This is the final part of my series of A Just & Loving God. First we reconciled a just, yet loving God. Then we looked at why Jesus had to die on the cross. Then we took at look at the question “is Hell real?” and the natural response of who goes to Hell and who goes to Heaven. Now, we are going one step further as to why the true Christian goes to Heaven, and not Hell.
Romans 8:1-11 New King James Version (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. 5 For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. 6 For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. 7 Because the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be. 8 So then, those who are in the flesh cannot please God.
9 But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His. 10 And if Christ is in you, the body is dead because of sin, but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. 11 But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.
This is the first epistle (letter) in the New Testament. Most of the New Testament is comprised of epistles from the various apostles and disciples, often written to a specific church, and sometimes written to a specific person. In this epistle, Paul is writing to the church of Rome. This is not a building that sits in Rome with a big cross on the front that says in big letters: “First Baptist Church, Rome, Italia, SPQR” But rather it is the group of Christians who meet at one another’s house to worship the LORD, and who are trying to make disciples of all nations.
At this time, there was no printed Bible for the Christian’s to read, but rather only the word of mouth, remembering what Paul and others had preached to them. Naturally, during the first century, there would have been much confusion among the church. (Just like today!) So Paul wrote this letter to the Romans to address one of the main points of the Gospel, justification through faith, and what that means.
A New Law
In Romans, Paul has told us that the wages of sin is death, (6:23) and that no one is righteous (3:10). So then how can he make the statement in chapter 8 that there is no condemnation? The answer is in the second verse.
For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death.
The old law of sin and death doesn’t apply once you have been “justified by faith.” (5:1; 7:6) This means so much to the Christian. To be living in the Spirit and not the Flesh is what brings us the freedom from this condemnation.
We know that the law is not made invalid because of this verse, becuase the wages of sin is still death, but because of our faith, we have been justified because Jesus paid those wages for us, when we believed. He already died, for those who believe on Him. So now, the condemnation, the law of sin and death, doesn’t apply to us anymore. We are new creations in Christ when we become saved, and we are under a new law. The law of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus.
Notice verse 10. “And if Christ is in you, the body is dead because of sin, but the Spirit is life becuase of righteousness.” So, while our bodies will still die because of sin, our souls, our spirits will live on with Him. The Bibles tells us we will be given new, perfect bodies.
My challenge to you is to trust in Him to give you the new law of the Spirit of life. and walk according to the Spirit. It takes wisdom and listening to that Spirit to walk according to the Spirit, for how can we walk according to something if we never listen to it? Get in the Word today and ask for wisdom and interpretation.
If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him.