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Sin Condemned in Christ

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Scripture Reading

Romans 8:1–4 NIV84
1 Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, 2 because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death. 3 For what the law was powerless to do in that it was weakened by the sinful nature, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful man to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in sinful man, 4 in order that the righteous requirements of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the sinful nature but according to the Spirit.
Romans 8:1-

Introduction

God Sent His Own Son
October 21, 2014
by John Piper
Scripture:
Topic: The Death of Christ
Series: The Greatest Chapter
Principle for Bible Reading

1. The Profound Reality of the Christian (v.1-2)

Therefore...
Paul has just been outlining the tension that exists in the life of the believer.
The reality of man is that he was born into sin. Paul’s argument earlier in the letter (particularly ) is that all people are sinners. There is no one righteous, not even one person.
Paul has been developing this theology about the law, and how ineffectual it is for a person to be saved by the law. There is no hope of any man being saved by law, because the law simply demonstrates to us our inability to abide by it.
Paul has also been speaking about the struggle between the desire to please God because of a renewed mind, and the struggle with the body that still has this pull towards sin.
…there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus...
holds some of the most precious truths of Christianity. Paul explains how God remove our guilt and end our condemnation.

2. The Powerless Nature of the Law (v.3a)

It says God did what the law could not do. Why could the law not condemn sin?
Outline
1. The law is very effective at condemning sin.
2. The law always and only gets a verdict of guilty.
3. But God can condemn sin in the Son. Only God can get a not guilty verdict.
Introduction/Prayer (00:00–00:45)
4. Jesus was not God’s plan B. The law was meant to lead to Christ.
5. In love, God rescued us from God.
Observations (00:45–04:48)

3. The Perfect Keeper of the Law (v.3b)

1. Incarnation—Jesus was sent to take on flesh (cf. ; ; ; ).
2. In these verses, Jesus is God (God’s own Son) and he is without sin (in the “likeness” of sin). These two things qualify him to be condemned in our place.

