I find it terribly freeing to not be caught up in a list of rules. I will memorize the rules, but then after a while, I just can’t do it! There is something in me that rebels against the constraint. Many of the old testament rules really were created by God to show how powerless we are to overcome sin in our lives. There are things in my life that demonstrate this truth. Take, for example, my many attempts to diet. I learn the rules, I commit to faithfully abiding by the rules, and I do for a while, but then as time passes I just feel backed up against an impossible standard! I want freedom from the rules!
In this verse, Paul is talking about how the Christ-follower has been set free from rule-following. Instead of being governed by a list of rules and by the dictates of man, we are instead governed by a greater principle, that is love.
Love, on the other hand, is not tied to rules. You live in the moment. You ask yourself, what is the most loving thing I can do, then you do it! Sometimes, giving up our freedom, because it is the loving thing to do is a choice we are compelled to make. But, we are free to choose to do the loving thing.
Jesus made choices like this all the time. Healing on the Sabbath, eating with tax collectors, forgiving sins. Freedom is not the easy way out. It’s the opportunity to step up to the plate and truly love one another!
When we accept Christ we are guided by the spirit living in us. The spirit will not condone satisfying our sinful nature. Sure, we can refuse to listen to the Spirit’s guidance and just do as we please sin and all, but then we aren’t really allowing Christ to be lord or ruler of our lives.
We are compelled as Christ-followers to go even further. We use our freedom to serve one another because love is the greatest commandment right? (Matthew 22:37-40)
This week let’s break a few rules as we use our freedom to demonstrate love!