may do all the right things, but they’re motivated by duty, not delight. This is exactly how some Christians live. Their obedience is a grim duty rather than joyful service. Paul calls this living under the law. It is not for Christians (4). The hold the law once had on us is broken because we have died with Christ. He invites us to compare this with the way a person is freed from the constraints and obligations of marriage by the death of their spouse (2,3).
Christians have been set free from a “rule book” approach to life. But that doesn’t mean that we simply do whatever we want (one of the threads in ch. 6 on which we didn’t elaborate; 6:1,15). Why would we live like that when it results in ultimate brokenness (6:23)? Instead “we can serve God…in the new way of living in the Spirit” (6).
Prompted by the Holy Spirit, we choose what is good, true and wholesome. We do this not from a sense of obligation, but because to live God’s way is both pleasing to God and beneficial for us.
Examine the extent to which your obedience is truly joyful. Thank God for the many benefits of that obedience.
Thank You, Lord, for setting me free from obligation. May I use that freedom in a way that creates greater wholeness.
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