You Are My People, #10

Date:

There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. (Romans 8:1)

First of all, through Christ the load of condemnation was lifted from Paul's back. The guilt of Paul's sins was removed in a moment as he received forgiveness through the perfect atonement made by the blood of the Lord Jesus.

Second (and more importantly in terms of Paul's cry in Romans 7:24), the Spirit of God was given to Paul so he could gain victory over the forces of sin.

Third, the blood of Jesus provided a continuing covering while Paul was overcoming sin by the Spirit of God, insuring that Paul remained without condemnation, that he always was eligible to approach the Throne of God and receive help in his hour of need.

We understand, therefore, that the grace of God that came to Paul provided an alternative to his attempt to obey the letter of the Law by means of his own willpower. The Law had served as a servant that had brought Paul to Christ. Christ then proved to be the only means by which Paul could satisfy the eternal moral law of God.

The alternative that Christ provided was not that Paul could then forget about living righteously (as so many Gentiles teach). Rather, it was true that the moral behavior the Law sought to enforce by commandment could now be enjoyed by Paul as he followed the Spirit of God into victory over the world, over the lusts of his flesh, and over his self-will, thus proceeding to eternal life.

Basic to acquiring moral victory was the crucifixion of Paul's first personality (his identification with Christ on the cross), and the development of a new nature, a new creation that was nourished daily by the body and blood of the risen Christ.

Paul now had a perfect conscience before God through the atonement made by the blood of Jesus on Calvary, and also the satisfaction of experiencing continual growth in righteous and holy behavior. Paul's objective became the redemption of his body so that his entire personality would be dwelling in the righteous, holy Presence of God in Christ.

And not only they [the material creation], but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body. (Romans 8:23)

Paul's supreme goal was to attain the Kingdom of God and His righteousness. The Law had served Paul as a temporary device until the eternal Word, Covenant, and Law of God, which is Christ, was made available to him.

The Jew who has sought to gain the Kingdom of God and His righteousness is in the best position of all to appreciate the provision God has made for him to keep the eternal moral law of God, of which the Ten Commandments are a shadow. The righteous Jew is able to perceive the new covenant as the placing of the Torah, the Law, in his personality in such a manner that he can obey its commandments in their most complete form. He can see the grace of God as being salvation from the power of sin so he can live righteously in the Presence of God. Meanwhile his sins are forgiven through the blood of Christ. They no longer are remembered against him.

To be continued.