ROMANS 8:1-4


[Ro 8:1-4]:

(v. 1) "There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus."

[All those who are "in Christ", i.e., those who have become believers, have by definition a permanent position as described in the Bible, (Ro 6:3; 2 Cor 5:17), and are therefore defined, being "in Christ", as eternally secure from going to hell whether they continue to obey Christ or not. Compare 1 Jn 5:9-13, 1 Cor 3:11-15, 2 Tim 2:11-13).

Furthermore, Ro 8:1 clearly declares the believers position as no longer under 'condemnation'.

Note that some translations have the phrase "who do not live according to the sinful nature but according to the Spirit". This phrase is omitted from the end of verse one above because it was discovered that it was erroneously copied from verse 4 in a number of later manuscripts. Earlier, more reliable manuscripts do not have this phrase. Its placement here in verse one by someone who was transcribing manuscripts contradicts many other passages which teach God's exclusive and sovereign role in preserving the eternal security of the believer, (ref: Ro 8:38-39; Jn 10:28; Eph 1:13-14, 2:8-9, 4:30 & Ro 11:29). How the believer lives his life does not effect his eternal destiny. Whom he has placed his faith in does, (Ref. Jn 3:16; Jn 14:6)!]

(v. 2) For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death.

["The Law of the Spirit of life" = The Law of the Spirit of life of those who are in Christ Jesus, i.e., believers, is a law which stipulates that one is set free from the law of sin and of death, i.e., believers are set free from ever being condemned unto eternal death, i.e., separation from God in the Lake of Fire.

The law of the spirit of life can also be described as the law of perfect Christian freedom which is energized by living by faith in Jesus Christ and His Word - energized by the love of Him, (cp. Gal 5:1-6, 13; 1 Cor 8:9); which law makes provision through the blood of Christ for eradicating the effects of the believer's daily sins, (1 Jn 1:1-9), and also for preserving his eternal destiny in heaven, (1 Jn 1:7; 1 Jn 2:2).

So once a person has expressed his faith alone in Christ alone as Savior he is now subject to this new law: the law of the Spirit of Life which is administered by God the Holy Spirit indwelling in him. Under this new law the child of God can obey and walk in the Spirit by faith; or not obey and walk in carnality by the world and put himself under God's discipline. Either way he walks, this new law of the Spirit of life that he is under has permanently and eternally set him free from the law of sin and eternal death in the Lake of Fire. The believer is therefore is eternally secure from condemnation under the law of sin and death because he has trusted alone in Christ alone. The law of sin and death is that law which keeps an individual who is subject to it under the slavery of sin, (Ro 6:17a; 20), and then under eternal condemnation when he dies, (Jn 3:18; 1 Jn 5:12). An unbeliever has no choice under this law but to sin in everything he does. Even the good that he does, not being directed by God the Holy Spirit, is contaminated by his evil nature in some way, (Isa 64:6; Jer 17:9; Ro 6:20; Lk 18:19). The unbeliever is truly a hopeless slave to the law of sin and eternal death, (Ro 6:20)]

[Ro 8:1-4 cont.]:

(v. 3 NIV) "For what the law was powerless to do in that it was weakened by the sinful nature, God did by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful man to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in sinful man..."

"His [God's] own Son in the likeness of sinful man" = God the Son became flesh - became in the likeness of man without a sin nature, yet He remained fully God at the same time, (cp. 2 Cor 5:21; Phil 2:6-8; Col 1:15-16). He came to earth as a Man "to be a sin offering" = to die for the sins of the whole world, (cp. 1 Jn 2:2).

"And so He [the Lord Jesus Christ] condemned sin in sinful man.." = "condemned" = "katerkrinen" = passed a judicial sentence upon sin. In other words, the Lord Jesus Christ died for the judgment due for our sin and thus paid the penalty that our own sins required us to pay, (1 Jn 2:2). So all that remains for the individual is to trust in our Lord's payment for his sins and that individual will receive forgiveness and eternal life, (ref. Acts 10:43)]

[Ro 8:1-4 cont.]:

(v. 3c cont) "And so He condemned sin in sinful man,

(v. 4) in order that the [perfect & righteous] requirement of the Law might be fulfilled in us, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit."

When a believer is controlled by, i.e., walks according to the Spirit Who now indwells him, (Eph 1:13-14); he fulfills the righteous requirement of the Law. It is a matter of choice for the believer. So if he chooses to follow his own way he will be unrighteous. But if he chooses to be controlled by the Spirit, he will be righteous.

[Compare Eph 5:15-18]:

(v. 15) "[Believers] Be very careful, then, how you live - not as unwise but as wise,

(v. 16) making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.

(v. 17) Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord's will is.

(v. 18) Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled [controlled] with the Spirit."]

[Ro 8:1-4 cont.]:

(v. 3c cont.) "And so He condemned sin in sinful man,

(v. 4 AMPLIFIED) so that the righteous and just requirement of the Law might be fully met in us, who live and move not in the ways of the flesh but in the ways of the Spirit - our lives governed not by the standards and according to the dictates of the flesh, but controlled by the (Holy) Spirit."

Notice: "might be fully met" = "pleroe" = aorist tense, passive voice, subjunctive mood = so that a condition of possibility but not certainty is established. Maybe you will act righteously and maybe you won't. But now at least you as one who is now a believer can fulfill the righteous requirement of the Law by submitting to the leading of God the Holy Spirit. Before, as an unbeliever, you could not at all.

So Jesus Christ "condemned sin in sinful man" in order that the perfect standard of the Mosaic Law might be fulfilled on a moment to moment basis in the lives of those believers who for those moments are walking according to the Spirit and not according to the flesh. Therefore believers at times do choose NOT to live according to the Spirit and at those times are NOT meeting the righteous requirements of the Law. They are then out of fellowship with God but not out of salvation, (Ro 8:1, 38-39). Their position in Christ relative to eternal life remains sovereignly intact. The out-of-fellowship problem is then resolved by confession and by obeying the Word again, (1 Jn 1:5-10, Jn 14:15)]