discussion
Questions
APPENDIX
•••

A3  After Pentecost: From the Law to the Spirit


"whatever things the law says,

it speaks to those who are under the law...

you are not under law. "

Romans 3:19, 6:14



So... the law has nothing to say to you if you are a believer. Scripture says that you are in the New Covenant of the Spirit, not the Old Covenant of Law.


Now, I will explain from the scriptures.


God created Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden roughly six thousand years ago. Many generations later, God delivered Israel from slavery in Egypt and gave Moses the Ten Commandants in fire and smoke on Mount Sinai. Moses gave the Law to Israel. Mankind had existed for about 2500 years before the Law was given. Then the Law was in effect for roughly 1500 years until the New Covenant began at Pentecost, in roughly 33 AD. The children of God have now been in the Covenant of the Spirit for roughly 2000 years.  So, the Law of Moses was in effect for Israel only... and only from roughly 1500 BC till 33 AD.


The Law of Moses did not provide access to eternal life. Physical prosperity in the land of Israel was the promise of God to Israel if Israel obeyed the Law of Moses (See the entire book of Deuteronomy, especially 7:11-8:1, 28:1-68, most especially 8:1 and 28:64)). Eternal life, righteousness and justification was always by faith (grace), not works (Genesis 15:6, Romans 3:20-23, Psalms 103:17). Abraham was the example of this since Abraham lived before the Law of Moses was given. He was credited with righteousness by faith Genesis 15:6. So, it was established by scripture in Genesis 15:6, on page thirteen of my Bible, that righteousness came from God by FAITH. That has never changed. NEVER. All scriptures subsequent to Genesis 15:6 build on this foundation. They add new information but do not replace, alter or bend Genesis 15:6! Righteousness comes by faith and by faith ALONE. Our works do not make us righteous (Romans 3:20-23). 


Romans 4:1-24 reveals that we receive righteousness in the same way as Abraham, by FAITH. It was that way for Abraham before the Law of Moses was given. It is that way for us now as Post-Law of Moses, Post-Pentecost believers (Romans 4:23-24). While the Law of Moses was in effect, everlasting life and righteousness were granted through faith (fear of God): 


  • "But Yahweh's loving kindness is from everlasting to everlasting with those who fear him, his righteousness to children's children" (Psalm 102:17).


Now, if you had been born physically as an Israelite, roughly between 1500 BC and 33 AD, you would have been born under the Law of Moses. All other people who were born physically were born under the Law of Conscience1 (Romans 2:14-16). Adherence to either law could not grant eternal life. The Law of Moses contained rules that Israel had to keep in order to stay in the promised land. Eternal Life for both groups, beginning with Adam and continuing forever, whether Israelite or non-Israelite, has always been by grace, through faith.


The Law was temporary (until Christ):

  • "Then why is there the law? It was added because of transgressions, until the offspring should come to whom the promise has been made" (Galatians 3:19). Galatians 3:16 had already stated that Christ is the offspring, to whom the promise was made. So, the Law was added until the coming of Christ.


The Law is a tutor to lead us to faith in Christ:

  • "23 But before faith came, we were kept in custody under the law, confined for the faith which should afterwards be revealed. 24 So that the law has become our tutor to bring us to Christ, that we might be justified by faith" (Galatians 3:23-24).


Believers are no longer under a tutor:

  • "But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor" (Galatians 3:25).


In other words, the law was a tutor. We are no longer under a tutor. So, we are not under law.


The Law is for unbelievers. It has nothing to say to you (if you are a believer):

  • "Now we know that whatever things the law says, it speaks to those who are under the law, that every mouth may be closed, and all the world may be brought under the judgment of God" (Romans 3:19).
  • "For sin will not have dominion over you. For you are not under law, but under grace" (Romans 6:14).
  • The book of Romans is written to believers. Paul wrote to the Roman church "your faith is proclaimed throughout the whole world" (Romans 1:8). In Romans 6:14 (above), Paul states that the believers are "not under law". In Romans 3:19 (above), Paul said that the law only speaks to those who are under law. So, if you have faith in Jesus Christ, the Law has nothing to say to you.


What is the "Law"?

The Law contains the Ten Commandments and over 600 other rules handed down by Moses. The law was intended to be temporary, to lead us to Christ. God provided various scriptures to explain the transition from living by Law to living by the Spirit. I will present two of the main transitional passages. One is from Romans. The other is from 2 Corinthians. Then I will explain what this has to do with Pentecost. Next, I will present many passages which detail what the Law does and does not do. Last, I will explain why we benefit from reading the Old Testament, even though the Old Testament contains the Law... and the Law has nothing to say to you.


So this subchapter is divided into four parts, A3a, A3b, A3c, A3d and A3e!


A3a Transitional Passage: Romans

A3b Transitional Passage: 2 Corinthians

A3c The Age of the Spirit

A3d What Law Does and Does not Do

A3e Why Read the Old Testament?


Group discussion questions and a Footnote section are included at the bottom of this page, after A3e.


Please PRAY the following scriptures as described in subchapter 1.2. Please do not read them alone.




A3a
The First Transitional Passage
Romans 7:4-7


  • "4 Therefore, my brothers, you also were made dead to the law through the body of Christ, that you would be joined to another, to him who was raised from the dead, that we might produce fruit to God. 5 For when we were in the flesh, the sinful passions which were through the law worked in our members to bring out fruit to death. 6 But now we have been discharged from the law, having died to that in which we were held; so that we serve in newness of the spirit, and not in oldness of the letter. 7 What shall we say then? Is the law sin? May it never be! However, I wouldn't have known sin, except through the law. For I wouldn't have known coveting, unless the law had said, "You shall not covet"' (Romans 7:4-7).


