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Walking According to the Spirit
We are in Romans, chapter 8, verse 1. This is one of the five greatest chapters in all of the New Testament. This is the chapter that really tells us, really lays out in a logical way, the foundation for the spiritual life. Romans 8 has to be understood in connection with Galatians 5. These are, I think, the two greatest chapters in the Scriptures about the spiritual life and of course they connect with Ephesians 5 and John, chapter 15, the abiding chapter.
This chapter lays it out in the most remarkable, logical way as Paul has taken us from Romans 6:1 dealing with the focus on what happens at the moment of our salvation in terms of our how we are identified with Christ in terms of His death, burial, and resurrection. Interestingly, this time around, some of you may have listened to a series I did 12 or 13 years ago when I was first up at Preston City Bible Church. I went through Romans 6, 7, and 8. I think it was 11 or 12 lessons, just to give an overview of the spiritual life in Romans. Now we're going through it in a more in depth fashion.
One of the things we see here in Romans 8 and one of the things you'll see tonight is that I've sort of refined a few things along the way as I continue to study. This is typical for any pastor. Sometimes congregations idolize their pastors too much. I've seen this, especially with younger pastors; they don't have patience with the learning process that pastors go through. The first ten years of most pastors' ministries should probably not be recorded for posterity because they're learning. You come out of seminary, no matter how much background you have, no matter how much training you have, you're still cognitively trying to put all the pieces together. Even though you may have the basic structure right, the basic theology orientation, things like that together, you're still really wrestling with a mass of detail that just seems like you're trying to nail Jell-O to the wall at times because there's so much there you're trying to control.
You're still just trying to learn the Scripture. We've lost the kind of training that characterized the Jewish community for thousands of years where everyone was expected to learn and memorize the Scripture by the time you were 13 years old, especially for the men. You would have the Torah memorized. You would have most of the rest of the Old Testament memorized and this was expected. We've lowered our expectations so much that by the time we get to the late 20th and early 21st centuries 50 to 75% of the men who go to a seminary to learn to be a pastor have just really started studying the Bible at any level within two years of their going to seminary.
Historically we've had a culture that has, by the time men like Jonathan Edwards during the Colonial period (I'm talking about the 1720s through the 1740s.) finished what we would call high school today before he went to Yale, probably had a greater knowledge of Latin, Greek, and Hebrew when he started university than most ThM Masters of Theology students have when they graduate from seminary. Think about that. If you don't have that kind of background, it takes a while to start putting things together.
There are so many different things that come along today that we hear from this pastor, that pastor, that radio personality, this television personality, that are not theologians. They may have great personalities and they don't spend maybe a tenth of the time they should, really studying through the Scripture. What I've discovered sadly in our generation is that the more time a man spends in his study really learning the Word of God so he can teach and lead his sheep, the fewer sheep he's going to have, simply because people today don't value the education, the training of a pastor. I see this among pastors. We've lowered the level of expectation so much that in many circles and many congregations you have churches that almost pride themselves on the fact that their pastoral staff has no formal education.
Some of you are familiar with a church on the West coast in California that has made a name for itself because it emphasizes the idea of a purpose driven church. That pastor actually got his start in the late 70's with that and it didn't become known nationally for many people until the 90s. There's another church in Chicago by the name of Willowcreek that I first became aware of in the early 80s and it was another one of those huge mega churches that was started and by the late 80s it had a pastoral staff of over 300. Can you imagine? Most churches don't even have 300 people in the church, even if they count all the people that ever showed up at the church. Here was a church that had 300 people on staff.
There was a man named Pritchard who was getting his PhD in sociology at Northwestern University and decided that a study of this particular church would be a tremendous PhD project. He went to the church staff and got permission to study, write, interview them. He spent a year at the church. One of his observations on the church was about those 300 pastors. There wasn't one who owned a systematic theology. Not one. There wasn't one who had any formal training in Bible. No seminary, no Bible college. They prided themselves on it. At the time that church was the largest church in the United States. Now it's been superseded by what's his name, down here at the Summit. So that tells you something about the value of education in this country.
The larger the church, the less formal education. There was even a quote in that dissertation from one of the pastors who said, "Well, we're afraid that if somebody went to seminary that would somehow stifle our creativity and our growth." My point in all of this is that I've gone through growth in Romans 6 – 8. This was something that I really focused on when I was a student at Dallas Seminary and my very, very first semester we took a course on the spiritual life. I had a professor who had pastored a church in Houston previously and was a good Greek scholar. What's interesting is that he's probably moved much closer to a Chaferean position today than he was then but at that point he was still trying to get over his second PhD at the University of Basel in Switzerland but he was a good thinker and I always enjoyed him. I took as many courses as I could from him because he challenged my thinking.
