1 There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. 2 For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death. 3 For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do. By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh, 4 in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.
5 For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. 6 For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace.
If you’ve just read a little bit of the Old Testament, it’s easy to see that there were a lot of requirements and Laws for God’s people. Some of the Old Testament Law was like the US Constitution and the Bill of Rights – they were things written to help them establish a government. After living in slavery under the Egyptians for 400 years, the people weren’t sure of how to govern themselves if they moved into a new land altogether.
Other parts of the Law are a sort of ‘Rules of Engagement’ between the people and God. They were not doing all of the works of the Law so they could be ‘saved’ or so that they could go to Heaven one day. Just like we read so much in the New Testament, Old Testament people were also saved by their faith. As people that had faith in God, they expressed that faith and desire to be close to Him by following His laws. That obedience showed off their faith to God and to others.
The breakdown came when the others part took precedence. Since it’s impossible for rules and regulations to fully change you on the inside, people began to focus on the outside but still harbor selfishness and pride in their innermost being. That was what the Law was too weak to do. The yellow stripes on the road can’t keep me in my lane, but they can help show who broke the law when the police come to the scene of a car wreck.
When Jesus came in the flesh, He fulfilled the entire Law by living it inside and out. His fulfillment was what was required of the Law so that from now on we can express our faith in a different way. Instead of obeying a Law and having the fear that we might do it wrong, we have the Holy Spirit in us to guide us and help us along. When we do wrong, we remember that we are forgiven and move along.
We set our minds on searching for the Holy Spirit out of love and grace, not out of a fear of judgment. That search brings about life and peace as we engage on the search and is amplified when we find the Lord at work.