Fruit Loops & Freedom
As a child, I regularly dreamed of being a grown up.
Being a grown up meant total freedom to do whatever I wanted. As a 7-year-old, adult responsibilities made no appearance in my adult day dream.
I had fantasies of eating Fruit Loops for every breakfast without any regard for grown up nutrition rules. I dreamed of watching The Brady Bunch without time limits or being called to clean my room. I would go to bed WHENEVER I WANTED and would smile to myself at the pure joy I would experience when I finally got this freedom.
Freedom, to 7-year-old me, was life however I wanted and without any external limits.
What a bummer adulthood has been to my 7-year-old self.
When Paul says we have been “released from the law” (Rom 7:6), we often interpret this similar to how I imagined freedom in adulthood. Being “released from the law” through Christ does not mean we can do whatever we want. It means we are free from condemnation and guilt. It means we recognize the law can show us our sin but not transform our desires which love that sin.
Release from the law means we are now called to something higher and more transforming.
In Christ we are not just “freed from” something, we are also “freed to” something. We are free from the law and now free to follow the Spirit and His work in our life. Freed from following the letter of the law; freed to follow the Spirit of the law. Freed from thinking, “Well, I didn’t murder someone today–good for me.” Freed to a transformed heart that longs to treat every human as an image bearer of God–worthy of care and dignity.
As soon as Paul says we have been “released from the law,” he next says, “so that we may serve in the newness of the Spirit and not in the old letter of the law.”
When we walk in the newness of the Spirit, our hearts desire the ways of God in every area of our life. Not out of grim obedience but now out of a new heart and desires.
You are freed from sin, guilt, shame and condemnation. You are freed to a life in the Spirit.
The Spirit changes our hearts and desires. We can still desire to eat Fruit Loops whenever we want but in the Spirit we will desire so much more.
What do you want the Spirit to free you from? What do you want the Spirit to free you to?