“The Law of the Spirit of Life”

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Netchaplain

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That the will of God, where it is expressed in the Word of God, ought to govern every Christian, every true believer will admit. But the Word of God is wiser than men; never does it set the believer under the law since the death of Christ. It was a “schoolmaster” until the Cross (schoolmaster showed the way to Christ but could not deliver - Gal 3:24, 25, they were just “forgiven” by the sacrificial ordinance—NC). The Word speaks of commandments, and they are not painful to the growing believer (1Jo 5:3). But it never places him under the law; that Word comes from a God who knows the heart of man, and who knows what is necessary for him and what is injurious to him or impossible. The law is to convince him of sin.

The Father knows, and the man who is taught of the Spirit knows and is familiar with his own heart and knows that the law—all law—is a ministry of death and condemnation; and that it could not be anything else. He knows that as man is set, in any degree whatever under a law, you must either condemn him or enfeeble the obligation of the law. In a word, men do not understand the mind of God about the law. They speak vaguely of a notion of obligation to law, of being bound by the law. But if they are bound by the law, assuredly even Christians have not kept it in fact, though their nature loves it (it being God’s Word—NC), and love is an accomplishing of it.

Now, if they have not kept the law (since they have not kept the law—NC), and yet are bound by it, they are condemned; the law drives them even as Christians (it wasn’t until 30 years after Christ’s resurrection before they realized the law is not compatible with the Gospel of Christ—NC), from the presence of God. If you are bound by the law, and have failed in your obligation—which is just the truth, either the obligation must be weakened and destroyed (in the case of Christ sacrifice—NC), or you must perish. The only obligation which the law knows is to keep it or be lost—nothing else. The law knows nothing of grace, and it ought to know nothing of it. You, believer, have not kept the law (requires a sinless nature, obedience without sin in the soul—NC). Are you under the obligation of doing so? In order to escape, the obligation must be blotted out. Such is the inconsistent conclusion of those who place the believer in subjection to the law!

Faith in God alone maintains the authority of the law (keeps it nullified for believers in Christ—NC)—and for this reason: I own myself lost if I am under law, and I see that Christ has undergone its curse, and has placed me in a new position which reunites two things; perfect righteousness before God, because it is the righteousness of God, accomplished in Christ; and life, the participation of the divine nature (2Pe 1:4), according to the power of resurrection.

I cannot have two husbands, the two obligations, at the same time—the law and Christ (law could only “bring us unto Christ” but not deliver - Gal 3:24—NC). In Christ I am dead to the law, and live unto God. Now the law has authority, and binds as long as we live; but having died (crucified with Christ) I am delivered from the law, in order that I should belong to another—such is the positive language of the Word—to Him that is raised from the dead, that I should bring forth fruit unto God. If you are bound by the law, the law will maintain its authority and its obligation with rigor; it ought to do this, and it will condemn you as sure as you commit sin (the value of the law was to inform man of his sin - Jhn 15:22, 24; 9:41, and what to do about it; this is true love—NC).

If I have died with Christ, the law has no more authority over me, for it does not pass over that barrier. I belong to Another. I through the law am dead to the law, that I might live unto God. “I have been crucified with Christ, and it is no longer I that live, but Christ liveth in me” (Gal 2:20). He was under the law while He lived here; but risen, He is no longer so. Now the commandments, whether we say of God or of Christ, have another character for the Christian.

All that Christ has said, all the His apostles have said and all the things in which the OT enlightens us upon His will, direct and govern the life that we already possess and have the authority of the Word of God, that is of God Himself over the soul. I have the life; the words of Christ, His commandments (love as I have loved you—NC) are the expression of this life in Him, its fruits in all respects according to the perfection and the will of God Himself, and the direction of this life in me.

I walk, following then according to the thoughts and intents of my Father and His blessed will; it is the law of liberty (God’s Word, esp. the Gospel of Christ—NC), because I possess already the life. “For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death” (Ro 8:2). If people really felt what the law is, they would know that upon that ground they are lost, because the law has not lost its strength (1Co 15:56), and it is always and everywhere a ministry of condemnation and death (Though the law obeyed, yet its adherers are still unchanged sinners; we’re to remember that forgiveness came from the sacrificial ordinances, and not from the obedience—NC). Not that we would make such a thing of reproach (because “all have sinned”—NC); for many dear souls were found under the law (Jews—NC)—not, of course, according to God’s will, but through their own want of faith, and through bad teaching (the Law is no more—NC).

