Journal Ro 8 (all references are from the ESV; changes in punctuation are mine)
Scripture: “There is therefore now no condemnation for 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 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, in order that the righteous requirement of the Law might be fulfilled in us—who (now) walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.
(Clarification) For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh BUT those who live according to the Spirit (they) set their minds on the things of the Spirit.
For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace.
(Further clarification) For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s Law—indeed, it cannot. Those who are in the flesh cannot please God.” (Ro 8:1-8)
Observation: It reads like Paul is starting to sum up all the stuff he wrote about before, i.e., clarifying that those who are in Christ have no condemnation. But, it is not a simple reasoning; much has to be understood…
Analysis: All the previous 7 chapters broke down the imperative or need of the Gospel.
Good thing, too. I need constant reminder of why I need a Savior. Why is that? Don’t I know that things go better with Jesus?
It is that flip attitude that catches me off guard. I can read Romans and forget the enormity of what had to happen to make me worthy of the presence of God.
“There is therefore NOW no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” Looking at the word “in” in the handy dandy thesaurus, I find as an adjective the word “accessible” and further “approachable.” In a way, I could say “I can approach God only through the approachable-ness of Christ. Without Christ I cannot approach God; I am condemned before God without Christ.” I can only access the presence of God because of Christ.
Through the Law, I read, I can approach God ONLY if I fully obey the Law, completely conform to and execute its demands. But I can’t because of my weak flesh.
Therefore, God, by sending his own Son to be the payment for my failed ability to fulfill the Law, made it possible through that Atonement for me to approach God.
This is the process to review to “preach the Gospel to myself.” And it is only a facet in the whole Gospel jewel…
Hammer point: In Christ, no condemnation. Out of Christ, full condemnation.
Prayer: Lord, I get excited unraveling, unpacking the scriptures about the Gospel. It seems the deeper I go, the firmer the foundation becomes. Eye and sight are clearer; hearing is more acute; understanding is deeper. Make humility in me, O Lord. Please. AMEN