There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death. For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do. By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God's law; indeed, it cannot. Those who are in the flesh cannot please God.
You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him. But if Christ is in you, although the body is dead because of sin, the Spirit is life because of righteousness. If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you.
So then, brothers, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh. For if you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, "Abba! Father!" The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him.
Sunday was to be my first of many #runRockIsland runs. As I've been planning to begin this for at least a month, running has been on my brain. But first, I had to get my church on.
As the pastor expounded upon the verses above, he talked about how the word spirit is referenced many times in the Bible as wind or breath. Being the righteous man I am (ha, ha), my mind started going it's own way and started exchanging the word breath each time I saw or heard the word spirit. In some places it made sense, so I noted down some insights.
What's a Law
The 'laws' that are in the passage above aren't things like "don't speed" or "pay your taxes", but instead they are like the laws of physics. They aren't made up by human minds, but rather are innately part of the cosmos, like the law of gravity.
The law of the Spirit is part and parcel of following of Jesus; the law of sin and death follows as the natural consequences of our human nature.
The phrase 'the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Jesus Christ from the law of sin and death' took on a new light when I replaced the word 'Spirit' with 'breath'. Think about running but not breathing; what good comes when you pass out and skin your forehead on the sidewalk. I recognize it's kind of a stretch, but bear with me.
Later, the passage tells 'those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit', 'to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace', and 'give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you.' Once again, replacing the word 'Spirit' with 'breath' gave me something to ponder: breathing and thinking about breathing gives life and peace.
Find your Pace
It makes me think about reading my relationships with God, my wife and my friends: being intentional.
In the same way that it's not enough to get miles under my belt to be able to announce "I've run X number of miles", being intentional about the way I spend my time with others gives life and peace.
What have you done today or in the past to breathe? To be a bit more intentional?