Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. (Rom. 8:1)
When confronted, my son shamefully admitted to hitting his younger brother. He knew he was guilty and he knew he deserved the punishment he was sure would come. In a moment of compassion, I gave him the news that he wouldn’t be punished this time. Relief and gratitude flooded his little face. And in that moment, I felt a similar and unexpected relief and gratitude flood my soul, remembering that the judgment and condemnation that I fully deserve had also been removed.
Have you ever felt defeated and frustrated, at the mercy of your own sinful human nature? Two words that show up over and over in Romans are sarx and ruach. Paul pitted these two ideas—flesh and Spirit—against each other as opposites that sit in tension. Paul explained that the flesh is our weakness and vulnerability to the “law of sin and death,” and the Spirit is that surging power of the third person of the Trinity that allows us to live holy, victorious lives.
With an excitement and urgency that can barely be contained, Paul explained that the path that gets us from sarx to ruach—a path “through Christ Jesus”—is what sets us free. Because of what Jesus has done, we can live a life dominated not by the flesh, but by the Spirit of God.
Live a free life dominated by the Spirit through Christ Jesus.
Andrea Summers is a teacher, pastor, writer, advocate, and campus pastor/dean of spiritual formation at Indiana Wesleyan University.
© 2021 Wesleyan Publishing House. Reprinted from Light from the Word. Used by permission. Scriptures taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®.