Verse of the Day Devotion: Romans 8:2
“For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death.” – Romans 8:2
Paul here is writing this letter to the Church in Rome. Now, this verse is a clarification of what he wrote in the previous verse. ‘For’ or ‘because’ begins this verse. “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” Romans 8:1. When we accepted the work Christ did for us on the cross and became a Christian, there is no condemnation that we must suffer, for the payment has been paid. There is no reason for us to do anything, for we are pardoned.
Now in our focus verse he gives the reason for this. “For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death.” Romans 8:2. We see a similar verse in 2 Corinthians where Paul says, “Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.” 2 Corinthians 3:17. Again, in this verse, there are two laws that Paul is contrasting. The first is the Law of Sin and Death. This is essentially the written law of Moses. It was intended to be kept perfectly by the Jewish people, and if it was not, then there was required a sacrifice to God to deal with this sin. What the law does for us is help us to understand what sin is. “What shall we say then? Is the Law sin? May it never be! On the contrary, I would not have come to know sin except through the Law; for I would not have known about coveting if the Law had not said, “YOU SHALL NOT COVET. But sin, taking opportunity through the commandment, produced in me coveting of every kind; for apart from the Law sin is dead. And I was once alive apart from the Law; but when the commandment came, sin became alive, and I died, and this commandment, which was to result in life, proved to result in death for me.” Romans 7:7-10. If we rely on the law to please God, we will fail for if we violate this law even in one issue, then we die. Notice verse ten here. “and this commandment, which was to result in life, proved to result in death for me.” Romans 7:10.
However, the first law mentioned above, which is the law of the Spirit of Life takes the requirement of keeping the law to a different level. “because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us. For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. “Romans 5:5-6. And then, “Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him.” Romans 5:9. Regarding the Jewish Law (Law of Moses), perfection was required. “For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles in one point, he has become guilty of all.” James 2:10. If we stumble in one point, and are not a true Christian, then we are required to pay the penalty. And since we cannot address our sins because it requires perfection to do so, there is no way to address it. And this is where the first law comes in. If we become Christians, and accept Christ as our Lord and Savior, then He, being perfect, can address our sin. For in doing this, the requirement of us addressing our sin is removed for He, Christ, addressed them for us.
One more thing we need to see here. There are many people who believe that if they do what is good and follow God’s way, they are saved. This is in essence, salvation by works, which is what the Jews believed in following the Law of Moses. But salvation cannot come by this means. The Old Testament law can be a good guidepost for knowing how to love God and knowing what goes into loving your neighbor. At the same time, to say that the Old Testament law applies to Christians today is incorrect. The Old Testament law is good for knowing how to love God and knowing what goes into loving your neighbor. At the same time, to say that the Old Testament law applies to Christians today is incorrect. The Old Testament law is a unit. Either all of it applies, or none of it applies. And we must be careful that we do not fall into this trap. The Old Testament law was never intended by God to be the universal law for all people for all of time. We are to love God and love our neighbors. If we truly obey those two commands faithfully, we will be upholding all that God requires of us.
William Funkhouser MDiv, ThD, Founder and President of True Devotion Ministries.