Likewise, my brothers, you also 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.
Romans 7:4 ESV
Is it hard for you to feel you’re good enough for God to love you?
Growing up, I was scared that I’d commit one too many sins. It was as if my eternal life danced on a cliff edge.
Scenes from past sin played on repeat in my mind. And so, I would try harder. I would wake up earlier to do my devotions, write longer prayer lists, swear off “sinful” behaviors, and more.
However, we find the key understanding young Jordan was missing in today’s verse.The authentic Christian life is the fruit of grace, not our force of character. Click To Tweet
It’s a Marriage
In the verses prior, Paul used a marriage analogy to help the young church in Rome understand something similar. They were stuck on fulfilling the Old Testament laws as the path to salvation.
Paul explained that God’s people used to be married to the Law, but that husband is now dead! Instead, God’s people are married to Jesus Christ!
When he writes that we “belong to another” in today’s verse, that person is Jesus. And it’s his life that flows into us.
To avoid this seeming too “heady” let’s keep it in the marriage context.Our eternal place in God's family is secure because of our relationship with Jesus as his bride. Click To Tweet
There’s nothing left to earn. Our old husband (the law) is dead. Our new husband (Jesus) is alive, all powerful, and ready to work his life in us.
Trying to produce the fruit of the Christian life under our own strength is a dead end. It’s a fool’s errand. Because we are trying to find life in something that’s rotting in the grave.
We only produce fruit by Jesus’ life.
As he told his disciples in John 15:5: “I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.”
Understanding this decades ago would have removed some anxiety! But it also would have led me away from sin and toward my Savior.
God’s kindness, his grace, leads us to repentance (Romans 2:4).
Enjoy his kindness today and look to Jesus for hope, not your ability to keep laws.