The New Way Of The Spirit

Moe Bergeron, Publisher CMC
Or do you not know, brothers —for I am speaking to those who know the law—that the law is binding on a person only as long as he lives? 2 For a married woman is bound by law to her husband while he lives, but if her husband dies she is released from the law of marriage. 3 Accordingly, she will be called an adulteress if she lives with another man while her husband is alive. But if her husband dies, she is free from that law, and if she marries another man she is not an adulteress.
4 Likewise, my brothers, you also have died to the law through the body of Christ, so that you may belong to another, to him who has been raised from the dead, in order that we may bear fruit for God. 5 For while we were living in the flesh, our sinful passions, aroused by the law, were at work in our members to bear fruit for death. 6 But now we are released from the law, having died to that which held us captive, so that we serve in the new way of the Spirit and not in the old way of the written code. (Romans 7:1-6 ESV)

Paul’s Analogy

In Romans 7:1-6 the apostle Paul uses the analogy of a Jew who was covenanted through marriage to the Law of Moses. Once the Jew’s spouse (the Law) has died the marriage covenant has come to an end. The widowed Jew is then free to enter into a new marriage covenant.
Paul goes on to explain that we have also died, through the body of Christ to the Law, so that “you might be joined to another, to Him who was raised from the dead, in order that we might bear fruit for God.”
Mark this well. The departed spouse was specifically, “that Law,” and the new spouse is specifically, “Him who was raised from the dead.”
Paul takes great care to not say the second marriage is to “the Law of Christ.” He could have said that but he did not say that. Why didn’t he? I believe it is simply because the union we have with the risen Christ cannot be reduced to the language of “law.” 
The union the saints of God enjoy is one of a wife to her beloved. It is a union rooted in the “newness of the Spirit and not the oldness of the letter.”

Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. (2 Corinthians 3:17 ESV)

The Christian’s union to Jesus Christ cannot be compared to mere law keeping. That would not do justice. Jesus Christ is the Word of God who was made flesh thus He transcends words printed on paper or etched in stone. As important are the words on the printed page they are limited. The can only draw a word picture. There is a day coming when God’s saints will see their Husband face to face.

Beloved, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is. 3 And everyone who thus hopes in him purifies himself as he is pure. (1 John 3:2-3 ESV)

This new relationship, is truly a wedded union, of two hearts forever joined in marriage. Their hearts are bound together in love. The Bride’s desire is to please her husband. Within this blessed union the indicative and the imperative are joined together and given expression.

Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. (John 15:4 ESV)

Partakers of Christ

Charles Haddon Spurgeon put it so sweetly.

Every true child of God is one with Christ. This union is set forth in Scripture by several images, to which we will just refer, but upon none of which can we just now enlarge.
We are one with Christ and partakers of him as the stone is cemented to the foundation. It is built upon it, rests upon it, and, together with the foundation, goes to make up the structure. So we are built into Christ by coherence and adhesion, joined to him, and made a spiritual house for the habitation of God by the Holy Ghost.
We are made partakers with Christ by a union in which we lean and depend upon him. This union is further set forth by the vine and the branches. The branches are participators with the stem, the sap of the stem is for the branches. It treasures it up only to distribute it to them. It has no sap for itself alone, all its store of sap is for the branch. In like manner we are vitally one with Christ, and the grace that is in him is for us. It was given to him that he might distribute it to all his people.
Furthermore, it is as the union of the husband with the wife, they are participators the one with the other. All that belongs to the husband the wife enjoys and shares with him. Meanwhile she shares himself, nay, he is all her own. Thus it is with Christ. We are married unto him—betrothed unto him for ever in righteousness and in judgment, and all that he has is ours, and he himself is ours.
All his heart belongs to each one of us. And then, too, as the members of the body are one with the head, as they derive their guidance, their happiness, their existence from the head, so are we made partakers of Christ. Oh, matchless participation! It is “a great mystery” saith the apostle; and, indeed, such a mystery it is as they only know who experience it. Even they cannot understand it fully; far less can they hope to set it forth so that carnal minds shall comprehend its spiritual meaning.
The day cometh when we shall be partakers of Christ to the highest and uttermost degree that symbols can suggest, prophecy forestal, faith anticipate, or actual accomplishment bring to pass; for, albeit, though of all that our Lord Jesus Christ is in heaven we have a reversionary interest to-day by faith, we shall have a share in it by actual participation ere long.[1]

Passages to Consider

Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. 24 Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands. (Ephesians 5:22-24 ESV)

His appearance is like Lebanon,
choice as the cedars.
His mouth is most sweet,
and he is altogether desirable.
This is my beloved and this is my friend,
O daughters of Jerusalem.
(Song of Songs 5:15-16 ESV)

“My beloved is mine, and I am his…”
(Song of Songs 2:16 ESV)

 [1] “A Persuasive to Steadfastness”: Delivered on Thursday Evening, February 29th, 1872

Books at a Glance August 14, 2015

Learn More About Books at a Glance ♦

Greetings from Books At a Glance!

If you haven’t seen this new series from Crossway yet with Goldsworthy’s volume on the Son of God and the New Creation, make sure you check it out, or read our summary! There are too many resources to name from this week, so take a glance below.

