THE LAW OF THE SPIRIT
- God’s law was never the standard for salvation.
- God’s law is the standard for personal freedom.
Romans 13:8-10 (LBP) If you are loving others you are measuring up to the standard that God’s law has always been seeking . . . . If you really love, you will measure up to the whole law without even thinking about it.
Jesus saves us, the Holy Spirit fills us, the Father’s love frees us.
Romans 5:5 (CEV) God has given us the Holy Spirit, who fills our hearts with his [God’s] love.
The more God’s love fills us the more Christ-like we become.
Romans 8:2-4 (AMP) The law of the Spirit of life [which is] in Christ Jesus [the law of our new being] has freed me from the law of sin and of death. For God has done what the Law could not do, [its power] being weakened by the flesh [the entire nature of man without the Holy Spirit]. Sending His own Son in the guise of sinful flesh and as an offering for sin, [God] condemned sin in the flesh [subdued, overcame, deprived it of its power over all who accept that sacrifice], So that the righteous and just requirement of the Law might be fully met in us who live and move not in the ways of the flesh but in the ways of the Spirit.
God’s Spirit produces the character and power of Christ in our lives.
Matthew 5:17-28 (NIV) “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them . . . . 21 You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘You shall not murder, and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.’ But I tell you that anyone who is angry with a brother or sister will be subject to judgment . . . . 27 You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.”
- The Old Covenant only dealt with the fruit of sin.
- The New Covenant deals with the root of sin.
Proverbs 4:23 (NIV) Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.
James 1:13-15 (LOVETT) When a person finds himself being tempted, he should never say, “God is tempting me” . . . . Evil has no appeal to Him, therefore, He would never try to make it appealing to you . . . temptation has another source. When a man is tempted it is always by something which draws him away from God’s ambition for him. The passions, instincts and appetites of his own flesh clamor for satisfaction, and these inner drives lure him into a second look at something he knows to be wrong. When he does, his resistance begins to crumble and the sin becomes more enticing than ever. When the evil notion is finally approved by the will, he is instantly pregnant with sin. The sin then moves in his mind to produce things which can only end in death.
The Holy Spirit’s job is to free you from the cycle of sin and death.
1 Peter 3:20-21 (CW) In Noah’s day the Holy Spirit offered the people a way of escape. But they kept right on sinning . . . eight people decided to come into the ark and be saved. Figuratively speaking, those eight people were baptized by the flood and their lives were spared. This is what happened to you when you were baptized. You went through those baptismal waters as a sign that you were saved, and you came out clean. I’m not talking about washing away bodily dirt . . . but about the promise you made to God in all good conscience to live a clean life, made possible by the resurrection of Jesus.
Your job is to maintain a pure conscience before God.
1 Timothy 1:5, 19 (VOICE) Our teaching about this journey is intended to bring us to a single destination—a place where self-giving love reigns from a pure heart, a clean conscience, and a genuine faith . . . . Some have tried to silence their consciences, wrecking their lives and ruining their faith.
A clean conscience enables God’s Spirit to guide you at the heart level—defeating sin before it ever even conceives.
Some “grace teachings” are more about silencing your conscience than maintaining it. We maintain a pure conscience through:
Romans 13:5 (VOICE) Submission is not optional; it’s required. But don’t just submit for the sake of avoiding punishment; submit and abide by the laws because your conscience leads you to do the right thing.
This will look different for all of us because we all have different issues. However, the end result is the same for us all:
1 John 2:3-6 (VOICE) We know we have joined Him in an intimate relationship because we live out His commands. If someone claims, “I am in an intimate relationship with Him,” but this big talker doesn’t live out His commands, then this individual is a liar and a stranger to the truth. But if someone responds to and obeys His word, then God’s love has truly taken root and filled him. This is how we know we are in an intimate relationship with Him: anyone who says, “I live in intimacy with Him,” should walk the path Jesus walked.