Summary: Romans Chapter 8 is designed to unlock the mystery and addresses the subject of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus and the difference Christ makes. Jesus Christ through the power of the Holy Spirit completely changes the life of every believer. Believers

The Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus

Romans 8:1-2, 11

“There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.….But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.”

Romans 8 is a meaty, power-packed passage of Scripture that comes on the heel of one of the most complicated chapters of the bible for me to understand, Romans 7. Theologians wrestle with how to apply some passages of Scripture found in Romans 7 without abusing them. Some say Paul was talking about his personal life, others say Paul was talking about the predicament confronting the Jews and the human race after God had revealed His divine Law through the Prophet Moses. Others believe Paul was referring to his former life, “before Christ” and not his present life, “after Christ”. Personally, I believe in Romans Chapter 7, Paul regresses as he talks about life under the law without grace or the ability to perform its demands. There are several points that Paul makes clear in Romans chapter 7. First, Paul asserts the fact that the believer is no longer bound by the law. God’s grace has appeared to all, through that grace, the believer has made us free from the law. Secondly, Paul tells us that God sent his law that sin might be revealed. The law could not save nor redeem, but it made us recognize the depth of our sin and declared us guilty before God. In other words, the Law made sin appear exceedingly sinful. Thirdly, Paul confesses that the law caused a horrible struggle within him. Romans 7:21 describes the terrible battle that raged within,

“I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me.”

General, the Law caused the Jews great struggle because they knew what to do to please God, they wanted to do right and they delighted in the Law of God, but they had no power to perform it. So that on the one hand the Jews rejoiced in the knowledge of God’s Law, but on the other hand they agonized with their powerlessness to keep the Law’s righteous demands. They had the Law but they could not do the Law. They understood what God required, but fail to fulfill those requirements.

In Romans Chapter seven, Paul was describing the trapped condition of a man under the Law with no power to perform it. Such a man has a mind to serve God, but is dominated by fleshly desires that demand him to serve sin. Read Romans 7:24,

“O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?”

Paul expresses these thoughts in the first person, although they apply to every Jewish person who loved the Law of God. Paul called himself a captive, a slave under sin’s control. He lived as a helpless slave of sin, and as such, was condemned under a sentence of death. As Paul continues, he calls these uncontrollable fleshly desires a “body of death." This terminology denotes a flesh controlled by sin and destined to be destroyed. The prevailing question of his mind was, “Who shall deliver me from this body of death?”

That is the question of every bound person. The years of their lives have been heartbreaking and difficult. They live in constant disappointment. Many never dreamed of being bound by alcohol or drug addiction for so many years. They feel trapped with no way out. They know what good is, but they find themselves doing evil. The Law with all its demands has not helped them; philosophy with all its self-help suggestions could not help them; so they cry out secretly with Apostle Paul as he cry out publicly, “O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?” The answer is found in Christ Jesus our Lord, who said in Matthew 11,

“Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

Paul draws idea of this body of death from the ancient evil practice of strapping the dead body of the victim onto the back of the criminal who killed him. The process would cause a slow, painful, unavoidable and inescapable death. The skin worms from the dead body would begin to devour the body of the living person until they were dead. This invasion of parasites and diseased tissue could takes days and sometimes weeks to carry out the fatal sentence. It was really a “body of death.” Paul uses this strong language to describe a sinfully corrupt, immoral man trying to obey the holy Law of God and avoid its penalty in his own strength. Paul cries out for deliverance because he could not overcome the inbred tendencies of his flesh. Paul details his frustration this way in Romans 7:14-19,

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