There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death. For what the law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh, God did by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, on account of sin: He condemned sin in the flesh, that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.
God’s Law is perfect, holy and righteous. Yet because of our sin nature and the weakness of our flesh, the law can only produce death in us. The righteous requirements of God’s law include all of our thoughts, words, actions and deeds. Because of this, it’s impossible for any of us to perfectly keep all of the law, all of the time. Moreover, we know that to be righteous by the law requires one hundred percent perfection for an entire life in both thought and deed, from conception to death. We also have to remember this would mean never sinning in thought or deed, as well as never committing any “sins of omission,” which are the sins we commit when we fail to help or do something for others, when it was in our power to help, but we just did not think or remember to do so. Therefore, it becomes obvious that the law is completely powerless to save us from our sins, it can only show us our guilt before God. In addition, the law confirms that our good deeds cannot undo or erase our guilt, good deeds do not erase the penalty of past sins. What the law does for us, is it points to our need for a Savior to rescue us from the guilt and punishment exposed in us by the law. And that Savior is Jesus Christ our Lord. Without the law of God, there would be no guilt. However, by giving us His perfect law, God has exposed in us, our sin and therefore our guilt before a Holy God.
Moreover, because of God’s mercy and grace, we are not without hope, because God has given us hope in Christ. Through faith in Jesus our eternity is secure! Because of God’s love for us there is no condemnation for those who accept Jesus as their Lord and Savior. And that’s what Paul is speaking about here in these passages. The word used for condemnation was a legal term that referred to someone who was already found guilty by a court of law. Someone who was about to receive sentencing and punishment because of their crime. This is the picture Paul is painting in these first four verses. Imagine ourselves sitting in a court room, already found guilty beyond a shadow of a doubt. We’re about to receive our sentencing, which includes the punishment we deserve, and in walks Jesus. He intervenes, and takes upon Himself all of the punishment we were about to receive. Because of His love for us, He took upon Himself, our guilt and punishment, in order that we can walk away in total freedom, with new life as children of God. And not only do we get freedom; but in addition we gain adoption into the family of God, as children of God and joint-heirs with Christ. And with our adoption, we receive the reward of an eternity to come, spent in His presence, as well as a spirit-filled life now, through the work of the Holy Spirit in our hearts, our minds and in our lives.