The First 15

Wednesday July 14, 2021

by First Methodist Mansfield

Opening Prayer

Heavenly Father – help me start today with a clear heart and a clear mind ready to receive your word in a brand new way today. Amen.

Scripture Reading

Romans 7:1-6

Do you not know, brothers and sisters—for I am speaking to those who know the law—that the law has authority over someone only as long as that person lives? For example, by law a married woman is bound to her husband as long as he is alive, but if her husband dies, she is released from the law that binds her to him. So then, if she has sexual relations with another man while her husband is still alive, she is called an adulteress. But if her husband dies, she is released from that law and is not an adulteress if she marries another man. So, my brothers and sisters, you also died to the law through the body of Christ, that you might belong to another, to him who was raised from the dead, in order that we might bear fruit for God. For when we were in the realm of the flesh, the sinful passions aroused by the law were at work in us, so that we bore fruit for death. But now, by dying to what once bound us, we have been released from the law so that we serve in the new way of the Spirit, and not in the old way of the written code.


The law, specifically referring to the 613 commands given by God to Israel in the Old Testament, served two purposes according to Paul. To be the written will of God for Israel, and to expose their deeply rooted sinful nature. Paul explains that the law never was enough to change the hearts of the Israelites because of the evil that resided in them. This is why Jesus came and took on Israel’s story, so that he could fulfill the law in himself and offer his obedience to the law to us. This is what Paul means when he says we have died to the law through Jesus, so “that you might belong to another, to him who was raised from the dead…” The law always pointed to the person of Jesus. And now that he has been crucified and raised from the dead, we are given access to His Spirit so that we may bear fruit for God free from the demands of the law.

Have you ever found yourself trying to “perform” for God? If so, what are some specific examples?
What are ways you can shift from performing for God to serving God “in the new way of the Spirit?”

Closing Prayer

Lord, these are your words. This is our story. Help me live in a way that honors you today and everyday. Amen.

The First 15

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