In the days before our death to sin with Christ on the cross, Paul says, our lives were controlled by our fallen nature. The desires of sin were at work within us, aroused, in fact, by the Law, and producing a harvest of sinful deeds. The result was our death, our separation from God, Who is Life Himself.“But now, we have been released from the Law, for we died to it and are no longer captive to its power. Now we can serve God, not in the old way of obeying the letter of the law, but in the new way of living in the Spirit.” Romans 7:6 NLT
I am certain no man better exemplified this spiritual principle, living by God’s Spirit rather than by the letter of God’s Law, than Jesus Christ Himself when He walked this earth. The Pharisees were continually nit-picking over what they concluded was His breaking of the Law; and He, invariably, responded from His intimate knowledge of the Spirit of the Law giver. He knew His Father, the God Who gave the Law; and turning to His Father, speaking what He heard His Father speak, doing the works He saw His Father do, He fulfilled the Law perfectly, regardless of what any observers thought. And the Pharisees, despite their insistence on keeping every letter of the law, fell short of God’s standard of Righteousness.
Fallen man, no matter how devoted, how disciplined, how determined he may be, can never please God. The death of Jesus Christ on the cross has freed us from the control of the Law, from our constant failure and frustration when we attempt to please God. In the resurrection Life we now have in Jesus Christ, we have access to His Father; and by His Spirit, we can live lives that are pleasing to God.