You know that's why you should take some professors. It's not because you want to learn what they want to teach you but that they're going to teach you how to think. You may not agree with a thing they say or ever tell you but they're the ones that are going to inspire you to learn how to think and to present your views. They're the ones who cause thoughts to generate in your head. I read a lot of books for that reason. I tell others, "Oh, that was a great commentary. I really enjoyed it." I don't really remember what I read in the commentary, what the guy said, but it was great because of the thoughts it inspired me to think. I may not have agreed with anything he said. Some of you know what I'm talking about.
Anyway, Ed was one of my professors. We went through Romans 6, 7, and 8. He did not take the view like Lewis Sperry Chafer which is the view I hold today and many of you hold and I consistently teach. It helped me to understand what I believe better than I would. It took me a lot of years to get to that point because of that and one of the products of that whole experience I had was that conference we had two years ago on the spiritual life, the Chafer conference. That was one of the greatest conferences. The product of that from those men who came was the result of that. It's a growth process.
I say that because as we come to our first verse here, Romans 8:1, Paul begins with a conclusion. This conclusion comes out of what he has said in Romans chapter 7. Now let's go back and look at Romans 7 just a little bit. Romans 7 started off with Paul addressing the question of the Law: what is the relation of the believer to the Law? As I pointed out several times in the past few weeks, the role of the Law in the life of the believer in this age has been terribly misunderstood. There are many people who think that the Ten Commandments and the Mosaic Law are, outside of the sacrifices, just as mandatory today as they ever were.
My first church was down in LaMarque, Texas. Some of you know where LaMarque is, if you go past LaMarque, you fall into Galveston Bay. I was at a church that had been founded in 1895 as a Union Church. A Union Church was sort of an older term, an antiquated term for Community Church. If you went into a new settlement, a new area, a new community, and you didn't have enough Baptists, Methodists, Presbyterians, Episcopalians or whatever protestants to have your own denomination then you unify in the church. Now they certainly had some doctrinal differences. Some believed in pedo baptism or infant baptism, some would believe in believer baptism, some in sprinkling, some in immersion so part of the deal was that whoever the pastor was he would make sure that if somebody held a view that was different from his on baptism, he would get another pastor in who would do whatever kind of baptism they wanted, that kind of thing. It wasn't ecumenical in the modern sense because no one is asked to compromise doctrine but they didn't have enough people to have more than one church so they just had a union.
So this church was called Paul's Union Church and it wasn't called for the Apostle Paul but during the depression the church ran out of money half way through their building program and a man down the street whose name is Paul gave them the money for them to finish the church so they named it after him. I'm glad his name wasn't Herman. Otherwise it would have been Herman's Union Church or Fred's Union Church. One of the first things as a young pastor that I said about two or three months into my pastorate was that the Ten Commandments is not for us. I thought I was going to have a revolt that morning. It took me a long time to settle people down. That was because they just hadn't been taught well even though they were allegedly dispensational. As a dispensational church they would understand that there were different requirements in different ages and when Jesus came, as Paul says in Romans 10, that was the end of the Law. So the big question that the apostles wrestled with as we've seen in Acts and the question that comes up in Romans and a couple of other times is Romans is what's the role of the Law?
So that's the question asked here and he ends this in the Romans 7:6, "For now we have been delivered from the Law, having died [that is being separated from the authority of the sin nature, the tyranny of the sin nature] to what we were held by, so that we should serve in the newness of the Spirit and not in the oldness of the letter." As I pointed out there the contrast here is between the dynamic of the new dispensation, the new age that started on the day of Pentecost, where God the Holy Spirit indwells every single believer and fills every believer which is a term related to the growth producing, sanctifying producing ministry of God the Holy Spirit, in the life of a believer who is walking by the Spirit or walking in fellowship.
All of that summarizes where Paul is headed in Romans 8. So he introduces this terminology of the Spirit and the letter, the letter related to the Law, that the Law could only do so much. It laid out the path but it didn't give anybody the ability to walk the path. The purpose of the Law wasn't to show people that if you obey the Law you can get to Heaven but that you can't ever obey the Law so on your own you can't ever get to Heaven. It was to point out inability, not to point out ability. Then Paul introduces this next question in verse 7. "What shall we say then? Is the law sin?" So at this point he stops his momentum at verse 6 and he goes down an important and necessary side trail. He comes back to the main line of thought in Romans 8:1.
