Jul 21, 2019
Originally Presented On: June 3rd, 2007
Scripture Reading: Romans 7:5,6
In Romans 7:5,6 there is a contrast being made which highlights the wondrous change that takes place in the soul of a converted person. The union Christians experience with Christ causes a change in the motivations and affections of the heart. We see this change briefly described in Romans 6:17 - "But thanks be to God that though you were slaves of sin, you became obedient from the heart to that form of teaching to which you were committed."
It is this wonderful change, deep in the heart, that is in focus in Romans 7:6, when Paul mentions the difference between "the newness of the Spirit" and "the oldness of the letter." What he doubtless has in mind, though it is not specifically mentioned here, is the New Covenant which God promised in the Old Testament.
The New Covenant is mentioned in 2 Corinthians 3:6, which has very similar wording compared with Romans 7:6. ". . . our adequacy is from God, who also made us adequate as servants of a new covenant, not of the letter, but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life" (2 Cor 3:5,6).
The New Covenant is unfolded in Jeremiah 31:31-34, in which God says, "But 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 on their heart I will write it; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people" (Jer 31:33). One significant difference between the New Covenant and the old one, which is the Law of Moses, is this. Under the old covenant, the law, written on tablets of stone, creates demands from without. In the New Covenant God writes His law on someone's heart, creating desire from within. The old brings death. The new brings life. Is there any experience more wonderful than to desire to obey the living God from a heart that beats for Him?