It is only an inward law that has the power to set me free from an outward law. Many times I am as much a descendant of Mt. Sinai as the Jew. I go through this world like a school boy walking through the classroom, remembering that there are lessons that must be learned and answered that will be recorded. I talk about my accountability and my responsibility and the judgment that is to come.
That is the law that Paul points back to in this verse. It is the law of sin and death, and there is something useful and even beneficial to such law for it often keeps the hand from doing that which is evil. However, it can not hold back my heart. That’s the weak spot. The heart of man is no more free that a boy in the schoolhouse is free. He wants to be out on the playground, but he is kept, constrained, compelled to be in the classroom. Who will release me from this constraint? Who will set me free from this compulsion? Who will removed the chains that hold me back and restore to me the joy of my days of unfettered freedom?
It is only the Spirit of Christ. He alone can set me free, but it is not freedom from the chain that will guarantee me liberty. It is, rather, a divine love of the chain. It is not by skipping school to play out on the playground that will cause me to become a free man. It is only when the schoolhouse becomes my playground that I will experience real freedom. I don’t need fewer burdens. I need a more life – more love. I want His law which is now outward to become inward. It must become the desire of my heart, the very breath of my being, the necessity of my nature. I want His life to become my habit, my instinct, my environment, my very atmosphere, one in which outside there is death. I want to discover that to be absent from His presence is to find myself in a hostile environment, but to be active in His service is to play in my natural element.
I pray that my service to Jesus would become not just an act of obedience, but the thirst of my life. Like the deer panting for the water brooks, may my soul thirst after Him. You see, when the order of His life becomes the law of my life I will finally be free from that other law which is nothing but sin and death.