Serving in the New Way of the Spirit- Romans 7:6

In this passage, Paul tells us that as believers we no longer serve in the “old way of the written code (law)” but in the “new way of the Spirit”. He refers here to the law as the “old way”, with the word old here being palaiotes in the Greek, a word literally meaning “obsolete”. The law is now obsolete as the means of service by the believer to his Lord, having been replaced by the new way of the Spirit. Is the law, then, a bad thing, why is it now obsolete? It is not obsolete because it is wrong, but because it is insufficient, it has become obsolete because it has been replaced by something better, by the way of the Spirit. We will look to John chapter 16 to see exactly why this is the case. We will begin our study in verse 5 and 6, in which Jesus tells His disciples that He is about to leave them, and that news of His impending departure from them has caused them to be “filled with grief”. He then makes what must have been a very enigmatic and perplexing statement to them, telling them that it is for their good that He is going away. They had left everything to follow Him, and now they find Him telling them He is going away, and it is very difficult for them to see how that could possibly be good. He then tells them why in the second part of verse 7. It is only if He goes away that the “Counselor” will come to them. The word counselor here is parakletos, a Greek word meaning “to be called alongside of”. Jesus had earlier told them of the future coming of the Spirit, telling them, in John 14:17, that the Spirit “will be in you”. The Holy Spirit would not only come alongside them, but would come to live in them, and this would only happen if Jesus went away. He then tells them, in verse 12, that He has much more to tell them, more than they are now able to bear. He will tell them much more later through the Spirit He will send, who will also enable them to “bear” what they are not able to bear now. The Spirit to come is called “the Spirit, the truth”, and His job will be to guide us into all truth. He will do this by speaking “only what He hears”, Jesus will speak to them (and us) through Him, and what the Spirit says will take “from what is mine and will make it known to you”. The Spirit is in us to make God and His will known to us. He lives in us to guide us into all truth, to guide us into God’s will and plan for our lives. This is how the new way of the Spirit is superior to the old way of the law. The law was like a light on a pole, which provides light only in a limited area, while the Spirit is like a light in your hand, which is able to provide light wherever you go. The Spirit is in us to guide us into “all” truth, to lead and guide us in those “grey” areas which the law cannot deal with. The law is not inferior because it is defective, but because it is insufficient, and the new way of the Spirit is the better way, for through it we are equipped to deal with any situation with which we are faced, since the Spirit dwells in us to guide us into all truth. He dwells in us to guide us into God’s will and plan for us in all areas of our lives, which is something a written code is not capable of doing. We, as believers are not then called to learn “the law”, but to learn to listen to the Spirit, who will “speak to us only what He hears, and through His speaking will “guide us into all truth”.

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