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"Amillennialism 101" -- Audio and On-Line Resources
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"No Condemnation" -- Romans 8:1-11

romans%20fragment.jpgThe Nineteenth in a Series of Sermons on Paul's Epistle to the Romans

In Romans 7:14-25, Paul describes the Christian’s struggle with indwelling sin.  But in Romans 8, Paul speaks of the Christian’s victory over sin.  Many see this as a pattern of sanctification.  Mature Christians supposedly live in Romans 8 and walk in the Spirit, because they have advanced beyond the  struggle of Romans 7:14-25 because they no longer walk in the flesh.  However, the contrast between the conditions of Romans 7 and Romans 8 is a contrast between Christians, who walk in the Spirit since they have been set free from sin, death and the condemnation of the law, and non-Christians, who walk in the flesh, remaining bound to sin and death while under the condemnation of the law.  This means that the struggle with sin of Romans 7 is a reality for every Christian.  But so too is the victory Paul describes in Romans 8.

We now move into the first eleven verses of Romans 8.  Paul reminds struggling sinners that there is no condemnation for those in Christ Jesus, even in the midst of their struggle with sin, before the apostle goes on to contrast those who walk after the flesh (those “in Adam”) with those who walk in the Spirit (those “in Christ”).  As we move into Romans 8, “we find ourselves in a different atmosphere from that in chapter 7.  There is still the opposition between good and evil, but the dominant note is that of victory.”  It is vital to notice that this is not the believer’s victory over the struggle with sin described in chapter 7.  Rather, the victory of which Paul speaks is Christ’s victory over sin, death and the condemnation of the law.  Because the Christian has been set free they must struggle with sin, since having been justified they are also in the process of sanctification.  Only a freed slave struggles with living like the bond-servant they once were.  Someone who has never known freedom from bondage to sin knows nothing of the struggle to live as a freedman. 

To properly interpret Romans 8:1-11, we need to place this section of Paul’s argument in its context.  This section is the “triumphant conclusion of 5:12-21.”  For all those who are “in Christ,” “eternal life replaces the condemnation and death that were the lot of everybody in Adam.”  This is why it is so important to keep the overall structure of Romans 5-8 in view as we work our way through this particular section.  Even though we are “in Christ,” we remain in the flesh until death or the resurrection.  We all struggle to avoid sinning but we sin anyway.  We desire to do what is right but we don’t do it.  But we are reminded by Paul that there is, now no condemnation for those in Christ.  Thus the victory of Romans 8 is not our victory over the struggle with sin.  Paul is describing Christ’s victory over sin in which we all now participate because of our union with him.

To read the rest of this sermon, click here

Reader Comments (1)

I like how you say God's aquittal is a liberating and transoformative declaration, in that it changes the person into one who has a struggle.

I also like how your (and Moo's) view brings the imputed righteosuness of Christ down "in us", not just outside of us. Thanks.
March 27, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterpduggie

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