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.
But now! What a great phrase! It is a new day and we are a new people! This is the age of the Spirit!
We have been released from the law. We are no longer under the Mosaic law. That was the way of life in the Old Testament, but we live in the New Testament, the New Covenant. Paul again refers to the Mosaic law at the end of the verse with the term "the written code." In other words, our life is not about rule-keeping, law-keeping, dos and don'ts, performance, measuring up.
Rather, we serve God in the new way of the Spirit. The Christian life is not only life with Christ, life in Christ, life through Christ, Christ in us, but the Christian life is also life in the Holy Spirit - led by the Spirit, filled with the Spirit, empowered by the Spirit, indwelt by the Spirit, baptized by the Spirit. This is the age of the Spirit! The Holy Spirit is the distinguishing work of this age.
If you feel defeated or frustrated in your spiritual life, if you feel a bit like a failure in your spiritual life, then quite likely you are relying on your own power and not the power of the Spirit. It's like vacuuming your living room floor without the cord plugged in. There is no power there! You are living life without the power of the Spirit but simply in your own best efforts. And that doesn't work.
As Jesus stated in his final words before ascending to the Father: "But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you" (Acts 1:8). The power to defeat sin, the power to live for God, the power to live the way we have always wanted to live, that power is from the Holy Spirit.
Father, fill me afresh with your Spirit. I depend upon your power, not mine.