For what the law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh, God did by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, on account of sin: He condemned sin in the flesh, that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. Romans 8:3-4 [NKJV]
We move just a couple of steps today with a focus on verses 3 & 4. I am so glad I have taken a pause do the study deeper into Romans 8. I am really starting to see this dynamic and intertwining of Romans 8 and spiritual warfare. The focus today is in truly understanding why it was God, who needed to come down in the likeness of human flesh in order to be the sacrifice that destroyed sin for all time.
Since the flesh is the field of battle which sin has occupied and where it has set up headquarters, God had to send his Son (John 3:16; Gal. 4:4; 1 John 4:9) in the likeness of sinful flesh to vanquish the invader. The scholar Dunn said, ‘God did not redeem flesh by an act of incarnation; he destroyed flesh by an act of condemnation’. God made attainable in the new life in Christ Jesus what was completely unattainable in the old life under the law, namely, fulfilment of ‘the just requirement of the law’. In the Old Testament, humans present the sin offering to God. In the sin offering of God’s Son, God is the one who offers it for humans…a ‘once and for all would believe’ sin offering.
The tone in might be fulfilled or ‘fully met’ (as the NIV says it) in us in 8:4 places the point on what God does in us and not on what we might accomplish on our own (Gal. 2:20). To use the language of Galatians, the fulfilment of the law comes as the ‘fruit of the Spirit’ for those who live by the Spirit and are guided by the Spirit (Gal. 5:22–25), and not as a work that believers accomplish.
Christian living is not something that flows automatically from faith and baptism; cooperation with God’s Spirit is required.
The big thing that has stuck with me from yesterday was this aspect of the new creature (new inner man) I received when I was born again, is an occupant of this fleshly body that still resonates and responds to the world. It is the inner man with the strength of the Spirit of God that wars with that flesh which is a never ending set of daily battles. It is the moment by moment cooperation with the Spirit of God that gives me the strength to execute and maintain this fight. It is on me to engage; I must pursue the help of the Lord through the Spirit for this strength.