There is a lot in that passage. Let's look at it, one aspect at a time.


The Law brought about death:

  • "For when we were in the flesh, the sinful passions which were through the law worked in our members to bring out fruit to death" (Romans 7:5).
  • The penalty of sin is spiritual death (separation from God).


We have died to the Law and been joined to Christ:

  • "4 Therefore, my brothers, you also were made dead to the law through the body of Christ, that you would be joined to another, to him who was raised from the dead" (Romans 7:4).


We have been discharged from the Ten Commandments:

  • "I wouldn't have known sin, except through the law. For I wouldn't have known coveting, unless the law had said, "You shall not covet"' (Romans 7:7).
  • Do not covet is the tenth of the Ten Commandments. Paul specifically uses it as an example of what he means by the term "law". And we are "discharged from the law" (verse 6). Some say that we are only discharged from ceremonial and sacrificial law. But Paul made it clear. We are discharged from the Ten Commandments.


We have been discharged from The Law to serve in the Spirit:

  • "6 But now we have been discharged from the law, having died to that in which we were held; so that we serve in newness of the spirit, and not in oldness of the letter" (Romans 7:6).
  • "The letter" is a figure of speech for "the law". The transitional passage from 2 Corinthians will use this same figure of speech.


The change is in how we serve:

  • "so that we serve in newness of the spirit, and not in oldness of the letter" (Romans 7:6).
  • The passage says that we serve in newness of the spirit, and not in oldness of the letter. "The letter" refers to the letters engraved in the stone tablets, containing the Ten Commandments. That we serve in a new way is repeated in the transitional passage from 2 Corinthians.


We no longer serve in the law. There is the new and the old, the spirit and the letter. We serve in the spirit. But what is meant by "newness of spirit' verses "oldness of the letter"? Some say that "newness of spirit" is to obey inwardly, in our hearts, instead of in an outward legalistic way. But that isn't new. That was true in the Old Covenant as well.


Not Serving in the Oldness of the Letter:

The old way was "This book of the law shall not depart out of your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written therein" (Joshua 1:8). The old way to serve was to focus on law to practice law. When Israel was under law, God's presence was in the portable tabernacle until the temple was built by Solomon. Then God's presence was in the temple. They were to pray towards the temple because that was where God dwelt (1 Kings 8:29-30). But in the New Covenant of the Spirit, God's Holy Spirit is within us (John 14:17). In the New Covenant of the Spirit, we serve by focusing on His Spirit and walking by the Spirit (Galatians 5:25, Subchapter 4.7 titled "Walk by the Spirit, John 4:23). See subchapter 1.1, "Learning to Read" for help in walking by the Spirit, through scripture.


The Righteous Live by Faith, not Law:

  •  "'THE RIGHTEOUS SHALL LIVE BY FAITH'. The law is not of faith, but, 'The man who does them will live by them'" (Galatians 3:11-12).
  • In other words, the man who does them (laws) with live by them (laws). But the righteous live by faith, not law. One who lives by law, lives by the written code which can be seen with the eyes. 


But one who lives by faith lives by what is not seen with the eyes:

  • "Now faith is assurance of things hoped for, proof of things not seen" (Hebrews 11:1).


We fix our eyes on the unseen:

  • "while we don't look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal" (2 Corinthians 4:18).


We fix our eyes on our unseen Lord within, the Spirit:

  • "But we all, with unveiled face seeing the glory of the Lord as in a mirror, are transformed into the same image from glory to glory, even as from the Lord, the Spirit" (2 Corinthians 3:18).


The preceding two passages about the unseen and the Spirit closely follow and are connected with the second transitional passage from 2 Corinthians.



Discharged from the Law,

Dead to the Law,

but NOT FREE TO SIN:

Above you saw that Romans 7:6 reveals that we have been "discharged from the law". And Romans 7:4 stated that we have "died to the law". Being discharged from law doesn't mean that we are free to sin. God anticipated that response and directly addressed it in Romans 6:15, "What then? Shall we sin, because we are not under law, but under grace? May it never be!" (Romans 6:15). 


So, do we have no commandments in the new covenant? No. Jesus left one commandment: "This is his commandment, that we should believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and love one another, even as he commanded" (1 John 3:23). So, the one commandment is loving faith. Jesus said that all the Law and the Prophets were based on the command to love (Matthew 22:37-40).


In the New Covenant, we have one law. But we don't serve in the law. We serve in the Spirit. Remember, Romans 7:6 said "we serve in newness of the spirit, and not in oldness of the letter". Serving in newness of the Spirit involves spiritual communication, interaction and empowerment. The Holy Spirit will remind us of the words of Christ (John 14:26, 1 John 2:27). We are to yield to the voice of the Holy Spirit (Hebrews 3:7-8).


The spirit interacts with New Covenant believers in new ways which will be detailed later in the paragraph titled "Serve in the Newness of the Spirit". Some say that we are discharged from the penalty of the Law, but that we are still supposed to focus on and obey the Ten Commandments. 


We do obey them but they are not our focus. The above scriptures said  "we have been discharged from the law, having died to that in which we were held; so that we serve in newness of the spirit, and not in oldness of the letter" (Romans 7:6). The tenth of the Ten Commandments was used as a case in point. We saw that the Law was temporary, that we don't live by law and that we live by faith. Those scriptures said that we don't serve in the "oldness of the letter". In the New Covenant, we do obey the Ten Commandments. But we do it by being in the presence of God and obeying the Holy Spirit. That is how we "serve in newness of the spirit." We live by faith, seeing the unseen and following the unseen.


