Summary: If I were to drop my pen the Law of Gravity would immediately exert it’s 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 su
“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, God’s 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 These Laws are decided by men and can be repealed or changed which make them different from God’s Laws.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 gravity’s 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 Adam’s seed which has only the power to reproduce after it’s 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 no 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 God’s 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 God’s 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.