Belonging and Bearing

“Or do you not know, brothers… that the law is binding on a person only as long as he lives? For a married woman is bound by law to her husband while he lives, but if her husband dies she is released from the law of marriage. Accordingly, she will be called an adulteress if she lives with another man while her husband is alive. But if her husband dies, she is free from that law, and if she marries another man she is not an adulteress.

“Likewise, my brothers, you also have died to the law through the body of Christ, so that you may belong to another, to him who has been raised from the dead, in order that we may bear fruit for God. For while we were living in the flesh, our sinful passions, aroused by the law, were at work in our members to bear fruit for death. 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 7:1-6

“You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide.” John 15:16a

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.” Galatians 5:22-23

There is a profound transformation that takes place when our ownership changes. When once we no longer belong to ourselves, our bond to the law and self-interest broken, when we are crucified to that self and born again in Christ and are wholly owned as His child, all of life is redeemed, reoriented. We no longer live as we did, but Christ lives in us, His Spirit controls. We live by faith and bear lasting, spiritual fruit. (Romans 8:1-2,5; Galatians 2:20)

So why do we keep wandering back and living as if we have not been freed? Why do we tease and confuse with our former identity? Why do we wallow in old habits and stew in guilt? When will we take God at His word and reckon ourselves dead to sin and alive to Him? While in the flesh we have an ongoing struggle, we can experience victory by the indwelling power of the Spirit as He leads and helps us. If we are in Christ, we belong to Him who triumphed over the grave. We are no longer under condemnation, but freed to live and bear fruit for Him. (Romans 6:11-14; Romans 7:15-25; 8:1-2,5-6; 2 Corinthians 2:14)

Do we relish and rejoice in these truths today? How are we applying them in our decisions and activities? We have been imprinted with Christ’s identity, and instilled with divine inspiration. How might they influence or alter our mindset, motivation, and goals? Our fruitfulness is now borne not from selfish ambition but from abiding in Him. It is no longer temporal, but eternal. What specific evidence that I am Christ’s do others observe? (John 15:5)

Lord, help me live in and out the truth that I belong to You. May Your Spirit’s fruit in and through me bring You honor and renown.

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