Imagine this: it’s summer 2021. After extensive trials and tests, the COVID-19 vaccine is available. It has been internationally confirmed to be reliable, safe and effective. Here in the UK it is available to you for free.
What would you say to someone who is choosing to refuse the vaccine and instead is insisting on staying at home apart from short forages to the shops, wearing a mask and keeping a distance from everyone. Imagine it is your mum, dad, grandparent, best friend. You want to see them in order to give them a hug but that won’t be happening. Further still, imagine if they had been given the vaccine but decided to keep all of their family at home just in case? You would say “look, you are safe and free to live life now, you have the vaccine indwelling you.”
I think this helps us see something of Paul’s argument in Romans and Galatians. In the past, The Law put up boundaries and barriers, segregating and isolating people in the face of a deadly virus called “sin and death.” However those boundaries could never be effective. They might slow down the effect of sin but could not stop it in its tracks. Instead, Paul offers them life in the Spirit. With the Spirit indwelling us we can be free from the threat and fear of sin and death.