Romans 8:1

Questions from last week:

1)      Why did Paul sound like he had two personalities?  Why did Paul as a saved man sound so helpless and wretched?

Answer:  He was talking as a justified man (saved) but had not began the discussion concerning the empowerment from the indwelling Holy Spirit. 

This will be discussed in ch. 8.


Chapter 5 was Paul’s summary of justification, the work of Jesus.  It ends by saying, “just as sin reigned in death, so also grace might reign through righteousness to bring eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” (5:21)


Chapter 8 is Paul’s summary of the sanctification of the believer, the work of the Spirit.  It ends by saying, “I am convinced that neither death nor life, . . .neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God tat is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (8:38-39)


The Holy Spirit is the theme of this chapter. 

The word pneuma (spirit) is used 21 times in this chapter.  19 times it refers to the Holy Spirit.  So the Holy Spirit is mentioned at a rate of once every two verses.    (15 times in verses 1-17 and 4 times in verses 18-39)    (1 Corinthians 12 mentions Holy Spirit once every three verses)


Chapter 8 ties everything discussed in chapters 3-7.


This chapter opens with:

            “There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” (8:1)

This chapter closes with:

            “. . .nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of  God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (8:39)


Outline of Chapter Eight

1)      8:1-13 The Spirit gives Life

a.       in the present time

                                                               i.      from penalty of sin (justification)

                                                             ii.      from power of sin (sanctifiction

b.      in the future

                                                               i.      resurrection of the mortal body.

c.       the believer must willing participate (8:12-13)

2)      8:14-17 Adoption into God’s nature, character, family and glory

a.       this means in the midst of this life with sin and suffering in and around us we have a power much greater to live by and to live for

3)      8:18-30 Hope in this Age of the Battle

a.       The transition begins in the second half of verse 8:17 when Paul mentions present suffering and future glory.

                                                               i.      This is also seen in Paul’s introducing the idea that the children of God are also Heirs of God.  Heirs must wait for their inheritance.

b.      A clear distinction is made between present sufferings and future glory

c.       The Spirit that we have now is only the first fruits (or, a sampling) of what is yet to come.

4)      31-39  The Shout of Triumph

a.       This is a summary of the privileges of being a Christian

b.      This is an example of the application of these truths, principles and laws to the Christian’s mental attitude and world view.


Understand that Romans 8:39 is the end of Paul’s theological exposition.

1)  We see this in Ephesians 1-3 which ends with Ep. 3:14-21, which in part says:

 “. . .Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us., to him be glory in the    church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.” (Ep. 3:20-21)

            -This is followed by 3 chapters of application of these truths to life:

“I urge you to live a life worth of the calling you have received. . . “

                                                            (Ep. 4:1)

2)  We see this in Colossians 1:1 – 3:4 which ends with:

“For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God.  When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.”

 (Col. 3:3,4)


            - This is followed by 2 chapters of instruction for living:

            “Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature.(Col. 3:5)


3)  In Romans the theological exposition (chapters 3-8) are also followed by instruction for Christian living, but this begins in 12:1:

“Therefore, I urge you brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God – this is your spiritual act of worship. “ (12:1)


a)      This means that chapters 9-11 of Romans are not part of Paul’s usual style of writing.  Chapters 9-11 are not part of Paul’s typical theological exposition nor are they instructions on Christian living.

b)      In Chapter 9 Paul begins to discus the issue of Israel, the promise and their unbelief.

c)      Galatians (written 49 AD) is a book about Paul trying to wrestle the truth and the Christian faith from the bondage of the Jewish religion.  This battle was occurring even in Jerusalem in 48 AD at the Jerusalem council.

d)      Now, ten years later, the battle to separate Christianity from Judiasm has been won, but the problem now is to rescue Israel, their promises, and God’s faithfulness from the scrap heap.  As always there was a pendulum swing.



“Therefore” begins a summary and conclusion of chapters3-7.

Paul’s statement in 7:6 is expanded in detail here.


Romans 3:20 is the “therefore” of condemnation;

“Therefore no one will be declared righteous in his sight by observing the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of sin.”

Romans 8:1 is the “therefore” of no condemnation:

            “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.”

