Romans 8:1-4 (NKJV) 1 There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. 2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death. 3 For what the law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh, God did by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, on account of sin: He condemned sin in the flesh, 4 that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.
In our last post we began looking at this scripture. God’s desire for us it to walk free from the “wretched” affects of sin in our lives but not by entering into the bondage that the Law can be. The solution is for us to walk in the spirit and not in the flesh. Romans 7 contains the statement of a problem and Romans 8 contains the answer to the problem.
So far, we have seen that there are two laws at work that affect our walk in this world. One is the law of the spirit of life in Christ Jesus and the other is the Law of sin and death. The latter is at work all the time because of the fall. Salvation gives us the power to overcome the affects of this law as we flow in our relationship with Christ Jesus. We call that walking in the spirit and not in the flesh.
We concluded last time by pointing out that even though we are already spiritually free from the laws of sin and death because of salvation, Christians still experience the effects of the law of sin and death in the world. We must continue to apply the law of life in order to maintain our freedom in the earth.
We have mentioned the natural law of gravity. That law and the force it describes is always at work, but that is not the only natural law in the physical world. There are many of them. The more we understand them, the more we learn to apply them. Gravity keeps us anchored to the earth. Yet today, we know that it is possible to leave the earth and fly all over the world. We do that by using an airplane.
Airplanes are not mystical. They work because we have learned that the law of gravity can be overcome if we apply other laws. Two of them are the laws of lift and thrust. Those laws say that if we run a specific shape through the air at sufficient speed, lift will be created. Lift causes an airplane to rise above the force of gravity. As long as thrust is applied, the wing will stay in the air.
In the same way, the law of sin and death is always at work in the earth. This is true because of the fall of man. If nothing changes, sin and death will dominate all humanity until it eventually causes physical death and separation from God. That is the default condition of man and the default law at work in the earth.
Praise God something did change. Jesus came to the earth. He died for our sins. He defeated Satan, the personification of the law of sin and death, and gave man the ability to break free. For all who receive the salvation of Jesus, this is our spiritual reality. We are free from this law. We will spend eternity in the presence of God. Hallelujah.
Nevertheless, our bodies have not yet been redeemed (Romans 8:23.) They are still part of the cursed creation. Our souls, our intellect, emotions and will, are subject to the law of sin and death as long as we do not renew them by the Word of God (Romans 12:2.) If we do not overcome the law of sin and death it will continue to work in our minds and bodies until the thief, spoken of in John 10:10, is able to kill, steal and/or destroy us. We will go to heaven, but we will have neither the life nor the effectiveness God wants for us here.
What must I do? I must apply the law of the spirit of life in Christ Jesus, which is already at work in my spirit, to my outward life. I must walk in the power of the spirit where this law dwells. When I do that, I have victory, peace, joy and everything else God has provided for me in salvation. When I stop applying the law of the spirit of life in Christ Jesus, the law of sin and death begins to work on my body and my soul.
An airplane must continue to move forward at the correct speed to stay in the air. If the engine stops working the plane flies as long as its speed is sufficient to produce lift. Eventually the plane will slow until it begins to descend. In this kind of a crash, the plane does not just fall into the ground. It flies into the ground. It continues to fly until it is so low that the ground plucks it out of the air. It may land safely, or it may crash and break into a thousand pieces. Either way it is on the ground.
Many of us have been saved. We have experienced the joy of the law of the spirit of life in Christ Jesus as we know the forgiveness of our sin and the lightness that brings to life. We may have continued to apply thrust to our Christian experience by growing in the Word of God as well as in prayer, praise and worship and our relationship with him. All of us, to one degree or another, have let our “thrust” dwindle until we came back to earth.
Some simply settle into routine Christianity. The joy of our salvation is gone. The power we once knew is no longer there. Life begins to trouble us again. We become more and more vulnerable until we are deceived into accepting that there is no more available for us.
Others experience catastrophic failures. These may be failures in our walk of holiness, our emotional lives or any other area of our physical existence. We have all seen these kinds of Christian “plane crashes.” Maybe we have been one ourselves.
This is what Paul is talking about in Romans 7. In the end of that chapter he gives us hope. He tells us that Jesus Christ can save us from that condition. In Romans 8 he tells us how. We must get back to walking in the spirit! Then there will be no more condemnation and we will soar above the law of sin and death in the power of the Law of the spirit of life in Christ Jesus.
I mentioned two truths we must be aware of from these verses. The second is in verse 3.
Romans 8:3 (NKJV) 3 For what the law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh, God did by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, on account of sin: He condemned sin in the flesh,
The Mosaic Law could not do what we have been talking about. It could not set us free from the law of sin and death. The reason is simple. The law of sin and death works in the flesh. The Mosaic Law had a weakness. It also worked in the flesh. Law is flesh trying its best to control flesh. It can help some, but it always leads to bondage and failure. It was never what God intended for his relationship with man. It was simply a means to an end.
What was the end the Law was a means to? The restoration of full relationship with our Father God and creator. That relationship can never be primarily in the flesh. It can and should affect our flesh. It cannot truly function there. The reason is seen in John 4:24. God is a spirit.
The law that set us free from the law of sin and death is the Law of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus. We might say it is the Law of God’s work in us through our relationship with him. Law could communicate God’s ways but not really his nature. It described certain things about God, but life is to know him. If I am going to know him I must know him in the spirit.
When I walk in the spirit I am accessing that part of me that was designed to know God. That is what we must do to be what God intended all along.