039 | Romans 8:1-4
“Therefore, now...” This is more potent that just a simple passing phrase. Throughout chapter 7, Paul has articulated his absolute frustration with attempting to achieve righteousness through the law. Every time Paul has put his best foot forward, the law of Moses has proven to be the obstacle on which he stumped his toe. The very thing he’s expecting to provide life is providing death. (7:10)
So when Paul says “therefore, now” he’s bringing us to “the shift”, the “turn over”, the new way of life, the new covenant.
“There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” All of a sudden, our shift of faith brings us to a position where the law can no longer touch us. No matter how much the law may find fault with us, there is no condemnation because we stand on - and in the merit of Jesus Christ. The work he’s accomplished is so good, so finished, so perfect that it stands, not just for him, but for all of us who put our faith in him.
And this transition means we’re set free from the “law of sin and death.” At this point, reading that particular phrase, it’s easy to say, “Is Paul really talking about the Law of Moses? The ten commandments? Really?” But keep in mind a few verses from the previous chapter.
Romans7:5 - Our sinful passions are aroused by the law.
Romans 7:8 - Sin uses the law to seize opportunities to bring out our sinfulness.
Romans 7:9-10 -Sin uses the law to produce death in us.
Romans 7:13 - Sin, through the law, multiplies beyond measure.
Being free from the Law of Moses means we’re free, not only from its eternal consequences, but also the negative impact it has; from the effects of sin (and death) in our daily life. Now, we’re able to walk by the spirit and be led by the spirit and experience life. And life on a whole ‘nutha level!
The Law of Moses is a mirror. We hold it up, look in, and realize that we’re not worthy in-and-of-ourselves. The Law itself is good and holy and righteous, but it has one major flaw. This is the flaw that keeps it from producing life and producing holiness in our life. It’s the flaw that’s so detrimental. That the law of Moses has become dangerous. Oh… You don’t think it’s dangerous? Romans 7:13 says that sin produces death and the law makes sin “super sin.” THAT EQUALS SUPER DEATH. You don’t mess around with stuff that says “This will kill you.” Much less stuff that says “This will MEGA kill you!”
So, what is this detrimental flaw? The critical virus in the operating system?
Weakened by flesh. You know what that means? It means, you’re the problem. I’m the problem too. The law of Moses demands more than we have to give. We are not up for the task. No matter how bad we want it. No matter how hard we try. No matter how much time we put in. We just aren’t good enough.
But Jesus steps in and does for us what we couldn’t do for ourselves.
By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh, 4 in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.
Here’s what’s really crazy: We haven’t been excused from the requirements of the law. It’s not like the teacher has given us the opportunity to skip the big test. Instead, the teacher has brought in an expert in that subject to take the test for us.
We’re unqualified to perform at the level required by the law, so God sent his son (who is totally qualified) to fulfill the requirement of the law for us. Because we now walk in the Spirit, with the official status of one who has completed and fully satisfied the law, we have unlimited access, unlimited favor, unlimited resources in the kingdom. We are able to go before the Lord and drop THE name above all names to get stuff done. That’s powerful!