Friday, December 06, 2013

Victory in Christ - Part 13

This is the next installment of a series I am writing concerning what Romans 6-8 teaches about our sin problem and God's plan for victory. To find previous installments do a search for the title: Victory In Christ. You can find the first installment here.

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,

Again, he starts this verse with the word 'for'. Can you see the fact that each verse builds upon the truth of the preceding verse? The principle of the life of the Spirit of Christ is able to free us because of what verse 3 says. There are things that the law cannot do. The writer of Hebrews says it this way, “18 For on the one hand there is an annulling of the former commandment because of its weakness and unprofitableness, 19 for the law made nothing perfect; on the other hand, there is the bringing in of a better hope, through which we draw near to God” (Hebrews 7:18,19). Here he describes the law as being weak and unprofitable. As we read earlier, the law was brought in that sin might abound.

But the praise here comes from the fact that what the law could not do, God did! He sent His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh. In other words Christ had a flesh like we have even though He did not sin. He was tempted though, so He knew what that was like. In the process of living this life in the flesh without sinning, He condemned sin in the flesh. He demonstrated its utter weakness to control a human being. Sin does not have the dominion it once had, and Jesus Christ demonstrated that fact. What the law could not do, Christ did!

But He not only defeated sin in His own flesh, He came as a sin offering. So in addition to condemning sin in the flesh by living a sinless life, He condemned it to death on the cross when He died. So here's what we have. Paul, looking at himself as a human being separated sin from himself. He said, “It's not me, it's sin that is doing these things.” He says this without relinquishing responsibility for the sin; he's just saying there are two entities at war with each other. Now here's the point I want to make. If you compare verse 8:1 to 8:3, you see that there is no condemnation for the person, but, sin as an entity has been condemned. It has not been condemned out in space somewhere. It has been condemned in the flesh where it normally takes up residence. So, if you are a Christian, you stand uncondemned by God, but the sin in you has been judged and condemned. You died with Christ to the law. Death no longer has dominion. Sin no longer has dominion. Your old man was judged on the cross. You've been given the Spirit of God.

Principle 19: Sin in the flesh has been condemned even though you are not.

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