in Christ Jesus hath made thee free
from The Law of sin and death.” Ro8:2.
The ‘setting free’ of the sinner by God in Christ and through Christ, is three dimensional; it enhances three aspects; or consists of three stages.
1. In the Death of Christ
The sinner cannot atone for his sins himself nor set himself free from its wages, which is death, Ro6:23, “The wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” The sinner cannot redeem or save himself, because he “is dead in trespasses and sins”, Eph2:1, 5, Col2:13. Therefore, God “set thee free”, means, first, God “in Christ Jesus” in his mercy has “set thee free” from death through the sacrifice of Himself the Propitiation for sin to God, the Expiation for sin to us. (Ro3:25, 1Jn2:2, 4:10). This is our eternal salvation in Christ.
2. In the resurrection of Christ
But “the sting of death”, 1Cor15:56, like the honey-bee’s sting, remains behind in the ‘flesh’ and keeps on pumping its deadly venom into the ‘members’ of the body. God therefore also “in-Christ-Jesus” in order to “set thee free” completely, has “set thee free” from also, “the sting of death (which is) sin”.
“When this corruption shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in Victory. O death, where is (then) thy sting (sin)? O grave, where is (then) thy victory?” 1Cor15:54.
Obviously we are only “set free” completely, at the coming of Christ at the resurrection of the dead in the Day of Judgment. “Then shall be brought to pass”, that is, “then” shall we have been “set free” from both death and, its sting, sin. For, “The sting of death, sin, and the strength of sin, the Law”, remain, and remain “in me”, until that day we shall be resurrected from the grave.
How therefore, are we today, in this life, “deliver(ed) from the body of this death”, that is, are we “set free”— not only from death, but also from sin?— “I thank God, through Jesus Christ our Lord”, Ro7:25a. “But thanks be to God who gives us the Victory through our Lord Jesus Christ!” 1Cor15:57.
This is said in irremovable connection with the Victory of Christ by His, resurrection from the dead. We are “made free” by grace, through faith “in, Christ”! “But now being made free from sin and to God become servants, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end, everlasting life”, Ro6:22— verily in and by “the Victory through our Lord Jesus Christ” in resurrection from the dead. Ro7:25a almost word for word contains 1Cor15:57 that supplies us with the information needed to complete Paul’s thought in Ro7:25a — “the Victory through our Lord Jesus Christ”. Christ’s Resurrection is His Victory.
And so, “You in Him, are complete... for in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily ... in whom also you, are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ— (you being) co-buried with Him, in the baptism of Him in whom also you were co-raised through the faith of the operation of God raising Him from the dead. And you being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God together with Him quickened, having forgiven you all trespasses— blotting out the handwriting of ordinances against us which was contrary to us, He took it out of the way, nailing it (together with Him) to the cross. (Then) having spoiled principalities and powers, (God) made a show of them openly, triumphing over them in it (the operation of God raising Him from the dead).” Col2:9-15.
Obviously we are being “set free from sin the sting of death” in Christ, but also by Christ, as we now are being made free from our own sinful self as from sin and death, through faith persevering in faith in the resurrection of Christ from the dead.
“The Law of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus, hath made thee free from The Law of sin and death”, which entails more than having been made free from death and the Law’s death sentence. “The Law of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus”, is “now”, making us free from the sin (which is the sting of death) in and of our hearts and minds, and is “now”, breaking death’s hold through sin on us, thus cancelling out “The Law of sin and death” which is “The Law of God” “which is against us; which is contrary to us”. “Sin taking occasion by the Commandment deceived me, and sin, by strength of the Law, slew me: wherefore the Law is holy, and the Commandment is holy, and just, and good”. Ro7:11-12.
“The Law is holy, and the Commandment is holy, and just, and good”— because it slew me! “The Law of sin and death” is not destroyed, but I am destroyed by it! “The Law of sin and death” is not destroyed, but death, and the sin, which is the sting of death— which both are now being destroyed “in me”, by that Law which is “The Law of sin and death”— that ‘Law (namely, which) is the strength of sin”, and which is “The Strength” or ‘Power’ of none less than God Himself— God Himself who now “in Christ Jesus” to us has become the “Law of God” and that “Law of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus”. “For I after the inward (or ‘new’) man delight in The Law of God”— which is my delighting in Christ the Living Saviour, God having overcome sin in Christ; God now overcoming death and sin in me; God so “mak(ing) me free from the Law” that says: “The soul that sin shall surely die!”
