Do you not know, brothers and sisters—for I am speaking to those who know the law—that the law is binding on a person only during that person’s lifetime? Thus a married woman is bound by the law to her husband as long as he lives; but if her husband dies, she is discharged from the law concerning the husband. 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 that law, and if she marries another man, she is not an adulteress. In the same way, my friends, you have died to the law through the body of Christ, so that you may belong to another, to him who has been raised from the dead in order that we may bear fruit for God. While we were living in the flesh, our sinful passions, aroused by the law, were at work in our members to bear fruit for death. But now we are discharged from the law, dead to that which held us captive, so that we are slaves not under the old written code but in the new life of the Spirit.
Paul reflects on the way life changes as circumstances change. He is writing to knowledgeable people who understand the Law. They had been bound by the Law and he wants them to understand how their lives had changed. The biggest change in our relationship with God was the life on earth of His son Jesus.
We have been freed from the old Law so we may bear fruit for God. What sort of fruit do we bear? As I look out of my window, I can now see apples, pears and plums growing in my garden, it is perfectly clear which is which. A few months ago as I looked at the blossom it was impossible for me to tell what would come from the trees. If I was an expert gardener, I’d been able to tell the difference, but I am not an expert.
Is it clear to those around what fruit you bear for God? We can look at Christians labouring worldwide with organisations such as Christian Aid and know that they bear the fruit of loving service. We see many of our churches supporting Christian Aid through their links with Commitment for Life. What a wonderful name for a movement, we should all be committed to living our lives for Jesus.
We do our service not because we are forced to do it by laws and fear of retribution, but because we are freed from the captivity of the law and able to flourish as we enjoy our new life in the Spirit.
We are walking the way, living the life of Jesus today as we allow God to flourish in our lives, not as slaves but as free people who can rejoice as we know that we have freedom that Jesus earned for us.
Loving God I thank you for Jesus, I thank you that through His sacrifice I am freed from the old laws. You loved me before I knew you. You gave the gift of Your Son while we were separated by my sin. Help me to enjoy my life in Jesus Help me to bear fruit and share this wonderful life with others. Enable me to be a fruitful Christian in the world today
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