The law is good, providing you use it lawfully—the law is not for the righteous but for the sinners. We must understand that Christians are not under the law—we have been discharged! Since we are discharged from the Law and have terminated all intercourse with it, [remember he was comparing our relationship to sin to the marriage relationships] having died to what once held us captive, we now serve—not under obedience to the old code of written regulations, but under obedience to the promptings of the Spirit in newness of life.
Ooh yeah, Baby! It’s not the rule book telling me what to do—the Holy Spirit is leading and guiding me—all I have to do is listen to His leadings. Here is the problem, though: before you died, all of your old habits and the passions of sin—stimulated by the rules, I might add—kept hanging on.
I remember when I was discharged from the Navy, it took some time before I was totally released from my habits and reactions. I continued to walk a particular way; talk a particular way—it had been drilled into me and was part of who I was. When I heard the national anthem, I saluted; when I woke up every morning I immediately made my bed; I folded my clothes a particular way. I still refer to the toilet as the “Head,” and when I am attempting to navigate a large crowd, I might yell out, “Make a hole!”
Unless you understand that, you will continue to use the language you used to use and act the way you did—and, more to the point, try to do things in order to please God. As a result, you will become vulnerable to condemnation and guilt. You will always feel that you are not measuring up. The Law is used by the enemy to point out our faults. Write that down on a notepad and paste somewhere you will always see it.
If interested, you can download the entire study of The Letter to Christians at Rome