SUBJ: The Declaration of no
condemnation to those who are in Christ and the way in which such a
state was accomplished.
AIM: That we might rejoice in such
liberty of mind and conscience as we walk in the Spirit and gain the
victory over sin and death.
INTR: There seems to be an abrupt
change in Paul’s message and manner as we recall the struggles he
described in Chapter 7.
1. However, the thanksgiving expressed at v.
7:25 looks to both God-given ability to know the difference between the
natures and the blessedness expressed in v. 8:1.
2. It is to the
rejoicing of the heart when we read such things as is found in v. 1 and
it should be accompanied by amazement in we who sense what is being
3. We would be reminded that the truths of God are evidential
in being applied by the indwelling Holy Spirit – the effects being
justification and sanctification are both distinct and gracious works of
God, they may not be separated – where one is, the other is sure to be.
I. Justification applied (v. 1)
1. This statement is the
culmination of all the prior references to justification – see vv.
1.16-17; 3:21; 3:24; 5:1-2; 5:6.
2. In chapters 1, 2, and half of 3,
the matter of universal and individual condemnation is confirmed, and
3. But then, the teaching of justification appears,
and it continues to be expressed in different ways but to the same end.
4. What does the thought of “no condemnation” mean on a personal level?
5. We then take note of to whom this is applied – they that are in
1) Chosen in Him before the foundation of the world
2) Born again of the Holy Spirit and so given new life and a new nature
3) Having been brought into vital union and communion with
6. Bearing evidence as those walking “not after the flesh,
but after the Spirit.”
II. The Law of the Spirit of life (v. 2)
1. The use of the term “law” here must be carefully considered as in v.
1) Not always the Law as given to Moses; rather an unchangeable
constraint on us to evil or to good.
2) Here the “law of sin and
death” seems to look to what Paul saw in 7:23
2. Quoting William
Hendriksen: “the Law of the Spirit of life is the forceful and effective
operation of the Holy Spirit in the hearts and lives of God’s children.
3. It is to precious freedom that we have been and are being brought
1) A conflict may seem to arise in comparing v. 7:14 to this freedom –
the difficulty as to how Paul could be both a slave to sin and free in
the Spirit – the two natures again.
2) But, we are pointed thusly,
Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free,
and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage. Galatians 5:1.
4. While a sinless life is not possible here, we are under new rule
ultimately by virtue of having been translated into the Kingdom of His
1) We currently enjoy a sense of freedom (no condemnation
and the inclination to worship).
2) We look to final deliverance to
perfect freedom in the world to come.
III. What the Law could
not, God did (vv. 3-4)
1. The Law is spiritual, Holy and beautiful
and is not the cause of death in any.
1) Sin reigns unto death in our
2) The Law simply discovers it.
2. Simply put, the
Law could not produce in us any of those things that grace does: But of
him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and
righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption: 1 Corinthians 1:30.
3. God did what the Law could not do – He provided One who would
perfectly honor God and His Law – He sent His own Son into the world.
1) In the form of sinful flesh – that He might fully partake of all and
for all His
2) We note here that with the birth of Christ He
possessed two natures!
4. And so, God condemned sin in the flesh:
1) The punishment was fully rendered – “He that spared not His own Son…”
2) Satisfaction was complete: He shall see of the travail of his soul,
and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant
justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities. Isaiah 53:11.
The righteousness of God fulfilled in us:
1) It is a matter of record
that the debt of all who come unto God by Him is paid in full!
matter of character – these are they (repeated from verse 1) “who walk
not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.”