Law of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus

“ … though not being without the law of God but under the law of Christ.” 1 Corinthians 9:21


I find “The Law of Christ”[1] to be an intriguing, important, and immeasurable topic. I have written about it elsewhere[2]; and plan to write more on it in the future. In this present article, I will attempt to briefly establish a Christ-centered New Covenant perspective of the Law of Christ.

Let me begin by saying I believe that a particular verse in one of Isaiah’s messianic prophecies is foundational to an understanding of the Law of Christ in the New Covenant context:

“I give YOU as a covenant to the people, as a Light to the nations.” Isaiah 42:6

The New Covenant is a Living Person – Christnot a contract of written letters. THAT is the essential difference between the Old and the New Covenants – specifically, “NOT LIKE the covenant which I made with their fathers.” (The Mosaic Covenant)[3] What was different about it? Scripture consistently informs us it is “by the Spirit, not by the letter”[4]so that we serve in newness of the Spirit and not in oldness of the letter.[5]

By the Spirit

“For this is the covenant which I will make with the house of Israel after those days,” declares the Lord: “I will put My law within them and write it on their heart; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. Jeremiah 31:33

In the New Covenant, God’s law is written on human hearts, not on tablets of stone.[6] It is a law which addresses an infinite number of circumstances and situations. It’s a law which far exceeds the ten commandments[7], and the 613 commandments in the Old Testament,[8] and the 1050 commandments in the New Testament.[9] It’s a LIVING LAW operating in all circumstances and situations, 24/7, moment by moment, in the spirit, from within the heart.

Some offer that the law of Christ is found in the written words of the “Sermon on the Mount”[10], the “Great Commandment”[11], and the “New Commandment”[12]. These are, indeed, EXAMPLES of the law of Christ – very important examples meant to be a guide and a measure of our actions. If we contradict these, we “lie against the truth”.[13] But these are not the wholeness of the law of Christ:

I am giving you a new commandment, that you love one another; just as I have loved you, that you also love one another.” John 13:34

Jesus told us to “love one another” – we can take that as a law, or a commandment written in the gospels. But did He specify HOW to love in every circumstance and situation? No, but He did promise His Spirit would “guide us into all the truth” – of all the specifics of what they were not able to receive at the time.[14] In a manner of speaking, they could not receive, bear, carry the infinite words that comprise the whole law of Christ. The Spirit would quicken what they needed to hear at any given time. That is HOW we obey in the New Covenant – BY or ACCORDING to the Spirit, NOT by or according to the letter.[15] But, of course, the Spirit will never lead in a way which would contradict what He Himself inspired to be written in the Scripture.

Knowing the Lord

Another essential difference between the Old and New Covenants has to do with “knowing the Lord”.

They will not teach again, each one his neighbor and each one his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ for they will all know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them,” declares the Lord, “for I will forgive their wrongdoing, and their sin I will no longer remember.” Jeremiah 31:34

In this passage from Jeremiah, we see these two phrases: Know the Lord” and “They all will know Me”: In the Hebrew text, the word, “yada”,[16] is translated “know” in both instances. But in the Greek translation[17], two different words are used – first, ginosko[18], and then, eido[19]. (Please read the footnotes.) Combining those two Greek words gives a much richer meaning. I’d like to offer this paraphrase: “They will no longer need to say to one another, ‘Have a personal, experiential relationship with the Lord’, because they all will recognize My Spirit working in their lives, and be able to perceive and understand Me and My ways.”


For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death” Romans 8:2 ESV[20]

“For the law of the Spirit of life [which is] in Christ Jesus [the law of our new being] has set you free from the law of sin and of death.” Romans 8:2 AMP

The Law of Christ and the New Covenant is all about LIFE. The good news about Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection is more than the forgiveness of sins.[21] It is also the defeat of death – which is “the wages of sin”.[22] What the Lamb of God redeemed back for us (which was lost in the Garden) is LIFE. Just pause for a moment and think of how many times and in what ways the word “LIFE” appears in Scripture – especially the New Testament.[23] I believe it is accurate to say that the Law of Christ in the New Covenant is all about LIFE, rather than letters. That is essentially how the apostle Paul identified the Law of Christ: “The law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus”. Romans 8:2 And that is how he explained the New Covenant: “A new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.” 2 Corinthians 3:6

