Joni and Friends Blog

The Written Code

“For when we were controlled by the sinful nature, the sinful passions aroused by the law were at work in our bodies, so that we bore fruit for death. But now, by dying to what once bound us, we have been released from the law so that we serve in the new way of the Spirit, and not in the old way of the written code.”

Romans 7:5-6

Put off falsehood. Avoid all appearances of evil. Forgive seventy times seven. Flee from sexual immorality. Let no unwholesome word come out of your mouth. Get rid of bitterness.

The longer the written code, the more oppressive the pressure to obey. A list like that seems tiring. Obtrusive. Burdensome. And the more you concentrate on the dos and don’ts, the more tempted you are to break the law. Like the mother who tells her child, “Don’t go in that room,” you can then be sure her child will, sooner or later, head for that room. As the verse says, sinful passions are aroused by the law.

Thank God, we have been released to serve the Lord in the new way of the Spirit and not in the old way of the written code. We serve Jesus; we don’t serve a list of rules. This is exactly why we should stop using words like “victory” and “defeat” to describe our obedience. We are never defeated by this or that sin. Rather, we are obedient or disobedient to the Lord.

If you see obedience as merely a duty, it will quickly become a burden. The letter of the Word has no saving or sanctifying power—and human will, no matter how strenuous, cannot give that power. So look to Jesus and obey him with glad, reckless joy.

Lord, although you don’t give me rules, you give me your love—may I return that love and obey you out of sheer joy.

Taken from Diamonds in the Dust – By Joni Eareckson Tada 

Joni: An Unforgettable Story

The classic autobiography of a young woman’s loss and triumphant faith that continues to inspire millions. This latest edition includes a foreword by Francis Chan, a new 16-page full-color photo insert, and all-new afterword, and an updated resource section.