Ask God to orient or reorient you to Himself. Confess any known sin. Thank Him for His forgiveness. Be still and reflect on Jesus and His sacrifice for you. Ask the Holy Spirit to open your heart and mind to God’s Word. Pray for others in your life that they, too, would know and love God today.
“1 Do you not know, brothers— for I am speaking to men who know the law— that the law has authority over a man only as long as he lives? 2 For example, by law a married woman is bound to her husband as long as he is alive, but if her husband dies, she is released from the law of marriage. 3 So then, if she marries another man while her husband is still alive, she is called an adulteress. But if her husband dies, she is released from that law and is not an adulteress, even though she marries another man. 4 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. 5 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. 6 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.”
Reading in Romans chapter seven, I ran across the following note I had written in the margin of my Bible. It said: “Chapter 7. What does it mean to be a Christian? What is a Christian supposed to be like?”
I tried to remember where and why I wrote those questions down, but I couldn’t. As I read the first six verses of the chapter, I couldn’t help but think “These verses answer those questions!”
Chapter seven certainly gives us a pretty good idea of what it means to be a Christian and what that life looks like! Remember that Paul has been telling us up to this point that law and faith are contradictory principles: The law leads to death and faith to life. By this point in his letter some were probably wondering, “Then what do we do with the law? What is the right place for the law in Christian discipleship now that Christ has come?”
The main point Paul wanted to get across to them was this: Because of their faith in Christ, they have been set free—legally free—from the obligations of the law. They are no longer bound to it. Christ’s death set them free to bear fruit for God. This is what the Christian life is all about: The triumph of the grace of God!
Paul made it abundantly clear in our passage that the law does not and cannot bring victory over sin and death, since sin is defined and even promoted through the law. However, those who have died with Christ are set free from sin and the law.
To be free in Christ means we don’t live by obeying a set of rules—remember we can’t earn God’s grace since we fall so miserably short of His righteousness—but instead we live out of a renewed heart and mind that overflows with love for God. Think about the truth of this passage—that you’ve died to your sinful nature; it no longer has control over you and you now live by the new way of the Spirit.
As you finish reading this devotional, take some time and think about what you have been set free from. In what ways might you live for God today?
*From what you have just read and considered, what is a personal implication/application for your life today?
(Personalize this prayer today; make it specific to the circumstances that face you.)
Ask God to lead you through His Spirit as you go through your day. Ask Him to bring to mind the truth of the Gospel and its implications for what you will encounter today. Tell Him “Yes” to His will and ask Him for His power and protection to live out this “yes.” Ask God to create and reveal opportunities to proclaim the Good News today. KEEP PRAYING THROUGHOUT YOUR DAY.
Inspiration and insight for the devotionals came from the following books: Reading Romans with John Stott; The Message of Romans: God’s Good News for the World (The Bible Speaks Today Series), Stott, John; Romans (The NIV Application Commentary Book 6) Moo, Douglas J.; Encountering the Book of Romans: A Theological Survey (Encountering Biblical Studies) Moo, Douglas J.; Believers Bible Commentary; The Expositor’s Bible Commentary, with the New International Version, Romans through Galatians; NIV Application Study Bible. The Cambridge Bible Commentary, Romans, Best, Ernest.