Romans 8:1-9 Devotional Commentary

No condemnation: Devotional Commentary for February 26-March 4

Romans 8:1-9 (NASB)

This is the Word of God. May the Spirit of Truth give us wisdom and insight to receive what has been conveyed through His Word by His Inspiration.
The Word of God for the Christian.

1Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.
2For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death.

The concluding verses of Romans chapter seven spell out the raw details of the Christian's struggle in connection with the persisting influences of the old nature from within. But here in chapter eight, the security of the Christian is affirmed with unequivocal expressions. Because God’s righteous judgment has been eternally satisfied by the Death and the Resurrection of His Son Jesus Christ, those who believe on Him suffer no condemnation at all. This great truth assures believers and sets us free; free from the domination of the sin nature, free from the eternal consequences of sin, and free to serve God and to live for Him.

We do not need to wait for eternity to confirm our freedom in Christ. It is a present reality. We have been carried across the great chasm from death to Life, from darkness to Light. Although believers do still slip and continue to struggle with the sin nature, our debt to the Law is no longer charged against us or to our eternal account. Our penalty for sin has been paid in full by our Savior. We are not only delivered, but also have been made secure in Christ. He will never leave nor forsake us.

Because of Christ, we are no longer under the condemning authority of the Law. But through Christ, we are embraced by the Law of the Spirit of life in Christ. We are free. The Law condemns sinners to death because of the guilt of sin. However, because Jesus died our death under the Law, we are given a new life under Grace. He gave His life so that we might have life eternal in Him.

3For what the Law could not do, weak as it was through the flesh, God did: sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and as an offering for sin, He condemned sin in the flesh,
4so that the requirement of the Law might be fulfilled in us, who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.

There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. Why? Because the Lawgiver accepted the Sacrifice of His Son on our behalf as completely and absolutely satisfactory. The Law is instituted to keep the standards of righteousness and holiness as set by the Lawgiver. It condemns or acquits by observing the heart, the life, and the behavior of the recipient of the Law. That would be all of us, the children of Adam and Eve.

As children of Adam and Eve, all of mankind is found guilty before the Law and all are condemned to death. All of us have fallen short of the Glory of God because we were all born in sin in the likeness of our fallen first parents. We come from the lineage of a corrupt seed. There was nothing the Law could do for us except to pronounce a guilty verdict and condemn us to death, for that is what we deserved under the Law as sinners. The Law was unable to save us from the corruption of the old nature. The prerogative of the Law to declare us righteous was weakened by the guilt in the flesh.

But God the Lawgiver prepared the Means by Whom the Law's weakness to save is remedied. He sent His Son to earth as the Promised Seed of the woman to deal with man's violation of the Law. He became flesh to answer the Law as flesh, yet without sin. He was sacrificed as sin-offering on the Altar of God's judgment at Calvary. He laid down His Life to save the lost from the just condemnation of the Law, by His atoning Sacrifice.

Now that the Law is completely and absolutely satisfied through the perfect and eternal sacrifice of the Son of God, it can no longer condemn those to whom the righteousness and the holiness of Jesus Christ is credited. Those who are in Jesus Christ are now viewed guiltless by the Law because the Lawgiver has declared each one just and righteous before Him through the Righteousness of Jesus Christ His Son. What the Law could not accomplish because of the flesh, the Lawgiver now granted through His Son. therefore, the requirement of the Law is now fulfilled in those who are in Christ by the Law of the Spirit of life which governs and guides the new man in Christ.

5For those who are according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who are according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit.
6For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace,
7because the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God; for it does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is not even able to do so,
8and those who are in the flesh cannot please God.
9However, you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him.

Paul's careful explanation of the matter of the Law and the redeemed of Christ is not a mere pedagogic pedantry. He addresses very important aspects of Christian-living, the life and relationships of the Christian. He identifies two spheres or realms of life: the flesh and the Spirit.

