“Or do you not know, brothers—for I am speaking to those who know the law—that the law is binding on a person only as long as he lives? For a married woman is bound by law to her husband while he lives, but if her husband dies, she is released from the law of marriage. Accordingly, she will be called an adulteress if she lives with another man while her husband is alive. But if her husband dies, she is free from the law and if she marries another man, she is not an adulteress. Likewise, my brothers, you also have 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 for God.” Romans 7:1-4
Isn’t it ironic that sometimes we live tied down even though we have fought-after freedoms? We may limp around weighed down by a heavy burden even though Christ offers us a light yoke through the cross He bore. God has unfastened us from our natural bondage to the law and its accusations of our sin. Therefore, we need not live in the dark shadows of it since we are joined to a new master and free to pursue the true holiness that God requires by faith. “But now, that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life. For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus out Lord.” Romans 6:22-23
Years ago, when my oldest son Noah was merely in pre-school, I rented a duplex from my dad. My cousin, next door, owned a rambunctious large puppy. The pup was friendly; however, he would run and jump on Noah as soon as we opened our door. This terrified little Noah so much that my cousin had to start keeping her dog on a leash. One day, we came out of the house as usually and found the dog sitting on the back patio wagging his tail. Surprisingly, though, he was not on his leash. At first, I put on the momma-bear hat and hovered over my child to protect him from alarm—then I noticed something peculiar, the dog was acting like he was on the leash! He did not move a muscle! The pup thought he was tied down thus, he didn’t even attempt to approach Noah.
In the same way, we sometimes act as if we are under the law’s tight leash even though through Christ we have been loosened to run to God. If we are born-again, we have been set free to live by the same power of the Holy Spirit to fulfill His purposes; and rest in His unshakable joy and peace. We don’t have to walk around dragging our feet as if the chains that once enslaved us still press upon our ankles. “We have died and therefore our marriage to the law is over. The law no longer has dominion over us the way it did before we died. We died in Christ, and in Christ the law was fulfilled.” RC Sproul (St. Andrews Expositional Commentary; Romans)
Abba, Father! When the tempest is strong, and the waves feel like they will overtake us—you command them to cease and still our hearts into a sweet trust and intimacy with you. Forgive us for our tendency to turn back to our old familiar ways of slavery to sin even amidst such great a deliverance you have already fully accomplished. Thank you that you are ever with us to convict and move us to humble surrender and dependency upon thee. May you help us seek and grasp the heights and depths of your grace and our position in Christ. As a result, may we run the race before us with perseverance as we seek Jesus as our ultimate prize and treasure—our beloved and betrothed.