The Law of the Spirit of Life

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The Law of the Spirit of Life

By Larry R. Lasiter

© 2010

"Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the Law of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the Law of Sin and of Death." Romans 8:1-2

When we think of Law in the context of the Bible we generally associate it with the Laws given to Moses or the Ten Commandments - however "Law" simply means "instruction," meaning, Godís instructions. Although God has always required people to follow His instructions He has not given all the same instructions. For example, the Laws which Abraham kept were not all the same Laws that were given to Israel at Mt. Sinai because many of those were added because of transgressions. In fact an entire Book was added, written on animal skins and placed on the outside of the Ark of the Covenant.

We may think of Laws in the context of our government where they are enacted and enforced as needed. These Laws are decided by men and can be repealed or changed which make them different from Godís Laws. A state can decide what the speed limit is going to be on any given road or highway, but it is always subject to review and change.

Sometimes laws are discovered. Whenever something proves to be constant it is considered to be a law. Isaac Newton discovered the Law of Gravity. He observed that whenever an object which was heavier than air was no longer held up by a stronger force, it fell to the earth. One day while sitting under an apple tree Newton witnessed an apple fall from the tree and contemplated why this always happens. Since it had sprang forth from the branch the apple had been sustained from the downward pull of gravity by a healthy stem. But when the stem weakened to the point that it was no longer stronger than gravityís pull, it gave way and let the apple fall. Since this could be replicated over and over without fail, the force of gravity became accepted as a Law. No matter how many times a branch releases an apple the force of gravity will always pull it down

There is a Law of Nature which we all inherited from Adam. Adam was a sinner and we were all conceived in sin, David lamented, -"Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin my mother conceived me." (Psa.51:5) In the flesh we were all born of Adamís seed which has only the power to reproduce after itís own kind - the sinner kind. This is why we must be born again of the Spirit which is Jesus, the "Promised Seed" which makes us a new creation in Christ with a new divine nature. In Christ we receive a risen nature and our life is not merely changed, but exchanged.

When I was in Adam I had a fallen nature and discovered that there was a Law that always pulled me downward. This is the Law which the Apostle is referring to in our text, -"the Law of Sin and of Death."

He understood that this was a Law because the result was always the same. In the previous chapter Paul wrote how the Commandments were "holy, righteous and good" and that even though in his mind he agreed with them, he found that in his flesh he could not keep them but did the very things which he hated. He reasoned that since he desired to obey God that it was not him who was failing but the sin which was ever present in the flesh, -"But if I do the very thing I do not want to do, I agree with the Law, confessing that the Law is good. So now, no longer am I the one doing it, but sin which dwells in me. . .For the good that I want, I do not do, but I practice the very evil that I do not want. But if I am doing the very thing I do not want, I am no longer the one doing it, but sin which dwells in me." (Rom.7:16-20)

The Commandments showed Paul what was good and evil but testified that he was not practicing"good" but "evil" though he hated it saying, -"I myself with my mind am serving the Law of God, but on the other, with my flesh the Law of Sin." (7:25)

Let us understand that Paul was a Spirit-filled, anointed Apostle of Christ Jesus who agreed with and desired to keep Godís Commandments and actually did keep them in his mind but failed to do so in his flesh. A true Christian would also agree with and desire to keep Godís Commandments even though, like Paul, would find that they will fall short in the flesh. But thanks be to God that through Jesus His Son He has made us perfect and righteous in the Spirit.

Seeing that he agreed with God yet was unable to freely practice his desires, Paul cried, -"For I joyfully concur with the Law of God in the inner man, but I see a different Law in the members of my body, waging war against the Law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the Law of Sin which is in my members. Wretched man that I am! Who will set me free from the body of this death? Thanks be to God, through Jesus Christ our Lord!" (verses 24-25)

The "Law of my mind" here is the Law of God which the "Law of Sin" was waging war against. That war still goes on today, Paul wrote, -"For we know that the Law is Spiritual, but I am of flesh, sold into bondage to sin." (verse 14) There has always and will always be war between the Spirit and the flesh and the flesh hates and wars against the Law of God.

Itís interesting that Godís solution to the problems posed by the Law of Sin and of Death - is another Law. Paul discovered that even after he was in Christ and was born again of the Spirit, he still experienced the downward pull of the Law of Sin and of Death in his flesh. When he cried out"Who will set me free?" from this Law he discovered that in Christ God had enacted another Law, the "Law of the Spirit of Life" to free him. One Law triumphs over the other Law. Though the downward pull of the one Law was still working, the upward pull of the other Law sustained him in Christ.

If I were to drop my pen the Law of Gravity would immediately exert itís power and pull it down to the earth. That is how the Law of Sin and of Death works. But if I were to intervene and place my hand under the pen the pen would not fall but be sustained by a power greater than the force of gravity. Gravity could pull with all of itís might but the pen is safe and sustained as long as I hold it in my hand. That is how the Law of the Spirit of Life works - we are forever safe if we abide in Christ, -"If anyone loves Me, he will keep My Word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make our abode with him. (John 14:23) "If you keep My Commandments, you will abide in My love;" (John 15:10)

The Law of Gravity pulls everything down to the earth, the world - likewise, the Law of Sin and of Death pulls every person down to be earthy, to become worldly - fleshly and disobedient. Paulís problem was not in the Spirit but in the flesh but he understood that he had been delivered and set free from bondage to sin and itís penalty, death. He understood that in his flesh nothing good dwelt, but he also knew that he was a new creature in Christ and was no longer recognized according to the flesh by God. -"Therefore from now on we recognize no one according to the flesh;. . .Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold new things have come.: (2 Cor.5:16-17) The life of the Christian is in Christ where he dwells in the Spirit.

Beloved, let us fix our eyes on Jesus who is the Author and Captain of our salvation. We are a holy and living Temple of God and Jesus is living His life in us. We need not be anxious or strive but simply trust and yield. The Apple tree does not strain heartily to produce an apple, it is just a natural thing for it to do. Examine yourself to see that you are in Christ and then give way to the Law of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus. Jesus will live His perfect, holy, righteous and obedient life in you for He never changes, -"Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, and today and forever." (Heb.13:8)

 

 

 

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