Chapter # 8 Paragraph # 1 Study # 2
January 1, 2017
2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.
3 For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh:
4 That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.
5 For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit.
6 For to be carnally minded [is] death; but to be spiritually minded [is] life and peace.
7 Because the carnal mind [is] enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.
8 So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.
9 But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.
10 And if Christ [be] in you, the body [is] dead because of sin; but the Spirit [is] life because of righteousness.
11 But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.
1901 ASV Translation:
2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus made me free from the law of sin and of death.
3 For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God, sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh:
4 that the ordinance of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.
5 For they that are after the flesh mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit.
6 For the mind of the flesh is death; but the mind of the Spirit is life and peace:
7 because the mind of the flesh is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can it be:
8 and they that are in the flesh cannot please God.
9 But ye are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you. But if any man hath not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.
10 And if Christ is in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the spirit is life because of righteousness.
11 But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwelleth in you, he that raised up Christ Jesus from the dead shall give life also to your mortal bodies through his Spirit that dwelleth in you.
- I. The Primary Reason That Condemnation Has Been Eliminated.
- A. There are two "laws".
- 1. There is the "law" of The Spirit of The Life in Christ Jesus.
- 2. There is the "law" of The Sin and The Death.
- B. Both are "laws".
- 1. This is not "law" as it is used very often in the Scriptures as a "Demand/Performance" agreement between God and men.
- 2. This is, rather, "law" in the sense of "the law of gravity"; i.e., it is "law" as a description of the reality that is. It can easily be translated by our word "principle" if, by that word, we mean a basic fact of reality or "a fact of life".
- 3. Just because they are called "laws" (or, facts of life) does not mean that they are somehow simply "principles". They are, in fact, active powers that have enormous capacities for action. Those who are under "The Law of The Sin" have, as we have argued at length, a "spirit" in active action dominating them so that they are incapable of doing "the good", but massively capable of doing "the evil". Those under "The Law of The Spirit of The Life in Christ Jesus" have actively been set free so that they are capable of doing "the good" and resisting "the evil" in overt and manifestly significant ways. The apostles who operated under "The Law of the Spirit of The Life" were manifestly more capable than the demons they cast out who were functionaries of "The Law of The Sin and The Death". Jesus' resurrection from the dead was manifestly more potent than anything the adversaries were able to accomplish.
- C. The "law" of The Spirit of The Life in Christ Jesus is the greater "law".
- 1. This "law" shows its superiority by the fact that it "exempted" you. It has removed the alternative "law" from the reality that exists for those "in Christ Jesus". It is this "exemption" that has made it the more potent of the two "laws".
- 2. This "law" is all about one "reality" (Life) and one "methodology" (in Christ Jesus).
- a. At issue in every "doctrine" of "reality" is this bottom line: will it produce and promote what the Bible calls "Life"?
- 1) This is shown by Paul's argument in Galatians 3:21 where he concedes that if there was a "law" that could bring people to "life", righteousness would be "by law".
- 2) When all is said and done, God's goal in creation has always been to bring "Life" to creatures and to promote it in them. This concession simply says that the "Law" that has been made into the servant of "The Sin and The Death" would be the only "Law" (eliminating the Law of The Spirit of The Life) if that "Law" could make dead people alive.
- 3) Thus, the issue is "Life" and the essence of "Life" is the "joy of God", an experience for creatures that surpasses any and every understanding or expectation of men.
- b. Beneath this ultimate objective ("The Life") is the most crucial of all methodological issues: How do we obtain such a reality?
- 1) Paul is unhesitating in all of his letters to tell us that the "obtaining" is a process of bits and pieces -- that the whole reality awaits the coming of Jesus from heaven for His own. This means we should expect an ebbing and flowing experience of the joy of life until we get to the perfection that has been promised.
- 2) However, the bits and pieces all have one foundation. This root is in the phrase "in Christ Jesus". Outside of Him there is no joy of Life; within Him is the potential for inexpressible joy. Thus, the real question is this: How does one get "into" Christ Jesus?
- c. The answer has multiple parts.
- 1) Paul's fixation upon the "freedom" provided to believers in this verse is a potent hint that the beginning of the answer lies in the issue(s) involved in what it means to be free.
- a) In this text/context, the meaning of "freedom" is, on the face of it, as clear as a bell. The "bondage" is to "The Sin" and its ultimate result, "The Death".
- b) Thus, the "freedom" is "exemption" from both "The Sin" and "The Death".
- i. This means that "The Sin" has lost its bid to dominate and control through the "fear" of "The Death" (Hebrews 2:15).
- ii. It has also lost its bid to dominate by "the spirit that is at work in the sons of The Disbelief" (Ephesians 2:2). Thus, the "spirit" dwelling within, that uses intimidation/fear, has completely lost its ability to function when "believers" believe what is theirs "in Christ Jesus". As Paul clearly explained in Romans 7:9, it is possible for "believers" to be, once again, enslaved to "The Indwelling Sin" by "deception", but this only occurs when "believers" are deceived into believing a deceptive lie. When faith in the truth exists, "freedom" actually exists because God is the Effective Agent of Freedom for those who trust Him.
- 2) Paul's name for the effective "law" is "The Law of the Spirit of The Life in Christ Jesus".
- a. This makes the "Spirit" the most fundamental aspect of this "fact of life".
- i. God's Spirit is the Effective Agent of the will of God within His creation.
- ii. Being "empowered" by this Spirit "in the inner man" is the key to effective living (Ephesians 3:16). The context argues that it is a solid comprehension of God's love that lies at the root of the strengthening for which Paul prayed.
- b. That this "effective law" is a "fact of life" means that there are certain procedures set in place that result in the empowerment by the Spirit of God.
- i. Most of the New Testament is given over to two crucial elements: first, there is a clear and definitive body of "truth" that is to be "believed"; and, second, there are multitudes of particular instructions that indicate whether, or not, the particulars of the "body of truth" are actually embraced in faith.
- ii. When a person believes a given "truth" his/her actions take on a certain character that is in harmony with that "truth". When the particulars of the actions do not exist in harmony with their "truths", there is unbelief present in the mix corrupting the whole just as leaven leavens the whole.
- D. The following verse makes the point: what the flesh cannot do, God did. Whenever God is in the mix, whatever alternatives and opposition there are doomed to fail.