Easter - 2018

Monday, June 14, 2010

No Longer Guilty!

Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death. For what the law was powerless to do in that it was weakened by the sinful nature, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful man to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in sinful man, in order 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.

Summary: The child of God has a new standing, a position “in Christ Jesus.” Because of the Savior’s incarnation (“in the likeness of sinful flesh”) and atoning death on the cross the believer has been saved and has entered a new position in Christ. Now, in Christ, and by the Spirit, the believer can expect victory over the assaults of evil.

Paul announces in verse 1, “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” The term “condemnation” in Paul means ultimate condemnation for sin, and not merely defeat in the spiritual life. This is why the reference must go back beyond the discussion of the spiritual struggle. If people are “in Christ,” that is, true believers, identified with Christ by faith, there is no condemnation for them. God cannot condemn and will not condemn those who are “in Christ,” because He condemned Christ on their behalf.

The reason for our freedom from condemnation is expressed in verse 2—”the law of the Spirit of life” set us free. This is not a reference to the Law, but to the new principle which operates with the fixedness of a law. By coming to faith in Christ, we have received the Holy Spirit; and that Spirit produces life, whereas the Law produced death. So we have been set free—it has been accomplished—we do not have to strive to get freedom, but rather stand in the freedom that has been given to us. It is like getting on an elevator—you do not have to push your way upward.

In verse 3 he elaborates that it was impossible for the Law to do this because it was weak. It was weak because of that with which it had to deal—sinfulness and the punishment for sin. The anchor of the Law was strong, but could not hold in the mud bottom of the human heart. What did set us free was God’s sending His Son in the likeness of sinful flesh to be a sin offering. Thus, He condemned sin in sinful man.

The purpose of this act was that the righteous requirements of the Law be fully met in us (v. 4). This verse is the balance, otherwise some might overly stress the doing away of the Law. For what the Law revealed, “the righteousness of God,” is the standard to be met. To say we are no longer under the Law is true, but that is not a license to avoid the righteousness that the Law revealed. But what Paul is saying is that the only way to meet the requirements of the Law is to be in Christ by faith. Those who are in Christ do not continue to live according to the sinful nature, but according to the Spirit. They might try for a while, but the Spirit will begin to deal with them and convict them.

I believe Christ has set us free from condemnation and empowered us by the Spirit to walk in the newness of life.Lord, Help me to live like I believe it. You know I love ya, Don

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