8:1 There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.
Now, he reason Paul gives that those who are in Christ Jesus no longer face condemnation is interesting. It is not simply – because Jesus died for us...no look at what he says in verse verse 2 [...] the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death.
In this verse Paul seems to be using law the way we might speak about the law of gravity. When we talk about the law of gravity – we don't mean that there is a law passed by parliament specifying how quickly you have to fall. No, the word law in this context means the power of gravity. Gravity is a power or a binding authority that has a hold over us.
And so it is with Sin. Perhaps rather than comparing sin to gravity we could compare Sin to Alcohol. I am not saying alcohol is sinful – but I think there is parallel that when someone is controlled by alcohol they are enslaved by it. There is a real hopelessness and helplessness with someone struggling with alcohol. But at the same time that person is responsible for their actions. An alcoholic still held liable if they are arrested for drink driving. Even though they are enslaved by alcohol – and in one sense out of control - they are still guilty for their actions. The same is true of us.
Even though we are enslaved by Sin we are still responsible for our actions – we still deserve to be condemned.
So we need someone to break the power of sin. If we are not going to end our lives facing God's condemnation we need to have Sin's power over us broken. And that is precisely what has happened: the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus
Again Paul seems to be using law in this power sense. The power of sin has been defeated by the power of the Spirit. The Holy Spirit is that powerful liberator who can deliver us from the power of sin – and he does it in Chirst.
But how does the Spirit set us free from the power of sin and death? Does he simply enable us to live a better life.. No – the key is this phrase that we have seen - 'in Christ'
The power of sin has been broken because...because the Penalty for Sin has been paid v3
For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do. By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh,
You see even God's good law cannot save us. God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do.
But God did what the law could not verse 3: By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh,
God's solution to our problem is radical. He sent his own son– to deal with sin. And by doing that he condemned sin in the flesh. This is the heart of Paul's argument. There is no condemnation for those who are in Christ because there has been a condemnation already. The trial has occurred already. A decisive irreversible verdict has already been given. Sin has been condemned. The condemnation has happened already – in Christ. God has condemned sin in the flesh by condemning it in His Son on the cross. As our substitute he has taken the condemnation for sin so that we don't have to. The Penalty for sin has been paid – and so Sin loses its power. Sin's power over us is that it leads us to eternal death. We cannot escape from its grip and we are led to eternal death and condemnation. But that death has happened already. Christ has died – sin has been condemned and paid for in his flesh, in him. So, Sin can no longer take us captive to eternal death. So in that sense our relationship with Sin is severed – it no longer has that hold over us. It can’t lead us to condemnation because that condemnation has happened already. So sin is powerless. It can’t condemn us. So, we are liberated from sin's power because in Christ the penalty for sin has already been paid.