3. In the Putting Off of Our Old man
‘The death of death in the death of Christ’ (Owen); the death of sin in the resurrection of Christ, I in Him, and He, in me.
We are therefore even while we are still dwelling in “the body of this death”, “made free” from death by the death of Christ; But we are being “made free” from “sin the sting of death” by “the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus”— by virtue of his resurrection from the dead “by the exceeding greatness of His power”. (Eph1:19) To be “made free in Christ Jesus” by the death of Christ, meant that we have our sins forgiven and are saved from death— eternally; This is our salvation completed in Christ.
Then to be “made free from sin”, “in me”, means that we are being saved from death and according to “The Law of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus” are “now being made free from sin” by virtue of the resurrection of Christ— continually. “You (now are) become servants of God, (so that now) you have your fruit unto holiness, and the end, everlasting life”. (Ro6:22) This is our salvation being worked out in us by Christ.
Vs. 21, “I find / There is then a law, that when I would do good, evil is present with me.”
This ‘Law’ is the will, the ‘law’ of inclination or tendency, the ‘law’ of, for, and unto the man already visited by grace and saved; not a ‘law’ the stranger to the mercies of justification and salvation or sanctification knows or has made his own. He who for Christ’s sake wants to do good ‘finds’ he ‘wills to do good’, but that ‘evil’ is combating him at every step because “evil is present with me”, in fact, is “in me”, as the very fabric of my being.
In the unregenerate in contrast, there is then a law that when he would do wrong, good is present with him, but is suppressed and set aside.
Therefore, “Evil is present with me”, is the Law of the knowledge of the man already visited by grace and saved – a knowledge of and reckoning with the ‘old man’ of one’s true self and sinful nature, always “present in me”.
In the unregenerate in contrast, this knowledge and awareness is of no consequence; he remains a stranger to the mercies of justification, salvation and sanctification for as long as he remain an unregenerate.
Vs. 22, “For I after the inward (or ‘new’) man delight in the Law of God.”
In the statement, “I after the inward man” is implied a ‘law’ already. “The inward man” in fact sets the rule. He shall act according to his “delight”, which is to “delight in the Law of God”. “The inward man” shall not act contrary but ‘according to’, or, “after”, this ‘law’ or directing mechanism of his constitution. It is the regenerate, new creation of God’s grace. No natural man will so “delight” or ‘will’. No one, had God not been thereunto merciful to him, would “after the inward man delight in the Law of God”— only the reborn would, and only the reborn would not ‘delight’ otherwise.
This is the positive side of God’s processes of redemption or ‘making free’ a ‘man’.
Vs. 23, “But I see another law in my members warring against the law of my mind and bringing me into captivity by the-law-of-sin-which-is-in-my-members.”
Here is the negative side of God’s processes of redemption or ‘making’ a ‘man’, ‘free’.
Of course, the ‘law’ that Paul here indicates as “the law of my mind”, must be the same ‘law’ “after” or ‘according to’ which Paul (as he said in verse 22), “delight(s) in the Law of God”.
Again though, we find a ‘law’, “another Law”, that also is a ‘law’ of ‘desire’, or ‘nature’, or ‘propensity’, or ‘will’. The result of having these opposing ‘laws’ in the same arena so to speak, must mean outright war between them. And according to what Paul here states, the ‘bad law’ seems to have the upper hand. “I see another law in-my-members-warring against the law of my mind and bringing me into captivity by the law of sin which is in my members.” “The law of my mind”, Paul’s ‘good’ ‘desire’, seems to give in to his ‘bad’ ‘desire’, so he finds himself doing, what he did not want to do, and not doing what he wanted to do. Paul to himself really looks like a prisoner, “taken captive by the-law-of-sin-which-is-in-my-members.” He finds himself in a seemingly hopeless situation. But the good news is, he is not a captive by consent; he is prisoner against his will; he did not surrender without putting up a struggle. He gets taken captive only through fierce war-faring. The (temporary) winning war-general is, “the-law-of-sin-which-is-in-my-members”. Paul’s natural, sinful inclination subjects his God-given supernatural, spiritual, holy desires.
Has sin become the potentate, the stronger, the ruler and king of Paul’s heart? Not at all! Because then he would have struck an unholy peace with sin and death. Although sin is death’s sting, the strength of sin, still is the Law! ‘Law’ is still a-ruling; which is what awakens hope and zeal. So, it is not sin that brings Paul into captivity, but Paul is put in goal by power and authority of the Law!
