Part 5 of 7
The Outer “Law” versus the Indwelling “Law of the Spirit of Life in Christ”
What exactly does the word “law” mean?
In the Bible the word “law” is translated from the Greek word “nomos,” which means “regulation.” There are two primary kinds of Biblical “laws” or methods to regulate ones behavior.
- There are outer written laws that are generally used to “regulate” behavior; e.g. “Moses law… and the Law of God,” which was written on stone. “The Law” was used in an attempt to regulate the behavior of the nation and people of
. There also are manmade secular laws that are written as federal, state and local statutes; these are designed to regulate the behavior of the citizens. These outer kinds of law are all “dead laws,” they do not enable or empower one to keep these laws. Israel
- There are other laws that are not dead. Rather, these are “living laws,” which are innate and inborn. These are based upon a “life” that empowers those who bear that “life.” Consider that the “physical life” we have in our physical body regulates the beat of our heart, our blood pressure and the glucose level in our blood. Without physical “life” our eyes, ears and other organs simply would not function at all. These physical laws operate automatically and are regulated by the laws of our “physical life.”
Similar to the living laws that operate the “physical life,” there is yet another kind of living law. It is called “the law of the spirit of LIFE in Christ Jesus” (Rom 8:2a). This “living law” works to regulate the believer’s entire being from within their human spirit, where Christ as “the Spirit of life” dwells. Christ thereby prompts, guides, convicts, restrains, and empowers believers who come to “know” and trust the truth of His literal indwelling life.
- It is this “law of the spirit of LIFE” that enables believers to be led of the Lord and to endure and overcome life’s difficult situations and circumstances.
- This living law makes believers aware and enables believers to overcome the promptings of the “Sin” nature. Sin is still resident within their flesh bodies (Rom 7:17-23) until their body is exchanged for an “incorruptible” body (2Cor 15:52.)
- We as grace believers know Christ’s “Spirit of life” will ultimately raise our bodies, whether they are physically dead or alive at the time of “His appearing,” at the rapture of the members of “the body of Christ” to heaven to “ever be with the Lord “(1Thes 4:17).
The outer written “Law” of God is a law that is external to men; it is inert, lifeless, impotent and therefore fruitless. I suspect that the Ten Commandments were written on lifeless, rigid, tables of “stone” to emphasize that “the Law” is lifeless and unable to make or help one to be righteous.
Galatians 2:21b … IF righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain.
Romans 8:3a what THE LAW COULD NOT DO, in that it was weak through (due to) the flesh (of man)…
In contrast to the “dead” written “Law,” Christ Himself is called “the life” (John 14:6).
“And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. 12 He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life.” (1John 5:11-12)
Paul writes of “Christ who is our LIFE…” (
3:4a). The word “life” here and in almost every verse where Jesus is spoken of as life and/or as giving life (e.g., John 3:16, 10:10, etc.) is the Greek word “Zoe,” meaning, the only genuine life, “God’s unique eternal spirit-life.” God’s desire, eternal purpose, and plan is that every person could and would literally become a partaker of Christ’s “life” and with that, His “divine nature” (2Peter 1:4); this is the issue of the ages. Col
It is the regulation or operation believers have by Christ’s “…the spirit of LIFE…” (Rom 8:2a) within them that “HATH MADE US FREE from THE LAW (OPERATION) OF SIN AND DEATH (Rom 8:2).
Rom 8:2 (above) we see where the real overcoming power for living the Christian
life is located. Christ’s resurrected “Spirit of life” is
the only power that is able to overcome Sin, enable one to endure life’s
situations in rest and peace, and raise believers from the dead. Romans
8:11 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 (give life) your mortal bodies BY HIS
SPIRIT THAT DWELLETH IN YOU.
automatic spontaneous “law (regulation) of the Spirit of life in
Christ Jesus” is internal to the believer. Christ is alive within
every believer’s spirit from the moment they received Christ as their personal
John 4:13 HEREBY
KNOW WE THAT WE DWELL IN HIM, AND HE IN US, BECAUSE HE HATH GIVEN US OF HIS
8:9-10 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.
as fallen mankind is inherently sinful, God by nature is inherently righteous.
Christ’s “Spirit of life” is the only righteous and overcoming life
in the universe. He alone is able to empower the believer toward righteousness
when they simply trust Him to renew them and guide them in their daily living.
