Our very lives depend on us being led by, following, the Spirit. Because if we are not being led by the Spirit, we are being led by law. Law’s companions are flesh sin and death, and they thrived under the old covenant delivered to the people by Moses, despite their very introduction being to control and limit sin.
But this was a controlling covenant, trying to place a bridle on a very active horse, and then trying to control it once it was bridled.
It follows from the title, that if you are NOT being led by the Spirit, then you ARE under law, and this law is the law of, pertaining to, sin and death; because only the Spirit of life gives life and maintains and sustains life, anything else will sustain and produce death. [All that is not of faith is sin].
All “laws” that do not have their origin in the ultimate “law” that God IS, (love) are laws which are deviant from God, are devices produced by the entity that we ourselves are and have become in our detachment from God that Adam created, and all that sprang forth from that.
Our minds produce all kinds of rubbish which set themselves up as myriads of laws and thought patterns in opposition to God’s mind, thinking, and thought patterns. Jesus destroyed all these deviancies within His own body so we could be free of them. He entered into the conflict which is common to man, an internal war which destroys us.
He did it to end the conflict within ourselves that keeps us from joining with God in His purpose of a resultant creation of life, so we could be free of this destructive conflict. Because He did it for us, we are free to leave the war zone behind us in the knowledge that He has already delivered the fatal blow to death itself and the forces which bring it about. Whatever scenario crops up in our mind, He has already been there and defeated it for us, so we can ignore it and replace it with His overcoming of it on our behalf.
All this so we could gain the Spirit of life and live out of it, out of Him and the resources that He HAS, rather than the resources that we DIDN’T have. HE becomes our resource, our source of life, and we must follow His Spirit of life rather than what was our spirit of death, so our spirit might gain life from Him and be sustained by Him.
If you are being led by the Spirit of life you have life, you are in the new covenant, but if you are not being led by the Spirit of life you are being led by the works of the flesh, by law sin and death. You are “under the law”, which was the old covenant.
The Galatians had fallen back from their initial introduction to the Spirit, had lost their first love, had listened to those who demanded they follow some law or other after the traditions of their forebears, demanded they once again heed the call to law in the manner of the old covenant, to be blinded again to the light, and to re-enter the darkness. [“O foolish Galatians”]
The Spirit life is the glory of God given to men, that they may reflect on His glory, and have it reproduced within themselves, reproduce the Son of His love that all might be saved. Romans 7 is the defeat of man under law, under the old covenant, so he might enter into the new covenant as shown in Romans 8. Our great defeat in the humanity of our flesh was met with the glorious victory to be had by faith in Him and the completeness of His victory now given to us as we partake of His divine nature in JESUS.