But who, in the last analysis, is the Power behind the Law? Does even the Law, have power in itself, or authority ultimately of its own? Is the Law’s dominion really independent? Only, if the Law is the King Himself. All ‘laws’ passed or enacted or proclaimed or made by the king, he is able to annul at will; but himself he is unable to annul. And God cannot deny Himself.
Now we have seen that God in Christ did come in into the innermost being of Paul’s, when He showed him grace, and won and redeemed his soul— for ever! That was the day the ‘mind vs. members’ war had started in Paul. The grace of God set on the war over the soul of one Saul of Tarsus. “I see another law in my members warring against the law of my mind and bringing me into captivity by the law of sin which is in my members.” Where is God or the mercy of God in this Paul’s war of ‘members’, ‘my mind’ against ‘my (other) members’? Rather, we must put the question the other way round, and say, Where is God or the mercy of God in this Paul’s war of ‘members’, ‘my (other) members’ / ‘flesh’ / ‘old man’ against ‘my mind’ / ‘spirit’ / “new man”?
This is a subjective war if ever there was! The man is the prisoner of himself! This is a war already for eternity won in Christ that shall not be ended in ourselves— not until Romans 7:25! Because this, is not the war that saves the soul. The war wherein our salvation was won once for all already had been won by Christ and in Christ, for, Paul, through the death and resurrection of Him from the dead, “once for all”. In his resurrection Christ both forever tabernacled with His own “in the flesh”, and separated Himself from all sinners until they shall have taken on incorruptibility. This war, even though it seems a loosing battle, is the war in which sins are overcome and the principle of sin “in me” is being destroyed by the grace of God. “See the salvation of the LORD!”
This ‘other Law’ as well then as the “Law of my mind”, is ‘The Law’ – even the Law of God – unto the man already visited by grace and saved by grace; to the stranger to the mercies of justification and salvation or sanctification, this ‘other Law’, as good as does not exist. There will be no ‘warring’ going on in the mind and heart of the wicked between good and evil, righteousness and sin, that might lead to salvation or the least glory of righteousness or holiness.
“I speak after the manner of men because of the infirmity of your flesh: for as ye have yielded your members servants to uncleanness and to iniquity unto iniquity; even so now yield your members servants to righteousness unto holiness.” Ro6:19. “But I see another law in my members warring against the law of my mind and bringing me into captivity by the law of sin which is in my members.”
“Bringing me into captivity” is all about “unto holiness” in the elect, even be it “by the-law-of-sin-which-is-in-my-members”; it is “unto holiness” here! Paul does not argue for uncleanness and iniquity; he argues for righteousness and holiness.
Here we are confronted with that third stage I spoke of at the beginning, of the setting free of the sinner by God in Christ and through Christ, namely the Putting Off of Our Old man whereby now ye have your fruit unto holiness from your salvation. This is no sinful thing, but refers to God’s processes to bring about our cleansing and fruitfulness: “Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness.” Ro6:18. “Every branch that beareth not fruit my Father taketh away in Me: and every branch that beareth fruit, He purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit.” Jn15:2.
This therefore ‘Other Law’, is not the law of my ‘present’, constantly ‘evil’, nature or ‘flesh’ as such, but, ‘another Law’ ‘in me’, besides the law of my sinful, own mental discerning ability, and besides the ‘laws’ of my sinful will and desires and sinful and weakened knowledge and understanding. “I see” this ‘Law’ “in me” – it is not a Law ‘of me’ or of my evil nature and self; but it is a Law “in my members, warring against” the ‘laws’ “of my mind”, of my wayward will, and of my sinful understanding. “I see”, and “I find”, this ‘Other Law’, “warring against” my ‘members’ – myself – against my nature, and against my ‘old man’.
“If so be that ye have heard (Christ), and have been taught by Him, as the truth is in Jesus: That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; and be renewed in the spirit of your mind; and that ye put on the new man which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness”, Eph4:21-24. “Our old man is crucified”, Ro6:6.
I do not see or find or experience this ‘Other Law’, ‘warring against’, “the Law of God”! But I do see and find and experience this ‘Other Law’ working and warring to “bring me, into captivity by the law of sin which is in my members”.
