(Law of the Spirit of Life)

June 7, 2018, the Year of Our Lord

Pastor Carolyn Sissom


James 2:12: The Law of Freedom: So speak and so do as those who will be judged by the law of liberty. Judgment is without mercy to the one who has shown no mercy.  Mercy triumphs over judgment.


James 2:8:  If you really fulfill the royal law (King’s law) according to the Scripture,You shall love your neighbor as yourself,” you do well.


The word for royal is (beselikos) which means subject to the King.


The LORD gave me a dream recently where I was preaching and teaching people to overcome and become free of bondages.  The list of bondages was very long.  I rejoice that as far as I know, I have been set free from all known bondages (that is except the love of sugar).  If you have an issue, you have bondage.  If you have bondage, it becomes a god to you because it has control over you.


Whatever bondage/sin we have overcome has no power over us.  Satan has to flee, because the law of sin and death has been broken in that which we have overcome.


The Law of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus has overcome the Old Testament law of sin and death.


This year the LORD called me to teach on Holiness and Righteousness.  We have been studying the law of freedom in the book of Romans through the prism of Holiness and Righteousness.


 Romans was written around A.D. 55-57.  Paul had already confronted the Galatians in A.D. 47-48 because they were coming under the law of carnal commandments through the influence of the Judaizers. Until Paul wrote Romans, no one had been able to defend the idea that Christians were free from the law.  The only bible they had was the Old Testament.  Romans is a clear teaching that all the external requirements of the law have no claim on a Christian.  Salvation is by faith in Jesus Christ plus nothing.


Romans 9:31: But Israel, pursing the law of righteousness, has not attained to the law of righteousness.


The messages I will share tonight and again tomorrow are my personal testimonies of how the LORD delivered me from the accuser of the brethren through man’s law of religion;  and my bondage as a slave woman to earthly love.


Tonight’s message is my deliverance from the accuser of the brethren and religious law.


I was a righteous woman by the standards of religious law and civil law.  However, I could never measure up to the standards of the demands of the taskmaster of religious law.  My striving had become my taskmaster.   My “fear” was that if I should fail God’s righteous standard, I would come into judgment.  However, this “fear of God” was for Him to protect my “pride of life” I was constructing in success and security of home, family and finances.


Through a breaking due to my husband’s job transfer, the loss of my income, and my infant daughter’s birth injury, my career came to a screeching halt.  Thus my “pride of life” and the successes of my pride changed dramatically.


During the next 17 years, the LORD brought me out of Egypt, through the wilderness, delivered me from the Law and from being a bond slave.  I was attacked by a religious spirit that was stronger than the one I was serving.


In 1987, still in a state of brokenness, I was teaching the Book of Romans.  I wrote out the Book by hand, and hammered out before God the glorious freedom and liberty of the Law of the Spirit of Life.


Romans eight is the blessed mountain top of Romans.  In Christ we have a new nature.  We are a new man/woman.  We are living by the Spirit of Life.  The soul is no longer our life-spring.  We are no longer living in it or drawing from it.  We use it.  We come to live our life in the Spirit and by the Sprit.  We still use our soul faculties just as we do our physical, but now we are servants of the Spirit and are led by the Holy Sprit.  We have been delivered from the condemnation of the law and as we walk in the Gift of Righteousness in Christ Jesus, we are delivered from the curse and the judgment of the Law of sin and death.  


Rom. 5:17: For if by the one man’s offense death reigned through the one, much more those who receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ.


Romans 3:27:  Where is boasting then?  It is excluded.  By what law? Of works? Nay: but by the law of Faith.”


Romans 9: 30-33: What shall we say then?  That the Gentiles, which followed not after righteousness, have attained to righteousness, even the righteousness which is of faith.  But Israel, which followed after the law of righteousness, has not attained to the law of righteousness.  Wherefore?  Because they sought it not by faith, but as it were by the works of the law.  For they stumbled at this stumbling stone;  As it is written, Behold I lay in Zion a stumbling stone and rock of offence; and whosoever believes on him shall not be ashamed.


