2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.
The freedom that Jesus offers (John 8:32, 36) is not an unworkable optimism, but a most wonderful and powerful experience in every genuine believer. In our text, the apostle Paul describes Christian freedom as a powerful and enduring operation of the Holy Spirit in the lives of believers.
The word “law” here indicates the governing influence or operation of the Spirit. The Spirit is also characterised as “the Spirit of life”, that is, the life-giving Spirit. Jesus said in John 6:63, “It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.” The phrase “in Christ Jesus” tells us that the Spirit is sent by Christ and also that He exercises His influence on the believers in accordance with Christ’s will and purposes.
This mighty working of the Spirit is only in Christ Jesus. Without coming to Christ, none can enjoy the liberation of soul that the Spirit of God administers. Christians’ freedom from sin and its condemnation is administered only through the vital union with Christ Jesus, which is empowered and sustained by the Spirit of God.
The Spirit not only gives believers new life in Christ, but also dwells within believers, nurturing, leading and empowering their lives in Christ. Without the Spirit’s enabling, spiritual life cannot be sustained. Because of the Spirit’s indwelling and constant empowerment, all true believers can draw strength to live triumphantly over the lust of the flesh and every temptation of the world. By the operation of “the law of the Spirit of life”, we become free from “the law of sin and death”. The governing power of the Spirit cancels the operations of sin and death in our lives. The Spirit helps the believers to defeat the power of sin.
The Spirit alerts us to the presence of sin. He makes us very sensitive to the presence of sin, and cautions us against it. He empowers us to fulfil the law of God through obedient lives. He testifies and assures us that we are the children of God. He also drives away fear from our hearts by energising us to call on God as “Abba, Father” (Romans 8:15). He Himself intercedes for us in our infirmities (Romans 8:26). The Spirit’s presence and special operations in us will liberate us from the shackles of sin’s bondage.