Summary: The written code could not save us from sinful passions. It aroused sinful passions within us. Through Christ, we have died to sin and have been released from the law to serve God in the new way of the Spirit!
Serving God the New Way
The Good News of God Series
By Greg Johnson
October 29, 2006
In Romans chapter 6 we are told in God’s Word that believers die to sin and are alive in Christ. Not only did Christ die for the believer; the believer died with Christ. Not only did Christ rise from the dead; the believer rose with Christ. The believer is baptized into Christ by the Spirit. Jesus referred to this as being “born again” in John chapter 3. Water baptism illustrates what God does for the believer when they make Jesus their Lord and Savior. They die to sin and are regenerated into the body of Christ.
In Romans chapter 7 we are told in God’s Word that the believer dies to the law. In the first few verses of the chapter, it is illustrated by marriage. It is against the law for a woman to have two husbands, but if her husband dies, she is free to legally marry another. So it is with the believer. The believer dies to the law and is united with Christ.
DEAD TO THE LAW
God’s Word says (Romans 7:4 NIV) "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." We can not be married to rules and regulations and be married to Christ. We have to be dead to one in order to be married to the other. The unregenerate is married to rules and regulations that do not save, but bear fruit for death. The regenerate is married to Christ and bear fruit to God.
SINFUL PASSIONS AROUSED BY THE LAW
Without the law, we would not know what sin was. The law reveals sin, but law does not give us any power over sin. In fact it arouses sinful passions within us. God’s Word says (Romans 7:5 NIV) "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."
Let me give an example that we can relate. Driving down the road in a 45 mph speed zone, we just have to go 46 mph. If we are in a 55 mph speed zone, we just have to go 56 mph. If we are in a 65 mph speed zone, we just have to go 66 mph. The speed limit does not give us any power to keep it. In fact, the speed limit arouses a passion in us to break it.
Let me give another example. God’s law says that we should not covet. When a neighbor pulls up in a brand new car, what arouses within the unregenerate? Covetous takes over and they have to go get a more expensive model to keep up with the neighbor. What is the fruit of that action?
The law arouses sinful passions within the unregenerate. The unregenerate is bound by the law!
SERVING GOD THE NEW WAY
Praise God for regeneration! Praise God for the new birth by His Spirit through what Christ did for us on the cross of Calvary! (Romans 7:6 NIV) "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."
The written code could not save us from sinful passions. It aroused sinful passions within us. Through Christ, we have died to sin and have been released from the law to serve God in the new way of the Spirit!
The Spirit of God resides within the regenerate. They have been regenerated. They have been born again. They have been baptized into Christ by the Spirit! They serve God in Christ by the Spirit. They are not saved from sin by rules and regulations. They are saved from sin by a living Christ that gives them resurrection power to fulfill the law and overcome sin!
The regenerate walks in the power of the Holy Spirit and not in the flesh gratifying the desires of the flesh. The fruit of that life is Christ like. The regenerate in Christ continues the ministry of Jesus in the power of the Holy Spirit. They minister at the point of need. They reach out to the poor and the oppressed. They love God and they love people. They make a difference in their day! They bear fruit to God!
Rejoice Beloved rejoice! Christ has done in us what we could not do for ourselves. Christ has done in us what rules and regulations could not do. Christ has set us free to bear fruit to God!