Lesson Eight – The Law of the Spirit of Life

The Law of the Spirit of Life

Lesson Aim:     To understand God’s law of life and the Holy Spirit’s relationship in Christians’ sanctification.

Scripture:         Romans 8:1-8


We have understood our dual nature from our last lesson.  From the previous lesson we learned the problem of living under the type of law belonging to the category of law like the Law of Moses.  With this understanding in mind, the declaration in the first verse in the text for this lesson can be compared to the mental environment of the Garden of Eden for Christians who are living by faith.  Christians need a place of refuge from a condemning law such as the Law of Moses because of our continual problem with sin.  “There is therefore now no condemnation for those in Christ Jesus.”  What a beautiful statement and remember this statement came to us from God via the Holy Spirit.  If we place our faith in this declaration it will produce a guilt free mental environment in which we live.

We are grateful to God for the “in Christ” realm where we can live without His wrath because of our problem with sin, a problem that we will never be able to completely overcome while in the flesh.  However, God’s program is not to simply arrive at a state of “no condemnation.”  His program is to correct the things for which we should rightfully be condemned.  It is true we are free from the Law of Moses but the law of sin and the law of death are Divine laws that continue to function.  They will not condemn Christians who are in fellowship with God; however, as Christians we must reckon with them. 

If we follow the law of life in Christ, we will have no problems with the law of sin and death.  It is immediately apparent we need grace and help; and a lot of both.   Most people are not even aware of the law of life that governs their spiritual nature – our inner self.  God is aware of our needs and He has given us the Holy Spirit “in Christ” to lead us as we apply the law of life.  This is the way faithful Christians remain free from the law of sin and death.  The law of life is revealed in the Bible in the nature and teachings of Jesus (John 14:6).

These are the main points in our lesson text and nothing else would need to be said If we have a good understanding of the following questions:

1.  What is the law of sin?

2.  What is the law of death?

3.  What is the law of life and where is it found?

4.  How does the Holy Spirit function as a leader for us “in Christ?”


To make sure we understand the foregoing questions we will need to understand the following meaning of these different laws.  At the same time we can know how we are progressing in God’s program for us.  We want to make sure we stay free from sin and death. 

One:      The law of sin is the transgression of the law of life.  Read I John 2:29 – 3:10, note 3:4.  Sin literally means missing the mark.  Our inner man was made in the image of God (Jas. 3:9).  Therefore, God’s glory and righteousness are the benchmark for Christians in relation to our development of strong integrated character and a healthy personality.  Any other goal in life is sin.  Like all goals, be it a physical or a spiritual goal, one must pursue it by faith – ”and everything that does not come from faith is sin.” Romans 14:23.

Two:  The law of death is stated in Romans 6:23.  “For the wages of sin is death.”  Again in James 1:15, “and sin, when it is finished, brings forth death.”  We must not fool ourselves.  There is only one reason we were born and this is to be a son of God.  Our sin separates us from God and this is the short answer for death.  When we understand what is stated in Romans 5:21; “sin reigns in death,” we understand death is a state of existence separated from God.   It is a low quality of existence.  In this state, the people’s own sins are the controlling forces.  Sinners do not do what they want to do.  They do what their sin demands of them.  It is called death, not life (Rom. 6:13; John 8:34: II Pet. 2:19).  Just as physical death is the state of people whose spirits have departed their bodies, spiritual death is the state of one who has left the fellowship of God (Jas. 2:26; 5:20).  The forgiveness of our sins by God allows us to pass out of death and into life (John 5:24; I John 1:7, 8).

Three:  The law of life is the law of God about how people are made, how we function; how we find our fulfilment.  This law of life is found in Christ.  It is the rule in Christ.  The nature of the Persons of God, the Holy Spirit and Jesus Christ is the law of life for mankind.  This is logical because our inner man came from God (Heb. 12:9).  Listen to the scriptures: 

In Him was life: and the life was the light of men.  John 1:4

For just as the Father has life in Himself, even so He gave to the Son also to have life in Himself.   John 5:26

For the bread of God is that which comes down out of heaven, and gives life to the world.  John 6:33

Again therefore Jesus spoke to them saying, “I am the light of the world; he who follows me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.  John 8:12

When Christ, who is our life, is revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him in glory.  Col. 3:4

