By Earl Robertson
Having shown in Romans seven that the law of Moses could not save a man Paul begins, with chapter eight, saying, “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.” Earlier he had shown that in his infancy, he was alive unto God. He says, “For I was alive without the law once: but when the commandment came, sin revived, and I died” (Rom. 7:9). Now, under the gospel of Christ, there is no condemnation to them that are in Christ. Under the law, this was not true; all had sinned and were all under condemnation. The law could not save, but rather condemned and made people know that sin is sin (Rom. 7:13; 8:3). Being conscious of this condemnation and helplessness, Paul, the Jew, cried out, “O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?” The light for deliverance shone upon him and he exclaimed, “I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Rom. 7:24, 25).
Let us not think this freedom from former condemnation exempts one from personal responsibility to God. It does not! One must walk after the Spirit. It is often preached, “Once freed (saved), always freed (saved),” but the Bible does not teach it. The Bible says there is no condemnation to one who is in Christ who walks not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. One cannot indulge in the things of the flesh without condemnation. All the preachers who teach to the contrary to this divine statement cannot change it. Let them not lead you to hell with their error.
Further, Paul says, “But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway” (1 Cor. 9:27). Why would Paul have to bring his body into subjection and one today not have to? Christ is wonderful and all of God’s blessings to man are through Him, but men who live after the flesh or even seek justification by the law fall from grace and Christ profits them nothing. “Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace” (Gal. 5:4). Freedom is in Christ; but this freedom demands that the free respect the truth of God in their lives.
Truth Magazine XXIII: 35, p. 565
September 6, 1979