In Romans 8:1, he says, "There is therefore no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus..." And so in Romans 7 he asks this question and he goes down this rabbit trail of 'is the Law sin" and he says 'no, it reveals sin' and then he goes into the whole discussion that without relying on the Holy Spirit just trying to fulfill the Law, he does what he isn't supposed to do and he doesn't do what he would really like to do which is obey God and the conclusion in verse 24, "O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?" Body of death means that in our physical existence we are still mortal and we still have a sin nature and we're still going to sin.
Then he has a statement in praise in verse 25, "I thank God, through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then with my mind I myself serve the Law of God, but with the flesh the law of sin." That sets things up for Romans 8:1. We'll come back to those in a minute. I was just trying to give us an overview here. In Romans 8:1, he says, "There is therefore now no condemnation in those who are in Christ Jesus..." If you have a New International Version, New American Standard Bible, New English translation, the English Standard version, anything other than King James or New King James, your verse ends with a period after Christ Jesus.
But if you have a King James or a New King James it has a significant clause after it defining those who are in Christ Jesus as those "who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit." This is one of those most significant, probably the top ten most significant, contextual problems we run into. Usually I don't ever address them or I just make a couple of comments but this is one that is really important for if you take out a couple of translations, New King James versus New American Standard you're missing half a verse.
Should that verse be there? Having grown up with the King James version and when I went to seminary about that time, mid-70's, was when the New American Standard became very popular I remember sitting down and looking at that and thinking "Wow". I didn't know Greek and I wondered how come my version has something that version doesn't and what are all the issues. If you look down to Romans 8:4, just look there you see where Paul says, "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." You see the similarity?
What happened in the 19th century with the discovery of a number of manuscripts that came out of North Africa. ((CHART)) Some of you have heard these stories before, stories related to the discovery of Codex Vaticanus that had been locked away in the Vatican for centuries and then it was gradually discovered and brought out into the open by a couple of different scholars who put pressure on the Vatican and you had Count Von Tischendorf who went down and discovered Codex Sinaiticus in St. Catherine's Monastery in Egypt where he looked at wadded up papyrus there being used as kindling for the fire in room. He noticed as it flared up it had Greek lettering on it. Being an expert in Greek he read it and realized he was looking at a New Testament manuscript that was very old.
There were four of these manuscripts that were discovered that all date back to about the 4th to 5th century A.D. Well that's pretty close to the writing of the New Testament. So the thinking that permeated scholars at that time is that since these are older than anything else we have, they must be better. Now that's really a fallacy. Because if I have a really good, perfect copy of a second century manuscript but that copy is made in the 8th century or the 9th century and its made because the second century document is fading and hard to read and it needs to be faithfully copied so its preserved and then after its copied that second century manuscript is destroyed, the 8th century manuscript may not be as old as Codex Sinaiticus but it's better.
The reason these manuscripts in Egypt were preserved is because they were in Egypt where the climate is dry, it's in the desert and so they're preserved. In other places where the climate is humid and damp and there are other problems the manuscripts would rot and be destroyed and they wouldn't be preserved so there were four of these that were discovered. The thinking that began to dominate the study of the Scripture was that if any two of these four agreed, that had to be the Word of God. That was it. Now they would say that was oversimplifying but it's basically the truth and it's certainly true in this particular text.
It didn't matter how many other manuscripts read differently. If two of these four agreed, that's what the critical text went with. The critical text is a reference to a text that in the bottom margin of the text they put all the different variants down there so the scholars could read it. This is the text that's behind the New American Standard, NIV, and others. It's now gone to the Nestle-Aland text. It's just gone to the 28th edition. It's very, very helpful in many ways but that's the theory behind it.
But there are differences. The theory behind the King James version and the New King James Version is what's called the textus receptus which is Latin for "received text". Now the way that came into being was that in the period of the late 1400s, early 1500s, the period which just precedes what is known in Europe as the Renaissance, and the Reformation in Northern Europe, there was a flood of ancient manuscripts, original language manuscripts for all manner of different writings, classical Greek, classical Roman period as well as the New Testament.
