Whether we acknowledge them or not, we live by laws. There is a law of the Spirit, and there is a law of sin and death, and Paul says that one has freed us from the other. In this world, we have the law of gravity. If I drop a book, it falls to the floor. That's gravity. But we also have the law of aerodynamics. When an airplane takes off, the law of aerodynamics frees its passengers from the law of gravity. Temporarily. But if you're in an airplane and decide it's rather stuffy inside, and you open the emergency exit and step outside for air, you'll discover that the law of gravity is once again in effect! When you exit the plane, the law of aerodynamics no longer rules.
It is the same with you and me in our spiritual lives. As long as we are in Christ and Christ lives in us, the law of the Spirit sets us free from the law of sin and death. But when we step outside of the leadership of the Holy Spirit and begin to walk in the flesh, we are subject again to the law of sin. It's just that simple. You may think you no longer operate in the realm of the flesh. But by "fleshly" living, I don't simply mean carousing or drunkenness or sexual immorality. We can do good works in the flesh. We can give good gifts in the flesh. And when we do, not only are we subject to the law of sin, but we cannot hope to please God.
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