What does it mean to “serve in the newness of the Spirit”(Romans 7:6)? This is one of the most important questions a believer in Jesus can ask because the answer is the only way to get off of the swing from license to legalism. Unfortunately as believers, we swing back and forth between these two extremes for much of our walk with the Lord.
We start our walk with Jesus so thankful for grace and grateful that the thimble of our sin was fully overwhelmed by the ocean of God’s grace. As we understand this unmerited favor, there comes a season where we take it for granted. If we’re not careful, we start to justify sinful choices on the basis that we have God’s forgiveness and use God’s amazing grace as a license to sin.
Convicted of this, we overreact and feel as though discipline and devotion and rules and regulations are what we need to prevent falling into temptation so we can re-earn God’s favor. We continue for a time until it gets exhausting and wonder why we even try—after all, God is going to forgive us anyway.
So we swing back to license…then back to legalism…and back and forth, again and again. But there is a new way to serve God that get’s us off of this awful and exhausting pendulum.
On that pendulum, the law is the pivot point and sin is the power that makes it swing. What an awful abusive relationship as we are battered between two extremes! The only way out of this awful and abusive relationship is for us to die. But how? How could we somehow die to the law and to sin and then be born again to newness of life and live in and serve in the newness of the Spirit?
The answer is found at the end of Romans 7—“I thank God—through Jesus Christ our Lord!” (Romans 7:25)
When we died with Christ, we died to the law and to sin. When we rose with Christ, we rose to newness of life—we have been born again to newness of life! And now, we no longer desire to find a balance in the tension between license and legalism, but our desire is to live in and to serve in the newness of the Spirit.
From Pastor Dom...
When I first gave my life to Jesus, there were friends in my life who helped me to grow in my understanding of God, through His word, and for those friends