The Spirit of the Law

Oh, how I love Your law!
It is my meditation all the day.
Psalm 119:97

As a Christian mystic living under grace, I often hear other Christians argue misguidedly that the Law is done away with and there is no purpose in studying the Old Testament. It’s all ritual sacrifices and meaningless cultural traditions that Jesus freed us from, goes the reasoning. But this is a gross misapplication of Paul’s teaching, which is far more nuanced. Romans 3:20 states “Therefore by the deeds of the law no flesh will be justified in his sight, for by the law is the knowledge of sin.” The Law instructs us as to what sin is. People living before Pentecost did not have access to the Spirit like we now do, and the Spirit is the ultimate teacher of the Law.

God revealed to me the relationship between the Spirit and the Law through Psalm 119:97-104 and Romans, and I’m here to share that revelation. The first step is to love His law and meditate (which, in Jewish custom, meant muttering the words over and over again under one’s breath) on it throughout the day. This is very similar to the concept of holding every thought captive to the obedience of Christ (2 Cor 10:3-5); filling your mind with the Law is one way to control your thought life.

You, through your commandments, make me wiser than my enemies;
For they are every with me.
I have more understanding than all my teachers,
For Your testimonies are my meditation.
I understand more than the ancients,
Because I have kept your precepts
Psalm 119:98-100

Here the promise of knowing the Law and keeping it is knowledge beyond that of any teacher and all the ancients. The Spirit can give us these testimonies and precepts if we train ourselves to hear His voice. Romans 7:6 expands upon the relationship between the Spirit and the Law by saying “…we should serve in the newness of the Spirit and not in the oldness of the letter.” The Spirit will never contradict itself nor will it teach one man to follow a certain commandment and teach another to break the same commandment; God cannot contradict Himself. But learning to listen to the Spirit is the trick.

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