Sunday: The Promise

One of the greatest promises in the Bible is found in Romans 8:1: “There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit” (NKJV). These words come as kind of a capstone, a conclusion to a train of thought that came right before.

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Only by studying what Paul talked about just preceding this verse can we better grasp the hope and promise found in it.

Read Romans 7:15-25. What is the essence of what Paul is saying in these verses that makes what he says in Romans 8:1 so assuring?

Though great debate has existed in Christendom over whether or not Paul was talking specifically about himself as a believer, one thing is clear: Paul is, indeed, talking about the reality of sin. Everyone, even Christians, can relate in some way to the struggle that Paul refers to here. Who hasn’t felt the pull of the flesh and of the “sin that dwells in” them, which causes them to do what they know they should not do, or not to do what they know they should? For Paul, the problem isn’t the law; the problem is our flesh.

Who hasn’t found himself or herself wanting to do what is right but doing what is wrong? Even if Paul is not talking about the inevitability of sin in the life of a born-again Christian here, he certainly is making a strong case for the ever-present struggle that anyone faces who seeks to obey God.

So, he comes to the famous words: “O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?” (Rom. 7:24, NKJV). His answer is found in Jesus, and in the great promise of “no condemnation” for the believer in Jesus who, by grace, walks according to the spirit. Yes, believers struggle; yes, they face temptations; yes, sin is real. But by faith in Jesus those who believe are no longer condemned by the law; indeed, they obey it. Thus, they learn to walk in the spirit and not “according to the flesh”.

Read again the texts for today. In what ways can you relate to what Paul is saying there? Why, then, is Romans 8:1 such a wonderful promise?
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Source: Daily Sabbath School Lessons