The only way that you and I can be offended, ashamed or shamed is through our “pride.”  If we don’t have pride, we can’t be offended, embarrassed or shamed.   


The law of faith of which Paul speaks excludes all human pride.  Salvation is by grace alone.  Righteousness is by abundance of grace which the world had never witnessed until Jesus came.    If it could be earned, there would be a reward.  It is clearly a gift which has to be accepted by the Hand of God by faith alone.  This is the great doctrine of the Book of Romans:  Faith is a means, a tool.  The Gift of Righteousness comes in a person.  It is a gift wrapped in Jesus.  The only qualification is that it must be received by faith.


Righteousness carries with it a sword and a mantle.  It is possessed by the heart of the Heavenly Father and dwells in like manner in every person whom the Father acknowledges.  Within the scope of righteousness is the work of judgment.  Judgment is built into the Law of righteousness.  Just as the Lord is righteous in His judgments, so the souls of righteous saints condemn the world of sin.


Jesus said His earth-generation was at a judgmental turning point in history.  The Righteousness of Christ was an affront to His earth generation (Matt. 11: 21-24).


I believe there is a mantle of righteousness falling upon those called forth in this season to form a “kingdom of the righteous,” and the sword of righteous judgment is about to be revealed on those not in that kingdom.  The Kingdom of God is righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Ghost.  


In Romans 7:9-11, Paul is using himself as an example to all believers.   He is referring to a time after his salvation.  A few days after Paul met Jesus on the Damascus road, he was filled with the Holy Spirit and his heart exploded with boundless joy.  He really had life, but it came from meeting Jesus, not from keeping the law.  (Col. 1: 16-18).  The Lord sent Paul into the Arabian Desert for three years.  In that wilderness school of Christ, he learned the true meaning of the law---that it was Spiritual and was not limited to keeping a specific set of rules.  This is the commandment he refers to here that the law forbids every carnal desire.  For the first time, he saw himself for what he really was, still a sinner.  It was because he had the Holy Spirit that he came to this realization. 


The first lesson in the wilderness was that the Spirit demanded righteousness beyond the letter.  His second lesson was that he was righteous through faith in Christ, and that he had a new and Holy nature which fulfilled all the requirements of the Law of the Spirit.


Rom. 8:2:  For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death.


At this time, he dropped his own righteousness and rested in the righteousness of Christ.


 Once he did that he saw himself as alive in Christ and he returned to Damascus to begin his public ministry.    


He saw that what was required went beyond act of thou shall not kill and even forbade getting angry with another person.  The law forbade adultery, but the Spirit forbade even the desire for such a thing.  The Spirit forbids even the carnal desires which prompt us to sinful acts.


Paul beheld the deceitfulness of sin.  It had fooled him.  This is a common crisis for most Christians.


7: 12-13:  “Wherefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good.  Was then that which is good made death to me?  God forbid.  But sin, that it might appear sin, working death in me by that which is good; that sin by the commandment might become exceeding sinful.”


Is God unjust to impose a perfect standard on imperfect men?  It was never God’s intention that His law should kill people (exclude them from heaven).  Had that been so, He would never have provided the sacrificial system with His own Son as the ultimate way of escape.


It is the mark of a true Saint to say, “God’s law is Holy and Good”.  Satan can also use the law to do his dirty work.  Laws have to do their work regardless of who uses them or why.  Satan uses the laws of mental and physical health to make people sick, so does he use God’s moral law to bring spiritual sickness through accusation, shame and condemnation.  


Romans 7:14: For we know the law is spiritual; but I am carnal, sold under sin.


It was through the death of my carnal soul, that I am able to walk, move and have my redeemed soul free of pain and live in the realm of the Spirit.


