1. I ask this question as Paul seems to suggest that living a life of sin leads to death.
  2. Once we accept Jesus as our saviour we get the spirit that gives us life
  3. Once the spirit is in us we will stop living by the flesh and start living according to the spirit and hence will live.
  4. This is very much in line with What G-d says in Tanakh.
  5. So does it mean that if we do not believe in Jesus as our saviour we will not get this spirit? and hence we die in sin? or does it mean we will still sin but we will not die because of those sins?
  6. But if you see verse 7 he seems to say that people who live by the flesh cannot obey the law but those who live by the spirit will obey the law and please G-d (Converse added)

Romans 8:1 Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, 2 because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death. 3 For 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, 4 in 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. 5 Those 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. 6 The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace. 7 The mind governed by the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so. 8 Those who are in the realm of the flesh cannot please God.

Verses from Tanakh that talks about the knowledge of G-d and how people will worship G-d

Zephaniah 3:9 For then I will convert the peoples to a pure language that all of them call in the name of the Lord, to worship Him of one accord.

Habakkuk 2:14 For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord as the waters cover the sea.

Isaiah 11:9 They will neither harm nor destroy on all my holy mountain, for the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea.

  • good question +1 from me. The interesting thing is that this question is actually referring to the New Covenant. The New Covenant is that God will write his laws on the hearts of mankind (prophesied in Jeremiah 31:33& Jeremiah 32:40, fulfilled in Hebrews 8:10 & Hebrews 10:16 ) Old Covenant and what went wrong with it is described in Jeremiah 31:32.
    – Adam
    Commented May 17, 2021 at 22:17
  • I am still waiting for that day. If the law of the lord was in each person's heart and obeyed it this earth would be heaven by now. May that day come in our lifetime.
    – Yeddu
    Commented May 18, 2021 at 5:56

3 Answers 3


There is a famous quote from Luther where he is supposed to have said something like, "Love God and do as you please." He was presumably paraphrasing 2 Cor 5:17 -

Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away. Behold, the new has come!

This is a profound theological statement that the converted, transformed heart becomes aligned with new values, and the will becomes aligned with Christ. Unfortunately, this does not occur instantly at conversion for any Christian - it is a lifelong process to keep our eyes on Jesus and change.

Indeed, Paul wrote about this in Rom 7 where he described his battle with the flesh (I cannot read this too often without becoming discouraged). Fortunately, Paul concludes with this in Rom 7:24, 25, 8:1-4 -

24 What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? 25 Thanks be to God, through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, with my mind I serve the law of God, but with my flesh I serve the law of sin.

1 Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. 2 For in Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set you free from the law of sin and death. 3 For what the law was powerless to do in that it was weakened by the flesh, God did by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful man, as an offering for sin. He thus condemned sin in the flesh, 4 so that the righteous standard of the law might be fulfilled in us, who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.

Thus, the converted Christian who keeps their eyes on Jesus, keeps the moral law, but not in their own strength - but in the strength of the Spirit who lives in the heart. In 2 Cor 3:18, Paul expresses things this way:

And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into His image with intensifying glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.

The converted Christian is one who is constantly being transformed into the image of Christ.

  • good answer Dottard +1 from me
    – Adam
    Commented May 17, 2021 at 22:23
  • G-d says in Tanakh the same thing. Obey my laws, if you sin repent and come back to me I will forgive you. This is indeed a lifelong journey. I do see a challenge here. If the person is told that even if he fails he need not worry grace will save you, do you this person will strive to keep the law? Please consider the Torah view. This life is a continuous struggle for us to choose what is right. But once a person sees how wonderful G-d is the desire to be close to him by not sinning dulls the desire to sin and get momentary pleasure and be far from G-d. Per Torah, this is what refines us...
    – Yeddu
    Commented May 18, 2021 at 5:46
  • Ezekiel 33:12 “Therefore, son of man, say to your people, ‘If someone who is righteous disobeys, that person’s former righteousness will count for nothing. And if someone who is wicked repents, that person’s former wickedness will not bring condemnation. The righteous person who sins will not be allowed to live even though they were formerly righteous.’ --- It is almost like a person is preparing for the race, does not matter how fast he ran, each time he tries to be faster than the previous time. If he were told the Gold medal is already won do you think he will try as hard?
    – Yeddu
    Commented May 18, 2021 at 5:49
  • @Yeddu Just Incidentally, I wanted to mention ( Romans 6:1-3 ) "What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin so that grace may increase? 2 May it never be! How shall we who died to sin still live in it? 3 Or do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death?" Commented Aug 30, 2021 at 14:02

Does living by the “law of the spirit” mean living by the law?

Answer: It means living according to the Law of Liberty, the Law of Christ.

It is probably unnecessary for me to repeat the steps to salvation according to Scripture. However, once we have been baptized into Christ and lead a life of godliness we are walking in the Spirit. Moreover, as we internalize the message of the Holy Spirit in the Bible, we become more aware of our obligations to God. The Spirit (the Word) within us convicts us. When we act contrary to Scripture we are "grieving the Holy Spirit" (Eph. 4:30).