We cannot be too watchful for our growth; we are sanctified unto obedience (sanctification sets apart and obedience shows it—NC). The independence of the will is the principle of sin; but the law is not the means of arriving at holiness (forgiveness only is not holiness – Num 15:25, which requires the Son and Spirit—NC). It does not give a new will, nor strength when we have one. Those who are on the principle of the works of the law (which are good but not perfectly obeyed—NC) are still “under the curse” (Gal 3:10). It is to ignore what the heart of man is, to suppose that he can be under a law coming from God and live (laws are only to show condemnation, which answers to why they are for the “unholy” - 1Ti 1:9; the Jew was “forgiven” only by the sacrificial ordinance, and obedience shows gratitude and love—NC).

The Word of God is clear as day that, unless one be condemned, there is no such thing as having to do with the law without weakening its obligation, and it penalties. Grace alone maintains it authority. If I place myself under a mixture of law and grace, I ought to beseech God (like the people with Moses) to hide from me His glory as an unbearable thing; whereas, when I see that glory in the face of the glorified Lord Jesus, by the Spirit’s ministry, I can contemplate this glory with unveiled face, and be “changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord” (2Co 3:18).



—J N Darby







MJS devotional excerpt for Feb 1

“Immaturity is selfish; maturity is selfless. “He must increase, but I must decrease” (John 3:30). “The question for the tried and tempted, the harassed and oppressed, is this: ‘Which would you rather have, the power of Christ’s hand in deliverance from trial, or the sympathy of His heart in the midst of trial?’ The carnal mind, the unsubdued heart, the restless spirit, will, no doubt, at once exclaim, ‘Oh! let Him only put forth His power and deliver me from this insupportable trial, this intolerable burden, this crushing difficulty. I sigh for deliverance. I only want deliverance.” –Miles Stanford

“But the spiritual mind, the subdued heart, the lowly spirit, will say, and that without a single particle of reserve, ‘Let me only enjoy the sweet company of the heart of the Lord Jesus Christ in my trial, and I ask no more. I do not want even the power of His hand to deprive me of one drop of consolation supplied by the tender love and profound sympathy of His heart. I know He can deliver me, but if He does not see fit to do so, if it does not fall in with His unsearchable counsels, and harmonize with His wise and faithful purpose concerning me so to do, I know it is only to lead me into a deeper and richer realization of His most precious sympathy.” —Charles Henry Mackintosh (1820-1896)
 

Randy Kluth

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That the will of God, where it is expressed in the Word of God, ought to govern every Christian, every true believer will admit. But the Word of God is wiser than men; never does it set the believer under the law since the death of Christ. It was a “schoolmaster” until the Cross (schoolmaster showed the way to Christ but could not deliver - Gal 3:24, 25, they were just “forgiven” by the sacrificial ordinance—NC). The Word speaks of commandments, and they are not painful to the growing believer (1Jo 5:3). But it never places him under the law; that Word comes from a God who knows the heart of man, and who knows what is necessary for him and what is injurious to him or impossible. The law is to convince him of sin.
This whole sense of Law vs. Grace must, I feel, be explained a bit better than Darby does here, though he is certainly correct in his quotations. But the sense that the general concept of "Law" is to be equated with the "Law of Moses" is, I think, a misnomer and confused by many Christians, as I have myself.

The Law of Moses specifically prescribed certainly remedies for Sin, including sacrifices for the Israeli people. This was not an ignoble thing, though it was temporary. Being that the forgiveness was real, but temporary, meant that despite its temporary benefits, the end was still death. And so, it cannot be compared with NT Grace, which not only pardons Sin, but does so for all eternity.

But the concept of Law generally is very much still in play with NT Grace, because we are still sinners and require correction. The Gospel corrects our Sin and encourages us to choose Righteousness. The concept of Law generally does not go away with the passing of the Law of Moses. It does not mean we are justified apart from Christ or by our own separate abilities. But it does mean that we can, of our own volition, choose to cooperate with Christ and participate in his righteousness. Just my two cents worth...
 

