Holding to Truth

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How Can We Be Freed from the Law of Sin and Death?

How the law of the Spirit of life frees from the law of sin and of death

“For the law of the Spirit of life has freed me in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and of death”–Rom. 8:2.

Have you ever asked yourself how you can be freed from sin, that is, from the law of sin?

By reading  God’s Word, we know that things like lust, greed, obscenity, foolish talking, getting drunk, losing our temper, lying…and a long list of other things all offend God. They damage our fellowship with Him, may hurt our family, friends, and fellow believers,  and damage our Christian testimony.

With such a realization, you may have even confessed your besetting sins…even a number of times, only to repeat them again.

What can you do? How can you be freed from your sin, even from the law of sin that is within you?

The answer is NOT to try harder. The  answer is know and experience something that the Apostle Paul  called “the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus.”

In Romans 8:2 he said,

For the law of the Spirit of life has freed me in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and of death.

So in this post we’ll consider what is the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus and how it works to free us inwardly from the law of sin and death.

What is the law of the Spirit of life?

The law of the Spirit of life is not a new set of commandments. It is a “life-law,” a scientific principle that operates in Christ’s believers automatically.

The law of the Spirit of life is like the law of aerodynamics that automatically works to transcend the law of gravity–whenever its principles are applied.

Do you realize that the law of sin, like the law of gravity, is always pulling you down?  But when the principles for the law of the Spirit of life to work are applied, you can soar above the law of sin and of death.

Let’s  illustrate this life-law by  considering our own body. All our body’s systems–like breathing and digestion–work by a natural law, a scientific principle.

For example, do you make a conscious decision to digest your food? No.  Digestion works spontaneously by a natural, scientific law.

It is the same way with the law of the Spirit of life. This law is  the spontaneous power of God’s Spirit of life. As a believer in Christ, this law is now inside of you, ready to free you from your sin.

How does the law of the Spirit of life free you from the law of sin?

We can use electricity to  illustrate how this super-law works in us. Our God is like a great “power plant” full of  the power we need to live the Christian life revealed in the Bible.

You would never call an electrical power plant and beg them to send you some electricity.  That would be foolish because electricity has already been installed in your home. All you need to do is to switch on the power.

However, many of us might pray to God, our “heavenly power plant” saying,  “Please help me to be patient. I am about to lose my temper…”

This kind of prayer only exposes our ignorance of the fact that the power we need has already been “installed” in us. That is, the law of the Spirit is already ours “in Christ Jesus.”

The question is, “Are you in Christ Jesus?”  If not, take a moment to pray,

“Lord Jesus, I believe that You are the complete God  and a perfect man who died on the cross for my sins and  resurrected from the dead  so that You can come into me as the Spirit of life. Lord, I believe into You and receive You into me. Thank you that I am now in You and that in You I have the law of the Spirit of life as the divine power to overcome the law of sin and death so that I can  live the real Christian life.”

Do you realize that from the moment  you prayed and believed into Christ, God put you into His Son, Jesus Christ? By that step, the “installation” of this “divine electricity”–the law of the Spirit of life–was completed.

Now that the installation is complete, you need to learn how to  “switch on” this powerful law and keep it on so that the “heavenly electricity” can elevate you above the law of sin and death.

How do you “switch on” the law of the Spirit of life?

To be freed from the law of sin that brings you into death, you only need to “switch on”  the law of the Spirit of life by setting your mind on the spirit.

Read what Paul said in Romans 8:6,

“For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the spirit is life and peace.”

We  may not fully understand the law of the Spirit of life, but we can still “switch on” the law of the Spirit of life by setting our mind on the spirit.

5 ways to set your mind on the spirit so the law of the spirit of life works

Here are 5 simple ways that I’ve found to “switch on,” that is, to set my mind on the spirit so that the law of the spirit of life operates within me:

1. Call on the name of the Lord JesusRomans 10:13 says, “For whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.”  Calling is the simplest way I’ve found to touch the Lord, to turn my mind to the spirit, so the law of life can operate.

This excerpt from Calling on the Name of the Lord  by Witness Lee, will show you the way to call on the Lord.

