Romans 8:1-9


“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)

The justification described in chapters 3-7 is the basis of Paul saying “there is no            condemnation.”

Justification must occur before sanctification.  To grow into the image and character of God you must have God’s power and character in you.  This can only occur after ju

“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” – is literally “likeness of sinful flesh”

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.



Romans 8:4 ina THAT     to  THE      dikaiwma  REQUIREMENT      tou OF THE      nomou LAW      plhrwqh SHOULD BE FULFILLED     en IN       hmin US     toiV WHO      mh NOT       kata  ACCORDING TO sarka FLESH      peripatousin  WALK,      alla BUT kata ACCORDING TO         pneuma SPIRIT.


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

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.


who do not live according to the sinful nature” -


but according to the Spirit.” -



Romans 8:5 oi THEY THAT     gar FOR     kata  ACCORDING TO     sarka FLESH onteV ARE     ta THE THINGS OF    thV THE     sarkoV  FLESH  fronousin MIND     oi AND       de THEY      kata ACCORDING TO       pneuma SPIRIT      ta THE THINGS OF      tou THE    pneumatoV SPIRIT


8:5a – “being according to the flesh” or “according to the Spirit”

8:5b – “thinking the things of the flesh” or “thinking the things of the Spirit”

8:6 -  “the mind of the flesh” or “the mind of the Spirit”

8:8-9 – “being in the flesh” or “in the Spirit”

"Flesh" refers to these things in scripture:

1)   The physical life experienced by both the saved and unsaved

2)   Ethical - the corrupt and sinful nature

3)   Reference to the unregenerate or unsaved


"Spirit" as used here could refer to:

1) The spirit part of a mans make up such as spirit, soul and body (as in 1 Cor. 5:3)

2) The divine life of the believer which is the new nature

3)  The Spirit of God


The Answer to the meaning of "Flesh" and "Spirit"

Paul is describing and contrasting two different classes of people in these verses.                       
Many times we read this and think Paul is encouraging the believers not to walk in the    flesh. 

Paul does this in Galatians 5:16-26, but here Paul is not talking about the behavior of people but instead the being of people.

Paul is contrasting the state of the:

a)      Unregenerate and the regenerate

b)      Condemned and the Justified

c)      Unsaved and the saved

d)      Unconverted and the converted

e)      Unbeliever and the believer

This opinion can be supported by these three observations:

a)      in 8:8 it not possible for a believer to be “being in the flesh”

b)      there are no imperative verbs (mood of command) in these verses.  The verbs are indicative (statement of a fact, it is the mood of reality)

c)      Paul uses the third person to describe general groups of people

d)      Paul is careful to exclude his readers (who are believers) from the group of those in the flesh in 8:9.

Paul’s point is to express the complete opposites of life in the flesh and life in the Spirit.

The reason for Paul’s point in 5-8 is to explain why only those with the Spirit can have   the Life or the eschatological life  describe in verses 1-4


The reference to "Spirit" is a reference to the Holy Spirit in these verses because:

1) The chapter began talking about the Holy Spirit and there has been no indication that we have switched.

2) This chapter refers to the power and life of the Spirit.  It would seem Paul is talking    about the source of the power and life which is the Holy Spirit.  He would not be    referring to our human spirit or our new nature since those are not the source but the recipients of this new life.




Romans 8:6    to THE    gar FOR     fronhma MIND    thV OF THE    sarkoV FLESH qanatoV IS DEATH      to BUT     de THE     fronhma MIND      tou OF THE pneumatoV SPIRIT       zwh LIFE       kai AND         eirhnh PEACE


“Mind” is more than the mental task of thinking and concentration.  It also includes the   will and the desires.  So to say “the mind of the spirit” or “the mind of the flesh”       is to say not only what it thinks but what it desires.



Romans 8:7 dioti BECAUSE     to THE     fronhma MIND      thV OF THE sarkoV FLESH      ecqra  IS ENMITY      eiV TOWARDS    qeon GOD    tw TO THE gar  FOR     nomw LAW     tou OF      qeou GOD     ouc  IT IS   

 upotassetai NOT SUBJECT      oude NEITHER    gar FOR    dunatai CAN IT BE



Romans 8:8 oi AND THEY     de THAT     en IN      sarki FLESH     onteV ARE qew GOD         aresai  ou PLEASE         dunantai CANNOT


The Sinful (Unsaved) man is described with four points
1)  He is hostile toward God

2) He is insubordinate to God's law

3) He fails to pleas God

4) He is living in death.


The sinful man (unsaved) must be born again.









Point here is that the power of the Spirit the believer now has is only effective if the person allows the Spirit to work in their lives.