The “other law” although “in my members” and “warring against the law of my mind and bringing me into captivity by the-law-of-sin-which-is-in-my-members”, is not, “the-law-of-sin-which-is-in-my-members”. It should not be confused for man’s wickedness of nature.
This is the ‘Law’ we are trying to find out about, “.... and to the Law of sin (4) which is (now working) in my members by the grace of God, the Law of warring and conflict, setting free from the one ruler and bringing under captivity to another Lord and Prince, creating in me this consciousness of both conflict and ‘delight’, and of both captivity and surety and consolation under the Law of Grace.
“O wretched man that I am! Who shall deliver me from the body of this death? (‘Law’ 3) I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord!” (‘Law’ 4)
So then with the mind (‘Law’ 1) I myself serve the Law of God (‘Law’ 2);
but with the flesh (‘Law’ 3) (I myself serve) the Law of sin (‘Law’ 4).
In other words, my evil nature is subdued, and “the Law of the Spirit and Life”, is victorious – even within me, “wretched man that I am!” This is Romans 7:21-25, of God’s ‘putting under the flesh’, or, ‘delivering me from the body of this death’, or, of God’s ‘Law of sin and death’.
Gl4:6, “Because you are sons, God sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying, Father, Father....” redeem me who am “under the Law” of no Fatherhood, verse 5. Redeem me of the Law that condemns me because I am not your son. ‘Father, be my Father!’ ‘Bring me under the Law of thy Fatherhood’ and Your Salvation! “That we might receive the adoption of sons” (4:5) is our prayer by your Law of Life— through, and “In-Christ-Jesus”!
(“If I depart, I will send you the Comforter, and when He is come, He will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: Of sin, because they believe not on Me (‘Law 3’); of righteousness because I go to my Father and ye see me no more (‘Law 2’ – “The just shall live by faith”, through conflict, ‘Law 4’ – “saved by grace”.) Of judgment, because the prince of this world (‘evil’, ‘Law 3’) is judged (‘Law 4’ – ‘Christ delivered me from the body of this death’, and I now, know and believe it, ‘Law 1’).”
“Death-is-the-wages-of-sin” is no law of cause and effect; it is God’s Law of grace. It is no ‘natural’ law, but the Living Truth of Christ working through “The Law of the Spirit of Life” “in me” as, “The Law of sin and death” so as to triumph through God’s mercy and to bring under subjection and to death the old man of sin. “I die daily”, and by being put to death daily by “The Law of sin and death” I am being “set free, from The Law of sin and death”. It is a paradox but no contradiction; “the Law of sin and death” is applied within the new creation of God’s grace by having the old man crucified so as to “live unto God”. “The Law-of-the-Spirit-of-life-in-Christ-Jesus, freed thee from the law of sin and death” means our redemption is being worked out first “in Christ Jesus” for us, then, in us ourselves and our temporary life to live for God for ever.
“The Law-of-the-Spirit-of-life-in-Christ-Jesus, freed thee from the Law of sin and death”, is all, of grace; is all, God through Jesus Christ; is all, made true in the heart and life of God’s elect, only. “The Law-of-the-Spirit-of-life-in-Christ-Jesus, freed thee from the Law of sin and death” as the principle of Life, is not for the reprobate! “The Law of sin and death” is never found operating in the wicked and lost; it is experienced for true by the children of God and by none else. For the wicked The Law of sin and death is an untruth and unreality ... until in that day Christ and none else than Christ Jesus, shall be unto them “The Law of sin and death” and their eternal destruction. “The Strength of sin, is the Law”, 1Cor15:56b. Only by the Word of God shall the wicked die – even as only by the Word of God the righteous lived.
The Law only which is more than sin and death and sinner, which is the All-Powerful— “The In-Christ-Jesus-Law of the Spirit of Life” — must therefore, first, overcome the sinner, and crucify and mortify the old man, before “The Law of sin and death”, can overcome and crucify and mortify the sin and sinfulness that in him work— indeed the death that in him reigns. Christ Jesus is the “Omni-Potent Saviour” (1Tm6:15-16), working, “in me”, the death of death! To have sin and death removed from the members of all our being, we shall first be submitted to “The Law of sin and death”, or die in our sins. “The Law of sin and death” is the Law of Grace in the lives of God’s elect.
