Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit is, there is liberty.

2 Corinthians 3: 17

This seems like an idea that is too simple; yet, God doesn’t really try to make the important things so complex that a poor, frail human brain like mine can’t grasp them. Yet, it strikes me that in this short statement lies the essence of what we often call the New Covenant. God always said that He would provide an answer to the evil that had entered into the perfect world of His creation and that He would give people a way back into the intimate relationship with Him that was severed by our own disobedience. When that promise was brought to life by the birth, life, death, and resurrection of Jesus, God upheld His part of the promise to people that is the New Covenant.

In this new contract that God designed to govern the way that He would interact with people and that we would be able to live, He eliminated the constraining rigidity of requiring us to live our lives inside of the framework of a set of rules; instead, God provided us with the ability to know Him and to understand His righteous way of living from the inside of our hearts and minds. This is what Paul is talking about in this verse. He is pointing us to the direct and personal connection to the truths of eternity that God gave to everyone who knows Him through Christ. The Holy Spirit speaks to us because He is continually with us, and He continually seeks to guide us to the sort of liberty that comes from intimate knowledge of the heart of God.

Almost everyone has areas in our lives where we feel burdened, bound up, or constrained; yet, God wants us to enjoy the peace that comes from total freedom. Many people experience days where their best hope is for that momentary glimpse of sunlight that might slip through the small window that is high up on the wall of the emotional cell where the burdens of life have confined them; still, God says that even in here there is light and you can know liberty. In the center of oppression, we need to seek the Spirit of God; from the darkness, we should turn toward the light of His presence; in the midst of our confusion, God’s word provides truth; and through all of life, God’s Spirit is actively with us. This is God’s new contract with us, His New Covenant, and because He completely fulfills every detail of it, we are set free from sin, and we have the liberty to pursue righteousness in every aspect of our lives.