Far too many Christians still serve in the old way of the law instead of the new way of the Holy Spirit. Even after we choose to follow Christ, somehow our lives start to become a performance of if we are having a good day or a bad day, when in reality…every day we fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23) and still need Jesus just the same.
“But now we are released from the law, having died to that which held us captive, so that we serve in the new way of the Spirit and not in the old way of the written code.” – Romans 7:6
Jerry Bridges discusses this same topic in his book Transforming Grace. God calls us to serve in the new way of the Spirit instead of the old way of the written code (law). Here are some comparisons for us to review and check ourselves to see if we are being led by the Spirit or by our performance.
External Code VS Internal Desire
- Old Way: External Code – God’s moral precepts are only an external code of conduct.
- New Way: Internal Desire – God’s moral precepts are written on our hearts. The Spirit inclines our hearts and gives us a desire to obey.
Commanding VS Enabling
- Old Way: Commanding – The Law commands but gives no enabling power for obedience.
- New Way: Enabling – The Spirit enables us to obey the Law’s commands.
Hostility VS Delight
- Old Way: Hostility – Before our conversion, the commands of the Law actually provoked and incited us to sin.
- New Way: Delight – By removing our hostility and writing the Law on our hearts, the Spirit causes us to delight in God’s Law.
Fear VS Gratitude
- Old Way: Fear – The Law produces a legalistic response to God. We try to obey because of fear of punishment for disobedience or to win favor with God.
- New Way: Gratitude – The Spirit, by showing us God’s grace, produces a response of love and gratitude. We obey out of gratitude for favor already given.
Working VS Relying
- Old Way: Working – We perform in order to be accepted by God. Since our performance is always imperfect, we never feel completely accepted by Him. We’re always working form a position of weakness, feeling we never quite make it.
- New Way: Relying – The Spirit bears witness with our spirit that we’re accepted by God through the merit of Christ. By relying solely on His perfect righteousness, we feel accepted by Him. We work from a position of strength because we’ve been accepted through Jesus, and through Him, we’ve “made it.”