What God Did –Romans 8:3
Perhaps the most thrilling statement in all of scripture is “There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus.” (Romans 8:1) No condemnation, although we are sinners and deserve God’s condemnation. No condemnation, even though we are not yet made perfect in Christ. No condemnation, even though we have not yet laid hold of that for which the Lord laid hold of us. No condemnation, not because of anything we have done, but all because the Lord Jesus did it all for us. No condemnation because we are in Christ.
Why are we not condemned? We are not condemned because of what God has done. What did God do? What the Law could not do, God did for us.
“There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death. For what the law could not do, weakened by the flesh, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, He condemned sin in the flesh.” (Romans 8:1-3) There is no condemnation to us who are in Christ because God dealt with the condemnation in verse 3.
He acted the way He did because He understood what the Law could not do. What could the law not do? First, we must understand that the Law is not evil. Paul said in Romans 7:12 “So the law is holy, and the commandment is holy and righteous and good.” The law could not create sin. However, because of the sinfulness of our flesh, our sinful passions were aroused by the Law.
The Law cannot make any one righteous before God. Paul wrote in Romans 3:20 “Therefore by the deeds of the law no flesh will be justified in His sight, for by the law is the knowledge of sin.” Although the Jewish teachers taught that a right standing before God came through obeying the Law, the fact is the Law never was designed to save us. It brought condemnation. The Law could not make us righteous, but it could be a standard to show us sin.
The Law cannot produce a new heart in a sinner. The law cannot transform us to make us like the One who saved us by His grace. Transformation can only come through grace. The Holy Spirit working in us through the Word of God is the only way we are transformed.
The Law cannot draw a wanderer back to God. It was designed to show us the perfection which God desires in us and to make us realize we could never meet God’s requirement. The Law cannot bring a wanderer back, but it can point a wanderer to the cross of Christ.
If the Law could not save, why did God give the Law? The Law shows us our guilt and stain. Isaiah tells us all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags. We are guilty and our sin and stain cannot be removed by obeying the Law. By the Law is the knowledge of sin.
The Law also convicts us of our sin. In the preceding chapter to this one, Paul wrote, “I was once alive apart from the law, but when the commandment came, sin came alive and I died.” (Romans 7:9) As soon as we are aware of what the Law says, we learn we have sinned. Guilt and shame are awakened by the commandment of God in us.
The Law was designed to drive us to God. We learn how much we need grace when we recognize how much we sin against God.
If all we had was the Law of God we would be without hope, because of the things that the Law could not do. “For what the law could not do, weakened by the flesh, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, He condemned sin in the flesh.” (Romans 8:3)
What did God do? He sent His own Son into the world. Do we get that? He sent. He did not wait for us to come to Him. God Himself, the One who had never done us wrong, the One we have sinned against, took the steps necessary to save us. He acted when we could not.
His Son the Lord Jesus did not just come, but He became a human born as a baby in Bethlehem. He came “in the likeness of sinful flesh.” It was real human flesh. John told us, “The Word [the eternal Son] became flesh and dwelt among us.” (John 1:14) He was just without sin.
He came to die for sin that we might be saved from our sin. He came for sin. This was not just an exploratory adventure for the Son of God. He came and He died because it was the only way the Father could save us from condemnation. There was no other way.
Finally, God the Father “condemned sin in the flesh.” The wrath and condemnation that should have fallen on us, fell on Him. Isaiah said it so well in Isaiah 53:5-6 “But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement for our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned, every one, to his own way; and the LORD has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.” God the Father put our iniquity on Him and then condemned it in Him. He died that we might be spared.
Now we are reminded again of the wonder of what God did for us at Calvary. How our sins and iniquities He will remember no more because the Lord Jesus Christ died to pay the price of our redemption. How will we respond?
This forgiveness, this lack of condemnation can be yours if you will put your trust in the Lord Jesus Christ to save you. If we know the Lord Jesus as our Savior, our response should be like a song I learned when I was young.
After all He’s done for me/ After all He’s done for me.
How can I do less than give Him my best / and live for Him completely
After all He’s done for me?