October 12, 2021 - Romans 8:1-11
Former President Ronald Reagan once stood in front of the Berlin wall and called for it to be torn down. The symbol of separation, hatred and hostility needed to be removed so that West and East Germany could combine and become one nation again. In 1987, he requested a declaration of freedom and unity be established by the removal of this symbol of totalitarian suppression.
Paul also makes a declaration of freedom when he declared that the believer has been set free from the law of sin and death (v.2). There is no condemnation for the individual that is now in Christ. The accusation of judgment is no longer valid as the believer is no longer under standard of law. That legal measure is now Jesus and as we are in Him, we are free from judgment. Whereas before, in Adam, we were condemned, now in Christ there is no condemnation. Please note it does not say “no mistakes” or “no sins”. While man still has flaws, they are covered in Christ and the law of the flesh is powerless to the believer’s relationship with God.
Paul makes three claims that believers need to recognize to be freed from condemnation. First, the Spirit of life frees us from sin (v.2). Secondly, the sinful flesh cannot condemn us (v.3) and lastly, the Spirit controls the believer not the flesh (v.4). These truths can become reality to the believer as they set their minds on the things of the Spirit and live according to the Spirit (v.5).
The contrast between the flesh and the Spirit is drawn clearly in verses six through eight. Paul desires the believer to see what they were like prior to receiving the Spirit of life. The focus of a believer will be to please and serve God and not the flesh (v.8).
As the destruction of the Berlin wall symbolized an end of separation and the beginning of unity for a divided people, so our reception of the Holy Spirit begins a new start for man. Where once death, sadness, and despair reigned now newness of life, peace and hope held sway. We are free indeed because “… if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.” (v.11).
Rejoice and give thanks that there is no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus. Paul tells us to “…meditate on these things. The things you have learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do, and the God of peace will be with you” Philippians 4:9-10.