Text: Romans 8:1-8 Title: GOD DID
As we come so near to the celebration of Easter I wanted to study a text that dealt with the reason for Christ Jesus’ coming. We all know the straightforward reason of why He came- to die for our sins, but I want to go over some of the specifics and some of the outcomes. I chose a text that is deep in a discussion of law and grace. In these few verses we find many details so I would like to focus on the third verse though I will lead us into it with the other verses of our main text. This section in the epistle to the Romans begins in chapter 6 verse 14 which says, “For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under law but under grace.” How did we pass from law to grace? What is the significance of doing so?
Let us READ Scripture- This is the Word of God
V1. Declares Justification
“There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus.”
God has reversed the guilty verdict that we all were given. “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” Yet now God declares us Justified because we are “in Christ Jesus.” Of course, there are existing consequences for our sins now, but what the Scripture is teaching is that there are no eternal ramifications for our sins if we are in Christ. So we are free from condemnation NOT because we are sinless, but because we are in Christ Jesus.
V2. Declares Sanctification
“For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death.”
Law is a “way of life.” There is a law of Christ- it is LOVE.
The law of sin and death = Eternal consequences and DEATH
The law of the Spirit = NO condemnation and LIFE
2 Corinthians 3:17 “Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.” We follow the law of the Spirit which is liberty and in this liberty we are called to serve one another (Galatians 5:13 “For you, brethren, have been called to liberty; only do not use liberty as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another”).
I. The Weakness of the Law
“For what the law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh”
The law could/can name one’s sin and could pronounce judgment on it, but nothing else. If the law could not fix sin nor put it to death then all it was doing was adding up one’s transgressions and sins and trespasses and failures. Though the chief weakness of the law was and is the FLESH. The Law cannot be criticized for its weakness- only the participants.
II. God Did
“God did by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh”
Christ Jesus shared in the essential human nature- flesh and blood, bones and marrow. Jesus was in fact God as a physical human being, but only in the “likeness of sinful flesh.” “For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us.” “(Our High Priest) was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin.” It was God who did something. “While we were still sinners Christ…” It took a mighty act of God to save us. It took a mighty act of God to reverse the guilty verdict. “What the law could not do- GOD. GOD DID. This is what Easter is all about. This is what Good Friday is all about.
III. He Condemned Sin
“on account of sin: He condemned sin in the flesh”
What was it that God intervened to do? Condemn Sin. The condemnation is now off of us and onto SIN. There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. 2 Corinthians 5:21 “For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us that we might become the righteousness of God.”
V4. Just Requirement
The just requirement of the law was fulfilled in God’s condemnation of sin. The “just requirement of the law” is surely love.
1. James 2:8 “If you really fulfill the royal law according to the Scripture, You shall love your neighbor as yourself, you do well.”
2. Romans 13:8 “Owe no one anything except to love one another, for he who loves another has fulfilled the law.”
3. Galatians 5:14 “For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”
Christ has fulfilled the just requirement of the law and it is applied to us when we believe in Him, put our faith in Him, and when we treasure Him.
Verse 5 is a fitting idea to reiterate as a conclusion- Let us set our minds on the Spirit.
We do not strive to be justified or sanctified by the works of the flesh, but by the fruit of the Spirit. A vine does not produce grapes by any demand that is made. It produces fruit that comes out of its own life. When we participate in the divine nature and we are in Christ then fruit will be produced out of Christ’s own life not by any demand. Until we are in Christ Jesus and setting our minds on the things of the Spirit, we…are…dying.
The question is left as this- verse one:
Are you in Christ Jesus?