The Real Gospel — Part 15
If the Law was strong enough to produce life we would have been able to keep it, but our human flesh rendered us powerless.
The Law was meant to give life (Romans 7:10), but none of us could keep it (Isaiah 59:16). So God Himself became flesh (John 1:14 and 1 Timothy 3:16). He did what no sinful flesh had ever done: HE KEPT THE LAW.
This granted Him eternal life. He then turned to us and gave us eternal life as a gift. But, Jesus did much more than just obtain eternal life for us; He also paid all the wages of our sins (Romans 6:23).
God literally placed the condemnation, or judgment, that was against us upon His own Son. Jesus’ perfect flesh was condemned so our defiled flesh could go free (Romans 8:3).
Since Jesus bore our sentence (condemnation), we don’t have to bear it. The debt has already been paid. IT WOULD BE DOUBLE JEOPARDY IF WE ALSO HAD TO BEAR ANY CONDEMNATION (Romans 8:1).
Romans 8:4 says, “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.” This verse is saying that through the sacrificial death of Jesus, we can now fulfill the righteousness of the Law.
There are two ways that we need to understand this:
First, the righteousness of the Law IS NOW FULFILLED IN OUR NEW, BORN-AGAIN SPIRITS (Romans 4:8). Jesus fulfilled the Law (Matthew 5:17) and HAS GIVEN US HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS (Romans 3:26). EVERY BELIEVER’S SPIRIT IS RIGHTEOUS AND TRULY HOLY.
Second, through the Holy Spirit, WE ARE NOW EMPOWERED TO LIVE, outwardly in our actions, the holy lives that the Law demanded BUT WE WERE UNABLE TO DO IN OUR OWN STRENGTH. Galatians 5:16 agrees with this verse when it says we do not fulfill the lust of the flesh when we walk according to the Spirit.
IT NEEDS TO BE POINTED OUT THAT although as Spirit-filled believers, we will live holy lives, WE WILL NEVER KEEP EVERY DETAIL OF THE LAW. That could not be done before salvation, and it cannot be done after salvation.
The PURPOSE of the Law was to make us despair of saving ourselves and to point us to a Savior (Romans 3:19). When we come to put faith in Jesus as our Savior, THEN WE ARE FULFILLING THE PURPOSE OF THE LAW.
So Romans 8:4 is speaking of us as believers being empowered to live holy lives, but fulfilling the righteousness of the Law is not the same as keeping every detail of the Law (Romans 7:6).
Therefore, “walking according to the flesh” is simply having our minds focused on carnal things, and “walking according to the Spirit” is having our minds stayed on spiritual things (John 6:63).
Romans 8:5 says, “IF OUR MINDS ARE RULED BY OUR DESIRES, WE WILL DIE. BUT IF OUR MINDS ARE RULED BY THE SPIRIT, WE WILL HAVE LIFE AND PEACE.”
We just have to judge what we are thinking about. IF WE ARE CONSISTENTLY THINKING ON THE THINGS OF THE SPIRIT (John 6:63), THEN WE ARE WALKING ACCORDING TO THE SPIRIT. If we are dominated with carnal thoughts (Romans 8:6), then we are walking according to the flesh (Romans 8:9 & Romans 7:18).
Romans 8, verses 7-9 say, “Our desires fight against God, because they do not and cannot obey God’s laws. If we follow our desires, we cannot please God. YOU ARE NO LONGER RULED BY YOUR DESIRES, BUT BY GOD’S SPIRIT, WHO LIVES IN YOU. People who don’t have the Spirit of Christ in them don’t belong to him.”
So, our power to overcome sin is in living life in the Spirit, not in our strength.
REST IN THE FINISHED WORK OF JESUS CHRIST – Hebrews 4:1-3!