Romans 3:19 states, "whatever things the law says, it speaks to those who are under the law." Romans 6:14 tells us, "you are not under law. " In the New Covenant, the law doesn't speak to us. The Holy Spirit speaks to us. For example, the Holy Spirit may put these words of Christ in your mind from Mark 10:19 "Do not commit adultery". You might think that those words came into your mind through your memory. But, instead it would be the living word of God  spoken by the Holy Spirit (Hebrews 4:12). 


John 14:16-26 states that the Holy Spirit will "teach you all things" and "remind you of all that" Christ said.  That working of the Holy Spirit in the hearts of all believers is part of the New Covenant, but not the Old. This passage was explained in the Introduction to this book.


There are Christians today who are trying to practice Christianity by following rules. These are Christians who are in the New Covenant but living as if they were in the Old Covenant. A New Covenant Christian can have intimate spiritual interaction with God within. That is what the Six Paths illustrate.


Serve in the Newness of the Spirit:

  • "I will pray to the Father, and he will give you another Counselor, that he may be with you forever: 17 the Spirit of truth, whom the world can't receive; for it doesn't see him and doesn't know him. You know him, for he lives with you, and will be in you" (John 14:16-17)
  • Verse 17 means that the Holy Spirit was "with" them before Pentecost, but "in" them after Pentecost.


  • "I have said these things to you while still living with you. 26 But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things, and will remind you of all that I said to you." John 14:25-26
  • "the anointing which you received from him remains in you... his anointing teaches you concerning all things" (1 John 2:27).
  • "But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law" (Galatians 5:18).
  • "For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are children of God" (Romans 8:14).
  • Some of the new functions of the Holy Spirit after Pentecost are: God in us, teaching, reminding and leading us. "Serving in Newness of the Spirit" includes obeying the Spirit when He teaches, reminds and leads. Serving in the Oldness of the letter is to focus on obedience to rules.


Joined to Another (to Christ):

The Roman's passage said "you also were made dead to the law through the body of Christ, that you would be joined to another, to Him who was raised from the dead".


The old covenant had a fault: "For if that first covenant had been faultless, then no place would have been sought for a second" (Hebrews 8:7). We can't do the law. It couldn't perfect us. It was only a shadow of perfection to come in Christ (Hebrews 10:1). We need God to live in us, to do the law in us. The indwelling Christ and Holy Spirit cured the fault: Christ fulfilled the Law (Matthew 5:17). Christ is in us (2 Corinthians 13:5). In this way, God put the Law on our hearts (Hebrews 10:16). We live no longer: Christ lives in us (Galatians 2:20). Christ is being formed in us (Galatians 4:19). So, "the fulfillment of the Law" is lived in us by Christ. We don't serve by the old covenant "shadow" of Christ (Hebrews 10:1).


Walking by the Spirit is the alternative to living by Law. It fulfills the law (Galatians 5:13-16). It bears fruit (Galatians 5:22 & Romans 7:4) The indwelling Holy Spirit regenerates, seals, renews, sanctifies, provides power, comprehension, joy, peace etc. Walking by the Spirit is clearly described in great detail in subchapter 4.7.


Summary:

The change from the Old Covenant to the New Covenant is a change in how we serve:

  • "so that we serve in newness of the spirit, and not in oldness of the letter" (Romans 7:6).
  • We follow the lead of the Holy Spirit instead of a written code.




A3b
 The Second Transitional Passage
 2 Corinthians 3:4-8


  • "Such confidence we have through Christ toward God, 5 not that we are sufficient of ourselves, to account anything as from ourselves; but our sufficiency is from God, 6 who also made us sufficient as servants of a new covenant, not of the letter, but of the Spirit. For the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life. 7 But if the service of death, written engraved on stones, came with glory, so that the children of Israel could not look steadfastly on the face of Moses for the glory of his face, which was passing away, 8 won't service of the Spirit be with much more glory?" (2 Corinthians 3:4-8).
  • The passage says that "the letter" was "engraved on stones" and came with glory so that the Israelites couldn't look at Moses's face (verses 7-8). They couldn't look at his face because his face glowed when he came down from the mountain with the stone tablets containing the Ten Commandments. It glowed because of he had been speaking with God (Exodus 34:28-35). The Ten Commandments were "letters" "engraved on stones". Verse 7 calls the letters of the Ten Commandments the "service of death". Verse 8 mentions the "service of the Spirit".


Both the Romans and the 2 Corinthians passages say that we serve in the new way of the Spirit, not the old way of the letter (Law). They both link the old way with death.


Simply put...

We don't' serve God by 1) focusing on the Ten Commandments, 2) obeying them, 3) by helping others to obey them.

We serve God by 1) focusing on the Holy Spirit, 2) by obeying the Holy Spirit, 3) by helping others to obey the Holy Spirit.


A reminder: The phrase "Holy Spirit" occurs three times in the entire Old Testament. That's basically one occurrence for every three hundred pages. But in the New Testament, the phrase "Holy Spirit" occurs 95 times. That's one occurrence for every three pages. So, the phrase 'Holy Spirit" is one hundred times more likely to occur in the New Testament than the Old.


Post-Pentecost believers are fundamentally different from Pre-Pentecost believers... we are "clothed with power from on high" (2 Corinthians 5:17, Luke 24:49). The Old Covenant had a moral code. So do atheists. The Post-Pentecost believer has spiritual communication with the living God within. This is an active interaction. The Holy Spirit will even put ideas into our minds if we ask in faith (subchapter 4.2). 


Paul asked for prayer from the church at Ephesus, that God would give him words to explain the gospel.

