1. How can we learn to develop more characteristics of true spirituality and less law directed religiosity? In a world where many people see religion as a set of rules, regulations and restrictions, Paul teaches us the meaning of true spirituality. The great apostle wanted the Roman church to realize that true religion is not interested in observing a long list of laws to curry favor with God. Paul saw the law as a schoolmaster that leads us to Christ. He taught that the law is a means to an end instead of it being the goal of religion. Paul reasoned that the law was to be used as a helper to bring people to learn how to trust and obey the Lord out of love instead of out of blind obedience. The Romans needed to learn that the directives of scripture are given to help us grow in all aspects into Christ. Many of the Jews wanted to use the Law to force the Gentiles to conform to their religious standards. Paul recognized that perfect obedience to the law could not be done without an inward change of heart or mind. Ask the Lord to help you teach about God’s grace, as Paul did, instead of with legalistic religious perspectives.
2. True spirituality is empowered by a love of God that desires to keep His commandments. Law oriented religion urges people to follow ecclesiastical orders. Ask the Lord to help you motivate others more out love and less out of a sense of obligation.
3. True spirituality is not exclusive in thinking that one congregation has THE patent on truth. Law oriented religion tends to produce people who consider their church or organization as having THE right way to worship God. Ask the Lord to help you let your spirituality flow more from a growing relationship with Christ instead of a patronizing attitude toward others.
4. True spirituality lives more by grace and not by law. Law oriented people tend to look for faults in others, but spiritual people look to build others up as they grow in grace and knowledge of Jesus. Ask the Lord to help you depend more on God’s grace and less on the law to influence others.
5. True spirituality helps people realize that judgment is the sole responsibility of God. Law oriented individuals tend to criticize, judge and find fault in others. Ask the Lord to help you to refuse to be drawn into the tendency to look more at the speck in a brother’s eye instead of removing the log from our own eye.
6. True spirituality helps individuals become totally secure in Christ. Law oriented people wrestle with a gnawing sense of insecurity that makes them hard to be around. Ask the Lord to help you rest and nest in the Lord’s gracious acceptance, security and power.
7. True spirituality helps people commend, appreciate and affirm others for their labors of love. Law oriented people tend to look at the negative aspects in a person or in their activities. Ask the Lord to help you be an encourager rather than a discouraging person to be around.
8. True spirituality helps people be more forgiving, merciful and compassionate. Law oriented people tend to be irritating, merciless and hard hearted. Ask the Lord to help you replace feelings of vexation with Christ’s compassion.