Oldness of the Letter vs. Newness of the Spirit

Romans 2:14 For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves:
:15 Which shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and [their] thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another;)
:16 In the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ according to my gospel. :17 Behold, thou art called a Jew, and restest in the law, and makest thy boast of God, :18 And knowest [his] will, and approvest the things that are more excellent, being instructed out of the law; :19 And art confident that thou thyself art a guide of the blind, a light of them which are in darkness, :20 An instructor of the foolish, a teacher of babes, which hast the form of knowledge and of the truth in the law. :21 Thou therefore which teachest another, teachest thou not thyself? thou that preachest a man should not steal, dost thou steal? :22 Thou that sayest a man should not commit adultery, dost thou commit adultery? thou that abhorrest idols, dost thou commit sacrilege? :23 Thou that makest thy boast of the law, through breaking the law dishonourest thou God? :24 For the name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles through you, as it is written. :25 For circumcision verily profiteth, if thou keep the law: but if thou be a breaker of the law, thy circumcision is made uncircumcision. :26 Therefore if the uncircumcision keep the righteousness of the law, shall not his uncircumcision be counted for circumcision? :27 And shall not uncircumcision which is by nature, if it fulfil the law, judge thee, who by the letter and circumcision dost transgress the law? :28 For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither [is that] circumcision, which is outward in the flesh: :29 But he [is] a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision [is that] of the heart, in the spirit, [and] not in the letter; whose praise [is] not of men, but of God.

--------------------- Romans 7:1 Know ye not, brethren, (for I speak to them that know the law,) how that the law hath dominion over a man as long as he liveth? :2 For the woman which hath an husband is bound by the law to [her] husband so long as he liveth; but if the husband be dead, she is loosed from the law of [her] husband. :3 So then if, while [her] husband liveth, she be married to another man, she shall be called an adulteress: but if her husband be dead, she is free from that law; so that she is no adulteress, though she be married to another man. :4 Wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ; that ye should be married to another, [even] to him who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God. :5 For when we were in the flesh, the motions of sins, which were by the law, did work in our members to bring forth fruit unto death. :6 But now we are delivered from the law, that being dead wherein we were held; that we should serve in newness of spirit, and not [in] the oldness of the letter. :7 What shall we say then? [Is] the law sin? God forbid. Nay, I had not known sin, but by the law: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet. :8 But sin, taking occasion by the commandment, wrought in me all manner of concupiscence. For without the law sin [was] dead. :9 For I was alive without the law once: but when the commandment came, sin revived, and I died. :10 And the commandment, which [was ordained] to life, I found [to be] unto death. :11 For sin, taking occasion by the commandment, deceived me, and by it slew [me]. :12 Wherefore the law [is] holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good. :13 Was then that which is good made death unto me? God forbid. But sin, that it might appear sin, working death in me by that which is good; that sin by the commandment might become exceeding sinful. :14 For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin.

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2 Cor. 3:1 Do we begin again to commend ourselves? or need we, as some [others], epistles of commendation to you, or [letters] of commendation from you? :2 Ye are our epistle written in our hearts, known and read of all men: :3 [Forasmuch as ye are] manifestly declared to be the epistle of Christ ministered by us, written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God; not in tables of stone, but in fleshy tables of the heart. :4 And such trust have we through Christ to God-ward: :5 Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think any thing as of ourselves; but our sufficiency [is] of God; :6 Who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life. :7 But if the ministration of death, written [and] engraven in stones, was glorious, so that the children of Israel could not stedfastly behold the face of Moses for the glory of his countenance; which [glory] was to be done away: :8 How shall not the ministration of the spirit be rather glorious? :9 For if the ministration of condemnation [be] glory, much more doth the ministration of righteousness exceed in glory. :10 For even that which was made glorious had no glory in this respect, by reason of the glory that excelleth. :11 For if that which is done away [was] glorious, much more that which remaineth [is] glorious. :12 Seeing then that we have such hope, we use great plainness of speech: :13 And not as Moses, [which] put a vail over his face, that the children of Israel could not stedfastly look to the end of that which is abolished: :14 But their minds were blinded: for until this day remaineth the same vail untaken away in the reading of the old testament; which [vail] is done away in Christ. :15 But even unto this day, when Moses is read, the vail is upon their heart. :16 Nevertheless when it shall turn to the Lord, the vail shall be taken away. :17 Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord [is], there [is] liberty. :18 But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, [even] as by the Spirit of the Lord.

Now, we keep GOD's Laws in our hearts according to the Spirit of the Law. In other words, we don't have to be afraid to buy a soda from a drink machine on the Sabbath. The reason we are not to buy or sell on the Sabbath has nothing to do with purchasing food. The Sabbath was made so we can rest and have a determined day of Worship and to picture the Millennium. When we go to a restaurant or grocery store on the Sabbath, we are breaking the spirit principal of the Law by forcing people to work for us on that day of rest. But at a drink machine, there is no breaking of rest and no other person involved. Therefore we are not breaking the principal of the Sabbath by buying a drink from a machine on the Sabbath. We follow the Law in the Spirit, not in the old letter. The old letter taught us, trained us until we are mature enough to know by the Spirit what we are allowed to do. For example, a new pet is trained to stay in the house or on a lease until they get used to the new homestead. Then you eventually let them go a little further and then a little further, giving them a little more freedom as time goes by and as they earn your trust. Also a human child is taught in their younger years but given a little more freedom at age 13 and then even more freedom at age 16 and then more at age 18 and then more at age 21. The same spiritual principals of the laws of the house are still intact all those years. But as the person grows and matures and proves themselves, they are given more freedom to know the principals of the house rules. No, you cannot eat the sugar snacks before supper. But when you mature enough, you know how to manage the sugar snacks so that if that is really needed (low blood sugar, fatigue, etc.) then you have the spiritual freedom to do so. That is just one principal of course. You cannot excuse yourself to commit fornication. But as you mature, you come to know the difference between righteous reasoning and unrighteous excuse.

Let us grow and mature to know how to follow the Spirit of GOD's Laws. Let us focus on Christ Jesus, not on the letter of the law.

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