There is no Condemnation for You

There is no Condemnation for You

Romans 8:1–10 (ESV) 
There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death. For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do. By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh, 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. For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law; indeed, it cannot. Those who are in the flesh cannot please God. 

You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him. But if Christ is in you, although the body is dead because of sin, the Spirit is life because of righteousness. 

Dear fellow redeemed: Last week we talked about what it means to walk in the light. Walk as children of light  (for the fruit of light is found in all that is good and right and true), and try to discern what is pleasing to the Lord. (Eph. 5 ESV) You have been given perfect righteousness, and a guide to all that is good and right and true. Live like it.

Now here is where you must understand Scripture according to faith. For if the light of righteousness must come from you, then “Live like it,” is condemnation. But here the verdict is rendered upon you: There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. What better news could there be for us, born sinners, than …

THERE IS NO CONDEMNATION FOR YOU
I. Righteousness: God Did It for You
II. The Spirit Is Where Our Minds Are
III. Body Dies, Spirit Lives

I. Righteousness: God Did It for You
I once read this passage to a person who was in deep despair. His response was, “But that can’t be!” He knew the law and he knew his life; it could not be that he could escape God’s condemnation.

For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death. For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do. By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh, 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.

The law would seem to make you righteous by saying, “Do this; don’t do that.” But if the law had the power to make you righteous, you would be sinless by now. You are without condemnation because God did what the law couldn’t do. He sent His son into our humanity, our flesh, and while in the flesh HE was condemned for OUR sins. The condemnation fell on Him so that There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. 

Condemnation fell on Christ, so that the law would be fulfilled in us.

II. The Spirit Is Where Our Minds Are
We need to consider how that law is fulfilled in us. The fact is that Christians are different from unbelievers. But let’s distinguish our “differentness” as Scripture presents it from the way people expect it.

The difference is spiritual. For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. The difference is spiritual, but unbelievers insist upon judging according to the law, according to the flesh, and not according to the spirit.

You’ve heard it, I’m sure. “My atheist friend is more moral than the Christians I know.” “Many Muslims are more sober than some Christians.” “I know lots of good people who aren’t Christians.” That is judging according to the flesh and not the spirit, and that is what we leave behind as Christians.

Scripture speaks of being a Christian, a believer, in radical terms:

  • Jesus says you must be born again of water and the Spirit.
  • You walk as children of light, in what is good and right and true.
  • Jesus says that you abide in His word, not in your emotional affinity for something.
  • Anyone in Christ is a new creation, the old has passed away and the new has come.
  • In Baptism we are buried with Christ in death, and rise with Him in newness of life.

Or, as we just read, For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit.

So where is your mind? It values God’s word. In matters where we feel one way and God’s word says something else, we acknowledge God’s word as true. (Even if we can’t live up to it.) We see the world in terms of the ultimate end of all things; we know that a hundred years from now our immortal souls still live. That means that our sense of proportion adjusts to abide by God’s word. The rise and fall of civilizations pale into insignificance in comparison with the prayer “Thy kingdom come.”

When we are “in Christ Jesus, it means that we work out in our lives what is good, right, and true. Not as measured by the flesh, and the law, but according to grace. That is how, as Paul puts it, the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us. We do value the good, we do honor what is right, we do believe, teach, and confess what is true. We really do. Galatians 5:22–24 (ESV) But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. Because we are in Christ Jesus, where we fail, it falls upon Him, and what does not fail are the good works which, Ephesians says, God intended to accomplish through us.

But unbelief fails utterly. For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law; indeed, it cannot. Those who are in the flesh cannot please God. But in Christ you are indeed pleasing to God, cherished, and beloved.

III. Body Dies, Spirit Lives
Yes, there is sin in our lives. Though we have been declared righteous, though we are a new creation, knowing and loving God, and seeking His will, and though we are saints, righteous before God, we also sin. And so this body cannot enter into heaven as it is, not until it is remade.

Won’t it be nice to find that our every desire and inclination is in accord with what we know is good and right and true? Won’t there be joy in an unalloyed and unhindered goodness? That is our hearts true desire, as Christians.

You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him. But if Christ is in you, although the body is dead because of sin, the Spirit is life because of righteousness.

Yes, our body will die, unless the Lord returns first, but then in the resurrection body and soul will truly live. Paul put it this way, and it is in this perspective that we live when we live in the Spirit: 1 Corinthians 15:50–57 (ESV) 

I tell you this, brothers: flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. Behold! I tell you a mystery. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed. For this perishable body must put on the imperishable, and this mortal body must put on immortality. When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written: 


“Death is swallowed up in victory.” 
“O death, where is your victory? 
O death, where is your sting?” 
The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
 


The victory is yours, and has already begun, There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.

There is no condemnation for you.

AMEN.