Netchaplain

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This whole sense of Law vs. Grace must, I feel, be explained a bit better than Darby does here, though he is certainly correct in his quotations. But the sense that the general concept of "Law" is to be equated with the "Law of Moses" is, I think, a misnomer and confused by many Christians, as I have myself.
The general understanding about law is that it is to inform others where their wrong. Thus the principle of law doesn't help correct but just show where correction should be. It's faith and love in God and His Word (law or principle) that brings salvation, e.g. faith in His provision of forgiveness, which for Israel was the sacrificial ordinances.
The Law of Moses specifically prescribed certainly remedies for Sin, including sacrifices for the Israeli people. This was not an ignoble thing, though it was temporary. Being that the forgiveness was real, but temporary, meant that despite its temporary benefits, the end was still death.
Yes, but no judgement for the believers in God who trusted in His sacrificial ordinances; thus also salvation.
And so, it cannot be compared with NT Grace, which not only pardons Sin, but does so for all eternity.

But the concept of Law generally is very much still in play with NT Grace, because we are still sinners and require correction.
The idea of the Law of Moses is that there was only One that could obey it perfectly, i.e. without sin, thus no man could obey the law (forgiveness didn't come from obedience), which was only to show the need of a Savior!
 

Randy Kluth

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The general understanding about law is that it is to inform others where their wrong. Thus the principle of law doesn't help correct but just show where correction should be. It's faith and love in God and His Word (law or principle) that brings salvation, e.g. faith in His provision of forgiveness, which for Israel was the sacrificial ordinances.

Yes, but no judgement for the believers in God who trusted in His sacrificial ordinances; thus also salvation.

The idea of the Law of Moses is that there was only One that could obey it perfectly, i.e. without sin, thus no man could obey the law (forgiveness didn't come from obedience), which was only to show the need of a Savior!
Paul speaks in shorthand. I used to have a problem understanding him. I probably still do in some places. But he says things without a lot of explanation because it would get too complicated. He assumes that one has access to the research of the Law necessary to understand him. Probably his worst opponents were Jews, who knew the Law?

Anyway, the matter of the purpose of the Law is often a reference to this:

Rom 3.20 Therefore no one will be declared righteous in God’s sight by the works of the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of our sin.

Paul was not, however, speaking of the exclusive purpose of the Law, but only of its purpose in the context of those who wished to be justified by it. In reality, the Law of Moses could only justify on a temporary basis, through rituals combined with faith.

It could not remove the curse of death, which all men must experience, but it could assuage God in matters that we need reconciliation for, through our repentance. The sacrifices sealed Israel's repentance through obedience to rules God prescribed.

So yes, even though Israel kept the Law in faith, and found forgiveness, it could not remove the curse of death, which all men must experience. The purpose of the Law, in this context, was to expose Israel's sin as the root cause of death. Just following the Law of Moses would expose Israel's Sin no matter how must righteousness under the Law they exhibited.

In the same way, we can exhibit the righteousness of Christ. But we still exhibit Sin, as well. And so we must all die. But we can be forgiven through Christ, and receive grace for righteousness. And in the end we can be raised from the dead. The Law has exposed all of mankind universally, both OT and NT. But we are justified on an eternal basis by Christ. The Law only justified Israel on a temporary basis.

Beyond this purpose of the Law, exposing the root cause of our death, was the need to know what righteousness was. The rules of the Law pointed to the righteousness of Christ. And that kind of "law" continues to exist. This was my point. Generic Law is not removed under the New Covenant--only the covenant of the Law of Moses is removed, so that we exhibit freedom from death through the hope of resurrection. We are no longer subject to rules of temporary forgiveness, since we now have eternal forgiveness, not in rituals but in God and in His mercy alone.

The only thing we need to do is to abide by the Law of Christ, which is the principle of abiding in him and in his righteousness. Ritual requirements are not needed when mercy covers all of those things. The one-time sacrifice of Christ and his eternal availability is far superior to an animal sacrifice given for each occasion. We can now approach God without any intervening requirements. The only intermediary between God and ourselves is Christ himself, who was made available to us through our faith in what he did and through his Spirit freely given to those who believe.

I totally agree that the Law was given to flawed believers to show that only God Himself was flawless, along with His Son Jesus. Righteousness must come from him, in an unblemished way, so that *by Grace* we may exhibit his righteousness in our lives for eternal life. Apart from Christ any righteousness that we do--even if from him--is insufficient to save us from eternal death.

We must be committed to him and to his righteousness. This is a concept of Generic Law that ensures we are truly saved, when we abide in him and in his righteousness. The Apostle John's 1st letter is largely devoted to communicating this in the context of those who think they can be religious without substance.
 
