Romans 8:1-4 (NIV) Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus,2 because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death. 3 For what the law was powerless to do because it was weakened by the flesh, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in the flesh,4 in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.
So, what does that mean?
It means that what is condemned to death is the sin residing in our flesh so that the requirement of the law (that a death occurs so that the debt we incurred when we sinned has been paid for) has been fully met in us. This can now happen because we have been born again and born of the Spirit and do not live according to the flesh but according to the Spirit (Who never brings death but always brings the born again life). So, sin in the flesh was payed as the ransom for our souls and sin is forced to die. Thus, the requirements of God’s law of a death to occur to bring right standing with God (or righteousness) has occurred. So, while our physical body may die, it is not our physical body that we are worried about. For those born again of the Spirit, it is our soul that we are focused upon that it should live on. That is the part of us that has been born again of the Spirit and has been quickened, enlivened from a state of soulish death that used to refuse to believe Jesus is the Son of God or that His death on the cross brings us life. And we believe this only by faith since we have no physical evidence of Jesus’ death or even that He is the Son of God. We believe by faith because God has empowered us, implanted within us the faith needed to believe any of this in the first place.
This soul-death left us in darkness. We were in the kingdom of darkness and didn’t see or perceive the light of God as even being real. This was because we had no faith. And, once again, faith is a gift of God so that no one can boast of being great at building faith within themselves. But, we who are in Christ and born again have been transferred out of this kingdom of ignorance and darkness into God’s glorious kingdom of His Son, Jesus, the True Light.
In other words, God said that all trespasses that we have incurred against His love can only be removed if a death of the fleshly being has occurred. The life is in the blood and therefore if a life’s blood is spilled out (in a very specific way) that God will remove the sins from the person/people. So, God looked at the animal sacrifices that mankind had been giving Him on the altar in the Jewish Temple (before Jesus came to earth) and He said that this kind of death had too temporary of an effect. It only lasted until someone sinned again. He saw the problems with the old system and so did Jesus. The problem was changing the person/people on the inside (in their soul) so that they could have access to the power of God to refuse to sin. He also saw the problem that the sacrifice of pouring out a living being’s life blood was going to have to be once and for all time. Next, God was going to have to accept that one life-blood sacrifice as completing all the requirements of His law. He was going to have to do all this to make it possible to grant a release from mankind from the inevitable consequence that He pronounced on all who have the stain of sin on their souls. (That’s everyone!)
So, this scripture is saying that God has found the sacrifice of His Son, Jesus’ life-blood on the cross as payment for the sin for all mankind. It is stating that since we have been taken out of the kingdom where what happens in our physical/fleshly world is of ALL importance and placing us in Jesus’ kingdom where the physical/fleshly world is of NO importance is what it took to get the job done. This scripture reassures us that we who are born again and safely tucked away in Christ’s death can NEVER be condemned to spiritual death again. And it is because a fleshly death has occurred by Jesus’ death on the cross being extended to all of us that we can partake of by merely accepting His gracious gift of His very life-blood that the requirement for death to eradicate sin has been accomplished.
Because we too have gone down into the watery grave of Baptism at our conversion we too have symbolically gone down into death (as Jesus went into His tomb) and we have risen out of the baptismal waters to new life (just as Jesus rose to new life when He rose from the dead and walked out of the burial tomb). So, in effect, we too have shared in Jesus’ death and resurrection and this was all done in faith and by faith.
How amazing that the Apostle Paul, the author of the book of Romans, could say so much in only four verses!
That’s all I have for you today from The Middle of the Garden, where we all share in the day-in and day-out choices of which tree we will eat from in the middle of our own garden. Just like Eve we must choose from either the Tree of Life or the Tree of the knowledge of the difference between good and evil.
THE MIDDLE OF THE GARDEN / A BLOG TO SEE / BY JANET WILLIAMS