Romans (17): No Condemnation
Romans 8: An Exposition (17) - No Condemnation
All Saints * Dr. Gregg Strawbridge * October 05, 2008
Therefore, now no one [is in] condemnation in Christ Jesus. 8:2 For the “torah” of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus released you from the “torah” of sin and of death. 8:3 For what Torah was incapable of, in that it was weak through the [Adamic human] flesh, God, [who] sent His own Son in the image of sinful [Adamic human] flesh and for sin, condemned sin in [Adamic human] flesh 8:4 in order that the righteous obligations of the Torah might be fulfilled in us, who do not walk around according to the [Adamic] flesh, but according to the Spirit. 8:5 For those that exist in [Adamic] flesh think as fallen human flesh; but those that are according to the Spirit, [think] on the things of the Spirit. 8:6 For the mind of the [Adamic] flesh is death; but the mind of the Spirit is life and peace: 8:7 because the mind of the [Adamic] flesh is enmity against God; for it is not submitted to the Torah of God, neither does it have the capacity [to be submitted] 8:8 and those that are in the [Adamic] flesh cannot please God. 8:9 But your are not in the sphere of [Adamic] flesh but in the sphere of the Spirit, if the Spirit of God households within you. But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, such a person is not His. 8:10 And if Christ is in you, the sinful self-identity is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is [your] life because of [His] righteousness. 8:11 But if the Spirit of Him that resurrected Jesus from the dead households in you, He that resurrected the Anointed Jesus from the dead will also make alive your mortal bodies through his Spirit that households within you.
Old Covenant _______________________and the ________________________
Paul spoke in ch. 7 representatively for Israel in the flesh to the effect that the Torah had(has) a legal claim of union on them. He retells the story of Israel (within the first century context): Adam’s sin has infected the whole world; but Torah comes to Israel to restore, so that Israel is married to God with the Torah as the marriage covenant (7:1-3). Israel embraces the Torah as the divinely given covenant charter; which also binds Israel to Adamic sin and death. The Torah in its darker purpose becomes the innocent carrier of increasing sin and death. Israel is incapable of keeping Torah and must die (be exiled, more like divorced, but that is not Paul’s metaphor here). Hence, Israel has a schizoid duality regarding Torah aspiring to it as the means of spirituality, the Good, and restoration, but in fact it multiplies transgression (7:7, 12, 13ff).
New Covenant ______________________and the ________________________
In truth, the redemptive purpose of Torah (3:21) is seen in that True Israel (Jesus) is the goal of the Torah (10:4) and has fulfilled its legal claims in the cross of Christ (rejected by fleshly Israel). Chapter 8 sings that now believers are in the position of heirs, not only of the Abrahamic covenant (4:16), but also heirs of the new covenant renewal promises (2:28-29). Chapter 8 changes from the rhetorical “I” (Israel) to the “you” of new covenant - “now no one [is in] condemnation in Christ Jesus.” No new covenant person (unlike exiled old covenant Torah-aspiring Israel) is under the Torah judgment. The new covenant believer is released from the Torah’s just wages (6:23). Torah could not do the Good, weak through the [Adamic human] flesh, but God did it in Jesus. The purpose is “in order that” (hina) the justifying characteristics (2:13-14) inscribed in Torah are fulfilled in us. New covenant believers have the mind of the Spirit which is life and peace, no longer at war with [Adamic] Torah-righteousness. Like ch. 6, we are reminded that “your are not in the sphere of [Adamic] flesh” because since Pentecost, “the Spirit of God households (oikeo) within you.” Once again it is affirmed, that “if Christ is in you, the sinful self-identity is dead” with the promise that “He that resurrected the Anointed Jesus from the dead will also make alive your mortal bodies through his Spirit that households within you.” Resurrection signals new covenant participation in Christ.
Gregg Strawbridge, Ph.D., is the pastor of All Saints Church in Lancaster, PA. He became a committed follower of Jesus Christ at age 20, discipled in the context of a University Navigator Ministry. As a result of personal discipleship he went on to study at Columbia Biblical Seminary (M.A., Columbia, SC, 1990), as well as a Ph.D. in education and philosophy... read more