The following paragraph from a typical commentary is supposed to help the reader understand and rightly apply Romans 8:1-8. The perspective seen in this commentary reflects that perspective held by much of today’s traditional Christianity regarding The Law of GOD. Unfortunately a “dumbing down” of today’s believer has enabled this nonbiblical perspective to be propagated. May you see the contradictions and inconsistencies of this commentary and today’s unbiblical view of GOD’S Word!
“How does the Christian live a righteous life without a constant struggle to keep God’s Law? Paul introduced another universal principle: the law of life lived in the power of the Spirit (8:1-2). Old Testament Law failed to produce righteousness. So in Christ God condemned “sin in sinful man’’ and provided His Spirit, who enables believers to fully meet the Law’s requirements without “trying” (vv. 3-4). We focus on responding to God’s Spirit rather than on trying to keep laws (vv. 5-8). If we’re controlled by the Spirit who brought life to Christ’s dead body, He will bring life to us who are spiritually dead (vv. 9-12). Our obligation is not to the Law, but to respond to the Spirit’s promptings (vv. 13-16).
“There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ JESUS.”
Some would have us believe that Paul is making a distinction between the The Law of GOD and Christ JESUS. However, if we are to stay with the context of the previous chapter we realize that Paul addresses the condemnation that comes upon those who “add to and/or subtract from” (Dt. 4:2 & 12:32) GOD’S Word and as the result are guilty of creating their own (or another) law! This the Pharisees were guilty of. This today’s Christianity is guilty of as well.
Paul expresses this in Romans 7:22-23,
“For I joyfully concur with the Law of GOD in the inner man, but I see a DIFFERENT law in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind (the Law of GOD), and making me a prisoner of the law of sin which is in my members.”
An All Knowing GOD would know that the men would eventually replace HIS Law with their own law. The other law that Paul refers to in Romans 7 is that law that his sect had taught him to walk in prior to his coming to the unadulterated Law of GOD through his conversion in MESSIAH YESHUA! These two laws are in opposition to each other and cannot be reconciled. Paul describes the struggle that he has as he commits to the Law of GOD through the renewal of his mind, while at the same time his flesh wars against GOD’S Law at every turn. But GOD ALSO foreseeing this, promises the remedy to HIS own in Ezekiel 36:26-27;
“Moreover, I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put MY SPIRIT within you and cause you to walk in MY Statutes, and you will be careful to observe MY Ordinances!”
In Messiah, one has the capacity to walk in obedience to HIS Law, by the power of HIS SPIRIT.
So again, we see Paul stating in Romans 8:1 that the condemnation of walking in a law made by man is overcome by those who reject the law of man and allow the SPIRIT to accomplish HIS work of causing HIS people to walk in HIS STATUTES and ORDINANCES. (HIS Law) Paul further clarifies this as we move on…
“For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death.”
Some (in their lawlessness) would have us to believe that this “law of the Spirit” is a law that is completely disconnected from and in contradiction to the already established Law of GOD! How can that be? We must ask ourselves; Has the Spirit of GOD somehow established HIS own set of laws? Has the Spirit of GOD decided to act on his own accord? Consider what JESUS says concerning the character/nature and ministry of HIS Spirit:
“But when HE, the SPIRIT of Truth comes, HE will guide you into all the truth; for HE will not speak on HIS own initiative, but whatever HE hears, HE will speak; and HE will disclose to you what is to come”
“If you love me, keep MY Commandments. And I will pray the Father , and HE shall give you another Comforter (HIS SPIRIT), that HE may abide with you for ever; the SPIRIT of TRUTH whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth HIM not, neither knoweth HIM: but you know HIM; for HE dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.”
“But the HELPER, the HOLY SPIRIT whom the FATHER will send in MY name, HE will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you.”
From these verses it is apparent that the only Law/Commandments that The SPIRIT of GOD is to have anything to do with is GOD’S Law, those Commandments uttered by GOD HIMSELF!
Some even attempt to take their argument further and would have us to believe that the Commandments that JESUS is referring to in John are only those which HE established during HIS earthly ministry! Lets keep in mind what John the apostle says in regards to who JESUS is! According to his gospel in chapter 1, verse 1;
“In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with GOD and the Word was GOD. HE was in the beginning with GOD.”