2 Cor. 5:21
God made him (Jesus) who had no sin to be sin for us, so that IN
HIM WE MIGHT BECOME the righteousness of God. Thankfully,
to believers, God is not afar off. The deposit of Christ’s overcoming “Spirit
of life” into every believer’s human spirit (1Cor 6:17) brings them the
inherently righteous “life” of Christ Himself.
we’ve already seen in Part 4, “… the (external) law is the power of
Sin” (1Cor 15:56b). The written “Law,” which came via Moses
fact is that mankind has been set-up… by God’s written (outer) laws… to
have us fail! This
is to work for the good. You see, God expects our failure under the written “Law”;
otherwise…we would never turn to Christ to trust Him as “our (new) life.”
So, don’t be disappointed in yourself. God is not
disappointed in you! He is trying to turn you from self-reliance to
trust “Christ in you”!
1:27 To whom God would make
known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among
the Gentiles; which is CHRIST IN YOU, the hope of GLORY:
actually means “expression.” Our only “hope of GLORY,” that
is our hope of ever expressing Christ’s righteousness is by reliance
upon Christ’s very “Spirit of life” within us.
we read Paul’s epistles it becomes abundantly clear that God wants believers
to know they are delivered from…. the demand of the outer written “LAW,”
that was given to
5:17 Think not
that I (Jesus) am come to destroy “the Law”, or the prophets: I am not
come to destroy, but to fulfil.
hath redeemed us from the curse of “the Law”, being made
a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a
Cor. 5:21 For he
(the Father) hath made him (Jesus) to be sin for us, who knew no sin;
that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.
2:14 Blotting out the
handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and
(He) took it out of the way, nailing it to his (Jesus’) cross;
burden of “the Law” was fully satisfied by the one offering of Christ upon
the cross for all time. Christ paid the debt due for our sins but also at the
same time liberated us from the tyranny and power of “Sin”
indwells our flesh body. By our co-death with Christ, He has disarmed Sin, by
removing the source of power … “the
in and with Christ has liberated us from the dominion of Sin because Sin
cannot rule a dead person.
2:20 I AM CRUCIFIED WITH CHRIST:
nevertheless I live; yet not I, but CHRIST LIVETH IN
ME: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the
faith (that is) of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.
6:14 For SIN SHALL NOT
HAVE DOMINION over you: for ye are not under “the Law”,
but under grace.
Romans 6:7 For HE THAT IS DEAD IS FREED FROM SIN (Sin’s tyranny).
it is our co-death with Christ that has freed us from Sin’s tyranny. Sin
cannot dominate a dead person. Do you really know and believe that you
have died to Sin with Christ?
6:1-2 What shall we say then?
Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? 2
God forbid. HOW SHALL WE, THAT ARE DEAD TO SIN, LIVE ANY
many, if not most, Christians still think … “We can please God by trying
to keep God’s laws.” So they put their selves under of “the Law”
(at least their version of the Law, with the bar not so high as to
cause them to fail). This effort is often out of pride, so as to “be
seen” as a good Christian. External law-keeping gives us a way “to
appear” as being holy and perhaps above others.
is an impersonal method that some may prefer because one may still want to be
the “God of their own life.” Some may prefer outer Law-keeping
because it is a fixed, mechanical routine without understanding or thought or
dependence upon Christ. Law-keeping avoids intimacy and union with Christ. They
know such closeness may cost them their “self-rule.” It’s seems better to
some that they follow some few external rules or reciting wrote prayers in
repetition (which Jesus said are not worthy, see Matt 6:7), or make some
physical sacrifice (e.g., don’t eat meat, etc.), than to live by the
intimate union we have by Christ in us.
as Christians, many of us still prefer our independence and self-reliance.
Law-keeping is to act on our own, outside of and apart from the living Christ.
Under Law-keeping, we live by our own wits and self-abilities – which must
fail. All Law-keeping keeps us separated from the Christ who lives within us;
but all the while He is the only one who is the righteous life and power to live
the Christian life!
I’ve shared these truths with Pastors who will say; “You’re right about
grace, but we still need at least some laws or these people won’t come to
church.” So they mix law and grace (which is not grace at all) to
manipulate the people. They thereby, emasculate Christ as life.
Again…read this verse carefully;
Romans 11:6 if by grace, then is it no (o%) more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works (even 1%), then is it no more grace: otherwise work is no more work.