  • "with all prayer and requests, praying at all times in the Spirit, and being watchful to this end in all perseverance and requests for all the saints: 19 on my behalf, that utterance may be given to me in opening my mouth, to make known with boldness the mystery of the Good News, 20 for which I am an ambassador in chains; that in it I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak" (Ephesians 6:18-20).
  • In requesting this prayer, Paul was serving "in newness of the spirit". He was serving God and "ministering" to others. He looked to God to give him the words to present the gospel. Then by faith, he spoke the words God gave him. Yes, the Holy Spirit will even put ideas into our minds if we ask in faith. 




A3c
The Age of the Indwelling Holy Spirit Began at Pentecost


It is time for a short review. Before Passover, just before Jesus was arrested and crucified, Jesus had a long conversation with His disciples in what is called The Upper Room Discourse (John 13-17). Jesus said


  • "I will pray to the Father, and he will give you another Counselor... You know him, for he lives with you, and will be in you... But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things, and will remind you of all that I said to you" (John 14:16-26).


They were at the threshold of a new age, the age of the Holy Spirit... which began at Pentecost in Acts 2:1. They were about to exit the Age of the Law and enter into the Age of the Spirit "as servants of a new covenant, not of the letter, but of the Spirit" (2 Corinthians 3:6-8). The Holy Spirit would be IN THEM (John 14:16, 17, 26) and therefore they would be fundamentally different from Pre-Pentecost believers (2 Corinthians 5:17).


After Pentecost, the children of God would no longer be under law. Instead, they would be led by the Spirit:

  • "But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law" Galatians 5:18
  • "For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are children of God" (Romans 8:14).


Spiritual communication from the Holy Spirit is not limited to the twelve apostles but is for Post-Pentecost believers. It is written:

  • "As for you, the anointing which you received from him remains in you, and you don't need for anyone to teach you. But as his anointing teaches you concerning all things, and is true, and is no lie, and even as it taught you, you will remain in him" (1 John 2:27) (The anointing is the Holy Spirit.)
  • "But concerning brotherly love, you have no need that one write to you. For you yourselves are taught by God to love one another, 10 for indeed you do it toward all the brothers who are in all Macedonia. But we exhort you, brothers, that you abound more and more" (1 Thessalonians 4:9-10).
  • Both passages reveal communication of information directly from God into the mind of the believer. Both passages were written long after Pentecost. Neither were written to the twelve disciples. So, they both apply to the church at large. 1 John was written to those whom John refers to as "my little children" (1 John 2:1). A reading of the book makes it clear that the book is directed to all believers. 

 

So, Jesus said that the Holy Spirit would be "in" them, "remind" them of His words, lead them and teach them. This is a promise of spiritual communication after His death and resurrection... a promise of intimacy with God within... a promise of spiritual Fellowship with God, with the invisible Holy Spirit, the Son and the Father.

  • "you were called into the Fellowship of his Son, Jesus Christ" (1 Corinthians 1:9).
  • "our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son, Jesus Christ" (1 John 1:3).
  • "the Fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all" (2 Corinthians 13:14).


The Holy Spirit will give us the words for making disciples:

  • "praying at all times in the Spirit, and being watchful to this end in all perseverance and requests for all the saints: 19 on my behalf, that utterance (words) may be given to me in opening my mouth, to make known with boldness the mystery of the Good News" (Ephesians 6:18-19).
  • The Good News or "Gospel' is not just for conversion. That is why Paul wanted to preach "the Gospel" to the Roman church (Rom 1:15). The Gospel is also for sanctification... It is for making disciples. Making disciples encompasses both conversion and sanctification. Sanctification is done for us by Christ (Romans 6:22, Hebrews 10:10) and is also a process that we participate in (Romans 6:19, Philippians 2:12).


Conclusion

How do we serve in the Age of the Holy Spirit? The Holy Spirit leads, directs, warns, empowers, reminds us of scripture etc. He even gives us words to communicate the gospel. We can resist the Holy Spirit and lie to the Holy Spirit. With these as a foundation, "serving in the newness of the Spirit" means to obey the Spirit as He leads, directs, warns, reminds us of scripture, and gives us words for making disciples. 


Scriptures detailing all of these workings of the Holy Spirit are presented in chapter 3. Walking by the Spirit is explained in subchapter 4.7.




A3d
What does the Law do?


This section presents twenty things that the Law does or doesn't do. Most of the scriptures presented are from chapters 3-5 of Galatians, chapters 3-8 of Romans or chapter 3 of 2 Corinthians. Those ten chapters are worth reading if you want to see these passages in context. If you do read them, please read them in the way of Path Five. PRAY them. Do not read them alone.


The Law has nothing to say to the child of God:

  • "Now we know that whatever things the law says, it speaks to those who are under the law" (Romans 3:19). As believers, we are not under law. So, the Law has nothing to say to us.


The Law does not cause us to receive the Spirit:

  • "I just want to learn this from you: Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law, or by hearing of faith?" Galatians 3:2. (The answer within the context is no.)


The Law does not complete or perfect us:

  • "Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law, or by hearing of faith? Are you so foolish? Having begun in the Spirit, are you now completed in the flesh?" Galatians 3:2-3. (Paul equates "works of the law" with works "in the flesh".)


The Law does not impart God's Spirit to us:

  • "He therefore who supplies the Spirit to you and does miracles among you, does he do it by the works of the law, or by hearing of faith?" (Galatians 3:5). 
  • The answer within the context is that the Spirit is not given by works of law.


The Law does not empower miracles:

  • "He therefore who supplies the Spirit to you and does miracles among you, does he do it by the works of the law, or by hearing of faith?" (Galatians 3:5).
  • The answer within the context is that God doesn't do miracles by works of law.


