Empowered Living: Romans 8:1-4 (part two)
January 16, 2015
Welcome back to our study of Romans, dear friends. During the night the Holy Spirit pointed out to me that we are not just spiritual beings but supernatural beings. I love that verse that says we are seated in the heavenly realms with Jesus (Eph 2:4-7). The deeper I go in my relationship with Abba Father, King Jesus and Holy Spirit, the more this makes sense. The Word says He is in us and we are in Him. And Jesus is seated in the heavenly realms, thus, so are we. Amazing! That makes us supernatural beings as well.
Now back to Romans 8:3-4… When we go further into verse three, Paul gives more clarification as to why the law had failed. I so appreciate the way the Voice translation brings that understanding to the surface:
NLT: 3 The law of Moses was unable to save us because of the weakness of our sinful nature. So God did what the law could not do. He sent his own Son in a body like the bodies we sinners have. And in that body God declared an end to sin’s control over us by giving his Son as a sacrifice for our sins.
NIV: 3 For what the law was powerless to do because it was weakened by the flesh, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in the flesh,
The Voice: 3 God did something the law could never do. You see, human flesh took its toll on God’s law. In and of itself, the law is not weak; but the flesh weakens it. So to condemn the sin that was ruling in the flesh, God sent His own Son, bearing the likeness of sinful flesh, as a sin offering.
God’s law did and does serve a purpose in that it reveals sin, but it lacks the power to truly free us from the power of sin and death because of our sinful nature. Thus why Jesus says He came not to do away with the law but to fulfill it (Matt. 5:17). He was the empowered solution that would restore the purpose of the law with the heart and love of the Father, that all would be saved (1 Tim 2:4-6).
What amazes me is to think of all the preparation that went into this. Have you every wondered why God chose the time that He did to give Jesus to the world? I believe God wanted to prepare us to receive Jesus in the fullness of our need. And the laws that established the animal sacrifices and brought understanding to the importance of the blood sacrifice were part of this.
As I’ve said in the past, so much of the Bible is about preparation and the Bible itself is our preparation—to understand, learn and grow from experiential stories—those we read about and those we live and learn from in our lives as we walk in faith and trust in God. These are the ones that “stick” with us because we relate to them. By setting the pattern of blood sacrifice and establishing the importance of God’s holiness in it, only then would we be able to understand the full magnitude of Jesus’ sacrifice. Jesus would be and is the final blood sacrifice.
NLT: 4 He did this so that the just requirement of the law would be fully satisfied for us, who no longer follow our sinful nature but instead follow the Spirit.
NIV: 4 in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.
The Vocie: 4 Now we are able to live up to the justice demanded by the law. But that ability has not come from living by our fallen human nature; it has come because we walk according to the movement of the Spirit in our lives.
The Message: 4 And now what the law code asked for but we couldn't deliver is accomplished as we, instead of redoubling our own efforts, simply embrace what the Spirit is doing in us.
Here is the rest of Paul’s point that there is no more condemnation for us who belong to Jesus. Since Christ sacrificed his life for our sins and was raised to life for our justification(Rom. 4:25-Rom. 5:1), no one, nothing and no-thing can tell us otherwise. This IS the truth, our truth. Anything that brings condemnation is not of God and is therefore of the enemy.
My friends, the battle is truly in our minds and learning to recognize the difference between the enemy’s condemnation and the Holy Spirit’s loving correction is key. Though we are no longer identified as sinners when we know Jesus, we still sin and will need to confess and make amends as needed. This process, in the hands of the Holy Spirit, brings relief, freedom and empowers us to live godly lives (2 Peter 1:3).
And that is the rest of verse four that we need to take note of and trust the Holy Spirit to do. He does this in us, we don’t. I find this very freeing indeed to know I don’t have to “fix” myself. Jesus did it with His death and each day the Holy Spirit is helping me to be more and more Christ-like.
The next section of Romans 8 that we’ll study will be verses 5-11. In these Scriptures we will see more insights as to what happens in our minds AND how we can relate this to our pre-believers. I’m looking forward to what the Holy Spirit has for us there!
Holy Spirit, we ask for the spirit of wisdom and revelation to know Jesus more and more. Bring the full power of God’s Word into our hearts and transform our minds. Make us hungrier than ever for more of You and Your Word. In the transforming power of Jesus, we pray and ask all this, amen!
We are established in Him, SUMites!