A New Spouse

10 Oct

Good Morning,

One of the great things about Paul’s writing is his ability to make spiritual ideas clear.  I think it is amazing that he wrote to Jewish people, most of whom were barely literate, and had been steeped in their laws and traditions for a lifetime.  Changing their way of understanding their relationship with God is the purpose of the letter.

So, these folks have understood that Jesus was the Messiah, that he did not act the way they expected (throw out Roman and create another Davidic dynasty), but they have experienced the holy spirit and are trying to live out this new faith.  Now, Paul is helping them to understand just how new this new life in Christ is going to be.

Paul uses the idea of marriage for his example.  i.e. if you get rid of your first husband you get to find a new one, and you don’t have to obey the rules of the dead one.   I like this idea.

1-3 You shouldn’t have any trouble understanding this, friends, for you know all the ins and outs of the law—how it works and how its power touches only the living. For instance, a wife is legally tied to her husband while he lives, but if he dies, she’s free. If she lives with another man while her husband is living, she’s obviously an adulteress. But if he dies, she is quite free to marry another man in good conscience, with no one’s disapproval.

4-6 So, my friends, this is something like what has taken place with you. When Christ died he took that entire rule-dominated way of life down with him and left it in the tomb, leaving you free to “marry” a resurrection life and bear “offspring” of faith for God. For as long as we lived that old way of life, doing whatever we felt we could get away with, sin was calling most of the shots as the old law code hemmed us in. And this made us all the more rebellious. In the end, all we had to show for it was miscarriages and stillbirths. But now that we’re no longer shackled to that domineering mate of sin, and out from under all those oppressive regulations and fine print, we’re free to live a new life in the freedom of God.

Imagine if you lived everyday with a list of rules to please God, mostly to make sure that you or someone you loved wasn’t going to get zap.  Job would go through sacrificial rituals every morning to make sure everyone in his house would be OK for the day.  Now, you also have probably worked all of your lifetime to get around the rules – doing the lest with your heart and mind some place else.   And, Jesus come along and says the only thing that is important is where your heart and mind are.

Paul says the old life, old commitments are dead; you don’t have to figure out how to get around them, they are gone.  You have a new spouse, a resurrection life, where the relationship is based on honesty and integrity and not going through the motions.  I think about raising my sons.  There weren’t every old when I realized they could go through the motions of what I asked them to do, but it would not touch their hearts and minds.  I remember when one son was made to apologize to the other for hitting.  The word, sorry, was sad; very unconvincingly.  I asked, “What are you sorry about.”  The response -” I am sorry you caught me”.   All I can say, was that it was an honest answer, but miles away from where I wanted his heart to be.

Enjoy the gift of this resurrected, new life day.  Know that there are no rule, only relationship with the Divine author of all life.



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