January 26 - Romans 8:1-4

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Romans 8:1-4 – No Condemnation in Jesus

Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death. For what the law was powerless to do because it was weakened by the flesh,  God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh to be a sin offering.  And so he condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.

I think that sometimes, as Christians, we hear specific verses often enough they lose their power and importance. This is one of those verses and one of those chapters.

Paul uses the word 'therefore' to connect this chapter to the preceding one on sin. When you read words like 'therefore' and 'so' at the beginning of a paragraph or sentence, those are generally deliberately placed there by the author for a reason. It's taken me some time to learn to pay attention to those and see what has been written on either side of the word. In this case, Paul has talked about sin's hold on our lives and he is about to show us how a life in Christ through the Holy Spirit means freedom.

With a life of sin, all we ever face is condemnation because of the fact that sin leads to death. The Law, Paul says, was weakened by our sinful nature … that part of us that exists no matter how good we think we are.

That changed when God sent his own Son.  Jesus came in our likeness … he took on the form of a sinful man. God lived as a human in order to conquer that sinful nature.

We are no longer condemned, but sin is condemned by Jesus because of his sacrifice.

What does this mean? It means that "the righteous requirements of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the sinful nature but according to the Spirit" (Romans 8:4). We are no longer bound by our sinful nature. It has been conquered and in Christ Jesus we are made free to live according to the Spirit.