Walking by and ministering by the letter of the law falls far short of God’s purpose for writing the law.
The Pharisees walked and ministered by the letter of the law. This is walking by the flesh. This is not the faith that pleases God.
However, the Law is not of faith; on the contrary, "HE WHO PRACTICES THEM SHALL LIVE BY THEM." Gal 3:12 NAS
Jesus walked and ministered by the Spirit of the law. This is walking in faith, by the Spirit. To please God, we must walk by faith in the Spirit, by the Spirit in what He says is accomplished and true.
The Spirit of the law is the sole reason God wrote the letter of the law in the first place. The Spirit is the authors intent, purpose, heart's desire for writing the letter. Only the Spirit of the law can truly fulfill the heart’s intent of the author.
God unequivocally, undeniably and irrefutably reveals that LOVE is the Spirit of all of His written laws in these next verses. The exclusive, sole, one and only thing that fulfills His hearts desire for authoring the letter.
Owe nothing to anyone except to love one another; for he who loves his neighbor has fulfilled the law. For this, “YOU SHALL NOT COMMIT ADULTERY, YOU SHALL NOT MURDER, YOU SHALL NOT STEAL, YOU SHALL NOT COVET,” and if there is any other commandment, it is summed up in this saying, “YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.” Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the law. Rom 13:8-10 NAS
For the whole Law is fulfilled in one word, in the statement, "YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF." Gal 5:14 NAS
God’s written law can be compared to how we give our children rules and regulations, out of love, to protect them and others. Don’t play with knives and don’t touch the hot stove. The Spirit of the rules and regulations for our children is love, not a desire to condemn and punish. Like we expect of our children, God expects us to mature to the point where we no longer need the law. Where we act out of the love that fulfills all of God’s laws.
Walking by the Spirit, LOVE, is absolutely the only way to defeat the lusts of the flesh. While at the same time, LOVE by default, fulfills the letter of the law towards others through us.
But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh. Gal 5:16 NAS
If we minister the letter of the law like the Pharisee’s, we are walking in the flesh like the Pharisee’s. The result is guaranteed to be: Walk by the flesh and we will carry out the desires of the flesh, the opposite of Gal 5:16 and what Satan desires. We can clearly see the deceitfulness of sin and the lust of the flesh present in the Pharisee’s with their greed, pride, judgment, self-righteousness and more as they ministered the letter. Ministering the letter is the one thing that is guaranteed to make a believer a hypocrite as Jesus called the Pharisee’s.
So speak and so act as those who are to be judged by the law of liberty. For judgment will be merciless to one who has shown no mercy; mercy triumphs over judgment. James 2:12-13 NAS
The law of liberty is the royal law of love.
If, however, you are fulfilling the royal law according to the Scripture, “YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF,” you are doing well. James 2:8 NAS
In the New Testament, the charge of hypocrisy was never leveled due to the sins and failures of the Corinthian church, the many sins and failures of early church members, the denial of Jesus three times by Peter or any other sin. In fact, a believer was never charged with hypocrisy for committing any of the many sins we see in the New Testament, with one exception.
The only time a believer was charged with hypocrisy, is when Peter pulled away from the Gentiles and lived like a letter of the law keeper as the religious Jewish believers showed up for the party.
The rest of the Jews joined him in hypocrisy, with the result that even Barnabas was carried away by their hypocrisy. Gal 2:13 NAS
By his actions and words, Peter was suddenly judging the actions of the Gentiles by the law as falling short. He was walking in the flesh and the lusts of the flesh were full on display in favoritism, partiality, pride and self-righteousness knowing full well that his fallen flesh had just been living like a Gentile. Paul did not rebuke him for living like a Gentile. He rebuked him when he judged the Gentiles by his actions, by suddenly acting like the law of Moses still bound a believer in front of the Gentiles. His actions led Barnabas and others to be confused and do the same, act in hypocrisy. Paul strongly rebuked Peter for his actions, stating he was not walking in accordance with the truth of the gospel.
The only one who can judge righteously by the letter of the law is God. As believers, our still fallen flesh is never free from sin, no matter how whitewashed we look on the outside.
Love is the only thing that fulfills God’s heartfelt desire for writing the letter of the law. The fallacy of trying to please God through walking and ministering by the letter of the law is revealed in the Pharisee’s. On the other hand, we see how God fulfills the Spirit of the law Himself, through His Son Jesus. Jesus walked and ministered by the Spirit and not the letter to His last breath as a man when He died on the cross for those who hated and crucified Him.
If anyone wants to be guaranteed to look like the Pharisee’s, walk by and minister the letter of the law. The letter that scatters as seen with the Pharisee's. Their strict enforcement of the letter of the law is what was driving people away from God, portraying God in a false manner. This is one of the biggest lies Jesus came to correct. If you have seen Jesus, you have seen the Father.
