New Law

Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death. 

Romans 8:1-2

When we move from the Old Testament to the New Testament, we can mistakenly think we moved from the Law to “no law.” But this is a misunderstanding of the covenants. The first covenant was governed by the Law of Moses. Yet, the new covenant is governed by new laws, laws that are far superior because they are from a superior Kingdom. Jesus told us that he didn’t come to abolish the law but to fulfill it (Matthew 5:17). The new laws of the Kingdom of God have come to fulfill and supersede the old covenant laws.

For instance, the law of the Spirit has set us free from the law of sin and death. A superior law has come to fulfill and supersede the old law. The law of the Spirit is greater than the law of sin and death. Both laws are “true” but the law of the Spirit takes precedent over the law of sin. Because of this, not only are we able to be saved, but we are able to now live in a holiness would could never attain under the old law.

Likewise, the apostle Paul writes, “Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for whoever loves others has fulfilled the law“(Romans 13:8). So the new law of love has fulfilled the old covenant list of commandments. Leif Hetland always says that, in this new covenant, the law of love replaces the love of law. Peter put it this way, “Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins“(1 Peter 4:8).

There are many laws of the Kingdom of God that arrived with Jesus and remain with the Spirit. These new laws fulfill and supersede both the laws of Moses and the laws of the kingdom of this world. The fact that righteousness now comes by grace through faith in Jesus rather than through works is an example of this. Another example is that the law of resurrection life supersedes the law of death. When someone gets miraculously healed, the law of the Kingdom of God has fulfilled and superseded the laws of physics in our world. Miracles are signs that a superior law is at work.

In the Kingdom of God, the law of forgiveness fulfills and supersedes laws of justice and retribution. Likewise, the laws of the Kingdom state that the first will be last and the humble will be exalted. Basically, what Jesus was trying to teach in the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7) was about this new law that fulfills and supersede the old law.

The new laws of the Kingdom feel strange to us because they are so different than how our world operates. They feel foreign because they come from a foreign Kingdom, the Kingdom of God. Yet, they are far superior to the current laws that govern our world. The gospel has not only set us free from the old law of Moses, but it has set us free to embrace the new and superior laws of the Kingdom.

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