The Law does not justify us before God

  • "Now that no man is justified by the law before God is evident, for, "The righteous will live by faith" (Galatians 3:11).
  • "Because by the works of the law, no flesh will be justified in his sight" (Romans 3:20).


Following Law does not mean that we have faith:

  • "The law is not of faith, but, "The man who does them will live by them" (Galatians 3:12).


The Law does not provide a righteous way to live:

  • "The righteous will live by faith. 12 The law is not of faith, but, "The man who does them will live by them" (Galatians 3:11-12).
  • "them" refers to the laws. The man who is doing the laws will live by laws. But the righteous "live by faith".


The Law does not make us righteous before God:

  • "Is the law then against the promises of God? Certainly not! For if there had been a law given which could make alive, most certainly righteousness would have been of the law" (Galatians 3:21).


The Law does not impart life:

  • "Is the law then against the promises of God? Certainly not! For if there had been a law given which could make alive, most certainly righteousness would have been of the law" (Galatians 3:21).


The Law brings a curse:

  • "For as many as are of the works of the law are under a curse. For it is written, "Cursed is everyone who doesn't continue in all things that are written in the book of the law, to do them" (Galatians 3:10).


The Law brings knowledge of sin:

  • "Because by the works of the law, no flesh will be justified in his sight; for through the law comes the knowledge of sin" (Romans 3:20).
  • "What shall we say then? Is the law sin? May it never be! However, I wouldn't have known sin, except through the law. For I wouldn't have known coveting, unless the law had said, 'You shall not covet'" (Romans 7:7).


The Law brings wrath:

  • "For the law produces wrath, for where there is no law, neither is there disobedience" (Romans 4:15)


The Law arouses sinful passions:

  • "For when we were in the flesh, the sinful passions which were through the law worked in our members to bring out fruit to death" (Romans 7:5).
  • "But sin, finding occasion through the commandment, produced in me all kinds of coveting. For apart from the law, sin is dead" (Romans 7:8).


The Law increases the transgression:

  • "The law came in that the trespass might abound; but where sin abounded, grace abounded more exceedingly" (Romans 5:20)


The Law is prerequisite to imputation of sin:

  • "For until the law, sin was in the world; but sin is not charged when there is no law" (Romans 5:13).


The Law brings life to sin so that sin can bring death:

  • "I was alive apart from the law once, but when the commandment came, sin revived, and I died. 10 The commandment which was for life, this I found to be for death; 11 for sin, finding occasion through the commandment, deceived me, and through it killed me" (Romans 7:9-11).


The Law brings life to sin so that sin can bring death:

  • "I was alive apart from the law once, but when the commandment came, sin revived, and I died" (Romans 7:9)


It was this way for Adam and Eve. They were spiritually alive. Then God gave them a command "you shall not eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil" (Genesis 2:17). They ate of the tree and died spiritually. They were alive, then the commandment came, and they died. Before the fall, they had a propensity to sin. One might say that sin was the inevitable result. In a way, sin was asleep. But when the commandment came, sin became alive as they sinned, resulting in death.


I will present one way to understand this passage. I consider this interpretation to be a possibility.


Possibly Paul is referring to the age of accountability from Isaiah 7:16 "For before the child knows to refuse the evil and choose the good, the land whose two kings you abhor shall be forsaken." Possibly Paul is saying that until we reach the age of accountability, we are alive in a sense. When we know the difference between right and wrong, we are then accountable for the commandments. At this time, the commandment has "come". After the commandment comes, man will inevitably sin.


"Sin revived" may indicate that sin revived as to its power to condemn, which it first had in the sin of Adam. This is consistent with Romans 5:12-13 which preceded the subject passage "Therefore as sin entered into the world through one man, and death through sin; so death passed to all men, because all sinned. 13 For until the law, sin was in the world; but sin is not charged when there is no law." So, death passes to each, when each commits the first chargeable sin, which occurs after the age of accountability.


Genesis 8:21 states "the imagination of man's heart is evil from his youth". So, God says that man becomes evil in youth, not at birth.


David was a prophet. When his infant son died, he believed that his son went to paradise, not hell. He said, "But now he is dead, why should I fast? Can I bring him back again? I will go to him, but he will not return to me" (2 Samuel 12:23). David believed that his dead infant son would be in Paradise because that is where David expected to go when he died. Romans 5:13 above appears to say, "sin is not charged" to the dead infant because law would not come to the infant until the age of accountability.


The Law is a ministry of death:

  • "who also made us sufficient as servants of a new covenant, not of the letter, but of the Spirit. For the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life. 7 But if the service of death, written engraved on stones, came with glory, so that the children of Israel could not look steadfastly on the face of Moses for the glory of his face, which was passing away" (2 Corinthians 3:6-7). "Engraved on stones" refers to the Ten Commandments.
  • "For the law produces wrath, for where there is no law, neither is there disobedience" (Romans 4:15).
  • "I was alive apart from the law once, but when the commandment came, sin revived, and I died" (Romans 7:9).
  • Everyone breaks the law and receives spiritual death (separation from God). Jesus defined law in terms that it is impossible to follow it perfectly. "You have heard that it was said, 'You shall not commit adultery;' 28 but I tell you that everyone who gazes at a woman to lust after her has committed adultery with her already in his heart" (Matthew 5:27-28). We receive life by faith (John 3:16).


The Law was a shadow of Christ's sacrifice:

  • "1 For the law, having a shadow of the good to come, not the very image of the things, can never with the same sacrifices year by year, which they offer continually, make perfect those who draw near... 10 by which will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all" (Hebrews 10:1-10).


