Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death. For what the law was powerless to do because it was weakened by the flesh, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. Romans 8:1-4
Warm temperature, I beg of you, please return. I moved to the coast of North Carolina to avoid the chill in the air. I'll gladly trade the warm hot chocolate in if that means I don't have to get up early to take care of the frost on my windshield. I don't own a scraper (because we rarely need it) so I've had to improvise these past few days.
Just in case anyone was wondering, your Costco card isn't the answer. It doesn't scrape off the frost easily. If you force it and get an arm workout in, the card will make some headway, but it fails in the goal of enabling you to see clearly (and drive safely).
The law spoken about in today's verse performs just as flimsy as my Costco card when it goes up against our human nature and desires. Both leave us exhausted and worn out — the reason why neither work effectively is because that's not their intended purpose.
Rather than liberating us from sin's grasp, the law shows us how much sin has a stranglehold on our heart. It reveals what's taking place on the inside. It exposes our motives.
Chipping away at our struggles by performing better, following more rituals, and promising to clean up our act never leads to the freedom we hope to experience. Our "good" works might produce limited behavior change, but they fail to lead to lasting heart transformation. Attempting to live up to the standard of the law leaves each one of us feeling condemned and burdened.
The law is our prideful, insecure and feeble attempt to convince God we should be approved. Christ tells us to put down the "card" of the law because He's picked up the cross and carved out a way for us to be made right. He conquered death so we could experience a full life. Through His sacrifice, we are already approved.
The only condemnation we cling to is the one we CHOOSE to carry. The love of Christ can thaw any feelings of judgment that have frosted our perspective.
How are you trying to transform your heart through your own effort and will power?
What places in your life do you still live under feelings of condemnation? How would your response to these circumstances change if you trusted that you were already approved?
God, I am no longer condemned. You did what I could not do on my own. You made a way for me to walk in true freedom. Today, I will stand firm on this truth. In Your name, Jesus. Amen.