For in fact “The Law of sin and death” no less to “this body of death”, our “members” and “flesh” or ‘old man’ or ‘nature’, is the work of “the Law in Christ Jesus of the Spirit of Life”. Christ is the One ‘Law’, the “Only Potentate”, Who first worked effectively “in Christ Jesus” before He in Person the Only Potentate, worked “in me”, or ‘in us’, the work commonly in Christian language called, the work of ‘sanctification’. ‘Sanctification’ follows ‘justification’ as day, night. The mortification of the old man in ourselves, comes after our death and resurrection in Christ through the death and resurrection of Him “unto them as believe”. And that clarifies what ‘sanctification’ really means. It means that our holiness in Christ Jesus increases as our sinfulness in ourselves increases. The more we die to ourselves – the work of Christ in us – the holier our stand before God in Christ Jesus. The more alive to ourselves and in ourselves we are, the less are we alive to God or in Christ.
“Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him. For if, when we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.” ‘Justified’ or ‘reconciled’ in Christ Jesus— we are fully and eternally saved – without ‘process’ or ‘degree’ whatsoever, saved!
What, therefore, does “much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life”, mean? It means, “The Law of sin and death” shall cleanse us from the “sin and death” still working in us— in our nature and old man. It means saved from and saved in and of ourselves, and of our ‘members’, or ‘flesh’, or ‘body of death’. It means saved from the wrath of “another law, in my members; saved from the wrath of my ‘present’, ‘evil’ self, that constantly wars against both God, His Law and my own mind and body. It means, saved from myself! So that, if something must be equalised or identified with “sin and death”, it is I— myself; and not “The-Law-of-sin-and-death”; and if something must be equalised or identified with “The Law of sin and death”, it is not I, but Christ Jesus “in me”, whereas as I had been freed from sin and death already “in Christ Jesus”, I also – by God’s grace – am freed from sin and death in myself.
Death being the wages of sin, is no natural law, considered its being God’s Commandment in-Christ-Jesus. Sin must kill the sinner by ordination of Him who has power over both life and death. “I have POWER to lay down my life … This Commandment I received of my Father”. Jn10:18. ‘Power’ and ‘Commandment’ are one and the same. Sin is the sting; and the potency of the sting is the Law of God— “The strength of sin, is the Law” (like the venom in the sting of the wasp is what brings pain to it).
“The strength of sin is the Law” of God’s Power indistinguishable from Himself; “the strength of sin” is not the weakness or strength of the Law of Moses! God sets the sinner free from his own pronouncement of the death-sentence over him. God is the Law Himself that is “the Law of sin and death”. “These things saith He that is holy, He that is true, He that hath the (one and only) key of David, He that openeth (into Life) and NO MAN shutteth; and shutteth (out from life), and NO MAN openeth.”
Sin is not sin for any reason of its own; sin is sin because God is the Law of sin and death. Because “God saith”, therefore, sin is sin, and is it made the sting of death to demand its wages. Were not God the Potentate, death could not have ruled as much as it could have ruled were not God the Potentate. Said not God, “Thou shalt not”, or, “Thou shalt”, no one would have been transgressor of God’s Commandment, and no one would have been a sinner, but all would have lived or died by a righteousness their own, which could not be.
God is not the cause of sin; God is not the Law of sin; God is “the Law of:- sin and, death shall be thy wages!” Or lawlessness would have ruled where God now rules. Now it is God who rules, and as the Law, rules over sin and death, through Jesus Christ, unto life unto whom God is merciful and none whom God is not merciful.
God sets the sinner in Christ free from His own decree that at first pronounced death upon him. God executes just judgment according to His own decree of death pronounced upon the sinner, transferred onto Christ. It is called, ‘Grace’; or, ‘Love’ – the Grace and Love, of God. It is God’s Law of Love; it is Jesus Christ, and God, in Jesus Christ, “to us-ward who believe”. Eph1:19. That explains how Paul could argue how death could rule before the written Law had been given. (Ro5:14) “Ye shall not, lest ye die!” Gn3:3. “The Commandment to life I find to death”, Ro7:10, is “The Law of sin and death”,
The Law of sin and death is not sin or death; the Law of sin and death is not sinful or vulnerable; the Law of sin and death is not the written Law, which is powerless in itself, and transitory, and was destructible and changeable however glorious and perfect it had been! “The Law of sin and death”, is “The Lord our Lawgiver”, Is33:22. “There is One-Lawgiver-Who-Is-Able” – Js4:12 – able to pronounce sin, sin, and mighty to pronounce death, sin’s wages, and the Law, its strength, God all powerful and glorious through Jesus Christ to give life unto the dead.
