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The Law of the Spirit of Life.

The Law of the Spirit of Life.

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Published by GLENN DALE PEASE
BY REV. WILLIAM HOWELS,


Romans viii. 2.

" For the lata of the Spirit of life in Christ
Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin
and death."
BY REV. WILLIAM HOWELS,


Romans viii. 2.

" For the lata of the Spirit of life in Christ
Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin
and death."

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Published by: GLENN DALE PEASE on Jul 18, 2014
Copyright:Traditional Copyright: All rights reserved

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THE LAW OF THE SPIRIT OF LIFE. BY REV. WILLIAM HOWELS,Romans viii. 2. " For the lata of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death." The apostle, in the first verse, says — ¦" There is therefore now no condemnation to them who are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit." In the 7th chapter he had given an interesting account of his own expe- rience, the experience of a man of God, from his first conviction of sin till he triumphs com- pletely in the Lord Jesus Christ ; the experience of one who was conscious of the presence of sin in his bosom, and equally conscious of the pre- sence of a covenant God subduing the enemy. It has afforded the richest relief to many of the Lord's family, and will continue to do so. The f2 THE LAW OF THE H first verse echoes a truth nearly as old as the fall of our first parents ; for soon after they fell Jesus visited them, and preached the gospel to them. This was the truth preached by oah to the Antediluvian world, and which that world rejected ; the truth which pervades the whole of the Old Testament. The Jewish types and shadows were full of it. The prophets dwelt on the
 
same triumphant truth ; and the saints of God in all ages have experienced its mighty ef- fects, triumphing in it over all their enemies : " Blessed is the man whose transgression is for- given, and whose sin is covered ; blessed is the man to whom the Lord imputeth not iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no guile." The apostle dwells here on the same triumphant truth, and presents it to the church of God. How rich is the covenant of God ! He has pro- vided for us from eternity, every thing we stand in need of — a righteousness to justify us, and his own holy image to beautify us for ever. We cannot have one without the other. We must have both, or we must die without either, and be miserable, because sinful, for ever. The apostle was so grateful for the blessings he re- ceived, that he seems to have introduced him- self almost without being conscious of it. He says, not " j/ow," but under the influence of intense gratitude to the Almighty, " The SPIRIT OF LIFE. - 73 law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death." This is divine egotism, involving' his own humi- lity in all the glories of a covenant God. I. Consider the law of sin. The apostle ex- presses himself in a peculiar manner. Sin is not a single act. Wherever sin is evinced in one act, it lives as a principle. It takes eternal possession of the transgressor the moment he violates the law of God. eed I descend to hell to bring- back the history of devils and lost spirits ? By no means. The volume of inspiration is before
 
us ; and if we are individually under the disci" pline of the Holy Spirit, we shall know the awful truth in knowing ourselves. Sin, in the human bosom, is a mighty monarch, or rather tyrant, whom none can contend with and con- quer but the Almighty. This tyrant issues his commands, and is invariably obeyed by the transgressor, unless God interpose. To know what sin is, and to be delivered from it, is heaven begun on earth. If the command of sin falls in with any favourite propensity, the tyrant is obeyed. Sometimes it issues its com- mands to sin against God, merely for the sake of the pleasure there is in transgression, when the sinner himself is not to be gratified in the least degree : sin is such a monster that the eloquence 74 THE LAW OF THE of God alone can give a correct idea of it ; no pencil but that of God alone can give a full and faithful portrait of it. Consider the law of God, and what sin does in opposition to it. The apostle Paul knew this ; he had learned the awful truth in perusing his own heart. It is evident, from the 7th chapter, that he was well trained and disciplined before he was commissioned to preach to others. God led him into the inmost recesses of his own bosom, and showed him the most frightful and formidable object he could see : " Sin taking occasion of the commandment deceived me, and by it slew me." This teaches us the awful truth in which we are all eminently interested, that the tyrant sin issues his commands in exact proportion as we discover the holiness and purity of the law of God. Sin says, " Oppose it."

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