The major difference between the Old Covenant Law versus the New Covenant of Grace is only a portion of the basic dichotomy between the Flesh and the Spirit. The Flesh must be ruled by the Law, but the Spirit must be free and must rule over the Flesh.
The Law is not obsolete, but is only a means of restraining the Flesh and identifying sin and its purpose was to bring us to Christ. The Law is good if it is used lawfully.
However, the Law is bondage without the indwelling Spirit. Christianity is not anarchy, but rather the inward operation of the Law by the indwelling Spirit, as opposed to the doctrines of the Pharisees which created and taught an outward, ritual obedience without the right attitudes and motivations of the Holy Spirit. They saw the Law as putting one between the yoke and the ox-goad: The yoke to restrain you from doing what you wanted and the ox-goad to prod you to do what you did not want to do.
It is the Flesh that is opposed to the Spirit, and they war against each other.
“This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.
“But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law.”
Note the conditional phrase preceded by the word ‘IF’. The implication here is that ‘IF’ you are not led of the Spirit, ye are under the law. The Law is for governing the Flesh. The Flesh must be kept under the Law of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus. Just to remove all doubt as to what is meant by “the Flesh” we are given the details:
“Now the works of the Flesh are manifest, which are these: Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revelings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God,” Galatians 5:19-31.
And just to remove all doubts as to what is meant by “walking in the Spirit” he give us the following details:
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law,” Galatians 5:22-25.
“If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.”
This makes it quite clear that the Grace offered by the Spirit/Faith does not give a license to sin. Quite the contrary. Walking in the Flesh produces the stated results and consequences, clearly spelled out in verses 19, 20, and 21. And the fruits of the Spirit are spelled out in verses 22-25.
The Flesh must be crucified, slain, deprived of life. It is the Spirit, [Breath], that gives Life, as in Genesis 2:7. This death and resurrection is portrayed in Baptism. Jesus did not come to make bad men good, but rather to make dead men live. There is a vast difference between the two ideas. Jesus came to restore the Breath/Spirit of Life.
It might be helpful to spell out some definitions of some of the terms you will find in your Scripture references.
The Flesh: [As opposed to The Spirit] “Carnality, sensuality, the seat of appetites, specifically sexual.”
Fleshly: “(1) Bodily, (2) sensual, lascivious, carnal.”
Carnal: (synonyms): “fleshly, sensual, animal, of the body as flesh. As opposed to spiritual”
Carnality: “state of being carnal. Habitual indulgence in desires having a physical origin, commonly, bestiality, [brutal].”
Sensuous: (1) Addressing the senses, (sight, hearing, smelling, tasting, feeling); (2) Characterized by sense impressions or imagery addressing the senses – as sensuous descriptions; (3) Highly susceptible to influence through the senses.
[Note: This describes most advertisements, especially on TV. To catch a mouse you have to bait the trap with something he likes. Satan traps us through the lusts of the flesh. The advertisers have learned this from him.]
Sensual: “Pertaining to, or consisting in, the gratification of the senses, or the indulgence of appetite; fleshly.”
Lascivious: (1) “wanton, lewd, lustful; (2) tending to produce lewd emotions.”
Lewd: (1) wicked, worthless, base; (2) lustful, lascivious, unchaste.”
May you be blessed and warned by this lesson.