Romans 8:1-4 (see also John 5:24)
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. For what the Law could not do, weak as it was through the flesh, God did: sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and as an offering for sin, He condemned sin in the flesh, so that the requirement of the Law might be fulfilled in us, who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.
If there is now no longer any condemnation for those in Christ Jesus, that means there previously was condemnation for those in Adam, who were subject to the “law of sin and of death.” So there is no such thing as secret reconciliation. Only in Christ, do we have access to the “law of the Spirit of life.”
Question: Which is the more powerful law: The Law of sin and of death, through the transgression of the one man, Adam, or the grace of the intervening Law of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:2), through the righteousness of the man, Christ Jesus?
Answer: The Law of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus is “much more” powerful than the Law of sin and of death. Romans 5:15 states: “But the free gift is not like the transgression. For if by the transgression of the one the many died, much more did the grace of God and the gift by the grace of the one Man, Jesus Christ, abound to the many.”
Romans 7:14-25: “For we know that the Law is spiritual, but I am of flesh, sold into bondage to sin. For what I am doing, I do not understand; for I am not practicing what I would like to do, but I am doing the very thing I hate. 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 I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh; for the willing is present in me, but the doing of the good is not. 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 not want, I am no longer the one doing it, but sin which dwells in me. I find then the principle that evil is present in me, the one who wants to do good. For I joyfully concur with the law of God in the inner man, but I see a different law in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin which is in my members. Wretched man that I am! Who will set me free from the body of this death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, on the one hand I myself with my mind am serving the law of God, but on the other, with my flesh the law of sin.”
Clearly, the Law condemns, but what is not so clear, is what keeps us out of the jurisdiction of the Law. Some say, “faith in Christ”; others say, “abstinence from persistent, willful sin,” which only serves to make us hypocrites, when we willfully, persistently and incorrigibly sin every day for the rest of our lives. Those who suppose to maintain their delicate “saved state” by their ability to life a holy life, inevitably places their trust in their own life, rather than in the life that Jesus lived. Adrian Rogers once commented that he wouldn’t trust in the best 15 minutes of his life. I think that the lesson here is that we ought not trust in our own ability to live a holy life, but instead trust in Christ, and allow His Spirit to transform us.
Brian Seltz: “Each sin brings us farther and farther away from the truth, and isolates us in darkness. In my life, there were a lot of areas of darkness, and I was trapped in it, because I wasn’t aware that there was an escape. As miserable as I was, I kept doing the same thing, hoping things would be different. However, through the ‘law of the Spirit of life,’ God has allowed me to recognize that I am a sinner, but that there is grace for me to live in, and the sins I commit willingly or unwillingly, will not hold me captive, but also that I strive not to sin, so that I can be pleasing to the Father. I think, even in sin, the ‘law of the Spirit of life’ allots us grace for each situation, until the fullness of God’s love is revealed to us, and we choose to not sin, and again tasting the freedom, we realize that we are not entrapped to sin anymore. The ‘law of the Spirit of life’ supersedes the ‘law of sin and of death’ because The Judge ruling over The Court will always rule in favor of the ‘law of the Spirit of life.’ All courts rule (or should) rule in favor of good, over evil. In my life, I cannot hide from God, so the ‘law of the Spirit of life’ is a constant reminder when things start moving away from God, and I start to do things on my own. God’s reminders are always swift, and must be obeyed.”