In Rom 8:1-2, we read, “Therefore, there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For in Christ Jesus, the law of the Spirit of life has set you free from the law of sin and death.”
What exactly is Paul saying here?
Rom 8:1-2 starts with the word “Therefore,” which tells us it connects back to Rom 7. In Rom 7, Paul contrasts Yehovah’s Torah (the written law of Moses) and sin, showing us from verse 21 how he has this inner conflict. He wants to obey the Torah (the written law of Moses), but he often fails to do so. Instead, he finds himself more often doing what he should not do and what he does not want to do, instead of doing what he wants to do. But because he has this desire to obey the Torah, and he believes in the cross, he knows that his unintentional failures do not condemn him. (Rom 8:1)
What Paul is trying to tell us is this, as children of Yehovah, we will never be sinless until we reach heaven. But as we are going to see, Paul also says in Rom 8, a child of Yehovah can not choose to sin. (1. John, the book of James.) they can only commit unintentional sins. And when we sin unintentionally, we should not allow our sins to condemn us. Paul is not telling us to ignore them; what he is saying is the same thing as John in 1.John 1:9. When we sin unintentionally, we are to confess our sins, repent, and continue walking in obedience free from condemnation, believing we are forgiven.
He then goes on in Rom 8:2-3 to say that because, in his mind, he wants to obey the Torah AND he believes in the cross, he is free from the law of sin and death.
What is the law of sin and death?
This connects to Rom 7 and what Paul has just described, how he struggles with unintentional sins. He does not desire to sin unintentionally; he wants to obey the Torah, but he is struggling, so to him, he is torn between the law of sin and death that still makes him sin unintentionally and the law of God that he wants to obey. Because he still sins unintentionally, it seems to him as if his body is obeying a law that will only bring sin and death. But because his mind is set on obedience to the Torah, submissive to Yehovah with faith in the cross, he is one with Christ. Because he is one with Christ, the law of sin and death loses its power of him, and it can no longer condemn him. (Rom 8:1, 1. John 2:6, James 2:10-26, John 3.)
If we imitate Paul (1.Cor 11), our unintentional sins will have no authority over us. The righteous requirements of the law will be fulfilled in us because we have chosen to live by the Spirit and not the flesh. (Rom 8:4)
So the key to our victory over unintentional sins is to set our minds on the Torah and the cross. Then we will have life and peace, living submitted to Yehovah’s Spirit (the Holy Spirit) filled with the Holy Spirit, being pleasing to Yehovah. (Rom 8:5-8)
But if we do not submit to the written Torah, we can not please Yehovah (Rom 8:7-8.) Paul gives us a strong warning here to those who reject the Torah and say things like “the law of Moses is a burden; it was done away with at the cross.” If you believe the Torah does not apply to you, you are living in the flesh; you are not pleasing to God. and you dont even have His Holy Spirit. So what Paul is saying here is that faith in the cross without obedience to the Torah means you dont have the Holy Spirit. It means you are still living in your flesh and not in the Spirit. This connects to and confirms what James says in James 2 and what John says in 1.John and Yeshua Himself in John 3.
If we submit to the Torah and believe in the cross (Rom 8:1-8), we are walking in the Spirit, filled by the Spirit of God. Our submission to the Torah is the proof we belong to Christ, and the Spirit will give our physical bodies life. (Rom 8:9-10, Deut 28:1-14.) This connects back to the Old Testament and how Yehovah promises to heal and care for those who obey His Torah. If we live this way, the Holy Spirit living in us will give our physical bodies life, power and help us to overcome our unintentional sins (Rom 7:21-25, Rom 8:1-10)
Paul warns us this will not happen automatically; Paul reminds us in verse 12 we are obligated to choose to submit to the Torah and choose life over death, to choose to live in the Spirit and not the flesh. So, according to Paul, we still need to do something, and he does not support the idea of passive faith in the cross. Then we will have life; we will live and overcome our unintentional sins (Rom 8:13, 7:21-25, Rom 8:1-10.) But Paul does not stop there; he goes on to say living like this will make us children of Yehovah and heirs with Christ. (Rom 8:14-17.)
As we have learned today, Paul is in full agreement with Yeshua, with the Old Testament, with James, Peter, and John. If we are children of Yehovah, we are obligated to obey the Torah and have faith in the cross. If we want to live in the Spirit and be filled with the Holy Spirit, we are obligated to obey the Torah and have faith in the cross. Nowhere do we see Paul saying we can be filled with the Spirit if we reject the Torah as most Christians today have done.
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