S16P2 – Personal lessons from Paul: the end of condemnation

Romans 8:1-4
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.

Paul speaks here of two laws. One is the law of sin and death, and the other is the law of the Spirit. The law of sin and death is the old law. Not only did it illustrate the perfect character of God, but it revealed the sin inside us. And sin, when it is full grown, gives birth to death [Jam. 1:15]. For all of its power of illustration, that of God’s perfect character and that of our fallen nature, the law lacked the power to save us. As Paul says here, it is the weakness of man’s flesh that makes the law impossible to bring salvation for no mortal man could fulfill it. That is where Jesus comes in.

In Christ, we have our God in a body of sinful flesh coming not to abolish the law but to fulfill it [Matt. 5:17]. He perfectly walked out the law of sin and death. In doing so, He ushered in the law of the Spirit. This law imputes to us, those who have died with Christ and risen with him [Rom. 6:8], the righteous requirement that Jesus met when he lived and died as a man without sin. This is why there now is no condemnation to those as are “in Christ Jesus.” The condemnation brought by the law of sin and death was defeated when Christ’s fulfillment of it condemned sin itself.

When we have made the transition to being “in Christ Jesus”, we trade the condemnation of the law of sin and death for the freedom of the law of the Spirit. Sin can condemn us no longer. It is the righteous spirit of God dwelling within us that in turn condemns sin. We are clothed with the mantle of Jesus Christ, his righteousness adorning our frames and replacing our filthy rags [Rom. 3:21-22]. We are new creations indeed [2 Cor. 5:17]! Father, remove from us any notion of condemnation when we fall short of your standard, calling us to repentance and reminding us that through Jesus Christ we walk in the freedom of the law of the Spirit.