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    April 30, 1896

    “Studies in Romans. Freedom” The Signs of the Times, 22, 18.

    E. J. Waggoner

    We now come to the conclusion of the whole matter. In the eighth chapter of Romans the epistle reaches its highest point. The seventh has presented to us the deplorable condition of the man who has been awakened by the law to a sense of his condition, bound to sin by cords that can be loosened only by death. It closes with a glimpse of the Lord Jesus Christ as the One who alone can set us free from the body of death. This brings us to the state ofSITI April 30, 1896, page 275.1

    Freedom from Condemnation

    “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death. For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh; that the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. So then they that are in the flesh can not please God. But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.” Romans 8:1-9.SITI April 30, 1896, page 275.2

    Questioning the Text

    What is the condition of them that are in Christ?SITI April 30, 1896, page 275.3

    “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus.”SITI April 30, 1896, page 275.4

    How do such walk?SITI April 30, 1896, page 275.5

    “Not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.”SITI April 30, 1896, page 275.6

    From what have we been made free?SITI April 30, 1896, page 275.7

    “From the law of sin and death.”SITI April 30, 1896, page 275.8

    What has done this?SITI April 30, 1896, page 275.9

    “The law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus.”SITI April 30, 1896, page 275.10

    How did God send his Son?SITI April 30, 1896, page 275.11

    “In the likeness of sinful flesh.”SITI April 30, 1896, page 275.12

    What for?SITI April 30, 1896, page 275.13

    “For sin.”SITI April 30, 1896, page 275.14

    What did he thus do?SITI April 30, 1896, page 275.15

    “Condemned sin in the flesh.”SITI April 30, 1896, page 275.16

    For what purpose?SITI April 30, 1896, page 275.17

    “That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us.”SITI April 30, 1896, page 275.18

    Why could not the law itself do this?SITI April 30, 1896, page 275.19

    Because “it was weak through the flesh.”SITI April 30, 1896, page 275.20

    How is it then that it can be done in us through Christ?SITI April 30, 1896, page 275.21

    Because we “walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.”SITI April 30, 1896, page 275.22

    What is said of those who are after, or according to, the flesh?SITI April 30, 1896, page 275.23

    “They that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh.”SITI April 30, 1896, page 275.24

    What of them that are after the Spirit?SITI April 30, 1896, page 275.25

    “They that are after the Spirit, the things of the Spirit.”SITI April 30, 1896, page 275.26

    What is the difference between the flesh and the Spirit.SITI April 30, 1896, page 275.27

    “These are contrary the one to the other.” Galatians 5:17.SITI April 30, 1896, page 275.28

    What is it to be minding the flesh?SITI April 30, 1896, page 275.29

    “To be carnally minded is death.”SITI April 30, 1896, page 275.30

    And what to be minding the Spirit?SITI April 30, 1896, page 275.31

    “To be spiritually minded is life and peace.”SITI April 30, 1896, page 275.32

    Why is it that to be carnally minded is death?SITI April 30, 1896, page 275.33

    “Because the carnal mind is enmity against God.”SITI April 30, 1896, page 275.34

    In what does its enmity consist?SITI April 30, 1896, page 275.35

    “It is not subject to the law of God.”SITI April 30, 1896, page 275.36

    Can not the carnal mind be brought into subjection to the law of God?SITI April 30, 1896, page 275.37

    “Neither indeed can be.”SITI April 30, 1896, page 275.38

    Then what necessarily follows?SITI April 30, 1896, page 275.39

    “So then they that are in the flesh can not please God.”SITI April 30, 1896, page 275.40

    What is the condition of those in whom the Spirit of God dwells?SITI April 30, 1896, page 275.41

    “Ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you.”SITI April 30, 1896, page 275.42

    What is said of the one who has not this Spirit?SITI April 30, 1896, page 275.43

    “If any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.”SITI April 30, 1896, page 275.44

    “No Condemnation.” —There is no condemnation to them which are in Christ. Why? Because he received the curse of the law, that the blessing might come on us. Nothing can come to us while we are in him, without first passing through him; but in him all curses are turned to blessings, and sin is displaced by righteousness. His endless life triumphs over everything that comes against it. We are made “complete in him.”SITI April 30, 1896, page 275.45

    “Looking unto Jesus.” —Some say, “I do not find this scripture fulfilled in my case, because I find something to condemn me every time I look at myself.” To be sure; for the freedom from condemnation is not in ourselves, but in Christ Jesus. We are to look at him, instead of at ourselves. If we obey his orders, and trust him, he takes the responsibility of making us clear before the law. There will never be a time when one will not find condemnation in looking at himself. The fall of Satan was due to his looking at himself. The restoration for those whom he has made to fall, is only through looking to Jesus. “As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up.” John 3:14. The serpent was lifted up to be looked at. Those who looked were healed. Even so with Christ. In the world to come the servants of the Lord “shall see his face,” and they will not be drawn away to themselves. The light of his countenance will be their glory and it is in that same light that they will be brought to that glorious state.SITI April 30, 1896, page 275.46

    Conviction, Not Condemnation.-The text does not say that those who are in Christ Jesus will never be reproved.SITI April 30, 1896, page 275.47

    “Do you think he ne’er reproves me?
    What a false friend he would be
    If he never, never told me
    Of the faults that he must see!”
    SITI April 30, 1896, page 275.48

