The law has now been fulfilled. Christ fulfilled it (Matt. 5:17; John 4:34; 5:36; 6:38; 9:4; 12:24-33; 17:4; 19:28-30; 2 Cor. 5:21; 1 Cor. 1:30; Rom. 10:4; 8:34). He acted as Head in the place and in the name of His people: One man for the entire generation. “A seed shall serve him; it shall be accounted to the Lord for a generation” (Ps. 22:30; 1 Peter 2:9). We are "freely justified by His grace, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus" (Rom. 3:24-25. "We are justified by His blood" (Rom. 5:9). Therefore we are raised to life (Rom. 4:25; Col. 2:13).
And what is this life? It is Christ in you. “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me” (Gal. 2:20; Col. 1:27). By His Spirit, Christ lives in us. Christ lives in us by His Spirit because He worked out righteousness for us. Thus, “the Spirit is life because of righteousness” (Rom. 8:10). This righteousness is Christ’s righteousness. It is His life. Yet it is ours; it is our righteousness and our life, because we are one with Him (Jer. 23:6; 33:16).
In this life of Christ dwelling in us by His Spirit, we live by faith: “the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God” (Gal.2:20). God’s Spirit gives us faith to look in dependence on Christ as all of our salvation. We look to Him for salvation from sin’s guilt, from sin’s reign, from sin’s wage and from sin’s presence (Rom. 6:9,14,23; 1 John 3:2). This looking to Christ is faith. It is faith that is by Him (Acts 3:16). And it is faith that is in Him (Acts 26:18; Gal. 2:20). Faith is to our soul what eating and drinking are to our physical life. “The life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God” (Gal. 2:20; John 6:33,35,51,53-54).
It is in this way -- faith in Christ and Him crucified -- that the Spirit of God gives life to us in our soul (Num. 21:8; Isaiah 45:22; John 3:14-15). He is “the Spirit of life” because He is the Spirit of Christ who is our life (Col. 3:4). The Spirit gives life (2 Cor. 3:6). This life is given through the word of Christ, that word which is about Christ; the word that is the Gospel of our salvation (John 6:63; Eph. 1:13; 1 Pet. 1:25; Ezek. 37:3-14).
From this we can understand two key parts of Rom. 8:1-4: “The Law of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus” and how that “the righteousness of the law is fulfilled in us” The law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus is the Gospel that is written in scripture by inspiration of God, and that is now written in our hearts by the Spirit of God (2 Tim. 3:16). That writing in our hearts is the indwelling of the Spirit of Christ (2 Cor. 3:3). He points us to Christ crucified and reigning for us. Looking to Christ -- faith -- is the fruit of the Spirit (Gal. 5:22). That fruit evidences life, His indwelling life in our soul. That life is lived in looking to Christ, “by the faith of the Son of God who loved me and gave Himself for me” (Gal.2:20). Life evidences justification. Justification evidences righteousness. Righteousness and justification evidence fulfillment of God’s law. Thus, “The law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.” I am free from sin and condemnation and death because in Christ satisfaction for sin has been made and God’s law has been fulfilled. Faith looks away from what the law could not do to what Christ has done. “What the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh (my flesh), God sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh (my sin condemned in Christ’s flesh): that the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit” (Rom. 8:34).
Believers have been raised from the dead. They live spiritually now. They will live in spirit, soul and body at the resurrection of the last day (Rom. 8:9-11). They live because Christ justified them by His blood and righteousness. Their life now consists in the Spirit of Christ in them. Their experience now is believing Christ. He is all their salvation. In Him, the promises of God are fulfilled, and they now have the promises that God gave to them in Christ before the foundation of the world (2 Tim. 1:9). Their life of faith is the evidence that for them, God's holy law has been fulfilled. Christ obeyed in all things. And the promise of the law to the obedient is also fulfilled in them. "The law was ordained to life" (Rom. 7:10). With Christ as their righteousness, they have eternal life in Him (John 5:24-25; 1 John 5:11-12). Believers confess they are unprofitable servants when they have done their best; they put no trust in their best works (Luke 17:10; Philippians 3:3; Rom. 7:18-21). Faith looks away from itself to Christ and Him crucified (Rom. 3:27).
Finally, it should be noted to our great joy that “the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus” is not only the Gospel written in scripture, not only the Gospel written in our hearts, but is also the will of God, the mind of the Spirit. This law of the Spirit of life is thus the subject of His intercession for us as He dwells in us. Christ Himself in heaven searches the hearts and knows what is the mind of the Spirit, the Gospel of our salvation, the everlasting will of God for us. Our Lord Jesus Christ intercedes for us in heaven according to this same Gospel, the law of the Spirit of life, the New Testament, the everlasting covenant, which He fulfilled and put in force by His blood (Matt. 26:28; Heb. 13:20-21).
O blessed thought! To know that the everlasting Gospel of God, the eternal will of God for His people, calls for Christ to fulfill the law for us, and on account of His fulfillment, He has sent His own Spirit to dwell in us! O blessed thought that the Spirit of God in us shows the things of Christ to us (John 15:26; 16:14). He persuades us that what Christ has done has fulfilled His law. We thus live by looking to Christ. And this looking to Christ is the life and seal of the Spirit of God, that is the result of our justification before God. The law is therefore fulfilled by Christ for us, and it is fulfilled in us as Christ lives in us, and we live to God by faith in Christ, by His Spirit (Rom. 3:31).