These two realms of life are mutually exclusive, even though they often converge in the heart of the believer and constantly fight for dominance. Each has its own rules and lasting consequences. Those who are in the flesh live according to the dictates of the flesh and have their attention fixed on the things of the flesh. Likewise, those who are in the Spirit live according to the guidance of the Spirit and have their attentions focused on the things of the Spirit.

In other words, those who are in the flesh live disconnected from God because they are dead to the things of God. They are insensitive to the things of God. They are unable to commune with God. They are not subject to God's precepts. They are hostile to God. There is nothing in them which draws them to God. They cannot be pleasing to God. They are rebellious toward God. This is the life the Christian has left behind.

Those who are in the Spirit live according to the precepts of the Spirit. Their affections are set on the things of the Spirit of God. God is at Peace with them. They have life in Christ. His Peace is in them. His Peace reigns in them. They are the redeemed of Christ. They belong to God. This is the New Life in Christ into which the redeemed are adopted.

Having thus delineated the two realms of life, Paul unequivocally exhorts believers to live the life that God has bestowed on us in Jesus Christ. As the redeemed of Christ living under the Law of the Spirit, we cannot be at ease walking in the corrupt ways of the flesh if indeed the Spirit of Christ has entered our hearts. It is neither the flesh nor both but the Spirit only.

Let us not rush to accuse Paul of denying the realities of our struggles as Christians. He has honestly and effectively addressed that in Romans chapter seven. However, his concern hear relates to our behavior, commitment, attention, and the deliberate focus of our thoughts and actions as Christians. Where does our allegiance lie? Do we fondly nurse the flesh or deliberately and consciously surrender to the Spirit of God? Our freedom from condemnation is earned by the One Who subjected Himself to condemnation for our sake. Do we still appease the flesh or answer to God Who loved us and reconciled us to Himself?

The Truth is: if we are redeemed, then we are in the Spirit and not in the flesh. And if we are in the Spirit, then we ought to walk in the Spirit and not in the flesh. As the redeemed of Christ, we are the children of God and no longer slaves to the flesh.


Since there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ, God's Love works in the child of God by engaging the whole person in a new life of communion with God. By the direct and immediate charge and superintendence of the Holy Spirit, the Love of God is vitalized in the heart of the believer causing the new man to respond to the precepts of God's living Word out of loving obedience. This invigoration of a new life in Christ is able to effectively withstand the corrupt influences of the old life of reactions to the fear of a condemning Law. It elicits a loving response to the Law of life given by a loving Lawgiver.

The redeemed are exhorted not to live by the dictates of the old nature. Trading our freedom in Christ for slavery to the old nature would be wrong, ungodly, and outright defiance toward God. The old nature has been dethroned. It is crucified with Jesus with all of its corruptions, desires, and urges. The new man is dead to the old nature and should remain dead.

We should no longer slip back to the old life of death and hopelessness. Any Christian heeding the influences of the old nature contradicts oneself, displeases God, and is confronted by a conscience-piercing conviction. Such an individual languishes in spiritual infancy because the new man is starved of the spiritual nutrients necessary for spiritual growth.

Life as a believer would seem impossible when spiritual nutrients are drawn from the wrong well. But a new day has dawned. A new life is given. A new Law of life is in place. Life under the new Law of life is not only possible, but it is also a fulfilled Promise in Christ Jesus. He is our fulfillment in all things.

We are called to receive this Gift by taking heed of the Word of God. We are exhorted to be conscious of the Spirit's work in our heart, and respond to His continuous promptings and to the life-giving precepts of God's living Word. The One Who loved us into His redemption is also our strength and our wisdom Who has enabled us to respond to His Love. God's Love is the fulfillment of all the Law in our redeemed heart. A new life in Christ; A new Law of life from Christ; our Savior, our Lord, and our Fulfillment.

Here at Practical Christianity Foundation we believe that God has mercifully extended His Grace toward us and has given us His living and Holy Word to guide us in our journey in this world. We count it privilege to come alongside you and minister to you through prayer and the sharing of God's living and holy Word. Please contact us if you have any questions concerning your faith and journey as a Christian.

We encourage you to frequently visit our website where you can find weekly devotional readings and helpful blogs.

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