What does Romans 8:3 mean?
ESV: 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,
NIV: For what the law was powerless to do because it was weakened by the flesh, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in the flesh,
NASB: For what the Law could not do, weak as it was through the flesh, God did: sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and as an offering for sin, He condemned sin in the flesh,
CSB: For what the law could not do since it was weakened by the flesh, God did. He condemned sin in the flesh by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh as a sin offering,
NLT: The law of Moses was unable to save us because of the weakness of our sinful nature. So God did what the law could not do. He sent his own Son in a body like the bodies we sinners have. And in that body God declared an end to sin’s control over us by giving his Son as a sacrifice for our sins.
KJV: For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh:
This verse continues to explain how it is possible that there is no condemnation from God for those who are in Christ Jesus by faith. This was stated in emphatic terms in verse 1, in a statement flowing directly from Paul's reference to Christ at the end of chapter 7.
Paul has built a clear case that the law of Moses cannot save those who live under it. Instead, the law simply shows that we cannot keep the law (Romans 7:7–12). We cannot escape our sinfulness and make ourselves acceptable to God. He had to step in to save us, and He did. He did what the law—truly, our inability to keep the law—could not do.
What did God do? He sent Jesus, His Son, to earth in a human body just like all the other human bodies. Except Jesus' body was not full of sin (Hebrews 4:15). He never sinned. God sent Jesus in a body so that He could condemn all sin through the punishment of that one sinless body.
As the following verse will show, God did this because it was necessary to fulfill the law's requirement of death for sin and life for righteousness.
Romans 8:1–11 begins with an enormous declaration about the grace of God: There is no condemnation for those in Christ Jesus. After describing how this is possible, thanks to the life and death of Jesus, Paul compares two kinds of life. One is life in the Holy Spirit, for those who are in Christ, the other is a life lived according to the flesh. Those in the flesh, meaning non-Christians, are hostile to God. Christians have the Spirit; those who do not are not Christians. Because the Spirit is in us, we will be resurrected from the dead as Jesus was.
Romans 8 begins and ends with declarations of the Christian's absolute security before God. There is no condemnation for those in Christ, and nothing will ever be able to separate us from His love. Having believed the gospel, we now live in the Spirit of God. That allows us to call God Abba Father. We suffer with Christ, and we suffer along with all creation while we wait for God to reveal us as His sons. With the help of the Spirit, we are confident that God is for us and loves us in Christ.
In Romans 7, Paul revealed his frustration of trying to do good only to be thwarted by his sin. He begins Romans 8, though, with the triumphant statement that there is no condemnation for those in Christ Jesus. We live in the Spirit, and we relate to God as a child does to a father. The Spirit helps us in this season of suffering along with all of creation while we wait for our adoption to be complete with the redemption of our bodies. We are confident, though, that God is for us and nothing can separate us from His love.
The book of Romans is the New Testament's longest, most structured, and most detailed description of Christian theology. Paul lays out the core of the gospel message: salvation by grace alone through faith alone. His intent is to explain the good news of Jesus Christ in accurate and clear terms. As part of this effort, Paul addresses the conflicts between law and grace, between Jews and Gentiles, and between sin and righteousness. As is common in his writing, Paul closes out his letter with a series of practical applications.
Accessed 11/30/2023 6:03:02 AM
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