[Rom 8:1-4 KJV] 1 [There is] therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. 2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death. 3 For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: 4 That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.
The Law of The Old Testament Is Holy
Often Christians unknowingly assert that the law of God found in the Old Testament was bad, because it was replaced by the new law of the Spirit of life. They would not openly say this, but they say it when they reply to criticism with “well, that was the Old Testament and we are now in the New.” I empathize, because there are some harsh laws in the Old Testament. More accurately though, there are some harsh consequences to breaking the law of God found in the Old Testament.
To keep it brief, the ultimate consequence of breaking the law in the OT was death. This is because the law is holy, and God is holy (see Romans 7:12 [the law is holy] and Psalm 99:9 [God is holy]). So to break the law was to no longer be holy, and for God to continue in His holiness He must be separate from unholiness. Death, therefore, is the ultimate separation. That is why Paul refers to the Old Testament law as the law of sin and death. To sin, and fail the perfect requirements of the law, leads to separation from God by death. This is the unavoidable law that God has set up since the foundations of creation.
Only a Holy God Can Fulfill A Holy Law
The law was holy, and we all have fallen short of its requirements (Rom. 3:23). Since we have all fallen short of its requirements by sin we are all bound to the consequences of the law which is death. We are all sinners, because all men have sinned. We are therefore all unholy.
This is why Jesus came and poured out His life for us on the cross. He took the punishment of death, and provided the fulfillment of a holy law for all who accept it and believe in Him. Jesus lived a perfect and sinless life, and therefore was the only one qualified to fulfill the requirements of the law.
Only a holy God, by and through His holy Son, could fulfill the holy requirements of the law. By refraining from sin, and paying the penalty of death, Jesus was legally qualified to grant to all who asked of Him the gift of eternal forgiveness and life. God could have done this without dying, but then he would no longer be holy. If God Himself does not live His own law, then how could He or it be holy still? It is not that God could not provide eternal life to any who would ask outside of fulfilling the requirements of the law, it is that it would be unjust to do so. And God is just (Isaiah 45:21). And so, therefore, God sent His Son to fulfill it for us.
A New Law Of Spirit
To those who have accepted the gift of salvation through faith in Jesus they are now free to enjoy the law of the Spirit. The law of the Spirit is freedom, freedom and power to walk in the way that God wants us to walk in. We no longer have to obey the law to be close to God, but rather we are free to obey the moral law that God has written on the hearts of those who accept His love.
[Heb 8:10 NKJV] 10 “For this [is] the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the LORD: I will put My laws in their mind and write them on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people.
The law of the Old Testament was holy, and perfect, but it was weak in that it only told us what to do but not how. Jesus provided the “how” when he satisfied the requirements of the law and sent the Spirit of God into the hearts of believers. First of all He did this to save us and second of all to empower us to walk in the spirit.
Therefore, There Is No Condemnation
It is hard to accept, but God no longer condemns you. He no longer requires you to be perfect. And yet, He has given you the Spirit of life to enable you to have power over sin and death.
Since there is now no condemnation, to those who believe, they may now listen to the Spirit of God in their hearts and walk according to what God’s word says is right. They can now understand the written word of God in the scriptures. And they may now have the power to do it.
Think about that. Try to accept it. Believe it.