Belonging to Jesus drags me back from the clifftop brink of condemnation. And if that was all, I'd be leaning over the edge again in no time.
Belonging also brings the Spirit.
I sometimes think there's a fight going on inside me. A fight between the right thing and the wrong thing. Which one will I do?
This is a different picture.
There's an animal trapped in a small box, with very little food, barely any light and a few sips of water. It's not aware that when the supplies run out, starvation will arrive. It doesn't even wonder beyond the next mouthful. Someone comes and lifts the furry little thing out of the box, placing it in a protected garden with sunshine, snacks, water to drink and to play in and other animals to befriend.
The Spirit has come and lifted me up out of the murky dark and I am no longer trapped. I have been freed from the fight within me, because I am no longer alone in it. I used to have to strive to be good enough to beat sin or death. Now God's Spirit has freed me from it.
The life I've been given is in the protected, abundant garden.
Listen and remember.
And because you belong to him, the power of the life-giving Spirit has freed you from the power of sin that leads to death. Romans 8:2