When we reject the teachings of Christ and live according to the world, we are walking in sin, walking according to the flesh. This is where we receive condemnation because we understand, according to what is written (again, by the H/S), that we are walking in darkness. Of course, most people will never recognize the fact because, as Paul writes:

2 Corinthians 4:4: "And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, in whose case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelieving so that they might not see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God" (emphasis added).

Christ's Law of Liberty is described in James 1:25, 2:12. Paul uses the words Law of Christ in 1 Corinthians 9:21 and Galatians 6:2. We might understand the definition of the "Law" as: hearing the Word, believing in Christ, repenting of sin, confessing Christ as Lord at baptism, and finally living godly lives to the end: worshipping God every Sunday as instructed, including the vital rite of communion, a memorial to Christ. We must also internalize the Holy Spirit through the Word. Note that nowhere does this relate to the Law of Moses, the Law of the flesh. This is a very common mistake.

It is those who obey Christ's Doctrine that receive the Spirit, the Law of Christ.

  • hmm...i am not sure which side of the fence you are jumping with this. what is the law of liberty exactly. Paul describes the law of the flesh as being sinful, living according to the laws written in our hearts and minds being that which we should be doing. He is not saying we are saved by any law of course, but that in no way means we shouldnt live by them. An example of this truth in the text Matthew 7:1 "9Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 So then, by their fruit you will recognize them." Living according to God's law is also that fruit.
    – Adam
    Commented May 17, 2021 at 22:27
  • not enough room above...need to add this, i am not wanting to forget including the "fruits of the spirit" here. That is very important.
    – Adam
    Commented May 17, 2021 at 22:31
  • 'The rule of the Spirit . . . . . is that life is in Christ Jesus'. The collocation 'rule of the spirit of life' is incorrect. Where the Spirit rules . . . . . life is seen to be in Christ Jesus (not in the keeping of the law b y the flesh). Up-voted +1 : you were almost there.
    – Nigel J
    Commented May 19, 2021 at 16:31
  • @Adam I appreciate your comment. The Law of Liberty is described in James 1:25, 2:12. Paul uses the words Law of Christ in 1 Cor. 9:21 and Gal. 6:2. We might understand its definition as: hear the Word, believe in Christ, repent of sin, and confess at baptism. We are then to live godly lives to the end, worshipping God every Sunday as instructed, including the vital rite of communion (a "common union" with one another and memorial to Christ), internalizing the Holy Spirit (Word of God). Nowhere does this relate to the Law of Moses -- a very common mistake.
    – Xeno
    Commented May 19, 2021 at 19:42
  • @NigelJ Thanks. I added.
    – Xeno
    Commented May 19, 2021 at 20:02

The argument about the spirit is not about receiving the Holy Spirit, but the law of the Spirit is about being spiritual as opposed to being fleshly. The man who sets his mind on the Spirit of God, the one who seeks God, receives the Son of God. He is freed from the law of guardianship which rules on disciplining the Israelites with severe punishments i.e. death, and was itself unable to produce spirituality, because of weakness. Such a spiritual man can truly obey the law, and he would accept the Son of God, since he knows how the law points to him. You do not become spiritual by confessing the Messiah as Lord, but you would only confess if you are [already] spiritual, in other words - led by the Spirit.

Therefore I make known to you that no one speaking by the Spirit of God says, “Jesus is accursed”; and no one can say, “Jesus is Lord,” except by the Holy Spirit.  (1 Corinthians 12:3 NASB)

But Paul was not such a spiritual man, he was a corrupt, sinful hypocrite.

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. (Romans 7:14-15 NASB)

[11] For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so the thoughts of God no one knows except the Spirit of God. [12] Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may know the things freely given to us by God, [13] which things we also speak, not in words taught by human wisdom, but in those taught by the Spirit, combining spiritual thoughts with spiritual words. [14] But a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised. [15] But he who is spiritual appraises all things, yet he himself is appraised by no one. [16] For who has known the mind of the Lord, that he will instruct Him? But we have the mind of Christ. [1] And I, brethren, could not speak to you as to spiritual men, but as to men of flesh, as to infants in Christ.  (1 Corinthians 2:11-3:1 NASB)

Being freed from the law of Moses does not mean we get license to sin by disobeying God and living in lawlessness, as he writes in Romans 6. Nowhere does the Bible suggest we become immune to sin, but we overcome it. To be Spiritual and follow the law of God, we do not need the works of Mosaic law, as even some gentiles obey God, without having the law of Moses. Read the topics of various nuances of the word Law as in law of Christ, law of God. Our spirit can directly find God who is not bound by the law. The New covenant of promise is not of the letter but Spirit (Rom 7:6; 2Cor 3:6; Jer 31:33). Paul argued the inferiority and weakness of the law of Moses, which acted only as a guardian until the coming of the Promise. That we must obey God who is a Spirit, instead of being blinded to the law of Moses.

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