God has established laws to regulate our body, soul and spirit.  Physical laws have to do with a man’s body.  Mental laws have to do with him, a thinking being.  The highest laws are Spiritual, for these have to do with His Holy Spirit.  It sets forth the kind of nature man must have to be like God.


 At the time of Jesus, the Pharisees were the most spiritually educated people on the earth, Yet Jesus told the people that except their righteousness exceeded the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, they would not enter the kingdom of the heavens.  (Mt. 5:20).


Scribes copied and handled the Word of God on a daily bases.  They revered the name of God beyond anything viewed today.  They were biblical experts, often working hand in hand with the Pharisees.  The Pharisees produced the largest number of theologically sound Torah believers in their day.  They tithed down to the least resource and gave themselves to fasting, praying and ceremonial purity. Their definition of righteousness extended beyond much of the Law, and they practiced meticulous adherence to the smallest details.  They believed in angels, casting out demons, healing and sacrifice.  Their numbers constantly guarded against the liberalism of sectarian Sadducees.  Family was important to them, as was the keeping of the ten commandments, etc. etc.


The righteousness of Jesus Christ is broader and more comprehensive than those of religion.  His comprehension of the scope of righteousness gave Him unlimited freedom and powerful direction.  True righteousness is limitless in its expression and finds itself in every righteous act, deed and word.  It has an authority based on the word of the Lord.  It causes actions that must find fulfillment; its deeds are those which must be accomplished on the earth.  Righteousness speaks of a person.  A scepter of righteousness is the scepter of Your kingdom (Ps. 45:6).   He is the LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS.


Romans 7:15-17, Paul states I do not understand my own actions.  He again is not speaking of acts, but desires to sin.  He also found that when he had the desire not to sin, he did so anyway.  Young Christians are startled when they become aware of this paradox.  One of the errors taught young people today is that the standard to the law is so rigid and unyielding that they give up because they can’t measure up.  It seems Paul had the same problem. 


There is no defeat in Jesus.   Our defeats are part of His plan for bringing us to maturity.  We learn our best lessons through failures.   Like babies we will fall, stumble and cry until we learn to walk.  Using sin to build strong Christians is the genius of God.


Romans 7: 21-23:  I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me.  For I delight in the law of God after the inward man:  but I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members.



The Holy character of the “new man,” the inward man delights in God’s law.  Christ’s own nature is Holiness.


Romans 8: 3-4:  For what the law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh; that the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.


Jesus fulfilled the righteousness of the law.  In Him, the righteousness of the law by faith is also fulfilled in us, who do not walk in the flesh, but after the Sprit.


 In Romans 7:2, Paul uses an allegory to show in Christ, we are dead to the law:


 The woman which has a husband is bound by the law to her husband so long as he lives; but if the husband be dead, she is loosed from the law of her husband.  If while her husband lives, she is married to another man, she shall be called an adulteress; but if her husband is dead, she is free from that law; so that she is no adulteress, though she is married to another man.  Wherefore, my brethren, you also have become dead to the law by the body of Christ, that you should be married to another, even to Him who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit to God.


This passage is not dealing with the subject of divorce.  This is presented as an allegory to show a Christian’s relationship to the law.  This example is solely to show through being born again in Christ, we are now dead to the dominion of law.


When Paul says, “you should be married to another”,  his analogy is marriage to Christ.  Our death in Christ separates us from the law so completely that we are now free to be the Bride of Christ.  There is one who died and One who rose.  In one we died that we might marry the other who rose to live forever.  Our death in the first severed us from the law.  With that bond dead, we are set free to a new bond with the One who lives forever.  It is up to Jesus to lead our lives from now on.  Any husband would resent his wife trying to carry over the demands of a former husband into a new marriage.  The former husband in this passage is the law.


We have a new marriage, a new relationship, a new name (Christian), and a new home (heaven).  We share in our husband’s work (building his church); and we live on his income (resources).  From this new union we bring forth fruit to God that could never be produced with the old husband:  “Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness and Self-Control.


