In the second half of Romans 7, Paul takes us through the misery of the believer’s battle with ongoing sin and the challenge of being a regenerate person in a body of flesh. With the birth of the new man, the flesh has become our adversary, and resisting the flesh can make us feel wretched. “Wretched man that I am! Who will set me free from the body of this death?” (Romans 7:24) This battle begs the question, “Who will win? Will the flesh be the ultimate victor? Will I succumb to the flesh and fall forever under condemnation?”
To this series of questions Paul has one triumphal cry: “There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus.” Whereas before, the condemnation had been universal, bringing doom to Jew and Gentile alike (1:18-3:20), now “in Christ Jesus” there is no condemnation. This is the genius of the gospel, that because of the finished work of Christ on the cross, those who were justly condemned by the Law are now declared not guilty and the penalty of eternal death that they richly deserved has been entirely and forever removed.
There is now no condemnation! God, who alone has the authority to condemn the sinner, has been propitiated. The death penalty required by sin has been lawfully paid by a sanctioned and sinless substitute and, because the Law has been fully satisfied, the guilty one is allowed to go free.
Hallelujah! Now there is no condemnation for those in Christ Jesus!
SDG rmb 11/29/2017