#DailyDevotion When Told The Torah Our Flesh Says Hold My Beer
5While we were living in the flesh, the Law stirred into action the sinful lusts in parts of our bodies to produce fruit for death. 6But now that we have died to the Law which bound us, we are freed from it, not to serve in the old way under the Law but in the new way of the Spirit. 7What does it mean? Is the Law sin? Certainly not! But only by the Law did I learn what sin is. For example, only when the Law said: “Do not covet,” did I know how wrong it is to covet. 8Taking the commandment as a challenge, sin worked in me every kind of wrong desire. Without the Law sin is dead. 9Once I was alive without the Law, but when the commandment came, sin became alive, and I died.
Paul, now having shown the Christian is not longer under the Torah given to the Israelites, shows that living according to the Law is living according to the flesh. The new way, the new covenant way, is living according to the good news of Jesus Christ is living the in the new way of the Spirit. This will continue on into chapter eight of Romans where he contrast walking according to the flesh and walking according to the Spirit.
You see when we are living in the flesh or according to the flesh, the Law or Torah is over us. The Law stirs up the sinful lusts in our bodies, causes us to sin and that fruit of sin is death. Our flesh when it is confronted with the Law thinks, “Hold my beer.” So as to Paul’s example, when the Law told him not to covet he found out how wrong it was to covet. The Law stirred up the sin in Paul’s flesh to take it as a challenge to have all kinds of covetous, wrong desires. “Give me a law and I will break it,” sin says. If you walk according the flesh, you will always be in rebellion against God. To walk according to the flesh is to walk thinking your relationship, your standing before God is based on keeping the Law. The Law though will show that your standing before God is standing before him as an angry judge. This is because the Law we are trying to live according to does not give us the power to do what is commanded. No, our flesh will simply disobey it. If the curb or the Law or the threats of the Law have us keep the Law outwardly, inwardly we still hate it because it didn’t allow us, our flesh that is do what it wanted to do.
We who have been baptized into Christ Jesus are not called to live according to the Torah though. We are called to walk according to the Spirit. To walk in the Spirit is to walk with the mindset we are forgiven by God for Christ Jesus’ sake. Walking in the Spirit is believing we are acceptable to God because Jesus died for our sins. He has made himself the atoning sacrifice for our sins. Walking in the Spirit is living as if the LORD God our heavenly Father is our friend and we are his friends in Jesus Christ. Such thinking and believing causes us to bear the fruits of the Spirit without any command. Such fruit is, “love, joy, peace. He makes us patient, kindly, good, faithful, 23gentle, and gives us self-control.” (Gal. 5:22)
Is the Law sin then? No, it is from God, good and holy. It shows us the perfect will of God. It just has no power to have us live according to it or to give us life. Instead, because of sin dwelling in our flesh, it causes us to sin showing us how utterly sinful we are. In baptism we have become dead to the Law, dead to the Torah. The Law can no longer accuse us before God anymore. Our real death in baptism allows us to no longer be bound to it. No, now we are bound to the good news of Jesus, Christ died for sinner, made atonement for the ungodly and made us who were enemies of God, God’s friends instead.
Heavenly and gracious Father, you have given us your son Jesus Christ to be the atoning sacrifice for our sins that we may walking according to the Spirit instead of your most holy Law. Continually give us the Spirit and faith that our lives are marked as people who believe in the forgiveness of sins for Christ’s sake. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.