“We serve in newness of the Spirit and not in oldness of the letter.” Romans 7:6 “… for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.” 2 Corinthians 3:6  And We know that we have passed out of death into life, because we love the brothers and sisters.”  1 John 3:14

Intrinsic to “passing from death into life”,[24] is the spiritual reality that, in the New Covenant, God’s law – the law of Christ – has also passed from letters to life. Because it is “by the Spirit”, it is not embedded on tablets of stone, but is resident and operational in LIFE – everyday, 24/7 LIFE.


“Fulfilling the Law of Christ”

“Bear one another’s burdens, and thereby fulfill the law of Christ.” Galatians 6:2

This article has been an excerpt from the eBook “Kingdom Households: A Governing Principle – Bearing One Another’s Burdens & The law of Christ”, where I discussed “bearing one another’s burdens” in detail. Suffice to say here that in the New Covenant, the “bearing of one another’s burdens” is done “according to the Spirit, not according to the letter”,[25] as has been discussed above.


At Christ’s Table – ACTpublications

“Explaining spiritual realities with Spirit-taught words.” 1 Corinthians 2:13

© 2024

W.D. Furioso, Writer ~ Frances Furioso, Editor

At Christ’s Table Ministries ~ ACTpublications ~

 ACTpublications may be freely shared, reproduced, and distributed – unaltered, in digital or print formats. Any quotations or excerpts must also be unaltered and referenced with the above information. Unless otherwise noted, all scripture quotations are from the New American Standard Bible.


[1] 1 Corinthians 9:21; Galatians 6:2; Cf. Romans 8:2

[2] “A New & Living Way”,

[3] Jeremiah 31:32

[4] 2 Corinthians 3:6. Or, “according to the Spirit, not according to the letter. Also, John 6:63. Cf. John 5:21, 6:68; Acts 5:20.

[5] Romans 7:6

[6] 2 Corinthians 3:3

[7] Exodus 20

[8] Commandments in the Old Testament:

[9] Commandments in the New Testament:

[10] Matthew 5-7; Luke 6

[11] Matthew 22:34-40; Mark 12:28-34; Luke 10:25-28

[12] John 13:34, 15:12 & 17

[13] James 3:14

[14] John 16:12-15. “receive”: (Greek) bastazo, Strong’s # 941, bear, carry, endure, receive.

[15] Romans 7:6

[16] Strong’s # 3045

[17] Apostolic Bible Polyglot

[18] Greek: ginosko, Strong’s # 1097. Helps Word Studies: “properly, to know, especially through personal experience (firsthand acquaintance). 1097 /ginṓskō (“experientially know”).”

[19] Greek: eido, Strong’s # 1492. Helps Word Studies: “1492 eídō (oida) – properly, to see with physical eyes (cf. Ro 1:11), as it naturally bridges to the metaphorical sense: perceiving (“mentally seeing“). This is akin to the expressions: “I see what You mean”; “I see what you are saying.” 1492 /eídō (“seeing that becomes knowing“) then is a gateway to grasp spiritual truth (reality) from a physical plane. 1492 (eídō) then is physical seeing (sight) which should be the constant bridge to mental and spiritual seeing (comprehension).

[20] This is also an alternate translation in the footnotes of the NASB as well.

[21] 1 Corinthians 15:3-4

[22] Romans 6:23

[23] For example: John 5:12, 21; 6:63, 68; Acts 5:20; Romans 6:23; 2 Corinthians 3:6; Ephesians 2:6; 1 John 3:14; Cf. Deuteronomy 30:19

[24] 1 John 3

[25] Romans 7:6

“Freely you have received; freely give.” (Matthew 10:28)
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Quo Vadis

God is always moving forward in His kingdom plans and purposes. He never moves backward. And for those who love Him, He never stops moving in our lives for His glory. But to continue moving on with God “from glory to glory” requires our living “from faith to faith”. It takes an act of faith