John says that JESUS came as The Word / GOD incarnate. So, if JESUS is both The Word & GOD, when did HE begin to speak the things that the SPIRIT is to “bring to our remembrance?” Some would have us to believe that JESUS began to speak beginning in the New Testament. How can that be if HE is described in the New Testament as GOD The Word??? If GOD does not change and GOD’S Word does not change, how do we biblically rationalize having TWO opposing sets of GOD’S Law in existence? (i.e. one set of laws in the Old Testament and another set in the New Testament)
So, since HE is The Living Word of GOD, when JESUS states that the HOLY SPIRIT will “bring to your remembrance all that I said to you” HE is referring to the process of the fulfillment of Jeremiah 31 and Ezekiel 36 with HIS Statutes, HIS Ordinances being now on the hearts and in our minds of those who receive HIM! Those who would rather have a New Testament (ONLY) JESUS with a New Testament set of commandments are perverting The Scriptures and have fallen into what the New Testament refers to as “lawlessness” (anti-law) or the attitude and actions of rejecting the Law of GOD. For that they will have to stand before The Living Law of GOD and give an account. I fear that it will not be a pleasant experience for them…
Many who reject this truth cite verse 3 in Romans 8 to somehow try and establish a case for GOD’S Law being “weak and beggarly”. But notice where the real weakness lies…
“For what the Law could not do, weak as it was through the flesh, GOD did; sending HIS own SON in the likeness of sinful flesh and as an offering for sin, HE condemned sin in the flesh,”
There are two possible applications to what Paul refers to here.
- Paul is saying that the Law of GOD was rendered weak “through the flesh”, being written on stone it was not capable of empowering anyone to obey it.
- Paul is saying that men have taken GOD’S perfect Law and polluted it by “adding to it and/or subtracting from it” making it weak and fleshly.
In either case, or even the combination of these two possibilities, it makes no difference, GOD sent HIS SON, The Living Word to inaugurate the New Covenant through HIS sinless life (as witnessed by HIS Law), proving HIMSELF to be the atoning sacrifice for OUR sins as The LAMB of GOD!
“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.”
Look at how perfectly this all fits together in context! Because Messiah YESHUA, (being GOD / Word incarnate) walked according to The Law of GOD, exposing the law of man (lawlessness), and lived sinless so that HE would be an acceptable sacrifice on the cross for our sins, as proven by HIM being victorious over sin and death, we now by having HIS Law upon our hearts & minds are empowered by HIS SPIRIT to walk in obedience to HIS Law and experience victory over the flesh! Blessed be HIS Name!
“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.”
Simply put; “If your religion is based on what man (flesh) establishes, (additions to / subtractions from HIS Law), that is where your allegiance will be. If your religion is based on what GOD establishes, (HIS Law in your heart & mind) being quickened by HIS SPIRIT , then consequently your allegiance will be to HIM/HIS Word!” Paul states it this way so that you and I can objectively determine exactly where our own allegiance lies!
“For to be carnally (fleshly) minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.”
Being fleshly minded (having your allegiance to what man establishes) will result in death. This is what Paul referred to earlier in verse 2, as “the law of sin and of death.”
Being spiritually minded (having your allegiance to what GOD establishes) will result in life! This is what Paul referred to earlier in verse 2, as “the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus…”
“Because the carnal(fleshly) mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the Law of GOD, nor indeed can be”
Notice which mind cannot be subject to The Law of GOD! It’s the carnal/fleshly mind who is not experiencing The New Covenant as prophesied in Jeremiah 31, Ezekiel 36 and witnessed on The Day of Pentecost in Acts 2! It’s the carnal/fleshly mind who rejects GOD’S Law, written on the heart/mind, empowered by HIS SPIRIT causing obedience to HIM! But today’s Christianity is being taught that it is the spiritual minded believer who is to reject GOD’S Law, saying that it is “legalism, bondage, etc.” and is irrelevant to him/her today!!! That is diametrically opposed to what we have seen in The Scriptures!
“So then, those who are in the flesh cannot please God.”
Those with their allegiance to what man establishes cannot please GOD because they have their minds set on a man made standard that either pollutes GOD’S Law by adding to it and/or subtracting from it OR they reject GOD’S Law altogether. Both cases are examples of “lawlessness” (anti-law). According to GOD’S Word “without faith it is impossible to please GOD.” Biblical faith can only be achieved by believing and obeying GOD’S Word. Biblical faith cannot be achieved by believing and obeying man’s law, traditions and practices… One Law is “the law of the SPIRIT of life in Christ JESUS.” The other law is “the law of sin and death.” I encourage you to choose wisely…