We continue our series on the blog entitled, Five Words That Can Change Your Life. The first word is found in Romans 8:1-8: freed. Because of our Savior’s sacrifice on the cross and the presence of the Holy Spirit within us, we are free from the power of sin in our lives.
1) We are free from the judgment of sin
Romans 8:1 begins, “There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus.” The word “therefore” refers back to the triumphant note of Romans 7:24-25. As Paul grapples with his flesh and the reality of sin in his life he poses a question we all have asked, “Who will deliver me?” The resounding answer comes in the next verse, “Jesus Christ our Lord!”
Look at those two words, “no condemnation.” As sinners, we deserve the condemnation of God. We are separated from God, deserving death, hell and judgment. But God offers pardon to “those who are in Christ Jesus.” What is the basis for this wonderful pronouncement of freedom? The basis for this wonderful assurance is the phrase “in Christ Jesus.” In Adam, we were condemned. In Christ, there is no condemnation!
The law of sin and death no longer has any jurisdiction over a child of God. The law of sin and death pronounces a curse, but the law of the Spirit pronounces a blessing. We have been made free from the judgment of sin because we now operate under the Spirit.
2) We are free to walk in the Spirit
A study of this chapter shows an emphasis on the Holy Spirit, who is mentioned nineteen times. We learn that we are free to walk in the Spirit. He says, “who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.” Notice three important truths that Paul teaches us about our freedom to walk in the Spirit of God.
I can walk in the Spirit because my heart is righteous: 3-4
The law cannot save, it only condemns. It is the level or the plumb line that reveals our faults but can do nothing to correct them. But God accomplished what the law never could. He “condemned sin in the flesh.” How? Through the perfect life and substitutionary death of Jesus Christ. Jesus lived the perfect life we could not live, fulfilling the demands of the law, then died in our place on the cross, thereby making a way of salvation to all those who were condemned under the law. Now, the “righteous requirement of the law” has been met in Jesus Christ.
So when I accept Christ as my Savior, I receive His righteousness on my account. When God looks at me, He sees the blood of Christ that cleanses me and the righteousness of Christ that covers me. My heart is now righteous in the sight of a holy God.
I can walk in the Spirit because my mind is renewed: 5-7
One of the greatest tests to determine whether or not you’re walking in the Spirit is to determine what dominates your thoughts. This is why Paul deals with the “mind.”
Paul is contrasting two types of people. We might think he is contrasting a committed Christian and a carnal Christian but this is not so. A careful reading will reveal that he is contrasting a saved person and a lost person.
Listen to how he describes these two paths. To be “carnally minded is death.” To be “spiritually minded is life and peace.” To be carnally minded is to be “at enmity with God.” While to be spiritually minded is to have peace with God.
I can walk in the Spirit because my life is redeemed: 8
In my flesh there is no good thing. I cannot please God. I don’t have the desire or the ability. But in Christ, I have been made acceptable in the sight of a holy God. My life has been redeemed!
In your flesh, no matter how hard you try, you cannot please God. Walking with the Lord is not about trying harder, it’s about trusting greater.