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Webers_Home

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Unfortunately the law of the Spirit of life is taught with spirit words (John 6:63,
1Cor 2:1-16) so unless someone has access to a means for decoding spirit
messages; then I'd have to say that the law of the Spirit of life is not all that
easy to understand.
_
 

Netchaplain

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Unfortunately the law of the Spirit of life is taught with spirit words (John 6:63,
1Cor 2:1-16) so unless someone has access to a means for decoding spirit
messages; then I'd have to say that the law of the Spirit of life is not all that
easy to understand.
_
He is the Spirit of Life, which Life is in Christ Jesus, and those who are Christ's. It is the Life of the Lord Jesus that the Spirt applies to the believer; and not the Spirit's life but the Spirit's power to supply Christ's Life (Col 3:4). Only the Spirit of God can give this eternal Life, being the Creator of our new Life, "born of the Spirit" (Jhn 3:5, 6, 8).

Thanks for the reply and God bless!
 

Netchaplain

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Rom 8:2 mentions a "law". Maybe you can you tell us something about
that; especially how it's different from Moses' law.
_
A "law" is just a principle, power or force, which doesn't differ from the Pentateuch, as it's principle teaches seek God or die the second death.
 
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Peterlag

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Rom 8:2 mentions a "law". Maybe you can you tell us something about
that; especially how it's different from Moses' law.
_

There is no "law" of the spirit that can be compared to the Old Testament Law. Roman 8:2 could just as easily said "the spirit of life in Christ Jesus..."

See my one page website for a more in-depth look at the spirit...
www.carb-fat.com/spirit.html
 

Jim B

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A "law" is just a principle, power or force, which doesn't differ from the Pentateuch, as it's principle teaches seek God or die the second death.
A law is generally a written rule, although it can be spoken at times with less validity. The Pentateuch is the first five books of the Hebrew Bible, a.k.a, the Torah. It is just one example of a law (or set of laws).

Its principle teaches that it must be obeyed because it contains God's set of commandments. Where does it "teach seek God or die the second death"?
 

Webers_Home

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A "law" is just a principle, power or force,

That explanation is a good fit to Ezek 36:24-27 which says:

"For I will take you from among the nations and gather you from all the
countries, and I will bring you to your land. And I will sprinkle clean water
upon you, and you will be clean; from all your impurities and from all your
abominations will I cleanse you.

. . . And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit will I put within you,
and I will take away the heart of stone out of your flesh, and I will give you
a heart of flesh. And I will put My spirit within you and bring it about that
you will walk in My statutes and you will keep My ordinances and do them."

God's scheme will not only remedy the people's lack of willingness to comply
with His ways; but it will ensure that they never again get dominated and/or
abused by a foreign power, nor ever again evicted from their land.

Ezek 36:28 . .Then will you dwell in the land that I gave your fathers, and
you will be a people to Me, and I will be to you as a God.


BTW: That prophecy in Ezekiel is what started me on the path to renouncing
the Roman Catholic religion to which I was loyal for 24 years after undergoing
christening as an infant and eventually completing First Holy Communion and
Confirmation in catechism.

The law of sin and death is also mentioned in Rom 8:2 which, I think, is
pretty well illustrated by Rom 7:5-25 relative to power and force.
_
 

Peterlag

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That explanation is a good fit to Ezek 36:24-27 which says:

"For I will take you from among the nations and gather you from all the
countries, and I will bring you to your land. And I will sprinkle clean water
upon you, and you will be clean; from all your impurities and from all your
abominations will I cleanse you.

. . . And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit will I put within you,
and I will take away the heart of stone out of your flesh, and I will give you
a heart of flesh. And I will put My spirit within you and bring it about that
you will walk in My statutes and you will keep My ordinances and do them."

God's scheme will not only remedy the people's lack of willingness to comply
with His ways; but it will ensure that they never again get dominated and/or
abused by a foreign power, nor ever again evicted from their land.

Ezek 36:28 . .Then will you dwell in the land that I gave your fathers, and
you will be a people to Me, and I will be to you as a God.


BTW: That prophecy in Ezekiel is what started me on the path to renouncing
the Roman Catholic religion to which I was loyal for 24 years after undergoing
christening as an infant and eventually completing First Holy Communion and
Confirmation in catechism.

