The new life of the Spirit

Paul says (Rom. 7:6) that the law held us in bondage. It did so by putting us under a curse because of our failure to obey it perfectly (Gal. 3:10). Peter refers to the law as “a yoke which neither our fathers nor we have been able to bear” (Acts 15:10). The law closes every mouth and makes us all accountable to God (Rom. 3:19). No one is able to be justified by keeping the law; rather, the law brings the knowledge of sin (Rom. 3:20) and puts us under God’s wrath (Rom. 4:15). The law increased our transgressions and held us under the reign of sin and death (Rom. 5:20-21). Attempting to be right with God by law-keeping is doomed to failure. The only benefit of the law with regard to salvation is that it shows us God’s impossible standard of holiness and thus drives us to Christ as our only hope, so that we will be justified by faith (Gal. 3:24). – Stephen J. Cole

The law, as it was the ministration of death, and subjected the transgressors of it to the curse, and to condemnation, without affording any hope or remedy, is also happily abolished. But on the other hand, the law of Moses is not abolished; first, as it contains the moral law; as such it must stand under every dispensation—the Gospel, as well as any other,—in its full force and extent; that is, requiring and obliging us, so far as our capacities reach, to perfect obedience: for God can never require imperfect obedience, or by his holy law allow us to be guilty of any one sin, how small soever: and if the law, as a rule of duty, were in any respect abolished, then we might in some respects transgress the law, and yet not be guilty of sin. The moral law is truth, everlasting and unchangeable, and therefore, as such, can never be abrogated. On the contrary, our Lord Jesus Christ has promulgated this law anew under the Gospel, and having added to its precepts the sanction of his own divine authority, and the powerful and attractive motives of the law of God, and of his own love to mankind, with the brightest hopes and prospects of eternal life, he has hereby enforced and secured the observance of it, infinitely beyond any thing that the wisest philosophers ever could find in the law of nature, and far beyond any thing plainly and expressly offered in the Mosaical constitution. – Thomas Coke Commentary

Do you not know, brothers and sisters —for I am speaking to those who know the law—that the law is binding on a person only during that person’s lifetime?  Thus a married woman is bound by the law to her husband as long as he lives; but if her husband dies, she is discharged from the law concerning the husband.  Accordingly, she will be called an adulteress if she lives with another man while her husband is alive. But if her husband dies, she is free from that law, and if she marries another man, she is not an adulteress. In the same way, my friends, you have died to the law through the body of Christ, so that you may belong to another, to him who has been raised from the dead in order that we may bear fruit for God.  While we were living in the flesh, our sinful passions, aroused by the law, were at work in our members to bear fruit for death. But now we are discharged from the law, dead to that which held us captive, so that we are slaves not under the old written code but in the new life of the Spirit. – Romans 7:1-6

Spirit Fall LIVE – New Wine Worship

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Resolved in the Spirit

As followers of Christ, we can make the decision to follow the leading of the Spirit and His call or we can still go our own way.  I am not sure if we decide to go our own way as to when we are no longer followers of Jesus.  

Paul expressed many times how the Spirit of God was leading him through the instinct and motion of the Spirit and how his whole life was framed according to God’s will and pleasure.  The outcomes of his journey did not depend on the journey itself but rather that he obeyed and was faithful – for we know some of the outcomes Paul faced, even death.  It was if Paul was addicted to following Jesus – to the profit of the Church – even neglecting his own safety.  At one point, he even deprived himself of his most faithful companion, Timothy, so that the Macedonian church would not have to wait for him.

We see a little bit of Paul at this very moment in his letter to the Romans.  He writes —

Thus I make it my ambition to proclaim the good news,[a] not where Christ has already been named, so that I do not build on someone else’s foundation, but as it is written,

“Those who have never been told of him shall see,
    and those who have never heard of him shall understand.”

 

 This is the reason that I have so often been hindered from coming to you.  But now, with no further place for me in these regions, I desire, as I have for many years, to come to you  when I go to Spain. For I do hope to see you on my journey and to be sent on by you, once I have enjoyed your company for a little while.  At present, however, I am going to Jerusalem in a ministry to the saints – Romans 15:20-25

Paul had an incredible desire to not want to build on the foundation of another – he wanted to work in bringing the gospel to a place that had never heard it before.  

Now after these things had been accomplished, Paul resolved in the Spirit to go through Macedonia and Achaia, and then to go on to Jerusalem. He said, “After I have gone there, I must also see Rome.” – Acts 19:21