Book Summary
Saturate: Being Disciples of Jesus in the Everyday Stuff of Life SATURATE: BEING DISCIPLES OF JESUS IN THE EVERYDAY STUFF OF LIFE, by Jeff Vanderstelt
Saturate: Being Disciples of Jesus in the Everyday Stuff of Life Jeff Vanderstelt Crossway, 2015 233 pages (Paperback) (Kindle) A Book Summary from Books At a Glance. About the Au […] Continue Reading
Book Reviews
Genesis: History, Fiction, or Neither? GENESIS: HISTORY, FICTION, OR NEITHER? THREE VIEWS ON THE BIBLE’S EARLIEST CHAPTERS, by James Hoffmeier, Gordon Wenham, and Kenton Sparks
The Zondervan Counterpoints series offers readers a valuable resource for evaluating difficult passages and subjects. The strength of the series is that each position is argued by a scholar who is committed to it. This avoids straw-man arguments or one author attempting to fairly represent various positions. In Genesis: History, Fi […] Continue Reading
Misconceptions about what it truly means to be created in the imago Dei, or image of God, abound. Though this doctrine is a central tenet of Judeo-Christian theology, it is pierced with gross misinterpretations and misapplications. The doctrine has been applied callously throughout history to wreak havoc on individuals. In his book […] Continue Reading
Author Interview
Jonathan Edwards (1703-58) has remained a figure of towering significance in historical theology, but his influence has surged again in recent years – and for good reason. Our friend Dr. Craig Biehl is an avid student of Edwards, and he’s with us today to talk about his very timely work, The Infinite Merit of Chris […] Continue Reading
Chance and the Sovereignty of God Concluding Excerpt from CHANCE AND THE SOVEREIGNTY OF GOD: A GOD-CENTERED APPROACH TO PROBABILITY AND RANDOM EVENTS, by Vern Poythress
Every day in our lives, we live in the midst of regularities on which we depend. The sun rises. Our hearts beat. We breathe air. The cells in our body maintain defenses against infection. Our stomachs and intestines digest food. Our phones function. We are relying on God, who governs the world by his faithfulness, in accordance with his […] Continue Reading
The distinctiveness of John’s Gospel has been recognized by Christians since the beginning, and its various emphases and theological themes have been eagerly explored. In his new Gospel of Glory noted New Testament scholar Richard Bauckham (senior scholar at Ridley Hall, Cambridge) explores some neglected and some d […] Continue Reading
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About Foundations

Foundations CoverWhich god is God?  
What is a human?  
What is sin?  
What is salvation?
You may never have thought much about these questions. But the fact is we all have a working version of the answers. Our answers to these questions shape our lives. So it makes sense to give some time to thinking about these issues more explicitly. Nothing matters more than getting them right. But where to start?
Instead of speculating about who God is, Peter Mead invites us to begin with the claim that God has revealed himself in Jesus.
You may not be a Christian. And you may not like the answers proposed in this book. You may not be convinced. But it’s worth exploring. It’s worth giving it a go. You’ve got nothing to lose – except an hour or so of your time – and possibly everything to gain.
Or you may be a Christian. Perhaps you take the answers for granted. But Mead invites us to push beyond our assumptions and discover a deeper, richer reality. He suggests we start with the triune God. And if the answer to the god-question is Father, Son and Holy Spirit, then everything else changes.  (Taken from the Foreword by Tim Chester.)
[ Learn more at ]


Having the right answers is one thing but Peter Mead goes deeper – he explores the right questions – questions of God, humanity, sin and salvation. By turning to Scripture this book gives us a surprising, satisfying and compelling foundation for life. – Glen Scrivener, Evangelist, Speak Life
A great little primer about the world, ourselves and – most importantly – God. This short, easy to read, helpful book will help you get to know Him better. – Marcus Honeysett, Director of Living Leadership
Peter’s love of scripture, and his desire to see lives transformed bleed through the pages of this book. Explore the foundations of Christianity and engage anew the true story of a relationship between a human race whose sin is greater than we think, and a God whose grace is more amazing than we could imagine! – Rick McKinley, Lead Pastor of Imago Dei Community, Portland OR.
Many people build their lives on a weak foundation of sand.  In Foundations, Peter Mead introduces you to the one concrete foundation poured deep enough to hold your life steady! – Tony Reinke, Writer for Desiring God and Author of Lit!
The book of Acts tells of God’s plan for us to have relationship in the context of his grace.  Foundations fills out this picture beautifully. Read and enjoy! – Darrell Bock, Senior Research Professor of New Testament, Dallas Theological Seminary
Peter Mead points to the preaching in Acts to provide the important foundational questions—and answers—that we want people to be asking when it comes to faith in Christ.  This concise book is just what is needed to build belief and believers! – Scott M.Gibson, Haddon W. Robinson Chair of Preaching, Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary


Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 96
Vendor: Christian Focus Publications
Publication Date: 2015
ISBN: 1781916411
ISBN-13: 9781781916414
About Peter Mead
Pleased to Dwell and Foundations were written by Peter Mead.  Peter is a mentor with Cor Deo, a small ministry that exists to multiply ministry that shares God’s heart.  He is also on the leadership team of Trinity Chippenham, a new church launched in 2014. Peter leads the Bible Teachers & Preachers Networks at the European Leadership Forum.  He studied at Multnomah Biblical Seminary and Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary.  Pleased to Dwell was his first book, although he contributed to the Ministry Essentials Study Bible (Hendrickson, July 2014), and blogs regularly at and CorDeo.  Peter is married to Melanie and they have five children – this is their family ministry website.

~ Peter