Today's Foundations Devotional: Sold under sin, then born again and free

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Memory verse

You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and great commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbour as yourself.

(Matthew 22:37-39)

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The law of Moses could not achieve its purposes, because of human weakness.

Paul makes this abundantly plain in the latter part of Romans 7:

Therefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy and just and good (Rom. 7:12).

For we know that the law is spiritual, but I am carnal, sold under sin (Rom. 7:14).

For I delight in the law of God according to the inward man (Rom. 7:22).

But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members (Rom. 7:23).

The law itself is righteous and good. The man who seeks to live by the law may be perfectly sincere in acknowledging the law’s standards and in seeking to live by them. But in spite of all this, the power of sin within him and the weakness of his own fleshly nature continually prevent him from living up to those standards.

Under the New Testament, the grace of God in Jesus Christ still directs man to the same end – love for God and love for his neighbour – but puts at man’s disposal completely new and different means to attain that end. Grace begins with a miraculous operation of the Holy Spirit within the believer’s heart.

The result of this operation is called “being born again” or “being born of the Spirit.” This experience is prophetically described in the Old Testament where the Lord says to the children of Israel:

I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh (Ezek. 36:26).

The effects of this inward change are further described in Jeremiah.

Behold, the days are coming, says the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah (Jer. 31:31).

But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I will put My law in their minds, and write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people (Jer. 31:33).

This new covenant here promised by the Lord is the new covenant of grace, through faith in Jesus Christ, which we today call the New Testament.

Through this new covenant the sinner’s nature is completely changed within. The old, stony, unresponsive heart is taken away; in its place a new heart and a new spirit are implanted within. The new nature is in harmony with God’s nature and God’s laws.

Thus it becomes natural for the man who has been recreated by God’s Spirit to walk in God’s ways and to do God’s will. The sovereign law of love is by the Spirit Himself engraved upon the responsive tablet of the believer’s heart, and from thence it is naturally worked out in the believer’s new character and conduct.

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Suggested prayer for today:

Heavenly Father, thank You for giving me a whole new heart and a new spirit within me. I praise You that, as a result, I no longer have to live according to the desire of the flesh, but that the new man You have made is alive in me. Hallelujah! Amen.

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