Tell a child he can have no cookies because they are for company and somehow his desire and hunger for cookies increases.
Some things are more appealing to people when it is expressly forbidden.
Laws do not bring freedom. Romans 7:6: says:
“we serve in newness of the Spirit and not in oldness of the letter.”
The Greek words for newness and oldness both refer to quality.
The quality of life by the power of the Spirit is contrasted with that of the Law.
The Law, which was set aside at the cross, is looked upon here as worn out as to its usefulness.
Notice here that Spirit is capitalized and refers to the Holy Spirit as the source of our new life.
He originates and controls our life.
The newness of the Spirit is God’s new method of dealing with believers, the oldness of the letter is His old method.
We have here contrasted the new dispensation of the Spirit and the old dispensation of the Law.
We now serve in the power of the Holy Spirit, under His energy and control, not in our own energy in an attempt to obey the Law.
We are not submitting to an external code, but to the internal Holy Spirit, living out the Christ-life through us.
The Law can only energize the power of sin within us, but the Spirit energizes our new man.
Paul states in 2 Corinthians 3:6:
“Who also made us adequate as servants of a new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.”
The Christian life is not conforming to a list of rules and regulations or do’s and don’ts, but it is the very life of Christ worked out through us by the power of the Holy Spirit.
We can approach the Christian life with mechanical obedience; devotions, church attendance, giving, witnessing, using our spiritual gifts, etc.
However, all our self-effort in trying to obey God’s laws will end in defeat.
A number of years ago a man named, Clyde LaSure, was confined in the county jail in Claresville, Ohio.
He studied an open air ventilator as he sat in his small cell.
Filled with thoughts of escape, he climbed onto his chair and started through the opening head first.
To his dismay, he speedily discovered that the vent narrowed so much that his body got jammed in it, and he was unable to go any further.
More embarrassing, he could not get back out of the passage.
The sheriff’s deputies, in order to extricate him, had to tear down a good part of the wall.
All that Mr. LaSure got for his escape attempt was his picture in the newspapers – in a very unflattering pose.
Many a man or woman who thinks he has discovered a way to victory over sin, through fleshly or legalistic self-effort, finds that it is a blind alley, ending in defeat.
He is worse off after his efforts than he was before.
Do’s & don’ts only charge the power of sin with new energy.
We are to approach life as an opportunity and challenge to let Christ express Himself through us.
This is newness of the Spirit which leads to victory and freedom.
Pastor Ken Keeler, Director of Church Ministries