Walk in the Spirit
1 There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. 2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death. 3 For what the law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh, God did by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, on account of sin: He condemned sin in the flesh, 4 that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.
Last week we spent out time on the first part of verse 1. There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus. The relief and joy that come over a person who truely receives this word is beyond comprehension. This is a game changer. The burden of sin lifted we are no longer under condemnation. This is true freedom. True freedom is not freedom to do what ever I feel like doing. That only lead to greater bondage to my flesh. True freedom is the freedom to pursue righteousness without condemnation. I can now press towards the mark of the upward calling of God in Christ Jesus, I can press on to lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. And when I fall short there is no condemnation. I get up and forgetting those things which are behind I can reach forward to those things which are ahead. This is the freedom which “no condemnation” affords us.
For some of you, depending on which version of the Bible you are using, you will have noticed that I stopped short of completing vs. 1. Many versions stop at there is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus and go straight into vs 2. They leave out “who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit”
You mat ask why that is? Our Bibles are translated from manuscripts which were written hundreds of years ago. Those manuscripts are copies of copies of the original text in this case the original letter that Paul wrote to the Romans. As there are many copies of the manuscripts and there are some inconsistency between them the translators have had to use various methods of determining the most accurate i.e. the closest to the original reading as possible.
But this is here in my Bible and and the same phrase appears later in everyone Bible in verse 4. So we will address it.
So what does this mean “who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.”
Walk means: your conduct.
Paul has Just said there is no condemnation with the qualifying statement “to those who are in Christ Jesus” so the first question that come to mind is “is this another qualifying statement? Does Paul mean that only those who are in Christ Jesus and who walk not after the flesh but after the Spirit have no condemnation? Or is Paul saying that all those who are in Christ Jesus walk not after the flesh but after the Spirit? Or is Paul stating what should characterise the one who is in Christ Jesus?
I believe it is the later I believe this tells us what should characterise the one who is in Christ Jesus
I don’t believe that Paul is giving a condition for no condemnation. “No condemnation” and justification are two ways of saying the same thing one is the negative and the other in the positive. Paul’s whole argument up to this point has been that we are
Justified By Faith Alone
Justified By Faith Alone
1 Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,
23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, 25 whom God set forth as a propitiation by His blood, through faith, to demonstrate His righteousness, because in His forbearance God had passed over the sins that were previously committed, 26 to demonstrate at the present time His righteousness, that He might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.
6 And if by grace, then it is no longer of works; otherwise grace is no longer grace. But if it is of works, it is no longer grace; otherwise work is no longer work.
So it is absolutely inconsistent with Paul’s teaching in Romans for him to now add another condition to justification that you must also walk according to the Spirit. However, we certainly should walk according to the Spirit.
We Should Walk in the Spirit
We Should Walk in the Spirit
If you remember what we have been talking about for the last few weeks how that is like a parenthesis. Well, if we go back to 7:6 then we can pick up the flow of thought again.
1 Or do you not know, brethren (for I speak to those who know the law), that the law has dominion over a man as long as he lives? 2 For the woman who has a husband is bound by the law to her husband as long as he lives. But if the husband dies, she is released from the law of her husband. 3 So then if, while her husband lives, she marries another man, she will be called an adulteress; but if her husband dies, she is free from that law, so that she is no adulteress, though she has married another man. 4 Therefore, my brethren, you also have become dead to the law through the body of Christ, that you may be married to another—to Him who was raised from the dead, that we should bear fruit to God. 5 For when we were in the flesh, the sinful passions which were aroused by the law were at work in our members to bear fruit to death. 6 But now we have been delivered from the law, having died to what we were held by, so that we should serve in the newness of the Spirit and not in the oldness of the letter.
6 But now we have been delivered from the law, having died to what we were held by, so that we should serve in the newness of the Spirit and not in the oldness of the letter.
So because we have been delivered from the law we should now serve in the newness of the Spirit and not in the oldness of the letter.
If we look over at
16 I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. 17 For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. 19 Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, 20 idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, 21 envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. 24 And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. 26 Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.
We should walk in the Spirit because we are in the Spirit
We Are in the Spirit
We Are in the Spirit
As we came to the end of chapter 7 we saw what the Christian life can be if we remain under the letter of the law.
As we enter into chapter 8 Paul show us what the Christian life should be if we walk in the Spirit.
This has been Paul’s method all along. He tells us our position in Christ and then how we should live as a result of that position.
Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? No! you are dead to sin in Christ so you should walk in newness of life.
Should we serve sin because we are not under the law but under grace? No! You have been set free from sin and become slave to God so you should present your members slaves to righteousness
And now he tells us that if we are in Christ we are in the Spirit so we should walk in the Spirit.
9 But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His.
25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.
5 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, the things of the Spirit. 6 For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.
If you are in Christ, that is if you accepted the give of grace through faith in Christ Jesus, then you are in the Spirit and to be in the Spirit and be carnally minded is death. It will kill you inside and if you carry on long enough then it may bring your life to an early end. But if we set our mind and heart on spiritual things it will be life and peace to us.