2. Prayerfully read or pray-read a few verses from the BibleHebrews 4:12 says, “The word of God is living and operative and sharper that any two-edged sword, and piercing even to the dividing of soul and spirit….” God’s Word can cut through your troubled thoughts so that you can set your mind on the spirit.

Reading  12 Tips on How to Pray-reading the Word to be Spiritually Nourished will show you how you can set your mind on the spirit, by praying with God’s Word.

3. Muse on verses or truths from God’s Word throughout the dayPsalm 119:148 says, “My eyes anticipated the night watches, that I might muse upon Your word.”  Musing will keep your mind set on the spirit so that the law of the Spirit of  life can operate in you.

7 Tips on How to Meditate or Muse on God’s Word will give you more appreciation for this awesome practice.

4. Sing to the Lord with a psalm, hymn or spiritual song“…be filled in spirit, speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and psalming with your heart to the Lord.” (Eph 5:18-19). Singing a hymn or a spiritual song is also an excellent way to set your mind on the spirit.

Singing with Our Spirit of Faith to Switch on the Divine Power  will show you how singing can afford you the divine power, which is the law of the Spirit of life working in you.

5. Thank and praise the LordPsalm 100:4 says, “Enter His gates with thanksgiving, His courts with praise; give thanks to Him; bless His name.”  Finally, by thanking and praising the Lord you’ll be ushered into the Lord’s presence. That is, you’ll be strengthened to set your mind on the spirit.

The Difference Between Thanking and Praising the Lord will give you an appreciation for these two uplifting practices which will enable you to set your mind on the spirit so that the law of the Spirit of life can work in you.

So don’t be discouraged and don’t resolve to try harder. Simply “switch on” the law of the Spirit of life!

Maybe you’ve found some other helpful ways to set your mind on the spirit. If  so please share them  in a comment… or anything else that impressed you from this post.

References and Further Reading:

About Tom Smith

Hi. My name is Tom Smith. I'm the writer behind Holding to Truth in Love, and I love the Lord Jesus and His life-giving Word. Please feel free to send me an e-mail through the contact page if you have any questions. I hope you'd take a moment to subscribe to the Holding to Truth blog. Then you'll be sure not to miss a post. Thanks!

10 Replies

  1. Fred Northrup

    I am so thankful that there is a “scientific” way to nullify the law of sin and death and chose life. My favorite way is to just praise the Lord with a loud voice. Romans 15:11 says, ” And again, Praise the Lord all you Gentiles, and let all the peoples speak praise to Him.”

    1. Tom Smith

      Praising the Lord is an excellent way to set our mind on the spirit so that the law of life can operate within us. It makes me think of Paul and Silas in the jail at Philippi. It says that at midnight they sang hymns of praise to God (Acts 16:25). Their praising mouths elevated them above their hurting bodies so that they were reigning in the divine life over their suffering circumstances. We may not be in such dire straits, but our praises can elevate us above the law of sin and death in our fleshly members. Let’s keep our praising mouth open!

  2. Bible Believer

    I am a sinner who daily thanks my Father and his Son for freeing me from the law of sin and death by the death and blood of Jesus Christ. For “how shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?”, and “he that is dead is freed from sin.” Paul explains it again the best,

    “Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?

    4Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.

    5For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection:

    6Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.”

    I thank God for the book of Romans! If you don’t know the book of Romans (and understand it as God intends it), then you don’t know the Bible.

    Finally, John wrote this ‘scary’ verse (scary if you don’t trust it, freeing if you do!): “For whosoever is born of God sinneth not.” Amen and amen.

    God bless.