Romans 8:1-11 (New King James Version)
1 There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. 2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death. 3 For what the law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh, God did by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, on account of sin: He condemned sin in the flesh, 4 that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. 5 For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. 6 For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. 7 Because the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be. 8 So then, those who are in the flesh cannot please God.
9 But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His. 10 And if Christ is in you, the body is dead because of sin, but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. 11 But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.”
There are 3 different manifestations of 'law' in view, in this passage. "The Law of sin and death" mentioned here (Rom. 8:2, c.f. Rom. 7:23, 25) is said to be in contrast to "the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus" (Rom. 8:2) and happens to be differentiated from yet another 'law' called "the law of God" which are effectively 'God's eternal principles,' and is so named in Rom. 8:7.
The "Law of Sin and death" is the 'Mosaic Law,'
codified beginning on Sinai, and continuing on through Deuteronomy, where the
codification was completed. God promises life by 'believe' (Hab.
2:4; Jn. 5:40; 6:47; Gal. 2:20); death was promised
by 'do' when this is contrasted to faith (Gen. 2:17; Jn.
8:21, 24; Rom. 8:13). The choice, as it were, has always been that of
"life" v. "death" since that of the 'tree' in the Garden of
Eden. (Gen. 2:16-17, c.p. Gen. 3:3-6) Adam, as the
'federal head' of the human race, chose death. The same with Cain and Abel.
Abel took life, by faith; Cain took death, by his works. (Heb. 11:1-4) The
choice was there for
This law was never intended to save anyone, in any manner, whatsoever, and had no power to do so, and could not 'give life,' in any manner (but only demand death), even while 'demanding' righteousness that it had no ability or power to bestow, but was
The law of sin and death is therefore not "sin or death," but both sin and death.
Incidentally, sin is strengthened by the law, and rather than weakened. (I Cor. 15:56b)
And contrary to what is so often taught, the so-called Moral law, i.e. the Ten Commandments, hangs on the two pegs of the civil and ceremonial law, which contain the greatest of the Commandments, and not the other way around. (Lev. 19:18; Deut. 6:1-5; Matt. 22:36-40; Mk. 12:28-34) Jesus also put "defraud not" (Lev. 19:13) on par with the "big Ten" (Mk. 10:19), and James describes 'respecting of persons' as sin, in the same manner, placing this right alongside murder and adultery. (Jas.2) Why would anyone want to subject themselves to such confusing and seemingly conflicting requirements??
I'm just not going to be the beaten slave of any weak, bankrupt beggar, which is exactly what the Mosaic law is (Gal. 4:9), when I'm a "King's kid," an heir of God, and a joint-heir with Jesus Christ. (Rom. 8:17)
[Edited to add] I think this should answer your second question, if not explicitly, for Jesus is not the law of sin and death, in any manner, in that regard.
It would have been better to have said, “Set Free” or “Being set from Indwelling Sin”.
Who is the Law who said: “Thou shalt not eat of the tree … for thou shalt surely die”? Who is the Law who says, “The soul that sinneth shalt surely die”? Is it that “Letter (that) kills”, or is it God, Who gives life and takes life because he is mighty to?
“O Lord, Thou hast brought up my soul from the grave: Thou hast kept me alive, that I should not go down to the pit … For His Anger endureth but a moment; in His Favour is Life.” Ps30:3,5. Blessed is the man whom “The Law of Life in Christ Jesus” has “set free from The Law of sin and death”— for whom and in whose members “The Law of sin and death” is mortifying the “evil” of his “members”, and is become God in his mercy, even God in holy judgment. “I will require / exact the life of man!” (Gn9:5) “The Almighty hath given me life.” Job33:4. “He, preserveth not the life of the wicked.” Job36:6. God is “the Law of sin and death”, even God “The Law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus”. “For with Thee is the Fountain of Life.” Ps36:9. “The Creditor is come to take away my two sons to be bondmen.” 2K4:1. God must needs be the Creditor, before He will be the Acquitter, and must needs be the Acquitter, before He will be Creditor and Exactor. God forgives first, in order to sanctify unto Himself an holy offering. “If I sin, then Thou markets me, and Thou wilt not acquit me from my iniquity. … Thou huntest me as a fierce lion: and again Thou shewest Thyself marvellous upon me.” Job10:14,16.
