There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death. Romans 8:1-2 [NKJV]
Having covered verses 5-8 yesterday, I am popping back up here to the first several verses of chapter 8 since there is so much here.
Whenever we have a ‘therefore’ we must look back at the previous context before we develop a consumption of what’s forward. So let’s look back at the couple of preceding verses at the end of chapter 7.
O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? I thank God—through Jesus Christ our Lord!Romans 7:24-25 [NKJV]
So then, with the mind I myself serve the law of God, but with the flesh the law of sin.
Paul has just been telling us about this revelation that he had that he has a war going on within himself. In his innermost being he desires to do good but in his pressing to follow the law of Moses, he falls on his face. No matter how hard he tries, he always falls into some trap of sin. THEN! we get to the ‘therefore’.
Paul is saying in verse 1 such a beautiful thing – because of what Christ did on the cross covering those sins we struggle to avoid (‘struggle to avoid’ being operative), there is no condemnation for us who walk in the Spirit. Walking in the Spirit is that inner man whose whole heart has been transformed by the saving grace of God, pursuing what Jesus has in store for him/her….but because that inner man is still an occupant of the human flesh, there will be times he will fail. Because of Christ, we are not condemned with that failure.
Before Jesus, the Jews needed to present a living sacrifice to God as an acknowledgement of their sin against Him. Because of that act, God would look past their sin the sacrifice was for. This did not remove the sin, it just was God bestowing on them a forbearance of their sin before the ultimate sacrifice came down and gave Himself to eradicate sin once and for all for those who would believe —> therefore, no longer a slave to the law of sin -> death. We now have an everlasting life because Christ paid the FINAL price for our sin now and forward.
So above you saw me have some parentheses that said “(‘struggle to avoid’ being operative)”. Although we may sometimes stumble and sin, our inner man should ever be desiring to serve in obedience to the Lord Jesus. My transformed heart must be the heart that wins. My inner man with this heart must be strong. I still might stumble but it will be while my desire to follow Jesus is in full effect…it will only be because my inner man still occupies this earthen body that the war must continue.