    Getting into Christ is only the beginning, not the end, of Christian life. It is the entrance to the school where we are to learn of him. He takes the ungodly man with all his evil habits and forgives all his sins, so that he is counted as though he never had sinned. Then he continues to him his own life, by which he may overcome his evil habits. Association with Christ will more and more reveal to us our failings, just as association with a learned man will make us conscious of our ignorance. As a faithful witness, he tells us of our failings. But it is not to condemn us. We receive sympathy, not condemnation, from him. It is this sympathy that gives us courage, and enables us to overcome. When the Lord points our a defect in our characters, it is the same as saying to us, “There is something that you are in need of, and I have it for you.” When we learn to look at reproof in this way, we shall rejoice in it, instead of being discouraged.SITI April 30, 1896, page 275.49

    Law of Life in Christ.-The law without Christ is death. The law in Christ is life. His life is the law of God; for out of the heart are the issues of life, and the law was in his heart. The law of sin and death works in our members. But the law of the Spirit of life in Christ gives us freedom from this. Mark that it is the life in Christ that does this. It does not give us freedom from obedience to the law, for we had that before, and that was bondage, and not freedom. What he gives us freedom from is the transgression of the law.SITI April 30, 1896, page 275.50

    Christ’s Work.-This is made very plain in verses 3 and 4. God sent his Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, “that the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us.” “The law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good.” There is no fault to be found with it but with us, because we have transgressed it. Christ’s work is not to change the law in any particular, but to change us in every particular. It is to put the law into our hearts in perfection, in place of the marred and broken copy.SITI April 30, 1896, page 275.51

    The Weakness of the Law.-The law is strong enough to condemn, but it is weak, even powerless, with respect to what man needs namely, salvation. It was and is “weak through the flesh.” The law is good, and holy, and just, but man has no strength to perform it. Just as an axe may be of good steel, and very sharp, yet unable to cut down a tree because the arm that has hold of it has no strength, so the law of God could not perform itself. It set forth man’s duty; it remained for him to do it. But he could not, and therefore Christ came to do it in him. What the law could not do, God did by his Son.SITI April 30, 1896, page 275.52

    Likeness of Sinful Flesh.-There is a common idea that this means that Christ simulated sinful flesh; that he did not take upon himself actual sinful flesh, but only what appeared to be such. But the Scriptures do not teach such a thing. “In all things it behooved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful High Priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people.” Hebrews 2:17. He was “born of a woman, born under the law,” that he might redeem them that were under the law. Galatians 4:4, 5, R.V. He took the same flesh that all have who are born of woman. A parallel text to Romans 8:3, 4 is found in 2 Corinthians 5:21. The former says that Christ was sent in the likeness of sinful flesh, “that the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us.” The latter says that God “made him to be sin for us,” although he knew no sin, “that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.”SITI April 30, 1896, page 275.53

    “Compassed with Infirmity.” —All the comfort that we can get from Christ lies in the knowledge that he was made in all things as we are. Otherwise we should hesitate to tell him of our weaknesses and failures. The priest who makes sacrifices for sins must be one “who can have compassion on the ignorant, and on them that are out of the way; for that he himself also is compassed with infirmity.” Hebrews 5:2. This applies perfectly to Christ; “for we have not an High Priest which can not be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.” Hebrews 4:15. This is why we may come boldly to the throne of grace for mercy. So perfectly has Christ identified himself with us, that he even now feels our sufferings.SITI April 30, 1896, page 276.1

    The Flesh and the Spirit.—“For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit, the things of the Spirit.” Note that this depends on the preceding statement, “that the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.” The things of the Spirit are the commandments of God, because the law is spiritual. The flesh serves the law of sin (see the preceding chapter, and Galatians 5:19-21, where the works of the flesh are described). But Christ came in the same flesh, to show the power of the Spirit over the flesh. “They that are in the flesh can not please God. But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of Christ dwell in you.” Now no one will claim that the flesh of a man is any different after his conversion from what it was before. Least of all will the converted man himself say so; for he has continual evidence of its perversity. But if he is really converted, and the Spirit of Christ dwells in him, he is no more in the power of the flesh. Even so Christ came in the same sinful flesh, yet he was without sin, because he was always led by the Spirit.SITI April 30, 1896, page 276.2

    The Enmity.—“The carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.” The flesh never becomes converted. It is enmity against God; and that enmity consists in opposition to his law. Therefore, whoever opposes the law of God is fighting against him. But Christ is our Peace, and he came preaching peace. “You, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled in the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight.” Colossians 1:21, 22. In his own flesh he abolishes the enmity, so that all who are crucified with him are at peace with God; that is, they are subject to his law, which is in their hearts.SITI April 30, 1896, page 276.3

    “Life and Peace.” —“To be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.” To be spiritually minded is to have a mind controlled by the law of God, “for we know that the law is spiritual.” “Great peace have they which love thy law.” Psalm 119:165. “Being justified [made righteous] by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” The carnal mind is enmity against God. Therefore, to be carnally minded is death. But Christ “hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the Gospel.” 2 Timothy 1:10. He has abolished death by destroying the power of sin in all who believe in him; for death has no power except through sin. “The sting of death is sin.” 1 Corinthians 15:56. So that even now we may joyfully say, “Thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” E. J. W.SITI April 30, 1896, page 276.4

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