3:6new covenant. The new legal relationship that God established with His people through Jesus Christ, His life, death, resurrection, and ascension.
the letter. The written law by itself, which demands perfect obedience but gives no power to obey.
the Spirit gives life. This is new life in Christ. In it the Holy Spirit writes God’s law on our hearts (Jer. 31:31–34; Heb. 8:8–12; 9:13, 14), giving love for God’s moral standards and power to obey them (Rom. 8:4; 1 Cor. 7:19). Saying that life is “not of the letter,” Paul does not imply that there was no spiritual life whatever under the old covenant. He means that the written law, which was characteristic of the old covenant, did not by itself produce life in the believing community. The Holy Spirit, whose powerful, life-giving ministry is characteristic of the new covenant, does bring new life in much greater measure than under the old covenant.
Step 1 - Create an account or log in to start your free trial.
Starting your free trial of Bible Gateway Plus is easy. You’re already logged in with your Bible Gateway account. The next step is to enter your payment information. Your credit card won’t be charged until the trial period is over. You can cancel anytime during the trial period.
Click the button below to continue.
Step 1 - Create an account or log in to start your subscription.
You’ve already claimed your free trial of Bible Gateway Plus. To subscribe at our regular subscription rate of $3.99/month, click the button below.
Try Bible Gateway Plus, a brand-new service that lets you experience Bible Gateway free of banner ads! It also gives you instant access to over 40 Bible study and inspirational devotional books, including the NIV Study Bible. With Bible Gateway Plus, you can experience and understand God's Word in life-changing new ways, without the distraction of ads. Try it free for 30 days—you can cancel at any time. Following your 30-day free trial, Bible Gateway Plus is only $3.99/month.