    1. Tom Smith

      I also thank the Lord for the Book of Romans. It really shows us the steps our God takes to carry His complete salvation (Rom. 8:29, 30) in us so that we can become mature sons of God (v. 14) and members of Christ’s Body (Rom. 12:4-5), living a Christ-expressing church life on this earth that crushes God’s enemy, Satan (Rom. 16:20)

      1. Bible believer

        Just to clarify, are you saying that God is still working these “steps…to carry [out] his complete salvation”, or do you acknowledge the truth that Jesus said, “It is finished” (John 19:30), and Paul, when he wrote to the Hebrews (10:10) and said, “By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all”? That is, it seems that you are implying that Jesus’ work isn’t complete, it’s ongoing, as though Jesus isn’t seated at the right hand of God having finshed all that he was sent to do? Don’t have the time to add more to this, but just want to know where you are coming from regarding “the steps our God takes”? I consider my salvation to be “once for all”, as the hymn says, “Once for all, O sinner receive it; Once for all, O doubter believe it”. Amen. What Jesus did was once for all, and it is finished: I just believe and live by his grace now and for eternity, growing in grace and the knowledge of Jesus Christ my Saviour by his Word (1 Peter 2:2 and 2 Peter 3:18): no “steps” to “complete” my eternal salvation or to “become a member of Christ’s body”. All taken care of by Jesus on the cross. How could I add anything to that?

        Grace and peace to you.

        1. Tom Smith

          You’re absolutely right. Christ redemption is perfect and complete. When the Lord Jesus said, “It is finished,” He really meant it. We can add nothing to Christ’s work of redemption and there is nothing we can do to add to the eternal salvation that we received at the moment that we believed in Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior.

          So you can be at peace, that my statements in this post in no way diminishes the perfect and complete work of Christ. That was taken care in a marvelous way in Romans 3:24 where Paul says, we are “justified freely by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus.”

          The focus of this post, moves forward from our eternal salvation in Romans 3 to the application of God’s salvation in Romans 8. In Romans 8 it is no longer a matter of being saved eternally by the redemption in Christ. It is now a matter of being practically freed from the law of sin and death that is still resident in the fallen members of our body, our flesh. By reading what Paul described in Romans 7, we can see that we have not only the issue of our record of “sins” before God. This the blood perfectly dealt with.

          Now it is a matter of dealing with the subjective issue of the fall–indwelling “sin.” For this subjective problem we need to apply the powerful operation of the law of the Spirit of Life. In Romans 8:2, Paul said, “For the law of the Spirit of life has freed me in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death.” This higher law was “installed” in us when we entered into Christ by faith.

          Now we simply need to apply it. We do not need to struggle to be righteous. We simply to walk according to the spirit (Romans 8:3).

          So to summarize, Christ’s work of salvation is perfect and complete. We can add nothing to it. We receive by faith what Christ has done for us on the cross and are eternally saved.

          At the same time, our present walk in the Lord must depend on the operation of the Spirit of life within us, which we received from the moment we were eternally saved. By cooperating with this inner law of life, we can enjoy freedom in Christ today in our subjective experience.

          The first is a matter of accomplishment–the fact. The latter is a matter of application–the enjoyment. Hope this helps.

          Much grace to you.

  3. Pam

    Thank you for this awesome teaching. It was life to me this morning. Speaking God’s Word is the primary way I set my heart & mind on the Law of the Spirit. I hear myself declaring who I am as a new woman in Christ and it builds me up and keeps my mind on Him. Ty again!

    1. Tom Smith

      Glad you enjoyed the post. Romans 8 gives us the practical way to walk according to the Spirit. Speaking God’s Word is an excellent way to set our mind on the spirit to enjoy life and peace and experience the operation of the law of the Spirit of life freeing us from the law of sin and of death (8:2). Thank you for sharing your enjoyment.

  4. lou collins

    I have sanctify before, but i backslid. I since Rededicated my life.
    How can I be Sanctify again’

    1. Tom Smith

      Sanctification is an ongoing process in our Christian life from the moment of our divine birth, regeneration unto the time of our glorification. As Christians, we often have failures and backslide from God’s calling. But we need to thank the Lord for His persistent sanctifying work. He will never give up on us; He will finish what He has begun (Phil. 1:6). So we need to cooperate with Him by repenting, confessing our sins (1 John 1:9)and reconsecrating ourselves to the Him (Rom. 12:1). Then we need to incline our heart to God and run with endurance the race before us, looking away unto Jesus (Heb. 12:2). I encourage you to follow the links to other HoldingtoTruth posts and to the ministry sample regarding inclining our heart to God. Thanks for sharing your comment.

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