1 There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.2 For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death.3 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, – Romans 8:1-3
Paul’s letter has built up to this climactic point. He has told us that through Christ we are justified by faith, freed from sin, freed from the law, have hope of salvation. Now he shows us that the Spirit of God is in us to do this work. We are assured of eternal life through the Holy Spirit. Up to now the Holy Spirit has not been discussed in Romans but in chapter 8 He is the main character. Paul begins with the declaration that there is no condemnation in Christ. Jesus is not condemned so if we are in Him we are not condemned. The law of sin and death is the divine rule that sin causes death. God commanded Adam:
but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.” – Genesis 2:17
Sin brought death into the world. But the law of the Spirit of life is that all who are regenerated, born again of the Spirit will live eternally.
5 Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.
6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. – John 3:5-6
For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. – John 3:17
What the law could not do God did through the Holy Spirit. He gave us life. He never wanted to condemn us, His desire is that all are saved.
3 This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior,
4 who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. – 1 Timothy 2:3-4
Now, if we are in Him, there is no condemnation but sin and the flesh are condemned. Jesus was born in the likeness of flesh. He had a human body but he did not inherit the sinful nature because of the virgin birth. He was not of Adam’s seed but was conceived by the Holy Spirit:
And the angel answered her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy-the Son of God. – Luke 1:35
Therefore He was the perfect man who obeyed the Father and never sinned. He became the perfect sacrifice, not deserving to die but experiencing death for us that we might live. As Douglas Moo puts it:
“Jesus became what we are so that we might become what He is. God condemned sin in Jesus (vs 3) so that we would not have to be condemned (vs 1).”