The Law of the Spirit

L. E. Sloan
Jasper, Georgia

The apostle Paul wrote to the Roman brethren in Chapter VIII beginning in verse 1, "There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the spirit. For the law of the spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death."

The purpose for which Christ came to earth was to make men free. He said, "Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." (Jn. 6:32.) Paul talks about being made free by the law of the spirit of life. Thus in one place we find people being made free by the truth and in another place the statement is made that people are made free by the law of the spirit. It only takes average intelligence to understand that the two are the same.

Paul makes the argument in Romans Chapter VII that in Christ we are delivered from sin and from the curse of the law. The condemnation of man in God's sight is the result of sin and the remembrance of sin was the result of the law. (Rom. 10:3.) But Paul begins in Romans VIII to explain the difference between NOW and THEN.

He begins by teaching a greet lesson with regard to the location of freedom. He states that this is IN Christ. "There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus . . ." Paul makes this so plain we cannot miss it without a lot of help. If man expects to be free and not condemned, he must be IN Christ Jesus. The only way to get into Christ is to be baptized into him. ( Rom. 6 : 3 – 5; Col. 2 :12. ) Thus the unbaptized are all condemned, because they are out of Christ. However, just because one has been baptized into Christ some time in life does not guarantee his eternal salvation; because Paul goes on to say "who walk not after the flesh, but after the spirit." Thus the freedom is assured if that one who has been baptized into Christ Jesus continues to pursue a course of righteousness; if he lives soberly, righteously, and godly in this present world. (Titus 2:11-12.) But if he walks after the flesh, he will be condemned. (Rom. 7: 13.)

Paul then tells by what law he was made free. He says it was the law of the spirit of fife. This, no doubt, refers to the gospel. It is the law of the spirit because it was given to man by the Holy Spirit via the apostles. It is the law of the spirit of LIFE because it gives life. (Rom. 1:16-17.) In verses 2 and 3 of Romans 8, Paul is showing the superiority of the Gospel that came by Christ (John. 1:17), and the law that was given by Moses. (John. 1:17.) He ascribes his freedom from the law of sin and death to THE LAW OF THE SPIRIT. Yet, he states in verse 3 that the Law of Moses could not deliver him from the law of sin and death. Some have contended that the LAW OF SIN AND DEATH is THE LAW OF MOSES. But if that be true, we have Paul saying in verse three that the Law of Moses could not deliver him from the law of Moses. We know the apostle didn't say that. Paul talks about the law of sin and death in Romans 7:23. It was this law in his members which brought him into captivity to the law of sin. Thus it was THIS LAW from which the law of the spirit had delivered him. This is the same law which brings men into captivity to the law of sin now. The law of Moses never was and is not able to deliver men from the law of sin and death. It takes the gospel; the law of the spirit of life in Christ Jesus.

Paul makes the argument in verse 3 that the law was weak through the flesh. Because of this, God sent His son in the likeness of sinful flesh to condemn sin in the flesh. Christ by his sinless life in the flesh condemned sin. He sentenced sin to destruction. Through His death and the sacrifice that He made for us. our past sins are forgiven. By our death to sin, burial with Him in baptism, and our resurrection from the burial in baptism, we rise to walk in newness of life, having obeyed from the heart the law of the spirit of life in Christ Jesus. Then walking after the spirit, we have the assurance that THERE IS THEREFORE NOW NO CONDEMNATION because "the law of the spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.

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Author: jfm

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