The law of sin and death is also mentioned in Rom 8:2 which, I think, is
pretty well illustrated by Rom 7:5-25 relative to power and force.
_

I'm telling you there is no law of the spirit. The Old Testament Law is something that I should not have to speak about since we all should know about it. You could take the word "law" out of Romans 8:2 and you would still have the truth of the verse if it read the spirit of life in Christ Jesus...
 

Webers_Home

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Real honest to gosh Christianity is much more than just rules, regulations,
procedures, rites and rituals. There's power in it. For example:

Rom 8:11 . . If the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in
you, the He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal
bodies through His spirit, who lives in you.

That's often construed to be talking about the future, but it's for the now to
change the core of people's being whilst they reside in mortal bodies.

For example; I was raised by a woman infected with terrible rage issues,
who I cannot ever remember hugging me even one time. Whenever my mom
laid hands on me it was with violent intent.

As a result I grew up hating women to the point where I was wanting them
all rounded up, doused with gasoline, and set afire in a pit. I had a very bad
case of Reactive Attachment Disorder; and any possibility of settling down
with a woman and having a family was gone, destroyed before I even left home,
and my condition eventuated in a nervous breakdown and a brush with suicide.

Yet as of today, I've been married to the same girl going on 43 years and
have two grandsons. Long story short: I believe in Rom 8:11 because the
Spirit of Him who rescued Jesus from death has managed to also rescue me
from myself like that poor demented soul depicted in Luke 8:26-39.

There are lots of Christians out there in cyberspace who've been rescued
from all manner of human weakness via the law of the Spirit of life in Christ
Jesus. They know what I'm talking about; and there are no doubt just as
many who don't because they're merely cardboard cutouts whose version of
Christianity doesn't even so much as promise them a guaranteed rescue from
retribution let alone rescue from themselves.
_
 
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Peterlag

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Real honest to gosh Christianity is much more than just rules, regulations,
procedures, rites and rituals. There's power in it. For example:

Rom 8:11 . . If the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in
you, the He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal
bodies through His spirit, who lives in you.

That's often construed to be talking about the future, but it's for the now to
change the core of people's being whilst they reside in mortal bodies.

For example; I was raised by a woman infected with terrible rage issues,
who I cannot ever remember hugging me even one time. Whenever my mom
laid hands on me it was with violent intent.

As a result I grew up hating women to the point where I was wanting them
all rounded up, doused with gasoline, and set afire in a pit. I had a very bad
case of Reactive Attachment Disorder; and any possibility of settling down
with a woman and having a family was gone, destroyed before I even left home,
and my condition eventuated in a nervous breakdown and a brush with suicide.

Yet as of today, I've been married to the same girl going on 43 years and
have two grandsons. Long story short: I believe in Rom 8:11 because the
Spirit of Him who rescued Jesus from death has managed to also rescue me
from myself like that poor demented soul depicted in Luke 8:26-39.

There are lots of Christians out there in cyberspace who've been rescued
from all manner of human weakness via the law of the Spirit of life in Christ
Jesus. They know what I'm talking about; and there are no doubt just as
many who don't because they're merely cardboard cutouts whose version of
Christianity doesn't even so much as promise them a guaranteed rescue from
retribution let alone rescue from themselves.
_
Oh this is the greatest day of my life. Good Lord, somebody besides me sees it. I too wrote it all down in a one page website that's right here... www.carb-fat.com/spirit.html
 

Netchaplain

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There is no "law" of the spirit that can be compared to the Old Testament Law. Roman 8:2 could just as easily said "the spirit of life in Christ Jesus..."

See my one page website for a more in-depth look at the spirit...
www.carb-fat.com/spirit.html
I would say that the law of the Spirit is freedom, and the law of sin is bondage.
 
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Netchaplain

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That explanation is a good fit to Ezek 36:24-27 which says:

"For I will take you from among the nations and gather you from all the
countries, and I will bring you to your land. And I will sprinkle clean water
upon you, and you will be clean; from all your impurities and from all your
abominations will I cleanse you.

. . . And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit will I put within you,
and I will take away the heart of stone out of your flesh, and I will give you
a heart of flesh. And I will put My spirit within you and bring it about that
you will walk in My statutes and you will keep My ordinances and do them."
This speaks of the time when God brings Israel back unto Himself. Israel will always be in union with God, but eventually again in fellowship with Him; probably during the millennium.