Faith in Romans - Chapter 8: No Condemnation/ Judgement on Believers in Christ Jesus who before were Sinners Condemned to Death:Volume 5, Number 18
Created Date: August 31, 2020
Posted Date: August 31, 2020
The first verse of Romans chapter 8 sums up the previous 3 chapters: “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus,”. (The King James Version [KJV] adds the phrase “who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.” The New International Version [NIV] is correct in omitting this phrase as it does not appear in the original manuscripts. However, this phrase is in in both the KJV and the NIV.) The Greek word translated “condemnation” in Romans 8:1 is from the Greek “katak’rima” (G2631), a particular form found only 3 times in the New Testament (NT); here, and . According to Bullinger’s Critical Lexicon and Concordance to the English and Greek NT, page 178, it means “the sentence pronounced against, condemnation.” Today, we understand the thought conveyed by this word to describe the condition of a person charged with murder who either plead guilty or was found guilty by a jury and sentenced to death. Quite simply, he has been condemned for the crime he committed. teaches that all humanity has being condemned to death, having been born sinners from the seed of Adam, whereas believers are justified to life by the free gift by Jesus Christ. Romans 8:1 recaps this good news with “therefore,” i.e., the conclusion drawn from the previous passages, believers in Christ Jesus are not condemned to death and then we learn; “For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.” .
What is “the law of Spirit of life in Christ Jesus” that freed believers? According to Bullinger’s book “Figures of Speech Used in the Bible,” pages 505 & 541, this phrase is the figure of speech “Antimereia” where the former of the two nouns (both in regimen) is used for an adjective and is to receive the emphasis. Bullinger writes: “the Spirit is put also for His quickening, regenerating and sanctifying work in man, in creating the new nature with its spiritual desires and powers.” (Now, over 100 years after Bullinger wrote this, the Internet indicates this word can be spelled either antimereia or anthimeria, described in rhetoric as using one part of speech as another, such as using a noun as a verb). Bullinger interprets this passage: “For the law of the spirit of life (i.e., not the Holy Spirit, but His life-giving work in the New nature created within us) hath made me free from the law of sin and death.” This life-giving nature created within us frees us from “the law of sin and death.”*
Regarding “the law of sin and death” (the law brought the knowledge of sin; and its wages-death), the following passages teach that our sin which brought death is identified by the Law of Moses: “Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God. “Therefore, by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.”. “But now we are delivered from the law, that being dead wherein we were held; that we should serve in newness of spirit, and not in the oldness of the letter. What shall we say then? Is the law sin? God forbid. Nay, I had not known sin, but by the law: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet.” . “Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster.” .
The Law of Moses could not free the human race from the judgment of sin because no one, being natural born sinners, has had the ability to keep it. But God be praised: “For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh:”. The word translated “condemned” here is a different Greek form than that in Romans 8:1. Here it is “katakri’no” (G2631), defined by the Greek Lexicon as “to give judgement against; hence, to condemn.” So it is that God gave judgment against sin by sending his own Son in the “likeness” of sinful flesh. The word translated “likeness” is from the Greek “homoi’oma” (G3567) found 6 times in the NT. It means “something made like, a likeness.” This does not mean that Jesus Christ was not fully man, because He was, just as He was fully God. Having been born of a woman He was a Man…but…He was not born a sinner as He was not born of the seed of Adam. The Holy Spirit planted pure, sinless seed in Mary, so He was born sinless. The operative word is “sinful” in the phrase “in the likeness of sinful flesh” in that He was in man’s sinful likeness, but without the sin.
Note the word “flesh” found 3 times in Romans 8:3. It is from the Greek “sarx,” which occurs 150 times in the NT, most frequently in Romans at 26; of which 11 are here in the 8th chapter. It is translated “flesh” or “fleshly” 148 times and “carnal” or “carnally minded” only 3 times;and . It refers to the bodies of men or women/ of natural or physical origin/ denoting the human nature of man apart from Divine influence.
Romans 8:3 brings up an important question to ponder; why did God have to send His Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, to give judgement against sin in the flesh? Could He have condemned sin in human beings any other way? He created the universe, the heavenly host (including Satan), this earth and mankind, so could He just have scrapped the entire bloody mess and started over? The answer is a resounding no and we know this because He sent His son to do it. I see 3 basic factors explaining this; 1) God is totally just and fair in every minute detail so He cannot do anything unrighteous;; ; ; ; ; etc. 2) God cannot condone sin, Habakuk 1:13; and 3) God loves His people; ; ; . The human race was condemned to death because of sin that the law identified but the law could not save anyone because of the weakness of the flesh, so God sent His son to condemn sin in the flesh, Romans 8:3. And He knew before He molded Adam from the dust of this earth and breathed life into him that He Himself as the Second Person of the Trinity, would have to come to earth as a Man and die a horrendous death to save men and women from eternal death, .
Because of His righteousness and love for us God sent His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh “That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.” Romans 8:4. Unbelievers naturally “mind,” i.e., regard or have their affection on things of the flesh; “For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit.”. “For to be carnally (fleshly) minded is death;” Romans 8:6a and this is “Because the carnal (fleshly) mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.” . On the other hand “… to be spiritually minded is life and peace.” Romans 8:6b. Believers are in the Spirit, because the Spirit of God indwells them, a. “Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.” Romans 8:9b. “And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness.” .
“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.”. Paul emphasizes this truth in his letter to the Corinthians: “But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept. For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ's at his coming.” . “Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption. Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.” .
*Just because the law of the spirit of life (i.e., not the Holy Spirit, but His life-giving work in the New nature created within us) hath made believers free from the law of sin and death (the law brought the knowledge of sin; and its wages-death) does not mean believers are relieved from their old nature that is apt to sin. As long as believers are in the flesh (their human bodies), they are apt to sin, but the good news is that they are judged as righteous by the Faith of Jesus Christ,.