To clearly see that the Law was a shadow of Christ's sacrifice, you may need to read all of verses 1-10. I only showed verses 1 and 10 above. If you are not familiar with the book of Hebrews, I suggest that you read all of chapter 9 as well.


The Law is not made for a righteous man, but for sinners:

  • "8 But we know that the law is good, if a person uses it lawfully, 9 as knowing this, that law is not made for a righteous person, but for the lawless and insubordinate, for the ungodly and sinners, for the unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers, 10 for the sexually immoral, for homosexuals, for slave-traders, for liars, for perjurers, and for any other thing contrary to the sound doctrine, 11 according to the Good News of the glory of the blessed God, which was committed to my trust" (1 Timothy 1:8-11).
  • Who is a "righteous person"? One who believes God is righteous.  "21 But now apart from the law, a righteousness of God has been revealed, being testified by the law and the prophets; 22 even the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ to all and on all those who believe" (Romans 3:21-22). "Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness" (Romans 4:3). One who has faith is deemed "righteous" by God: "Now that no man is justified by the law before God is evident, for, "The righteous will live by faith" (Galatians 3:11). We are "righteous", not because we stop sinning, but because of what Christ did: "For him who knew no sin he made to be sin on our behalf; so that in him we might become the righteousness of God" (2 Corinthians 5:21). Believers are not under law "For you are not under law, but under grace" (Romans 6:14). If believers are "righteous" by grace through faith because of what Christ did, then it is reasonable that "the law is not made for a righteous person". 


  • Keeping the law does not make anyone righteous. And our acts of sin do not result in imputation of sin. To the contrary, God decides if sin will be imputed to one who commits sin. "For until the law, sin was in the world; but sin is not charged when there is no law" (Romans 5:13). Sinners and the righteous are two separate groups of people. God decides who is righteous and who is a sinner. He makes His choice based on one criteria: Faith in Jesus Christ. Post conversion sin does not change one whom God has declared righteous into a sinner. The term "sinner" is a technical term in scripture. But few Christians use the term scripturally. Most have the unscriptural view that anyone who commits sin is a sinner.  



A3e 

Why Read the Old Testament? 


The Law is contained in the Old Testament, but all of the Old Testament is not Law. The book of Romans in the New Testament tells us "whatever things the law says, it speaks to those who are under the law" (Romans 3:19). Then Romans 6:14 tells Post-Pentecost believers "you are not under law." So, the Law has nothing to say to us as Post Pentecost believers. But Romans 15:4 tells us "For whatever things were written before were written for our learning, that through perseverance and through encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope."


We read the Old Testament so that "we might have hope". 


The Old Testament records the history of God, man and the angelic realm. The Law of Moses was not given until Exodus chapter 20, the second book of the seventeen books of the Old Testament. By that time, 2500 of the 4000 years covered by the Old Testament had already taken place in Genesis 1 through Exodus 20. The Law of Moses was in effect in all of the remaining books of the Old Testament except probably the book of Job. 


The books of the Bible are sometimes grouped into three categories... as Law, Prophets or Writings. Some of the Writings are called the poetic books. These classifications are not all clear cut. For example: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy are said to be the five books of Law. But, the Law of Moses was not given until Exodus 19. Therefore all of Genesis and the first eighteen chapters of Exodus was about God's interactions with mankind while man was not under Law.  So, beware... manmade classifications are not scripture.


In reading the Old Testament, we see how a perfect, all powerful, loving and just God worked to bring sinful, selfish and rebellious man into an intimate, joyful union with Himself. 


He, in whom hope is justified is revealed in the Old Testament. Many attributes of God, man and the angelic realm are revealed in these books. 


In the Old Testament, we see who deserves our trust and who does not. God, not man, is the only one who merits our hope.


"Cursed is the man who trusts in man" 

(Jeremiah 17:5)


We read the Old Testament so that "we might have hope" in God. 


So, if your are a believer in Jesus Christ, I prayerfully suggest that you do this: Read the Old Testament, being mindful of whether the subjects of your reading were under law or not. If you read about God's interactions with people under law, be aware that they were under law while you are not. Prophecies may pertain to people who are under law... or they may pertain to people who aren't. Prophesies may have been made to Israel while Israel was under Law. But those prophesies may pertain to a future period of time when Israel will not be under law. If you are aware of the distinctions regarding the Law of Moses, you may see the intended message more accurately. 


It is my opinion, that Genesis 1 through Exodus 18, and the book of Job pertain to periods in time when none of the participants were under Law. The remaining books of the Old Testament were written in periods in time when most of the participants were under law. In other words, Israel was under the Law of Moses in those books. Gentiles were not. Post Exodus 18 Israel was under law (under the Law of Moses). 




Group Discussion Questions

Please prayerfully answer the following questions:


1) In Part A3a, what is the difference in how believers serve in the new covenant compared to the old covenant?

2) Regarding we who are Christians, the scriptures above say that we have been discharged from the law, have died to the law, are not under law, that the law doesn't speak to us and that we don't serve in the law. What verse does Paul use to make it clear that he includes the Ten Commandments in his use of the term "law"? The answer is in Part A3a.

3) In Part A3a, which scripture tells us that... even though we are not "under law", we are still  NOT FREE TO SIN?

4) In Part A3b, which scripture reveals that our service in the "new covenant" is not service in the Ten Commandments?

5) In Part A3c, what forms of spiritual communication did Jesus promise to Post-Pentecost believers through the indwelling Holy Spirit?

6) The very end of Part A3d reveals that "The Law is not made for a righteous man, but for sinners." Is it scripturally correct to refer to coverts to Christianity as "'sinners"?