4. The Propitiation for the Lawless (v.3c)

3. Substitution—Whose sin was condemned at the cross? Not Jesus’. It was our sin. Jesus died in our place.
5. The Perfect
What About the Law? (04:48–08:21)
1. The law is very effective at condemning sin.
2. The law always and only gets a verdict of guilty.
3. But God can condemn sin in the Son. Only God can get a not guilty verdict.
4. Jesus was not God’s plan B. The law was meant to lead to Christ.
5. In love, God rescued us from God.
Study Questions
1. From , how did God remove our condemnation? How could that be enough to pay for all our sin?
2. In , what could the law not do? Why could it not do that? What does it mean that the law was “weakened by the flesh”?
3. What is the significance of the word “likeness” in ? What is Paul trying to communicate about Jesus?
‘The Greatest Chapter’ Series
This lab is part of a series through . Taking a verse or two at a time, John Piper unfolds the other-worldly realities in these thirty-nine verses, all along pointing out general, practical principles for understanding and applying the Bible’s meaning. Visit ‘The Greatest Chapter’ series page to see all the labs in this series.
Related Resources
• What God Requires, Christ Provides (article)
• How Did God Make Evil Commit Suicide At the Cross? (interview)
• What the Law Could Not Do, God Did Sending Christ (sermon on )
What the Law Could Not Do
October 28, 2014
by John Piper
Scripture:
Topic: Justification
Series: The Greatest Chapter
Principle for Bible Reading
Purpose clauses (“in order that”) tell us why God does what he does. In this lab, Pastor John looks at why God gave us the law and why he sent his Son to die on the cross. All along, he asks how the Christian should relate to the law after Christ has come.
Outline
Introduction/Prayer (00:00–01:00)
How should Christians relate to the law now that Christ has come?
Observations (01:00–03:38)
1. The righteous requirement of the law is love.
2. What the law could not do Christ did in order to fulfill the law. The law could not fulfill the law.
3. When Christ died, we were empowered to fulfill the law.
4. We fulfill the law when we walk not according to the flesh.
Christ’s Coming and Law-Keeping (03:38–06:31)
What does the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus mean for the Christian’s relationship to God and his law?
Read .
You also have died to the law through the body of Christ, so that you may belong to another, to him who has been raised from the dead, in order that we may bear fruit for God.… We are released from the law, having died to that which held us captive, so that we serve in the new way of the Spirit and not in the old way of the written code. ()
1. We died to the law and have been released from it.
2. We have a living relationship with Jesus and belong to him.
3. We belong to Jesus in order that we would bear fruit (love).
4. So, now, we serve God by the Spirit, not by law-keeping.
5. The law (“the written code”) cannot fulfill the law.
Conclusion (06:31–09:15)
1. What the law could not do, God did by sending his Son Jesus.
2. The law is fulfilled by dying to the law. Law-keeping can no longer be the means of law-fulfilling.
3. We fulfill the law by looking to Christ—his death and resurrection—and depending on his Spirit.
Study Questions
1. From , what can the law not do? How does God accomplish what the law cannot do?
2. In and , why did Christ die and rise again (“in order that”)?
3. What is the alternative to trying to fulfill the law by law-keeping?
‘The Greatest Chapter’ Series
This lab is part of a series through . Taking a verse or two at a time, John Piper unfolds the other-worldly realities in these thirty-nine verses, all along pointing out general, practical principles for understanding and applying the Bible’s meaning. Visit ‘The Greatest Chapter’ series page to see all the labs in this series.
Related Resources
• If You Want to Love, You Must Die to the Law (article)
• Are Christians Under the 10 Commandments? (interview)
• Why the Law Was Given (sermon)
Love Fulfills the Law
October 23, 2014
by John Piper
Scripture: and
Topic: Sanctification & Growth
Series: The Greatest Chapter
Principle for Bible Reading
says Christ died so that the law would be fulfilled in us. What does it mean for the law to be fulfilled? And how is it fulfilled in us? In this lab, John Piper tackles these two critical questions.
Outline
Introduction/Prayer (00:00–02:33)
Two questions:
1. How is the righteous requirement of the law fulfilled?
2. What is the righteous requirement of the law?
How Is the Law Fulfilled? (02:33–03:42)
This fulfillment is not talking about the perfect, legal fulfillment of all that the law requires of us that is—the righteousness that is imputed to us (). The fulfillment in is “in us,” not “for us.” This fulfillment happens in us as we walk by the power of the Holy Spirit.
What Is the Requirement of the Law? (03:42–06:14)
The righteous requirement of the law is love, which fulfills the whole law.
Read :
Owe no one anything, except to love each other, for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law. For the commandments, “You shall not commit adultery, You shall not murder, You shall not steal, You shall not covet,” and any other commandment, are summed up in this word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.
1. The law is summed up in love ().
2. That summary of the law (love) fulfills the law when it is lived out in the life of the believer ().
3. Confirmation: Love is a fruit of the Spirit ().
Application (06:14–08:46)
1. In , God provides his Son so that we would not be condemned. Because of him, we are declared holy (justification).
2. In , God provides the Spirit to change us and make us more holy—that is, more loving (sanctification).
3. The critical, unchangeable order of these two works of God means: “The only sin that can be defeated in your life by the power of the Spirit is a forgiven sin.”
Study Questions
1. From , how is the law fulfilled? Is there more than one way it is fulfilled?
2. In , why does Paul say the law is fulfilled “in” us? What are other options he might have used instead? Why “in” here?
3. Look at . How do those verses help us define “the righteous requirement of the law” ()?
‘The Greatest Chapter’ Series
This lab is part of a series through . Taking a verse or two at a time, John Piper unfolds the other-worldly realities in these thirty-nine verses, all along pointing out general, practical principles for understanding and applying the Bible’s meaning. Visit ‘The Greatest Chapter’ series page to see all the labs in this series.
Piper, J. (2014–2015). Look at the Book Labs (). Minneapolis, MN: Desiring God.
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