1 Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, 2 because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death. 3 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, 4 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. 5 Those who live according to the sinful nature have their minds set on what that nature desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. 6 The mind of sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace; 7 the sinful mind is hostile to God. It does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so. 8 Those controlled by the sinful nature cannot please God. 9 You, however, are controlled not by the sinful nature but by the Spirit, if the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ. 10 But if Christ is in you, your body is dead because of sin, yet your spirit is alive because of righteousness. 11 And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit, who lives in you.
The whole chapter of Romans 8 is profound. I’ve posted here just a portion of the beginning, Some of it may be very familiar to you. But, I want to encourage you — especially if this is familiar to you — to look beyond the first verse, and really try to absorb the weight of Truth the Apostle Paul is laying out here. I’d like to highlight a few points.
1. We are no loner condemned, becase we are FREE! (verse 1)
Verse one is always a favorite because so often the devil tries to make us think that we have “blown it” when we sin, and accuse us that our efforts to live for God are fruitless.
It is so good to know that we no longer are trying in our own strength to fulfill God’s righteous requirements and hope to earn His favor. The Spirit of life has SET US FREE from the law of sin an death.
2. The law was powerless to remove our sin. So, the Son of God came as a sin offering, to remove the very power of sin from us! It no longer has power over us! (verses 2-3)This point is worth stopping and meditating on. It is a past tense AND a present tense reality! When we put our faith in Christ, we are made compeletely clean in that moment. The stain of our sins is removed, the curse of sin is removed, AND the power of sin nature is conquered. Do you know what that means?!?! It means that by His mighty power at work within us TODAY, we CAN LIVE HOLY! We have no obligation to live in sin or to sin at all! That is why it says that “the righteous requirements of the law might be fully met IN US”. It’s obvious that Jesus fulfilled all righteousness, but this is saying that by His power, WE can live righteously!!
3. Because of the life of Jesus IN us (and us being found “in” Christ), the righteous requirements of God CAN BE fully met IN US! (verse 4)
(This part blew me away as I was studying this passage with the youth last week)
Do you see what that says?? God’s holy standards can be FULLY MET IN YOU AND I!!!!
I find this so remarkable, because:
-It’s easy to think that Jesus fulfilled God’s righteous requirements, but
-It’s hard to imagine that I could ever live so perfectly, and
-MANY people blame sin nature for their habit of continually living in sin
This passage shows us that OUR LIVES can be walked out in righteousness, IF we CHOOSE to live by the Spirit. It’s not automatic. We DO have to CHOOSE. We get to choose every day to say yes to God as He leads us, guides us and empowers us by His Holy Spirit living on the inside. Conversely, we can choose NOT to listen or obey Him. When we choose the latter, we sin. But, sin is not some overwhelming force that grabs us and takes control of us, as some would seem to describe it. If we are in Christ, it holds no power over us — NONE! But, we can choose to give ourselves to sin.
4. Our reality in Christ is to live in accordance with the HOLY Spirit and to have our mind controlled by the Spirit. His Spirit will also give divine LIFE to our bodies! (verses 5-11)
It’s our choice! Life or death. Freedom or condemnation.
Which will you allow to control you?
p.s. feel free to chime in on the blog: www.jessiestill.wordpress.com