Bible Reading: Romans 8:1-11
“By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.” (Romans 8:3-4)
Has God’s law unnoticeably become a negative burden once again in our lives? Feeling dry in our spirituality, do we blame ourselves for not being obedient enough and not persevering in spiritual disciplines? Unconsciously, we have started to think that we need to be good to come to God. We think we need to be holy before God accepts us. These thoughts are far from what God reveals in the Bible. We are entirely accepted only because of Christ’s perfect righteousness on the cross. We are saved only by grace through faith. It is a gift, not a wage. And it is a gift that gives life.
Our misconception is that we will experience God’s true peace and joy if only we tried harder to be more religious. Yes, without reading God’s Word, taking time aside to pray, obeying God’s Word, getting involved in our local church, we cannot continue to grow in our relationship with God. However, walking with God is not a cause and effect — being more religious does not mean growing closer to God.
Christianity is full of paradoxes, and this is one of them. God accepts us not because of any work or effort we do. He accepts us fully in Christ — no terms and conditions. For those who are in Christ, God gives them the Holy Spirit, who is the Spirit of life. It is the Spirit who works in our hearts and reveals little by little truths about God and who He is. The Spirit is the one who flames our hearts with joy and peace and contentment in God. The Spirit has given us the true life and has freed us from the bondage of the law.
Does that mean we are free to do whatever we want? By no means. Because God’s Spirit is alive in us, we are able to obey God joyfully. The Spirit empowers us to live in holiness. The Spirit empowers us to grow in our obedience. Through all these things, God works to bring us closer and closer to Himself. Because of Christ’s righteousness given to us, we are free to obey God and live a life in communion with Him. Have you experienced these things for yourself?
Lord, thank You that Your Spirit lives in us. Thank You that in Christ, we can know You and obey You. Reveal to us the joy of walking with You and obeying You. You are the source of true life. Show us what that true life is. In Jesus’ name, amen.