And we know that the Son of God has come, and has given us understanding, in order that we might know Him who is true, and we are in Him who is true, in His Son, Jesus Christ.  This is the true God and eternal life.  I John 5:20

We can see the truth about God and eternal life cannot be separated.  Neither can we separate the truth about God and Christ and the law of life “in Christ.”  The apostles and other disciples of Jesus had fellowship with true life.  John wrote:

What was from the beginning, what we have heard, what we have seen with our eyes, what we beheld and our hands handled, concerning the word of life and the life was manifested, and we have seen and bear witness and proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and was manifested to us.  I John 1:1, 2

We do not have this type of fellowship with Christ.  If we did, we would have our rule of life by association with Him.  God and Christ do not associate with us in this way; however, they do associate with us.  We have a manifestation of true life just as the disciples did.  The Holy Spirit gives us our association with God and Christ (Titus 3:4-7; I John 3: 23, 24).  The Bible gives us the law of life.  It reveals the righteousness and glory of God and Jesus Christ.  Just as you cannot separate life from God and Christ, you cannot separate life from the word and the Holy Spirit who gives us life.

But we should always give thanks to God for you, brethren beloved by the Lord, because God has chosen you from the beginning for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and faith in the truth.  II Thess. 2:13

The scriptures hold the truth about God’s law of life for us.  The Holy Spirit leads us in life now “in Christ” in cooperation with the word (Rom. 8:5-16; Gal. 5:16-18).  This is our answer to question four.  Anyone can read the word.   Christians “in Christ” are the only mature people who can find and apply the law of life because the Holy Spirit’s ministry functions only “in Christ.” Rom. 8:2.  Jesus said, “It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing; the word that I have spoken to you are spirit and are life.”  John 6:63.

Death means separation from God; therefore, to live means to be in connection with God “in Christ” by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit (I Cor. 3:16; Eph. 2:22; 3:16).  The Holy Spirit is our source of life because He is our connection with God.  Therefore, the Spirit gives life (II Cor. 3:6).

However, to have life means more than just a connection with God.  We have life as a son of God.  Jesus said, “I come that you might have life and have it more abundantly.”  John 10:10.  To have life as a son of God now and in eternity, we must pursue our development of the nature of Christ.  The law of life describes the phenomenon of life, as in eternal life.  It is revealed in the scriptures (II Tim. 3:16, 17).  The Holy Spirit leads us in our daily pursuit of this life.  He gives us life and leads us in this life.

The people “in Adam” in the world can study and even memorize the scriptures but they will never find the law of life.  The reason is they do not have faith in scriptures and a cleansing of their sins which will allow fellowship with the Holy Spirit (John 1:10-13; II Cor. 13:14).  Many Christians do not develop the personality and character of Jesus Christ.  This grieves the Spirit (Eph. 4:30).  When Christians do not study the word of God they cannot follow the Holy Spirit’s guidance (II Tim. 2:15).  All people were created to function by the law of life; thereby, we find life as sons of God, but all will not find it.  “For the gate is small, and the way is narrow that leads to life, and few are those who find it.”  Matt. 7:14.

The people “in Adam” in the world realm seek an abundant life but they do not define life by the life of Jesus as it is revealed in the gospels.  The law of the abundant life is revealed in the scriptures.  We can understand it and then have life by having faith in what we understand.  This happens after our point of faith is “made complete” by the challenges in our lives (Jas. 2:22).  Faith will motivate a sinner to be made alive by a new birth “in Christ.”  It involves the water and the Spirit (John 3:5).  Christians follow the Holy Spirit by keeping our minds on the things of the Spirit (Rom. 8:5).  Our next lesson will continue with these same thoughts.

Questions for Discussion

  1. Why is Romans 8:1 so very refreshing for a Christian?
  2. What is the law of sin?
  3. What is law of death?
  4. What is the law of life and where is it found?
  5. How does the Holy Spirit function as a leader for us “in Christ?”
  6. Who gives us life in Christ?  Explain your answer.
  7. The apostles and some disciples enjoyed a relationship with life in a manner Christians do not have.  Please explain the difference.
  8. Why is it impossible for the man “in Adam” in the world to apply the law of life?
  9. How do Christians grieve the Holy Spirit?
  10. How can a Christian get out of step with the Holy Spirit?             


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