It is as the Exactor of Justice that God shows Himself in his mercy and forgiveness; it is as the Creditor, that God proves Himself the Acquitter. “The Law of sin and death” is the very God who — since He according to “The Law of the Spirit of Life has set me free in Christ” from death — according to “The Law of sin and death”, “in me”, sets me free from sin— from my sinful self. It is God that sets free from death, who also sets free from sin. It is God that sets me free in Christ, who also sets me free in myself.
“There are 3 different
manifestations of 'law' in view, in this passage. "The Law of sin and
death" mentioned here (Rom. 8:2, c.f. Rom. 7:23, 25) is said to be in
contrast to "the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus" (Rom.
8:2) and happens to be differentiated from yet another 'law' called "the
law of God" which are effectively 'God's eternal principles,' and is so
named in Rom. 8:7. ... ... The Law of sin and death" mentioned here (
“The "Law of Sin and death" is the 'Mosaic Law,' codified beginning on Sinai, and continuing on through Deuteronomy, where the codification was completed.”
Only God has immortality (1Tm6:15-16, 2Tm1:10, 1Tm1:17), that is, power over sin and death. God’s immortality means He is without beginning or end. “The blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords; who only hath immortality ... to whom (only) be honour and power everlasting.”
“Be thou partakers of the afflictions of the Gospel according to the power of God who hath saved us with an holy calling – not according to our works , but according to his own purpose and grace which was given us in Jesus Christ before the world began, but is now made manifest by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ who hath abolished death, and had brought life and immortality to light through the Gospel.”
The Law of sin and death was effective even “before the world began”.
“I obtained mercy that in me first, Jesus Christ might shew forth all longsuffering, for a pattern to them which should hereafter believe on Him to life everlasting. Now unto the King Eternal, Immortal, Invisible, the only wise God, honour and glory for ever and ever.”
The Law of sin and death will be effective until the hereafter and life everlasting will begin.
The ‘Mosaic Law’ has had both “beginning” and ‘completion’. The ‘Mosaic Law’ ‘continued’ neither before nor after when yet before and after it, death because of sin held sway. The ‘Mosaic Law’ never received power or status over sin and death. The ‘Mosaic Law’ cannot be “The Law of sin and death”; but God must be “The Law of sin and death” as only He must be “The Law of the Spirit and Life”.
In whom, does God thus reveal Himself the Law of sin and death? Who, is the “Thee”, who is “freed”, “from the Law of sin and death” that is God in his wrath? The answer to which question will show once more, God is the Law of sin and death through Jesus Christ in the lives of His Elect the Saved, only; and that God in fact does not reveal Himself The Beneficent Law of sin and death, in the lives of the reprobate. So that the Law of sin and death is pure and gloriously triumphant Victor “in me”, the likes of Paul, over the old and sinful self.
“God promises life by 'believe' (Hab. 2:4; Jn. 5:40; 6:47; Gal. 2:20); death was promised by 'do' when this is contrasted to faith (Gen. 2:17; Jn. 8:21, 24; Rom. 8:13).”
“He whose soul is haughty is not upright; but the just shall live by faith.” Hab2:4. Only he visited by the Law of sin and death, will know meekness, and live by faith. The just shall live by faith; the unjust will not ‘believe’ or ‘do’ anything. “Ye will not come to Me, that ye may have Eternal Life.” Jn5:40. The Law of sin and death compelled him not.
But, “He that believeth on Me hath everlasting Life.” Jn6:47.
Here is Paul’s own description, definition, and explanation of “the Law of sin and death” and its function according to Ro8:2, “For the Law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the Law of sin and death”:-
“I through the Law am dead to the Law, that I might live unto God. I (through the Law) am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life I now live in the flesh, I live by the faith of the Son of God who loved me, and (through the Law) gave himself for me. I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the Law, then Christ died in vain.” Gal2:19-21.
The choice, as it were, has
always been that of "life" v. "death" since that of the
'tree' in the Garden of Eden. (Gen. 2:16-17, c.p.
Gen. 3:3-6) Adam, as the 'federal head' of the human race, chose death. The
same with Cain and Abel. Abel took life, by faith; Cain took death, by his
works. (Heb. 11:1-4) The choice was there for
Here is proclaimed how and why we are brought under the Law of sin and death, that “thou be partakers of the afflictions of the Gospel according to the power of God”.