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Romans 7:6 – Letter & spirit, old & new 

12-03-2021 - Posted by Andre Piet

Yet now we were exempted from the law, dying in that in which we were retained, so that it is for us to be slaving in newness of spirit and not in oldness of letter.

We should be well aware that the “we were exempted from the law” refers to Paul’s Jewish readers (7: 1). For not the nations, but they were “under the law” (2:12; 3:19). However, since the man’s death, she has been “exempt from the law of the man” (7: 2). Where “the man” obviously refers to Christ who represents God (7: 4).

The old covenant that had the character of a marriage covenant has ended. Elsewhere, Paul calls this covenant “the letter” (2 Cor.3: 6) and defines it as “a dispensation of death chiseled in stone” (2 Cor.3: 7). He also calls it “a dispensation of condemnation” (2 Cor. 3: 9). For that is what the law does: it condemns those who do not obey its demands.

This “oldness of letter” is opposed to the “new covenant, not of letter but of spirit, for… the spirit is vivifying” (2 Cor. 3: 5). This is the covenant that GOD would make with the people of Israel in “the last days”. A covenant that is permanent because GOD does not require anything from his people in it, but himself guarantees the fulfillment one hundred percent!