One of my all-time favourite suspense/thriller movies is Sleeping With the Enemy. I may be giving away my age but I saw the movie in the theatre with my high school boyfriend. (*spoiler alert) I still remember my heart pounding when Julia Roberts opened her cupboards to find everything in order and the audible gasp I let out when her ex-husband reappeared. She had made an elaborate plan to escape her controlling marriage by faking her death. Finally when she was starting to feel secure and remember who she was born to be, her husband returned.
The law has authority over a man only as long as he lives. For example, by law a married woman is bound to her husband as long as he is alive, but if her husband dies, she is released from the law of marriage...So, you also died to the law through the body of Christ, that you might belong to another, to him who was raised from the dead, in order that we might bear fruit to God...But now, by dying to what once bound us, we have been released from the law so that we serve in a new way of the Spirit and not in the old way of the written code. ~Romans 7:1-2,4,6
Julia Robert’s character didn’t want to be in her controlling marriage and her only option was death. It’s the same for us. Without Christ, we are bound to the law but because Jesus died for us, and as us, we are free to have a relationship with another – Jesus. So now, I am dead to me but alive to Christ. I am not limited by the law and required to receive the just penalty for breaking the law, which we know is never satisfied. I am free to live beyond the law and receive grace and reward, something the law could not give or offer.
So many Christians have heard the sermons but so few actually live as though it is true. We are DEAD to sin. The old man (the sin nature) is dead and gone but we are new creation. No longer can we say, “The devil made me do it,” because he has no control over us unless we let him.
Years (and years and years) ago when I was a young adult, I partied a lot. One night I was in an apartment of a friend sitting around doing drugs (we were past “gateway” drugs) and I got a flash of what the future would hold and all I could see was death. I had a moment of clarity, and announced to the group, “I gotta go.” I got up, walked down the hall and right out of their lives. A few weeks later I saw one of the people again and he asked, “Where’d you go? We thought you went to the bathroom.” The truth was, I saw my future and I chose life.
I still choose life but the only life I can truly have is in Christ. The payoff is great. I turned away from punishment and having to justify myself before a relentless court where I was always found guilty and turned toward life in Christ which is truly limitless.
What do you choose?