                                                                                                (Wiersbe, 1:538)

“Now” refers to a new era in the history of salvation.  The age of the Spirit that began   with the church on Pentecost.


“Condemnation” As Romans 5:12-21 taught there is no eternal condemnation in Christ.

            Death was in Adam; Life was in Christ.

Romans 8:34, “Who is he that condemns?  Christ Jesus, who died – more than that who was raised to life – is at the right hand of God and                                     is also interceding for us.”


“For” shows that this verse explains why there is no condemnation.

Law” is used here to mean “principle” not the Mosaic Law.

      1) The focus is on the certainty of the principle like the law of gravity.

     2) “Law” or “nomos” can mean “principle, authority, power”


The topic of discussion here is no longer about Jesus justifying us but about the Spirit’s   work in our lives to sanctify us.

Jesus has set us free, but we left to our newly saved selves still have no power as is seen in chapter 7.  The saved person has a new nature that wants to follow

God but is still overcome by the sin nature.  This is the struggle of Paul in chapter 7.  We have hope of deliverance in eternity but are left to live with the sin    nature today.


Now here in chapter 8 the new believer finds there is now hope for today also because of the presence of the Holy Spirit. 

Without the Spirit we would be saved but powerless.  With the Holy Spirit we have power over the sin nature we are left with.  

This understanding adds meaning to Jesus’ words in John 14:15-:

            “If you love me, you will obey what I command. “

                        (Which is impossible left to ourselves)

            And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever – the Spirit of truth.

                        (Jesus realized that those who loved him would want to obey him but would need a power greater than themselves. )

                The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor know him.                                               

(The Holy Spirit’s power is not available to the world.)

                But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you.  I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.”


The Spirit will:

1)      Battle against sin and the sin nature in us

2)      Rescue the believer from both physical and spiritual death

3)      Accomplish in us what the Law (or, law) never could do


The Law of Moses is holy, righteous and good but it can not set us free from our sin      problem.

The Law of Moses or any standard of righteousness may inspire us to be good and obey God, but it does not provide the power. 

Since the law was powerless to help us God sent his Son to deal with sin.


“For” now explains when, where and why the law of the Spirit of Life takes affect.  It is when the work of Jesus is applied.

“Law” or “nomos” is now taking about the Law of Moses


“in the likeness of sinful man”

Likeness” is “homoioma” ‘omoiwmati and here it means “form”

 The idea here is that Jesus had real flesh like men, but it was not flesh with a sin nature like men.  Paul is saying Christ really had flesh and was a real man, but   Paul is also steering clear of putting Christ in the category of fallen men with a sin nature.

sarkoV of flesh -

amartiaV  of sin” -


 to  gar   FOR       adunaton   POWERLESS       tou THE        nomou  LAW      en  IN  w   THAT       hsqenei  IT WAS WEAK       dia  THROUGH          thV  THE  sarkoV    o  FLESH          qeoV   GOD           ton  HIS      eautou  OWN      uion  SON  pemyaV   HAVING SENT       en  IN      omoiwmati  LIKENESS    sarkoV OF FLESH  amartiaV  OF SIN     kai   AND      peri  FOR         amartiaV  SIN          katekrinen    thn  CONDEMNED        amartian  SIN         en  IN       th  THE  sarki   FLESH


“to be a sin offering” – is literally “for sin” and does not have “to be” or “offering”. 

In the LXX this phrase often meant and was translated as “sin offering”


God judged and condemned sin in Jesus on the cross.  So the judicial requirement for punishing sin has been done.  The wrath of God has been poured out and finished on the cross.  So, in Christ there is no more condemnation for sin by God.  The power of sin and the results of sin are broken, gone, satisfied.


8:4  the righteous requirements of the law might be fully met in us” –

1)       The righteous requirements of the law are fully met in us by the power of the Spirit, but it is not automatic for every person or every believer.

2)       If we choose to follow the flesh we are not fulfilling the righteous requirements                                         

3)       If we live by the Spirit we will continue to meet those requirements

4)       Walking in the flesh is more than sinning it includes following the principles of the world and living from the human viewpoint.


who do not live according to the sinful nature” -


but according to the Spirit.” -