#DailyDevotion Do You Walk According To Sin (Law) Or To Spirit (Gospel)?
Romans 8 So those who are believers in Christ Jesus can no longer be condemned. 2The rule of the Spirit, who gives life, has in Christ Jesus freed you from the rule of sin that kills. 3What the Law, weakened by the flesh, could not do God has done by sending His Son to be like sinful flesh and to be a sacrifice for sin. He condemned sin in the flesh 4so that we who don’t follow the flesh but the spirit will be as righteous as the Law demands. 5Those who follow the flesh have their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who follow the spirit have their minds on the things of the spirit. 6What the flesh thinks kills; what the spirit thinks gives life and peace.
Now if you are a law based Christian you will completely mess this passage up. You will take walking according to the Spirit as obeying the law and walking according the flesh actively disobeying the law. In one sense you are correct, if you are a Christian, you will start obeying the law and if you are not a Christian you will be disobeying the law. But what Paul is talking about is ‘walking’ according to one or the other.
So we have this marvelous statement from St. Paul that believers in Christ Jesus can no longer be condemned. This, this is the interpretive key, the verse that governs all that follows. For seven chapters Paul has been telling us we cannot be righteous by trying to fulfill the law. Good works do not make us righteous before God. We will not be justified by works of the law. No, we are solely and only justified before God through faith in Christ Jesus. It is only through the faith that trusts the promises of God that Jesus has justified the ungodly, sinners, weak persons, and his enemies by his death and blood that God counts us righteous.
So you see, if you are walking according to the flesh, you are walking according to the law. The law is the center of your faith and focus. Sure, you cannot do the law but that doesn’t stop you from thinking that is the basis of your standing before God. When the law is your walk, sin causes you to break it in many and imaginative ways. So then you break the law which is your way and focus and the rule of sin kills, for the one who sins dies.
The rule of the Spirit, walking according to the Spirit is the way, rule and walk of the Gospel. The Gospel in verse 3 tells us we could not do what the law demands because of the weakened flesh. We could not be righteous by walking according to law’s (sin’s) rule. Therefore God sent his son into the flesh to be a sacrifice for sin to condemn sin in the flesh. If you believe this then you walk according to the Spirit (gospel) and you are as righteous as the law demands. For faith in Christ is counted as righteousness.
The fleshly mind is focused on the law and sins stirs up all sorts of sinful ways to disobey that law. The spiritual mind is focused on the spirit, the good news of Jesus Christ. What the flesh thinks then bring sin, death and condemnation. What the spirit thinks brings life, peace and salvation. The Christian delights and joys in the law of God only because he knows that through faith in Christ that law cannot condemn him. He is righteous because of what Jesus has done.
Merciful, kind, forgiving Father, you sent Jesus into our sinful flesh to condemn sin in the flesh so all who believe in your son may be righteous before your through faith in him. Continually keep our hearts focused on the good news so we may do all that the law demands freely by grace. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.