So . . . you . . . belong to another, to him who was raised from the dead, in order that we might bear fruit for God.
In today’s verses, Paul uses the example of marriage to illustrate his point about the law.
I am married. I know some things about marriage and how it’s supposed to work. I have preached sermons about marriage; I have helped couples prepare for it; and for 30 years I have experienced it. None of that means I am a good husband. But at the same time, even if I’m poor at it, I am still a husband.
Paul’s point is that marriage is not based on performance, or on the application of laws to the situation. Marriage is about two hearts and lives connected in close relationship. In my marriage, with all the good and the bad and the indifferent, one thing I know for sure: as a husband, I belong to my wife. And because my marriage is about a living union, the “laws” of marriage only apply while both of us are living.
That’s the point Paul is making about Jesus and the law. Belonging to Jesus is not about living within certain laws about faith. It’s about a living union in which Jesus and I are in active relationship. It means that Jesus as my Savior has my heart and that I am fully devoted to him, putting him first in my life and forsaking all other claims to my top loyalty. Jesus has my heart, and that’s where my passion needs to be.
Lord, be alive in my life, and help me be alive in yours. Guide my growth in the freedom of loving you. Help me to live “in the new way of the Spirit.” Amen.
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