Life in the Spirit
So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus. And because you belong to him, the power of the life-giving Spirit has freed you from the power of sin that leads to death. 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. He did this so that the just requirement of the law would be fully satisfied for us, who no longer follow our sinful nature but instead follow the Spirit. Romans 8:1-5
From the text, Paul reminds his readers that the reality of the situation for Christians is that they “belong to Christ Jesus.” This is Paul’s characteristic way of referring to what it means to be a Christian. In this way, he reminds followers of Christ that the Lord is in the struggle with them. It is a reality in spite of the fact that the individual very often does not “feel” that way at all. Being a Christian is not dependent on feeling like a Christian, since one becomes a Christian by the Lord’s initiative and one remains a Christian by that same power and authority. According to Paul’s writings, the reality of the presence of the Lord is not dependent on the believer’s feelings at the moment. Christians are “in Christ” or “with Christ” according to His promise and initiative. The believers’ choice, then, is what to do about it or how to display this reality in their lives. Another reality that Christians should experience is the presence of the Holy Spirit. The overriding characteristic of the Holy Spirit is power. The flesh by itself is weak and can easily be overcome by sin. Yet, the presence of God’s work in the life of the believer through His Spirit will help to overcome sin. This makes it possible for the believer to break the old pattern and walk according to the Spirit. Not only this power works within for a certain period of time but it becomes a life-style. We “no longer follow our sinful nature but instead follow the Spirit.” When we yield to the power of the Holy Spirit working within, we are freed from the power of sin. We now then become capable of loving God with all our hearts and we love others as we love ourselves.