There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death. For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do. By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. (Romans 8:1-4 ESV)
Freedom is a done deal and a daily walk. Don’t miss the tenses of the verbs…
- “the law of the Spirit of life has set you free”—vs. 2
- “what the law could not do, God did”
- “sending His own son”
- “He condemned sin in the flesh”
- “so that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us”
Our freedom was granted through Jesus’ once-for-all sacrifice on the cross. Did you know that all your sins have been forgiven–sins past, present and future. David Jeremiah once said that most people don’t struggle with the sins they committed before coming to Christ. They know that God has forgiven them. However, they struggle with the sins they committed after coming to Christ. I love his response. “I can illustrate that all your sins have been forgiven. How is that? Because Jesus took all your sins on the cross. And every sin you have ever committed was committed after Jesus died on the cross.”
You only need accept that forgiveness. That’s what coming to Christ is all about. Will you accept the forgiveness available through Christ? And for those of you who already know Christ, will you accept His forgiveness for the wrong you did this week. Freedom is a done deal. You are free.
Freedom is also a daily walk. Remember, freedom is an inside job that works out in our lives. Notice Paul’s next phrase (vs. 4b) “who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.” Walk is simply defined as “to move over a surface by taking steps with the feet at a pace slower than a run.”
Freedom is a walk. We take one step toward freedom and then another…and another. Walking is a one-step-at-a-time experience. And one step leads to another, and another, and another. Aren’t you glad God said, “walk” instead of running. Be patient with yourselves.
Here’s where the rub comes. We have a choice. Who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. The flesh will always be the flesh. The question is, “Will we walk as free people, bound no longer by our sin nature?” That is the question of the daily walk. I am not talking about having a quiet time, although that is very valuable. I’m speaking of a daily walk according to God’s Spirit.
How do we do this? I am convinced, first of all, that it isn’t easy. To walk by the Spirit is a moment-by-moment attitude of surrender. It is living your life, not for yourself, but for God. What are the fruits of the life of one who walks by the Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness and self-control.
If freedom had not been a desperate need, Jesus would not have died.
If the regiment of the law had worked, Jesus would not have come as God in human flesh.
If life had been intended to be miserable, Jesus would not have undergone the misery of your sin in your place.
If freedom were not a daily walk, Jesus never would have said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”