Paul starts off this section by stating an irrevocable fact concerning those under grace and not under the Law. The fact is that, contrary to the Mosaic Law, for those folks in Christ, there is no condemnation (v. 1). (See John 3:16-19)
2. Romans 8:2-11
- Next, Paul lays out his reasoning. “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ” because their lives are governed by the Spirit of God. The reason why we can believe Paul’s statement is because of the contrasting nature of a life that is self-governed and a life that is Spirit-governed. The life that is self-governed is incapable of pleasing a holy God because it is only concerned with itself. This type of life leads to death because of its sinful proclivity (nature). Christ, through this vehicle of sin – our flesh, condemned sin itself and fulfilled the righteous requirement of the Law making those of us who pattern our lives after Christ’s example righteous as well. Paul says that those folks whose lives are governed by the Spirit of God are not condemned because their lives actually do please God (v. 9). This type of life is only concerned with bringing glory to God, and for that God does not condemn. Instead what He does is bring life and liberty through His Spirit (vs. 2-11).
- (Look at John chapter 8:3-11.)
- So then, we owe nothing to the flesh Paul says – if we are governed by the Spirit of God and the righteousness provided by Christ. But, there is a debt to pay if we choose to govern ourselves. The price for that life is death.
3. Romans 8:12-30
- (Romans 8:12-17) “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ” because God has adopted them into His royal family. A great misconception about the nature of God is that He takes pleasure in punishing sinners. What people fail to realize is that God is always looking to enhance life – never to diminish it. That is why He does not condemn those who place their hope and trust in Him. That is why He does not condemn those persons whose lives are governed by the Spirit of God.
- (Look at Ezekiel 18:30-32)
- Through repentance we give up our right to be right, we release ourselves from our own autonomy and allow God to take over. When this happens, not only does God free us from that poor life we once lived, but He adopts us into His kingdom of endless riches. But, suffering precedes glory. In no way do we get to by-pass the trials of life and obtain the blessings of God. Paul reminds us that we will be glorified with Christ if/when/unless we have first suffered with Christ. The way in which we suffer is through the killing of our sinful desires (v. 13). God does not condemn the person whose life is a reflection of Christ (vs. 12-17).
- (Romans 8:18-28) “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ” because our adoption into the kingdom of God has immense implications for the future. Stanley Grenz says that “the Spirit forms us into a people through whom [H]e can bring about the completion of God’s work in the world” (p. 210). Our adoption into the kingdom of God is necessary for the liberation of the entire creation. Even though there is suffering now, Paul says, this will not always be the case, “God is establishing an eternal community. It means that this future reality, and not the past or even the present, defines who we are” (Grenz, p. 212). What will transpire once the kingdom of God is established in its fullness is that suffering will end for many and that we who belong to God will have our adoption confirmed.
- Look at Revelations 21:1-3ff
- Romans 8:29-30) So then, not to get into all of the theological nuances of these verses, what Paul is stressing here is that God will not condemn us since it has always been His plan to bring those people in Christ to glory even before we knew Him.
4. Romans 8:31-39
- Paul ends with a barrage of rhetorical questions.
- Since we are in Christ and our lives are governed by the Spirit of God and not the flesh; since we have been adopted into the royal family of God and our adoption is essential for the deliverance of the entire creation does it make since that God would condemn us? The short and obvious answer is an emphatic NO!
- Look at John 12:44-48.