What are the five things Christians aren’t supposed to do? These lists do exist out there, right? Rules for what to do. Definitely rules for what not to do. Rules, rules, rules, and more rules! The problem with rules, however, is that rules only inflame our desire for sin. Paul said it this way: “If it had not been for the law, I would not have known sin. For I would not have known what it is to covet if the law had not said, ‘You shall not covet.’ But sin, seizing an opportunity through the commandment, produced in me all kinds of covetousness” (Romans 7:7–8). So how do we change and pursue unity in the Spirit? And here it is. Real change, biblical change, comes first from admitting we have a heart problem. Change begins with admitting we’re broken because of our sin. Then, turning. Only God can change a heart. “Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Romans 7:25)! Change comes through an intimate, personal relationship with Jesus who lives His life through us by His Spirit within us. It doesn’t come from panting and straining to keep up with somebody else’s list of rules. A life lived by control of the Holy Spirit. The kind of life that actually makes you want to obey and pursue unity.
Questions for further thought:
1. What particular rules do you think are most essential to Christian living? Why do you think you’ve chosen to place priority on these areas above others?
2. What have you noticed about your heart and attitude when your focus is on following rules?
Ask the Holy Spirit to fill you today and give you a heart of obedience and unity.
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