on Romans 8 :2
For the law of the Spirit of life - The Gospel of the grace of Christ, which is not only a law or rule of life, but affords that sovereign energy by which guilt is removed from the conscience, the power of sin broken, and its polluting influence removed from the heart. The law was a spirit of death, by which those who were under it were bound down, because of their sin, to condemnation and death. The Gospel proclaims Jesus the Savior; and what the law bound unto death, It looses unto life eternal. And thus the apostle says, whether of himself or the man whom he is still personating, the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death. Most people allow that St. Paul is here speaking of his own state; and this state is so totally different from that described in the preceding chapter, that it is absolutely impossible that they should have been the state of the same being, at one and the same time. No creature could possibly be carnal, sold under sin, brought into captivity to the law of sin and death; and at the same time be made free from that law of sin and death, by the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus! Until the most palpable absurdities and contradictions can be reconciled, these two opposite states can never exist in the same person at the same time.
on Romans 8 :2
For the law - The word "law" here means that "rule, command, or influence" which "the Spirit of life" produces. That exerts a control which is here called a law, for a law often means anything by which we are ruled or governed; see the notes at Romans 7:21, Romans 7:23. Of the Spirit. I see no reason to doubt here that this refers to the Holy Spirit. Evidently, at the close of Romans 8:1, the word has this reference. The phrase "the Spirit of life" then means the Holy Spirit producing or giving life; that is, giving peace, joy, activity, salvation; in opposition to the law spoken of in Romans 7 that produced death and condemnation.
In Christ Jesus - Under the Christian religion; or sent by Christ to apply his work to people. John 16:7-14. The Spirit is sent by Christ; his influence is a part of the Christian scheme; and his power accomplishes what the Law could not do.
Hath made me free - That is, has delivered me from the predominating influence and control of sin. He cannot mean that he was perfect, for the whole tenor of his reasoning is opposed to that. But the design, the tendency, and the spirit of the gospel was to produce this freedom from what the Law could not deliver; and he was now brought under the general power of this scheme. In the former state he was under a most bitter and galling bondage; Romans 7:7-11. Now, he was brought under the influence of a scheme which contemplated freedom, and which produced it.
The law of sin and death - The controlling influence of sin, leading to death and condemnation; Romans 7:5-11.
on Romans 8 :2
8:2 The law of the Spirit - That is, the gospel. Hath freed me from the law of sin and death - That is, the Mosaic dispensation.