I remember seeing a newspaper photograph of three signs nailed to a big oak tree. Their message was obvious. On the top sign were printed the words, “No Trespassing,” on the middle one, “No Hunting,” and on the bottom, “No Nothing.”

The newspaper’s accompanying comment read, “‘No Trespassing,’ ‘No Hunting,’ well, that’s a landowner’s prerogative. But ‘No Nothing’ makes you want to beep your horn, shout out the window—anything to resist a little.”

The apostle Paul was very familiar with the urge behind such a response. In Romans 7 he pointed out that the law actually awakens rebellious desires within us (v.5). Being told not to do something excites our sinful nature to express itself.

Our rebellious response to negative rules points out our need for a strong, compelling motivation to do what’s right. Paul said that we can go beyond a list of do’s and don’ts to a love relationship with Christ Himself (v.6). The law carries with it the sentence of death because of our inability to keep it (v.10). But being united to Christ results in life.

By daily walking and talking with our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, we can go from “no” power in the law to all power in Him.