Let’s start from the beginning.
Genesis 1:26-28: “And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.
(27) So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him, male and female created he them.
(28) And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that creepeth upon the earth.”
God’s First Law: The Breath/Spirit Of Life
Since God is a Spirit, and created Man in His own image, Man was created as a Spirit. We have a soul; we live in a body of flesh; but we are a Spirit. Genesis 2:7: ‘And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.” Note that the word ‘breath’ is the same word as ‘spirit’ in Hebrew. God breathed His Spirit into Adam. The Spirit is the “breath of Life.” This is the first law: The “Law of the Breath/Spirit of Life,” Romans 8:1-2.
“There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For the Law of the Spirit/Breath of Life hath made me free from the law of sin and death.”
The Law of Sin and Death
Genesis 2:16-17: “And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.” This is the law of sin and death, see Romans 8:2
Before the fall, Man’s whole volition, intention, and natural spontaneous impulses were to do God’s will in the Spirit. When Mankind fell into sin, however, his Spirit, the inner man, died and it became necessary for his flesh to be ruled by the force of law. This condition required an atoning death, and so the whole Old Testament sacrificial system was established in order to teach Mankind the necessity of sacrificing the Flesh to redeem the Spirit.
In the fullness of time, Christ came, died the atoning death for all Mankind, and offered the resurrected Life to whosoever will. In His resurrected Body, He restored God’s original intention for Mankind; that is, that they would be alive in the Spirit/Breath, ruling, taking dominion over every living thing, including his own fleshly body.
However, not all would be willing to accept this New Birth, this Life from the Dead. So, for those, the Law must still be enforced upon the outward man. And the Spirit Man, the inner man, the real person, must rule his own flesh by the Law. The Law is still necessary to bring the Flesh, the outward man, into obedience to God’s Law until and unless he is born again of the Spirit.
As born-again Christians, we naturally fulfill the law. Our righteousness will exceed that of the Pharisees who were so diligent to keep the letter of the law while twisting and perverting it. Our righteousness must not only keep the true letter of the law, but also keep the Spirit of the law: willing and intuitive obedience to the Spirit of God. For the Christians, keeping the Law is not grievous but the natural thing to do.