Summary: Living the Spirit filled life. Knowing that Sin cannot control, condemn, or claim you!
We want to please God! When we were born again, God implanted within us a new nature. This new nature desires to live in accordance with God’s Word and will. But the old sinful nature, constantly seeks to reassert itself in our lives. What generally results is a sense of exasperation and confusion. What is going on? Why am I struggling? Why can’t I seem to get the victory? Why is this happening to me? Have I failed God? Am I missing something? Is there a way to be free?
We know that Paul also experienced this struggle, because he describes it in Romans 7: He says, "I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do."
Paul struggled with the same conflict you and I experience. It was the struggle of his attempt to live for Jesus. And here he openly shares that struggle with us. By being transparent, he seeks to be an encouragement. By sharing his struggle, he hopes to free us from ours. He had come to the end of his rope. He says in verse 24, "What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death?" It is apparent that Paul had come to see his own self-effort for what it was. And it was not enough! Now he will share with us the key to being free at last!
Turn in your Bible’s to Romans 8:1-4,
"Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death. For what the law was powerless to do in that it was weakened by the sinful nature, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful man to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in sinful man, in order that the righteous requirements of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the sinful nature but according to the Spirit." PRAY
I. Sin Cannot Claim You! (Doing)
The first thing we need to understand is that sin cannot claim us. Let’s look at verse 1&2, "Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death." The Bible teaches that, because we are sinners, we are under condemnation. We deserve judgment. But the Bible also teaches that, when we come to Christ, we are forgiven. The guilt of sin is lifted. We are now free!
But knowing we are free, and walking in that freedom is difficult. Our primary difficulty is dealing with the old nature. It is the struggle. The struggle itself causes us to feel condemned.
The word for condemnation in this verse is an interesting one. Not only does it have to do with judgment, it can refer to a piece of land on which there is a prior claim. Sometimes we feel like that. We feel that perhaps the title search was not thorough enough in our lives when we committed ourselves to Jesus. Maybe there is still a lien on our lives. Paul is saying that sin cannot claim us because Christ has set us free. Jesus Christ has set us free!
The law no longer has any jurisdiction. We are free in Jesus Christ; free from the bondage to sin, free from the law of death. We are set free now to live in a dynamic relationship of living union with Christ. We are free in Christ Jesus!
The truth of what the Scripture is saying is that in Christ we have been set free. That is the truth. It is the truth whether you believe it or not. It is the truth whether you feel it or not. This is the key. God is not calling upon us to act on our feelings, but on the truth of His Word. What we really need is a new self-image; one that is based on the truth of God’s Word, not a self-image based on how we feel. We must know our standing in Christ!
We are personally free in Christ. Sin cannot claim us. We are in Christ, and Jesus Christ has set us free from the law of sin and death. Sin cannot claim us because we are personally free in Christ.
II. Sin Cannot Condemn You!
Let’s look at verse 3, "For what the law was powerless to do in that it was weakened by the sinful nature, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful man to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in sinful man."