Living in the Spirit helps others find the door!
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? 2 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. 3 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.
4 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. 5 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. 6 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.
What does this all mean?
Early in my faith walk, one thing that helped me understand Scripture was understanding law and grace. The 10 commandments that were given to Moses are what we call “the law.” The law could not offer salvation. It only pointed out what was sin. This was all we had to live by until Jesus Christ came and died on the cross to take our punishment for breaking the law. The moment that Jesus died, He fulfilled the law and He became grace for all of us.
Grace is free, unmerited favor!
Jesus died so that we could have favor with God. To obtain eternal salvation with God, all that is required of us is to believe in the One the Father has sent (John 6:29).
We cannot work for our salvation. There is nothing we can do to earn it. We cannot buy it. All we can do is humbly receive this free and awesome gift given to us through grace.
Paul is going to great lengths in Romans to instruct us to stop putting works into our salvation. Think about giving and receiving gifts. When someone gives us a gift for no reason at all, we struggle with freely receiving that gift. We instantly think that now we owe that person something in return. Let’s take it to another level and imagine that someone buys us a brand new car, for no reason. Would you struggle accepting that car? If you accepted it, would you struggle with feelings of owing that person big for that car?
This is the way of the world, not the way of God.
To receive gifts from others, without reason, requires MUCH humility. To receive all the wonderful and glorious gifts that our Father wants to give us is no different. We must learn how to receive if we want to grow and go deeper into our relationship with Him. It’s essential to our walk. Let’s use another analogy with a parent and a child. Parents want to give their children all good gifts that will help them grow and develop. Gifts that will bring pure joy. God is no different. His heart is so full of love for each one of us and He wants to shower us with gifts. We just need to receive.
So as Paul instructs us in verse 4 above, we died to the power of the law when we died with Christ. And we are now united with Him who was raised from the dead. As a result of being set free from the law when we were raised in new life with Christ, we are now free to produce a harvest of good deeds for God.
Sounds like I’m speaking out of both sides of my mouth, doesn’t it? Do we work for it or not?
I’m not speaking double-talk and neither is Paul. We cannot work for our salvation. It is a gift, free and clear. But once we are saved and a child of the Most High, we get to work for Him in setting others free! Here’s another analogy that may help. Think of a room where you know God is located. His free gift of salvation gives you access through the door into the room – free and clear. No one can ever take that away from you. You can never pay to get access to that door and you can never do enough works to earn access to that door.
It is a gift from God.
You receive and accept that gift and you go through that door. You see the wonderful things that God wants to give to each of us. You experience the wonderful freedom of being set free from years of bondage and lack. And now, you want all of your friends and family and co-workers and acquaintances – everyone you know – to come into that room with you.
How do they find the door?
This is what Paul is talking about in verse 4 above. Now that you have been given access to that door, you can go and produce a harvest which will result in showing others that door. This is our mission in life. This is the Great Commission that Jesus gave to us before He ascended into heaven. 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.
We allow Him to guide us and use us to reach those in darkness. It’s a beautiful picture of His love for everyone. He lines us up like dominoes and uses each of us to nudge one another to grab souls for His glory.
Line up with Christ and allow Him to use you in mighty ways!
Stay in the Light and the Love Always,