If you want to be like Jesus, walk and minister by the Spirit of the law. If you want to be like Jesus, love and die for your enemies, love the unlovable, love those who hate you, love those who abuse you, love those who offend you, love those who mock you and love those who take advantage of you. Love the sinner, stand up for the downtrodden, cast away, the lost and the hurting. Not just in words but action, just like Jesus did.
The Spirit, LOVE, is a much higher standard than the letter. The Spirit brings life and the letter can only bring condemnation and death. The Spirit will sometimes need to violate the letter to fulfill the desire of the Father. We see this in Jesus with the woman caught in adultery who the letter would stone, Jesus works on the Sabbath that required stoning, in the women with a history of blood and considered unclean who violated the letter to be in the crowd and touch Jesus, in the lie told by Rahab to hide the spies, in the story of the good Samaritan and in Jesus association with sinners and the unclean to name just a few. All violations of the letter of the law while pleasing the Father by walking by the Spirit of the law.
Therefore, God has not qualified us to minister, the letter. He has only qualified us to minister, serve up like a waiter, the Spirit, love. He wants us to bring life and not death just like Jesus did.
And He has qualified us as ministers of a new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life. 2 Cor 3:6 BSB
The Excellence of Love – 1 Cor 13 NAS
1If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but do not have love, I have become a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. 2If I have the gift of prophecy, and know all mysteries and all knowledge; and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing.3And if I give all my possessions to feed the poor, and if I surrender my body to be burned, but do not have love, it profits me nothing.
4Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, 5does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, 6does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; 7bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
8Love never fails; but if there are gifts of prophecy, they will be done away; if there are tongues, they will cease; if there is knowledge, it will be done away. 9For we know in part and we prophesy in part; 10but when the perfect comes, the partial will be done away. 11When I was a child, I used to speak like a child, think like a child, reason like a child; when I became a man, I did away with childish things. 12For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then I will know fully just as I also have been fully known. 13But now faith, hope, love, abide these three; but the greatest of these is love.
(Verse 11 above states: When I was a child, I used to speak like a child, think like a child, reason like a child; when I became a man, I did away with childish things. Part of what verse 11 is talking about is how we please our Father. The letter of the law was our tutor, our schoolmaster, our guide until we become sons and daughters of God by faith. But when we come to faith in Christ, we no longer need or are under a tutor.)
23But before faith came, we were kept in custody under the law, being shut up to the faith which was later to be revealed. 24Therefore the Law has become our tutor to lead us to Christ, so that we may be justified by faith. 25But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor. 26For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. Gal 3:23-26 NAS
If we want to please the Father, we must learn to walk by faith by the Spirit and not the flesh. To walk by the Spirit, to love the unlovable as Jesus loves, we must know, comprehend, understand, realize and recognize how much God loves us. We must believe we are totally forgiven forever, for eternity, even of our future sins. We must not doubt God’s word. Our born-again Spirit is free, forgiven, redeemed, justified, made holy, sanctified, righteous, complete and perfected in Christ. We are called to see our flesh as God does, crucified and dead on the cross with Christ, the flesh condemned by God because of sin. It will never be redeemed and dies. By faith we believe and do not doubt. We can boldly go into the holy of holies in our time of need because of Jesus finished work on the cross. Those who know they are totally and eternally forgiven totally righteous in Christ, and deeply loved by our Father, will love much and walk in the Spirit, by the Spirit, overcoming the lusts of the flesh and pleasing our Father, the rewarder of our faith – Heb 11:6.
"I tell you, her sins--and they are many--have been forgiven, so she has shown me much love. But a person who is forgiven little shows only little love." Luke 7:47 NLT
So, we walk in the Spirit, by the Spirit, because we know that only “LOVE" fulfills God’s law.More New Covenant Studies that Apply:
Do You Know the Spirit of All of God's Laws?
Letter Kills, Spirit Gives Life
Walking by the Spirit is Gods Will for Your Life, Guaranteed
How to Walk by The Spirit
How to Walk in the Spirit Instead of the Flesh
Look Through the Eyes of God and Walk in the Spirit
The Deceitfulness of Sin and How to Overcome it God's WayIf Sin Has Dominion in Your Life, You are Living Under the Law, Not GraceHow Grace Defeated Sin in My Life
Jesus is The End of The Law for Believers
A Christian is Dead to the Law, Freed from the Law and Dead to Sin
Christians Are Released from The Ten Commandments
Believers are Never Called Sinners in the New Testament
Jesus Never Called a Believer a Hypocrite
Sin Does Not Make a Christian a Hypocrite
Many more New Covenant Bible Studies HERE. Jesus poured out His blood for the New Covenant of grace and truth, replacing the Old Covenant law of Moses. Believers are exclusively under the New Covenant, the last will and testament of Jesus that began after the cross.
And in the same way He took the cup after they had eaten, saying, "This cup which is poured out for you is the new covenant in My blood. Luke 22:20