 Romans, Chapter 7 deals with the freedom of the law.  Chapter 6 dealt with freedom from sin.  Chapter 7 teaches that deliverance from sin is not enough, but that we also need to know deliverance from the law. 


Ephesians 2:15-16: having abolished in His flesh the enmity, that is, the law of commandments contained in ordinances, so as to create in Himself one new man from the two, thus making peace, and that He might reconcile them both to God in one body through the cross, thereby putting to death the enmity.


The law of commandments refers to the laws of Offerings, laws of temple worship, and laws for the Priests in the Old Covenant.


Heb. 7:14-16:  It is evident that our LORD arose from Judah, of which tribe Moses spoke nothing concerning priesthood.  It is yet far more evident, if in the likeness of Melchizedek, there arises another priest, who has come, not according to the law of carnal commandments, but according the power of an endless life.


Christians are not saved by law keeping.  We are saved by our union with Christ.  Those who teach law-keeping in any form lead believers into legal bondage. (Gal. 5:14).  It is our relationship to the law that is broken.  We are guided by the Law of the Spirit (Law of Faith) written on our hearts.  The Holy Spirit rules us from the “inward man.”   The Law rules the “outward man.”


 The law is a straight edge only.  When people are placed along side, it reveals how crooked they are.  Man cannot wash his face with the law.  To know God’s standards is to realize one’s own hopeless inadequacy.  Once a person is convinced of his corruption and aware that he has no righteousness of his own, he will look to the Lord to save him.


Romans 3: 21-23:  But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets.  Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe; for there is no difference.  For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.


Can sinners be regarded as though they had never once sinned?  The answer to that question is the great hinge of Romans.  Two words announce the shift, but now.  Since man needs righteousness to go to Heaven, God must provide it as a free gift.


But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested…


The Old Testament contains a prophet’s witness to the Gift of Righteousness and Holiness.   The law has declared man a hopeless sinner; the prophets reveal the coming sin-bearer, the Lord Jesus Christ.  The Gift of Righteousness comes in a person.  It is a gift wrapped in Jesus.  The only qualification is that it must be received by faith.  Faith in Christ does not make us worthy of the gift.  Faith is the means of receiving it, the appropriating device.


Redemption is a single act as far as God is concerned but it takes places in three stages:


1.      The moment we are saved we are delivered from the guilt of sin into eternal life.

2.      The second stage is the deliverance from the power of sin.

3.      Finally, the Christian is delivered from the presence of sin.


By faith we accept our forgiveness.  We are declared righteous.  We are delivered from sin’s power.  We are delivered from the law.  We are sanctified by the Word, justified by faith and consecrated. We are adopted into the family of God; and shall be saved from the presence of sin.  We have the Holy Spirit outpoured.  We have the Holy Spirit indwelling.  We are being glorified as the Sons of God. 


This is the law of righteousness in Christ Jesus that has delivered me from the law of sin and death.  It is no longer I that live, but Christ lives within me, and I live by faith in the Son of God.


Those who Christ sets free are free indeed.  Through the grace of God, I am free of the pain of a carnal soul.  I have no aught, issues or unforgiveness against any.  I am free of any demands made on me by the law of sin and death.  Fear has no power over me.  I live in the realm of eternity.  Am I perfect, certainly not!  Do I make mistakes, of course, I do; but my mistakes are measuring sticks of the next realm of glory the LORD is leading me into.  I am happy.  I have great joy.  I live in peace.  I have the righteousness of Christ and I am being made the righteousness of Christ.  My future is secure.  The days of my life have been numbered.  It is well with my soul. 


This is the testimony of my Freedom in Christ.  This gift He gave to all of us through His overcoming Life, death on the Cross, and Resurrection. 


Tomorrow I will share how the LORD delivered me from being a bond slave.


Carolyn Sissom, Pastor

Eastgate Ministries Church