In the circus, trainers will put a chain around the ankle of a baby elephant to establish who is in control. Now let’s fast-forward a few years. Any idea how they control a 9,000-pound adult elephant? That same small chain! This image helps to remind me that we too are susceptible to being held captive by the chains in our lives, however big or small. Thankfully, Christ came along to set us free through his death and resurrection.
- What have been the chains in your life, and how have you dealt with them?
READ THE WORD: ROMANS 7:1-6 (ESV)
7:1 Or do you not know, brothers—for I am speaking to those who know the law—that the law is binding on a person only as long as he lives? 2 For a married woman is bound by law to her husband while he lives, but if her husband dies she is released from the law of marriage. 3 Accordingly, she will be called an adulteress if she lives with another man while her husband is alive. But if her husband dies, she is free from that law, and if she marries another man she is not an adulteress.
4 Likewise, my brothers, you also have died to the law through the body of Christ, so that you may belong to another, to him who has been raised from the dead, in order that we may bear fruit for God. 5 For while we were living in the flesh, our sinful passions, aroused by the law, were at work in our members to bear fruit for death. 6 But now we are released from the law, having died to that which held us captive, so that we serve in the new way of the Spirit and not in the old way of the written code.
English Standard Version, copyright 2001 by Crossway Bibles. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
1. What was Paul’s main point in the analogy he gave in the first four verses?
2. Why do you believe Paul used roots of the word “dead” so often in verses 4-6?
3. What are some of the religious formulas you believe that still hold you captive? What other chains are you allowing to hold you back from experiencing the abundant life God has planned for you?
RESPOND TO GOD
You have a choice to make every moment of every day. To be held down by the chains that have no real power over you, or to operate in the power of God’s Spirit who automatically snaps the chains. A choice to believe the lies this world throws at you, or to operate out of the freedom that comes on the other side of the cross. Your chains have been removed; you have been set free. Do you live your life believing this truth?
- Pray for the strength and courage to operate out of the freedom that can only come in trusting Jesus as you walk with him throughout your day.