Romans 8:1-3 [9-28-11]


[Verses 1-3]



Romans 7:22-25) [NIV] For in my inner being I delight in God’s law;

23) [NIV] but I see another law at work in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within my members.

24) [NIV] What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death?

QUESTION: What causes this struggle Paul is talking about in this chapter?

ANSWER: As a Christian I like God’s rules in my intellect; I know they are right. However, I discover “another law” at work in the members of my body; a natural law that longs to give in to my passion to sin. Human effort fails to consistently do what my intellect, as a believer, wants to do because my passion to sin, that is a result of having a fallen nature, is stronger that my passion to do what my intellect tells me is the right thing to do.

QUESTION: What does Paul cry out as a result of this?

ANSWER: “What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death?”

25) [NIV] Thanks be to God-through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself in my mind am a slave to God’s law, but in the sinful nature a slave to the law of sin.

QUESTION: How does Paul conclude this chapter?

ANSWER: He reiterates what the struggle is.


On To This Week’s Lesson:

Romans 8:1-3) [NIV] Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus,  

(KJV) [There is] therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.

(MSG) With the arrival of Jesus, the Messiah, that fateful dilemma is resolved. Those who enter into Christ’s being-here-for-us no longer have to live under a continuous, low-lying black cloud.

QUESTION: How does this verse tie into the end of the previous chapter?

ANSWER: The revelation that rescues us from the “what a wretched man I am” syndrome is the revelation of our being “in Christ Jesus.”

NOTE: The Law condemned me because I had broken its rules. But now, I am in Christ! That means that the blood of Christ has paid for my sins. The Law has no hold on me because my debt, the penalty for my sin, has been paid; Jesus paid it!

QUESTION: Why did the early translators add the phrase “who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit” to this verse?

ANSWER: Who knows for certain? It could have initially been a footnote added by the one translating this passage and was then later assumed to be part of the passage.

NOTE: It seems certain that this expression was not in the original, but I believe the thought conveyed by it is the overriding thought of this epistle.

2) [NIV] because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death.

(MSG) A new power is in operation. The Spirit of life in Christ, like a strong wind, has magnificently cleared the air, freeing you from a fated lifetime of brutal tyranny at the hands of sin and death.

QUESTION: What does this verse mean?

ANSWER: Until Jesus died the Law was in operation, and that Law said:

“It is the one who sins who will die. A son is not to suffer because of his father’s sins, nor a father because of the sins of his son. Good people will be rewarded for doing good, and evil people will suffer for the evil they do” [Ezekiel 18:20].

We were all sentenced to death before we were ever born! THEN CAME THE CROSS! Jesus paid my debts! When I placed my faith in Him, and received Him as my Lord and Savior, His payment for my sins took affect. The Law says that when I sin, I die. Grace says that when I am “in Jesus” it changes my destiny. I am now free from the penalty of death that I had earned through my conduct. In Christ I live free from the sentence of death.

QUESTION: What else does this verse mean?

ANSWER: I am now free from living my life under the Law. I have a new way to live now; it’s the way of the Spirit. The Old Testament model has been replaced with a new model; I now live my life through the power of grace. The fear of the Law no longer restrains me from sin; love is now my restraining force.

NOTE: If I love God first, and people second, then I will not sin against either.

3) [NIV] 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,  

[AMP] For God has done what the Law could not do, [its power] being weakened by the flesh [the entire nature of man without the Holy Spirit]. Sending His own Son in the guise of sinful flesh and as an offering for sin, [God] condemned sin in the flesh [subdued, overcame, deprived it of its power over all who accept that sacrifice],

QUESTION: What does this verse mean?

ANSWER: The Law passed sentence on me; Jesus passed sentence on sin!

NOTE: This verse cannot mean that God, by the death of His Son, condemned sin; i.e., pronounced it to be evil! God, by the giving of the Law, had already done that! That would be old news! God, by the death of His Son, did something that the “law was powerless to do”! 

QUESTION: In what way did God, by the giving of His Son, condemn sin in a way that the Law could not do?

ANSWER: God, by the death of His Son, condemned sin’s ability to have power over me! God broke the power that sin had to control me! Let me quote a great man, “Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty we are free at last!”

Regarding “condemned sin in sinful man,”

“(2) the word “condemn” may be used in the sense of destroying, overcoming, or subduing; 2Pe_2:6, “And turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah into ashes, condemned them with an overthrow.” In this sense the sacrifice of Christ has no; only condemned sin as being evil, but has weakened its power and destroyed its influence, and will finally annihilate its existence in all who are saved by that death” [Barnes]. {1875}

“Deposed from its dominion, a thing impossible to the law, which could pronounce judgment and inflict penalty, but not dethrone” [Vincent]. {1886}

“‘condemned it to lose its power over men’ [BEZA, BENGEL, FRASER, MEYER, THOLUCK, PHILIPPI, ALFORD]” [JFB]. {1871}

NOTE: These are quotes from commentators from the 1800’s. These are not new thoughts.

ANOTHER NOTE: God has broken sin’s power over our lives! So, why do we sometimes live as though sin is in absolute control of us? We live that way because we believe that way. WE ALL LIVE BY FAITH; i.e., we walk out what we believe to be true. God Almighty, help us all believe what you have stated as fact!

Walk of Grace Chapel, Council Bluffs Church