BIBLE INSIGHTS in 500 words
God’s Gift of Grace
Richard Leslie Parrott, Ph.D.
Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, 2 because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death. 3 For what the law was powerless to do because it was weakened by the flesh, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in the flesh, 4 in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the flesh but according to the Spirit (Romans 8:1-4).
1-What does Salvation Do For Us?
The first blessing of salvation is Justification; “Therefore, there is no condemnation” (vs. 1) because “he condemned sin in the flesh” (vs. 3). The “law of sin and death” (vs. 2) holds us captive despite our best intent and effort. To be ‘captive’ is condemnation. Jesus frees us from condemnation.
How did Jesus secure our freedom from condemnation? Jesus took on the “likeness of sinful flesh to be a sin offering” (vs. 3). Jesus carried the sin of the world and the sin in our hearts to the cross, where sin was condemned. Therefore, we are not condemned. With sin defeated, we are free to live by the “law of the Spirit of life” (vs. 2).
The second blessing of salvation is liberation from “the law [power] of sin and death” (vs. 2) so that we might live by the “law [power] of the Spirit of life” (vs. 2). The two blessings – justification and liberation – are linked. Note the word “because” (vs. 2). Indeed, the order of events is this: 1-we are liberated from sin and death and therefore, 2-there is no condemnation. In verse 2, “law” does not refer to the Law of Moses, but to a power that either incarcerates (“sin and death”) or liberates (“Spirit of Life”).
2-How is Justification and Liberation Possible?
These two blessings are possible because God, in his compassion, has taken the initiative to provide salvation for us. God’s gracious gift has succeeded where the Law of Moses failed – He sets us free from the power of sin and death. “What the law was powerless to do, God did by sending his own Son” (vs. 3). God has liberated us from son so that we might obey his will. This is something the Law could never do.
3-What is the Result of Our Salvation?
The blessings of God’s grace – liberation and justification – open the way for our sanctification – to be purified and empowered;
1-set free from sin (purified) and
2-filled with life (empowered).
This gift of sanctification – purity and power – is the fulfillment of the promise of the New Exodus. As the Hebrew people were set free from the power of Pharaoh, we are set free from the power of sin and death.
This article is 500 words.