But if you be led of the Spirit, you are not under the law.
I. NEGATIVELY. I am not under the law — of picking pockets. If the law were abolished to-morrow, I would not pick anybody's pocket. I am not under the law of murder; for if there were no gallows, nor officer, nor judge, nor court, I would not murder. I am not under the law to drunkenness. I can go by a whole regiment of shops and never think of turning in. I am above it. I have the law within me. I do not abstain from gambling because gambling is disreputable, and I fear losses. I do not gamble because I do not want to. I do not avoid bad company because I should lose respectability; but for the same reason that musicians do not sit down and work out discords, and who keep to harmony because harmony is so sweet, and discord so painful. And so in regard to spiritual things, we are led by the Divine Spirit into such a state of approbation and satisfaction in the higher things, that we do not want the inferior, the antagonistic, the antithetic.
II. POSITIVELY. There is not in all the statute books in the world one single word saying to the mother, "Thou shalt love thy babe." There is not a Church or creed which says, "Thou shalt feed thy babe." But see the mother as the twilight darkens, sitting with her child as it draws sustenance from her own bosom, and singing sweet carols, and counting it the proudest of all the hours of the day. She has the love of the mother in her, and does the things that ought to be done, because she loves to do them — it is automatic. So if ye be led of the Spirit ye do the things by the law that is in you, and by your spiritual preferences and loves and likes, which otherwise are commandments.
(H. W. Beecher.)
Parallel VersesKJV: But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law.