What does it say? Under the old covenant the letter of the law brings death, but with the new covenant the Spirit brings life.
What does it mean? Outside influences were pressuring the Corinthians to live by Jewish religious practices and ceremonies in addition to faith in Christ. But salvation couldn’t be attained through the law because it requires perfect obedience in every point, a human impossibility. They didn’t understand that the practices of the old covenant were symbolic, preparing them for the coming of Christ and salvation by grace. God’s law, written on their hearts by the Holy Spirit, brought eternal life and made them a reflection of God’s glory. If the law was glorious, how much more is God’s work of grace through the Holy Spirit?
How should I respond? Bank tellers are trained to look for and recognize counterfeit bills. Likewise, Christians have to be aware of counterfeit teachings and beliefs. What have you tried to add to faith in Christ to gain God’s acceptance? Relying on religious traditions and practices for God’s approval is counterfeit Christianity. Your church attendance, charitable giving, and service to the Lord are not a condition of your salvation but rather a result. Legalism promotes doing, whereas grace focuses on being. Legalism pressures you to act like other Christians; grace gives you the freedom to be conformed to the image of Christ. How will you reflect Jesus this week?