7) In the introductory words to this chapter A3, I asked you to "Please PRAY the following scriptures as described in subchapter 1.2. Please do not read them alone." Did you PRAY the scriptures in this chapter... or did you merely analyze them with your mind?

8) Why should we read the Old Testament?


All of the answers to all of these questions are provided in this chapter (A3).



Footnote:

1) Law of Conscience: 

The truths of righteousness and justification as being granted through faith rather than works of Law are revealed in the book of Galatians and chapters 3-8 of Romans. The Law of conscience applies to those who did not have the Law of Moses. Those under the Law of conscience are specifically mentioned in Romans 2:14 and 2:27. 


The Greek word phusis, meaning nature, is in the original Greek texts, for both Textus Receptus and UBS Greek texts, in verses 14 and 27. However, many English translations don't translate phusis as "nature" in both verses. Therefore, the connection between verses 14 and 27 is hidden in these translations. In my opinion, this obscures the meaning and makes it impossible for me to follow the flow of thought through chapters 1-8 of Romans in a way that that is free of contradictions. 


Among those versions which don't translate phusis the same way in verses 14 and 27 are: NASB, NIV, NRSV, NET, ESV, Phillips, Holman and Green's KJ3 Literal Translation. Some of these translations include a footnote which acknowledges "nature" as a possible translation in both verses. But few people read all of the footnotes. Among those which do translate phusis the same way in verses 14 and 27 are KJV and WEB... Also the literal translations: Green's Interlinear Greek-English New Testament (1996), Rotherham and Young. The Greek and English Interlinear by William Mounce  translates both instances of phusis as "nature". This is significant since Mr. Mounce is the author of Basics of Biblical Greek, the standard textbook for beginning Greek language students in colleges and seminaries. You can Google William Mounce and see that he is considered to be one of today's leading experts in Greek.


With the above in mind, I believe that it is very helpful to read the entire book of Romans from KJV, WEB, Green's Interlinear Greek-English New Testament (1996), Rotherham's Emphasized Bible, Young's Literal Translation and Mounce. I suggest that you first try Rotherham and Young for free on the internet. I very highly recommend Rotherham if you will buy the hard copy book version. I really have trouble seeing flow of thought in Romans if I don't read from a literal translation . Rotherham is especially helpful because of the marks of emphasis, which reveal the emphasis on certain words or phrases as present in the original Greek text, but which doesn't come through in the translations. Unfortunately, the only version that provides these marks is in the hard copy book version. The Kindle and free online versions do not provide the marks of emphasis. 


Here are Romans 2:14 and 2:27 from Rotherham:

"For, whensoever the nations which have not law, by nature, the things of the law, may be doing, the same, not having law, unto themselves, are a law,— 15 Who, indeed, shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience therewith bearing witness, and, between one another, their reasonings accusing—or, even excusing, them:—" (Romans 2:14-15).


"And the uncircumcision by nature, completing the law, shall judge, thee, who, notwithstanding letter and circumcision, art a transgressor of law!" (Romans 2:27).


The phrase "by nature" is in the Greek text for both verses 14  and 27. That phrase makes it abundantly obvious that verses 14 and 27 are talking about the same group of people... that those who lacked the Law of Moses, but having the Law of Conscience in verse 14, were one as the same as those in verse 27 , the uncircumcision, who would judge those who had the Law of  Moses (verse 28).


This is significant because those of the nations, who had the Law of Conscience, did not have scripture. If they had scripture, they would have seen the Law of Moses. Chapter 1 of Romans is full of divine revelation through "nature" . See this revelation from nature generally in Romans 1:19-20 with great details of this revelation in Romans 1:21-31. So, there are those from the beginning of the creation of man, who did not have scripture, who came to conversion through non-scripture revelation... who God has brought to conversion through direct, internal revelation through what He has made. This contradicts the doctrine held by many... that all people throughout the history of mankind, who did not hear scripture, are eternally damned. According to this doctrine, everyone in all the world who did not hear from a Bible teaching missionary was eternally damned. According to this false doctrine, over 99% of all the people who lived before 1900 were eternally damned... supposedly damned because God chose to not provide the Bible to them. I believe that Romans refutes this doctrine... I believe that God has been bringing eternal life to mankind in two ways: 1) Direct internal revelation through creation and 2) Scripture.


Regarding Eternal Life for those who received direct, internal revelation through creation I present the following:


I will present what I see in the scriptures. I do not say that this is the only way. God may teach me more clearly in the future. But, as to those who hold a different theology, I ask "where does it say that" in the scriptures. Then I may learn the scriptures more clearly... 


Israel was under the Law of Moses which was in effect beginning in Exodus 19, after God delivered Israel from Egypt, until Pentecost in Acts 2:1. (See above.) Those who had not received the Law of Moses were under the Law of Conscience (Romans 2:14-16). "these, not having the law, are a law to themselves, in that they show the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience testifying".  No one was ever justified by keeping the law (Romans 3:20). 


Everyone who was not under the Law of Moses was under the Law of Conscience. This applies to everyone who has ever existed from the beginning of creation. Righteousness in every age, before, during and after the Law of Moses has always come by faith and grace (Romans 4:16). The condition of eternal life has always been "by grace, through faith" (Ephesians 2:8, Psalm 103:17, Romans 4:3,16). 


The Law of Conscience was revealed directly, from God, to all men, without the use of scripture as written in Romans 1:18-32. Very detailed laws were revealed directly (verses 26-31) and explicitly known by all (verse 32). From the Romans passage, the evils and eternal consequences of greed, murder, gossip, disobedience to parents, arrogance, envy, lack of love, etc, etc, etc are all revealed specifically, directly and internally by God, through creation and without scripture. 


