BSB Romans 8:2For in Christ Jesus the law [principle] of the Spirit [breath] of life has set you free from the law of sin and death.



  • Who down voted this question and why?
    – Ruminator
    Oct 26, 2017 at 19:00

3 Answers 3


Ho gar nomos tou pneumatos tes tswes en christw 'iesou elentherwsen me apo tou nomos tes hamartias tou thanatou. [Stephens 1550 Text.]

For the rule of the Spirit - of life in Christ Jesus - hath made me free from the rule of sin and death. [EGNT interlinear translation with my own, added, punctuation.]

Paul finds a rule within himself, by his origin : the constant result of his own natural origin in Adam. It is a rule that is always obeyed : sin unto death.

But he finds another rule. That of the Spirit, of Holiness, within him. The Spirit's strong influence within him - so strong that it is always so, a rule - is that Life is in Christ Jesus.

Life is not found in nature. Nor is it found by submitting to Law in nature. The tree of the knowledge of good and evil. No, the Tree of Life is found by Paul. By Justification, by the gift of the Holy Spirit.

By a ruling force within, whose rule is that Life is - always is - found in Christ Jesus.


In Romans 6 and 7 Paul describes the plight of the Jew who is unable to escape the dictates of impulses of the flesh which he refers to as "sin". Since he personifies sin I prefer to render it as "Mr. Sin". The mind concurs with the Torah but Mr. Sin refuses to cooperate:

NIV Romans 7: 8But sin, seizing the opportunity afforded by the commandment, produced in me every kind of coveting. For apart from the law, sin was dead. 9Once I was alive apart from the law; but when the commandment came, sin sprang to life and I died. 10I found that the very commandment that was intended to bring life actually brought death. 11For sin, seizing the opportunity afforded by the commandment, deceived me, and through the commandment put me to death.

Paul uses "life and death" metaphors for the personification of sin ("Mr. Sin") and the personification of the mind ("the inner man") to describe the end of the domination by the impulses of the flesh through the life giving power of the resurrection through the inflow of "the breath of life".

NIV Romans 8: 1Therefore, there is now no condemnation [ie: death sentence] for those who are in Christ Jesus, 2because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set youa free from the law of sin and death. 3For what the law was powerless to do because it was weakened by the flesh,b God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh to be a sin offering.c And so he condemned sin in the flesh, 4in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. 5Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. 6The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace. 7The mind governed by the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so. 8Those who are in the realm of the flesh cannot please God.

The breath of life is an allusion to the making of Adam. God molded a clay statue of himself and breathed his own breath into his nostrils, making him a living being.

NIV Genesis 2:7Then the LORD God formed man of dust from the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.

So the breath gives life. This is the principle of the breath of life to which Paul refers.


I see that you answered your own question, giving rise for me to ask the question, what was your intention by asking the question in the first place? Are you interested in an answer or only wish to convey your view?

In any event, to answer your question; the "spirit of life in Christ" (KJV) is the New Testament principal of everlasting spiritual life given only via the Spirit of God by the grace of God. This is a discussion of two covenants: Old vs New; the Law of Moses vs the grace of God found in the sacrifice of Christ.The Old Testament covenant was a covenant of death (2 Cor 3). "The letter (Law of Moses) kills, the spirit (God's Holy Spirit) gives life" (via grace/faith) see 1 Cor 3:2.

  • I would encourage you to go back and look at the context again. Romans 8:2; "For the law of the spirit of life in Christ hath made me free from the law of sin and death." The two "laws" are being contrasted here. Clearly, the OT and NT covenants are contrasted; the way of works and the way of grace; the way of death and the way of life, the way of the flesh and the way of the spirit (see verse 1). Paul makes the point in verse 6 that to be carnally minded (law minded) is death but spiritually minded (faith/grace) is life and peace.
    – alb
    Nov 12, 2017 at 12:26
  • 1
    If you see in the phrase "spirit of life in Christ" the metaphor of God breathing the breath of life into Adam depicting dead material becoming alive, that would be very appropriate here since the same metaphor applies, ie we are dead clay like Adam when we try to live after the Law of Moses and the Commandments but life is breathed into us only when we live by the faith/grace of Christ.
    – alb
    Nov 12, 2017 at 14:47
  • To answer your law in the NT comment; this is a word play. It's the same "law" spoken of by Paul when he says the "Law of Christ" (Gal 6:2)" and the "Law of Liberty" (James 2:12).
    – alb
    Nov 12, 2017 at 14:55
  • Also, you will see the same OT/NT covenant context in Romans 8 is carried to verse 15: "For you have not received the "spirit" of bondage again to fear (reference to the law of Moses) but you have received the Spirit of adoption..." (ref to receiving Christ through faith/grace).
    – alb
    Nov 12, 2017 at 15:01
  • See my last comment; the reference to bondage vs liberty is exactly what Paul is speaking about
    – alb
    Nov 12, 2017 at 15:05

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