2 Chronicles 3:6 ERV: He made us able to be servants of a new agreement from himself to his people. It is not an agreement of written laws, but it is of the Spirit. The written law brings death, but the Spirit gives life.
Paul had been called by God to be a servant or herald of an agreement or covenant between God and His people. This covenant was a new agreement. The old covenant no longer applied, the new covenant was in force, and Paul was called to be a herald of the new covenant God had made from Himself to His people. It was necessary for heralds like Paul to do this, because people needed to become aware of the new covenant God had put in place. People needed to start living life in terms of the new covenant, instead of the old.
The new covenant was not like the old covenant. The old covenant was a covenant of written laws. Under the terms of the old covenant, the people of God were required to obey a large number of laws. The problem with this was that the people were not able to keep the laws. Even worse, the penalty for not obeying the laws was often death. That’s why Paul could say that “the written law brings death.”
The new covenant, on the other hand, is a better covenant. Instead of a covenant of written laws, the new covenant is a covenant of the Spirit. Under the terms of the new covenant, the Holy Spirit is given to those who place faith in Jesus Christ and the Spirit empowers and enables them to be and do everything God wants of them. The people of God, in other words, are given the life giving power of the Holy Spirit. That’s why Paul can say that the “Spirit gives life.”
Unfortunately, despite the best efforts of the true heralds of the gospel like Paul, the people of God often live life as if some form of the old covenant is still in force. That is, they sometimes act as if they must be obedient to a set of laws – or else. Instead of relying on the Holy Spirit to empower and enable them in life, they rely on their own strength and ability to obey laws.
The old covenant, however, does not apply anymore. Today, then, turn to the life-giving power of the Spirit.