Thursday 13 February 2014

Bible Book:

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

Romans 8:1-11 Thursday 13 February 2014


In verse 1, one small word makes a vast difference. In this caseit is the word "in". Paul is again talking about two spheres, onein which we are "in Christ" and one in which we are not. He goes onto speak about the concept of living in the Spirit (referring tothe Holy Spirit) which for Paul is the same as being in Christ. Intalking about living in the Spirit he is referring to the power ofthe Spirit which was the power behind the resurrection ofChrist.

Paul also uses the concept of flesh in direct contrast to theSpirit. The flesh belongs to the sphere of law, sin and deathwhilst the Spirit belongs to the sphere of grace, righteousness andlife. The flesh refers to the natural desires of human beings whichlead to sin and death, and behind all of this there is a sense oftwo contrasting powers at work; the flesh, which in time will decayand die and the Spirit which is the power of the resurrection.

Unfortunately, Paul has a habit of using the same word fordifferent meanings. When he describes the law of sin and death andthe law of the Spirit of life in Christ we should be careful not toconfuse this with his previous use of the term "law". Here he isdiscussing a principle rather than the law of Moses. Equally, whenhe describes Christ as having condemned sin in the flesh (in verse3), some scholars believe that he is referring to the fact thatChrist had flesh like any other human being. This is different forPaul's previous use of flesh in which the phrase is synonymous withsin.

What is clear is Paul's sense of two contrasting spheres, onewhich gives righteousness, life and peace and the other whichbrings sin, condemnation and death.

To Ponder

  • If the flesh is associated with sin, what does this say aboutour bodies?
  • What does living in Christ mean to you?



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