Paul understood that Christians had a moral standard to live by. But here in these verses he made clear what really matters: not what we do in keeping the law but what God has done in us. What did God do in us? He made us a new creation. He created us to live completely free. And Paul continues to say that “peace and mercy” are for all to follow this rule.
I think this is a good reminder that we didn't make ourselves the new creation. God did it in us. And I think here we see the difference between law and grace. It is easy especially in this season of life to want to follow law rather than grace. Even in little things. Think about your exams that you have each semester. It is so easy to think that it is going to be us to get the grade we need. That it is going to be us who puts in the effort, us who stays up until 2am, us who bubbles in the scantron and us who receives the grade. And yes, we do all of these things. But sometimes I think we lose sight of Him. Our focus gets skewed. His spirit is within us. And we get to bring things to Him so that He can move through them. Even school, even our roommate issues, and even our most “silly” thoughts. He created us in a new creation— and that new creation involves Him.
I would challenge you to start to invite Him into the parts of your life where you think you are in most control. It is a lot less about us. It’s not about what you do or where you do it but it is about the who the author is. It is changing the “how can I’s” to “where are you.” Instead of “how can I make an A?” or “How do I get a boyfriend/girlfriend?” we get to focus on “God, I am studying really hard right now and would love to see you even while I’m studying” or “God, here is the desire of my heart have your way” When we start focusing outward on Him rather than inward on what we can do to make things happen - that is where we find His peace and His mercy.
God, I thank you that we aren't alone. That each and every day you move in and through us. Come and open our eyes to see and rely on you instead of our flesh. We love you. Amen.