Released from the Law ...
Or do you not know, brethren (for I am speaking to those who know the law), that the law has jurisdiction over a person as long as he lives? But now we have been released from the Law, having died to that by which we were bound, so that we serve in newness of the Spirit and not in oldness of the letter. -Romans 7:1,6 NLT
There is a tendency amongst some to see parts of the Old Testament as authoritative for followers of Christ. These speak of following laws, like the ten commandments, as if they were ordained by God for New Testament believers. In the verses in this chapter Paul tells us that the law is like a spouse who has died and the surviving spouse is no longer joined to that loved one. I think that is a good image of what it is like for some to let go of their religious rules.
So what is wrong with having rules anyway? The apostle gives us a hint when he contrasts obeying the letter of the law with serving in the newness of the Spirit. In a sense it is the difference between following God with your head and following him with your heart. The law appeals to the logical part of us while the Spirit captivates something deep within us. It is the contrast between the inner and the outer that Jesus teaches us about in the Sermon on the Mount.
Lord help me to get past external obedience and embrace living and loving from the deepest part of me.