5 For when we were in the flesh, the sinful passions which were aroused by the law were at work in our members to bear fruit to death.
6 But now we have been delivered from the law, having died to what we were held by, so that we should serve in the newness of the Spirit and not in the oldness of the letter.
flesh = unregenerate state, united to the law
passions = impulses, passions, affections, emotions
by the law — The law produced desires to do things that it forbade.
members = parts of our bodies
delivered = discharged, to make ineffective
that being dead — Believers have died to the claims of the law.
newness of spirit — new life lived through the Spirit’s power. Who also made us sufficient as ministers of the new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life. (2 Corinthians 3:6).
oldness of the letter — outward conformity to the law
Indeed, our relationship to the Law has been doubly dissolved; it has died to us and we have died to it. And now we can serve this blessed One who loved us and gave Himself for us (Galatians 2:20, Ephesians 5:25), not in the old, dry dead, “religious” way, because the Law says we must, but in fresh, joyous newness of spirit, our words and works expressing our gratitude and love. — Stam, page 164.
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