Under the old covenant the laws were written on stone but under the new covenant God says He will put His laws in our minds and write them on our hearts. What does this mean? The first thing we need to know is that under the old covenant they were not able to be born again and have the Spirit living inside of them. After the death and resurrection of Jesus we are now able, through faith in Jesus, to be born again, which means He replaces our old sinful spirits with the actual spirit of Jesus. Romans 8:15 states, “For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, ‘Abba Father.’”
This is a huge truth that we need to grasp. Under the old covenant they were to be led by the law, a system of “thou shall nots” telling them how to live. Under grace, we have the Spirit living inside of us leading us. Now don’t take this as me saying that we don’t need the Word of God anymore, because that is certainly not the case. But what I am saying is that the inner leading of the Spirit can lead us in a way that the old covenant system of the law never could.
Romans 7:6 says, “But now we have been delivered from the law, having died to what we were held by, so that we should serve in the newness of the Spirit and not in the oldness of the letter.”
I have always been a rule follower, and used to want God to just write everything out as a law for me as to how I should live. I remember back in college when I had a big decision to make as to whether I should continue playing basketball or not. I went running early one morning and looked up at the sky and said, “God, just write it out in the clouds for me please. Should I play or not?” I didn’t realize it at that moment, but I didn’t need a law written out in the clouds saying, “Thou shall or shall not play” but rather to follow the leading of the Spirit inside of me which was telling me what to do. There isn’t a law telling us how to react to every situation but there is the Spirit inside of us for that.
It has taken me years to understand this and to allow myself to be led by the Spirit living inside me, and I am definitely still growing in this area.
I have a heavy burden on my heart for people who do not think they need Jesus and His Spirit living inside of them but just to follow a set of laws and man-made rules. Colossians 2:23 speaks directly to that line of thinking when it says, “These things indeed have an appearance of wisdom in self-imposed religion, false humility, and neglect of the body, but are of no value against the indulgence of the flesh.”
Following the law is behavior modification instead of heart transformation. Have you ever met a religious person who may follow the law but is as mean as a snake? I sure have, and it is because laws don’t change hearts. True change comes from the inside out through receiving the Spirit by faith in Jesus, and there is joy that comes with it.
The law was perfect, but was limited. The Spirit living inside those who are born again is limitless. If we allow it to, the Spirit will teach us to live a much better life and take us much deeper than the law ever could, not to mention the freedom it brings. Not freedom to sin but from sin. “For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death” – Romans 8:2.
When we are led by the Spirit our outward actions are the result of the inward transformation that has taken place inside of us through Jesus. That is the better covenant that Jesus purchased for us to have!
Amber can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, www.ambermiller.tateauthor.com, or through her AmberRiceMiller Facebook page.
Published: April 4, 2016