Friday, February 24, 2006

Spiritual Living

In the last post I pointed out that as Christians, we are dead to the law. Where then does the motivation and power for living godly, obedient lives come from? According to Romans 7:6, we now serve in the newness of the Spirit and not in the oldness of the letter because as Paul writes in 2 Corinthians 3:6 “the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.” Righteous and godly living comes from the operation of the Holy Spirit in our lives and our yieldedness to Him. He tells us in Romans 8:3-4 that what the law could not do, God did by sending His son as a sacrifice for sin, He condemned sin in the flesh so that the righteous requirements of the law would be fulfilled in us who walk according to the Spirit. (paraphrase) The requirements of the law are written in our hearts by the Holy Spirit. That is the point of the new covenant that God instituted with His people. The old covenant had not worked. In the new covenant God writes His law directly on our hearts and the Holy Spirit lives out the life of God in us as we yield to Him. It does not come from imposing the law of God on us from outside. It comes from living the life of God from the inside. And that is only possible because we live under the umbrella of God’s forgiveness. The whole topic of the spirit-filled walk in Romans 8 is introduced in verse 1 by the statement that there is no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus. Christ bore our sins on the cross. They have been washed away and forgiven completely. We stand in righteousness before God because “He made Him to be sin for us who knew no sin that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him.” Once we recognize that we stand completely forgiven as a gift of God’s grace, we are free to grow and mature in Christ allowing His Spirit to manifest the character of God in our lives.

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