Summary: This series is based on A. M. Hills book "Holiness in the Book of Romans."
Deliverance by Christ
Paul has discussed how Adam messed it up for everyone by sinning and bringing death into the world. He has talked about the in the flesh we can’t save ourselves. “I do what I do not want to do.” In 7:24, Paul asked, “Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?” He answered in v. 25, “Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!” He now goes on to expand that.
Read Romans 8:1-4.
Paul has said we are dead to the law through Christ. The law brings condemnation. It diagnoses our problem, but it can’t solve the problem. Christ has set us free.
I. The law cannot CLAIM you.
When we are freed from the law we are not bound by the law. The law cannot save us anyway.
We have diplomatic immunity from the law.
When Paul says, “For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death,” he means two things:
A. We are freed from the control of SIN
The law has claim over us when we are under sin, because the law diagnoses the problem. As long as the problem of sin exists, the law has a claim on us. Christ has freed us from sin. Christ conquered sin through his death on the cross.
B. We are freed from the control of DEATH
We needn’t fear death. Paul wrote, “We know that Christ being raised from the dead will never die again; death no longer has dominion over him” (6:9). When we have Christ, we shouldn’t fear death. As a follower of Christ, when we pass from this life, we are ushered into the presence of God.
The law no longer has claim on us.
II. The law cannot CONDEMN you.
The law condemns sin, but if the sin is removed we do not stand condemned any longer. Verse 3 says, “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.”
Here we have a wonderful mystery. God becoming man. Paul doesn’t say “in the likeness of flesh.” To say that would have made Jesus a phantom, only a spirit.
Paul didn’t say, “in sinful flesh.” That would mean Jesus was a sinner.
Theologians call this the “Incarnation.” It is the wonderful mystery of how Jesus was fully God and fully man. He had flesh and blood, but yet was without sin. He hungered, thirsted, grew tired, grieved, felt pain, and the range of emotion. Yet he was without sin. John 1 says, “In the beginning was the Word [Jesus], and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. …And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us” (1:1, 14). Jesus said, “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them” (Matthew 5:17).
By fulfilling the law, he removed condemnation from us. He offered up himself as a sacrifice for our sins. He suffered and died for us. Through his sacrifice we receive salvation. It was only as a Man that he could suffer in our place. Adam was a man and he messed it up, but a sinful man couldn’t fix the problem. It took a sinless Man to do it, and that was Christ.
III. The law cannot CONTROL you.
Verse 4 says, “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.”
When we live in sin, we try to do it all on our own. The law controls us by getting us to constantly be concerned about doing everything right. That leads us down the road that Paul talks about at the end of chapter 7, “I do what I don’t want to do.” We can’t keep the law on our own.
A. A life of legalism leads to FAILURE.
When we try to be good enough, we fall flat on our face. Keeping the law cannot save, even if we do it perfectly.
B. A Spirit-led life leads to SANCTIFICATION.
In order to keep the law we must be saved. The Spirit leads us keep the righteousness of the law.
The intent of the law is righteousness, and the Spirit leads us to a life of righteousness.
To try to do it on our own is to live in the flesh. To truly follow the law is to be led by the Spirit. Wiersbe says, “The legalist tries to obey God in his own strength and fails to measure up to the righteousness that God demands. The Spirit-led Christian, as he yields to the Lord, experiences the sanctifying work of the Spirit in his life.”