In Romans 10:16-18 we see that the Gospel is revealed through words without sound, via creation. Words without sound comes from verse 18, which is quoting from Psalm 19:1-4, which clearly reveals that the heavens (stars) speak to the entire world "Their voice has gone out through all the earth, their words to the end of the world' (Psalm 19:4). 


E. W. Bullinger, in his book "The Witness of the Stars" shows that the 12 signs of the Ancient Zodiac reveal the gospel. He speaks of the ancient Zodiac, not the corrupted Zodiac of the Romans, Greeks, etc. Click here to read his book. 


That Romans 10:16 speaks to the gospel as revealed in creation I present the following: 

We know that the context is believing in Jesus for salvation from verse nine. Read verses nine through eighteen and you will see. The Greek word for gospel or good news is euangellion. Euangellion occurs seventy-seven times in the New Testament. In my translation, euangellion is translated as "gospel" seventy-six times and as "glad tidings" once (Romans 10:16). Your English version probably does something similar. The failure of translations to translate consistently obscures the truth that the Gospel is revealed to all men through the creation.


Revelation 14:6-7 reveals that the "eternal Gospel" is fear of the Creator. The creator is Jesus (John 1:1-3, especially verse 3, Hebrews 1:2). Here is the scripture from Revelation 14:6-7.


"I saw an angel flying in mid heaven, having an eternal Good News to proclaim to those who dwell on the earth, and to every nation, tribe, language, and people. 7 He said with a loud voice, "Fear the Lord, and give him glory; for the hour of his judgment has come. Worship him who made the heaven, the earth, the sea, and the springs of waters!" (Revelation 14:6-7).


Many translations will translate euangellion in verse 6 as "eternal Gospel" instead of "eternal Good News". The eternal euangellion is:  Fear the Lord, and give him glory; for the hour of his judgment has come. Worship him who made the heaven, the earth, the sea, and the springs of waters!"


In other words worship the creator. We know that the creator is Jesus from  (John 1:1-3, especially verse 3, Hebrews 1:2). This does not mean that those who reject the Jesus of the Bible receive eternal life. It only means that those who never read scripture and never heard the reading of scripture don't automatically receive eternal damnation. It means that the direct, internal revelation of God through creation can be received in a way that results in eternal life. I will quote Romans 1:19-20 as proof:


  • 18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, 19 because that which is known of God is revealed in them, for God revealed it to them. 20 For the invisible things of him since the creation of the world are clearly seen, being perceived through the things that are made, even his everlasting power and divinity, that they may be without excuse.


Prayerful Observations:

In verse 19, whatever is known about God is revealed by God within them.  This is revealed through creation (verse 20). This knowledge of God is revealed so clearly that they are "without excuse" (verse 20). If 100% of all the billions of people who never had access to scripture went to Hell... they would have the perfect excuse... their excuse would be that it was impossible for them to enter eternal life. Zero out of billions would mean that it was impossible. Therefore, I prayerfully submit, that 100% of all the billions of people who never had access to scripture were not eternally damned. Those who believed God's revelation escaped that destiny by grace and through faith in the creator (who is Jesus).


I prayerfully suggest that you prayerfully read the entire book of Romans, from beginning to end, in one sitting, thirty or forty times. I suggest that you read from a variety of translations including:


Click here to read Rotherham's Emphasized Bible (without the marks of emphasis).


Click here to read Young's Literal Translation.


Please consider buying a hard copy of Rotherham's Emphasized Bible. At this time, only the hard copy version has the marks of emphasis. Below I will reproduce Romans 2:14-15 from his translation which includes his marks of emphasis.


"14 For <whensoever  |the nations which 

have not law'|  ||by nature, the things 
of the law||  may be doing>  ||the 
same||  |not having law'|  ||unto 
themselves||  are a law,— 

15 ||Who||  indeed, shew the work of the 

law written in their hearts, their 
conscience  |therewith bearing 
witness|,  And  ||between one another|| 
their reasonings accusing—or  |even 
excusing|  them:—" 
(Romans 2:14-15).


Rotherham uses INDENTATION to show parallel expressions and logical organization of sentences and paragraphs.  Some sentences and arguments in the New Testament are very long. You need to outline the logical structure on paper to understand them. Rotherham does this for you.  I may be able to understand five chapters in the time it would take to understand one in another version. Just a glance and it is clear!


Rotherham  uses signs for emphasis in the following ways:

(') and (|    |) call for slight stress. (||    ||) and (<    >) call for more decided stress. The latter is confined to preplaced words and clauses leading up to what follows.  It's as if someone is reading the scripture out loud to you while emphasizing the correct phrase or word so that you can follow the flow of thought in your first hearing. The two signs (') and (|    |) are used almost indifferently to denote slight emphasis. The accent is generally preferred for single words and the single upright lines for the inclusion of more than one word in the effect.


Modern Bibles use the English word "you", which can be either singular or plural.  Rotherham maintains the older meanings. He uses "the, they, thou and thine" which are singular. In Rotherham's version the words "ye, you and your" are plural. This distinction is critical in understanding various scriptures without having to consult with a Greek scholar. 


Rotherham uses a literal word for word translation. The same Greek word may occur repeatedly in a paragraph or chapter.  Many times I have been confused by a translation because the translator translated the same Greek word with different English words in the same paragraph. Rotherham translates much more consistently so that I can follow the train of thought without having to look up the underlying Greek word for every English word.



God Bless!

"whatever things the law says, 
it speaks to those who are under the law... 
you are not under law." 

Romans 3:19, 6:14

Have a question or want to share how this book has impacted your life?