Spiritual Law of Sin and Death
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The apostle Paul wrote of being free from the law of sin and death. Since spiritual death is what a person deserves for engaging in sin (Rom. 6:23), the “law of sin and death” is also the “law of sin” (Rom. 8:2; 7:23).
This is a universal spiritual law codified in the Law of Moses (Deut. 24:16) that applies to all spiritual beings, including humans. It requires that everyone who deviates from God’s standard of righteousness will receive the judgment prepared for Satan and those who follow him: eternal separation from God and unimaginable torment (Matt. 25:41; Rev 20:10, 15). When we were sinners, we were slaves to impurity and increasing wickedness (Rom. 6:19), so we could do nothing but sin, and this law guaranteed our eternal punishment. But God loved everyone in the world so much that he gave his Son Jesus, so everyone who accepts Jesus’ death for their sin will have eternal life instead of eternal death (John 3:16).
When we accepted Jesus as Savior and Lord, he set us free from the law of sin and death, and he no longer condemns us for our sin (Rom. 8:1-2). Our spirits are now free from slavery to sin and released from the law (Rom. 6:6; 7:6). Yet Paul admits our flesh – our physical bodies plus our sinful thinking and behavior – can still be enslaved to sin (Rom. 7:23, 25).
We still live in this sinful world, so our minds and bodies remain affected by sin. God won’t redeem our physical bodies until the Lord returns for us, but we’re to renew our minds by repenting; that is, by making our thinking conform to the Bible (Rom. 12:2). As we do that, we’ll think more like God and less like the world, so we’re less inclined to sin.
As God’s children, we’re no longer slaves to sin, so the law of sin and death no longer applies to us.