What has happened is that those peace loving Moslems have been once again conquering territory and torturing and murdering and raping and pillaging all the Christians so the monks gathered up all their scrolls and got on their wagons and donkeys and whatever else and headed to Europe to get away from the encroaching barbarian Islamic hordes. All these manuscripts have suddenly been discovered and they're coming into Europe. What happened was in Southern Europe what fueled the Renaissance was they went back to original documents in terms of ancient classical Greek and Roman documents. In the northern areas, in Germany, Switzerland, and France, they didn't go back so far. They went back to the original documents of the Bible and camped out. That gave birth to the Reformation.
Now there was a Roman Catholic scholar by the name of Erasmus of Rotterdam who was a scholar known as a humanist. Later he became a theological opponent of Martin Luther, who is the one who started the Protestant Reformation. Erasmus found eight ancient Greek manuscripts of the New Testament and he put them together and published the first critical text of the New Testament where it had notes in the margin and had different readings between these different manuscripts. Now all eight of those manuscripts reflected what was known later as the Byzantine text. The Byzantine Empire, the northern empire, around Turkey, Greece and this area which is where scholarship dominated at that time. So that later became known as the Byzantine text.
None of these documents were any older than the ninth century and they weren't based on the best of manuscripts. There were some real problems. In fact, there were a couple of places where verses were left out so Erasmus just made it up, especially a very famous one in John. Truly. No matter what view you take on textual criticism everybody just about agrees that he just made it up unless you're a King James only person. King James only people say that if it was good enough for the Apostle Paul it's good enough for us. We laugh. They really believe that. Their missionaries will go to places like Poland and Africa and India and tell them they have to learn King James English so that they can read the inspired text of the King James version. That's what they believe.
Well, over the next couple of decades Erasmus found three or four more ancient manuscripts, added those to the original eight and that became known as the Received Text. It's part of what we now call the Byzantine Family but the Byzantine Family has much better and older manuscripts than what became the TR and they differ. It's also known as the Majority Text. Now if you want to dig into this, last year at the Chafer Conference 9 Ron Minton was here. He's a missionary in Ukraine like Jim Myers is. He's in the Karkov area. He is truly an expert on the history of the Bible and the Bible text and he gave basically a course on textual criticism. He gave a short version for the conference with about three lectures. All of these are on the Dean Bible website.
That's sort of the background on this. It's where the Textus Receptus came from as many, many more manuscripts in that area of modern Turkey and Greece became discovered in the 19th and 20th centuries. That family of manuscripts became known as either the Byzantine group or the Majority Text. The Majority Text didn't agree with the TR all the time. There's over 1800 differences between the Majority Text and the TR. I tend to be a Majority Text advocate. I think that's superior. You actually have large Greek manuscripts. There are very few that have the entire New Testament but you have large Greek codexes or miniscules that read almost exclusively like the Majority Text. If you look at the Critical Text there's no Greek manuscripts that has the readings. If I picked up my Critical Greek Text there's not a single Greek manuscript that reads like that. And that's part of the difference between these.
((CHART)) One of the places where this really does make a difference is here in Romans 8:1 where that last phrase is left out of the Critical Text but it is not only in the TR but in the Majority Text. I put a note down at the bottom that the Critical Text is based on this reading in Codex Sinaiticus which is mid-1400's. That's the Codex that Tischendof found at St. Catherine's of Mt. Sinai and Vaticanus. That's the manuscript that was found in the Vatican. The Majority Text reading which includes the phrase, "who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit" is found in Codex Alexandricus, which is also found in that same area of Egypt. It's early 5th century. Only sixty or seventy years separates this manuscript from the top two. But the Codex Sinaiticus is found in four different readings where there are four different scribes who have corrected it. So the uncorrected version leaves it out. The scribe assigned the number two has it in it.
Are you thoroughly confused at this point? So of all the ancient manuscripts you only have two primary ones who leave it out, Sinaiticus and Vaticanus.The corrected version of Vaticanus, corrected at that time by another scribe, includes the phrase plus its in the majority of documents and a number of others. Now there's a few other codexes from a little later on in history that leave it out but it's primarily based on the fact that it's not included in Sinaiticus and Vaticanus. On the strength of its omission in those two codexes it's omitted from the Critical Text. That's the trump card that they go to.
Remember what I said? That if any two of those four early Egyptian manuscripts agree on something that's golden for them, that's end of discussion. I've simplified it a lot but that's basically it. This is crucially important because almost everything in Romans 8, aside from this textual difference, agrees consistently with Galatians, chapter 5 in this conflict between the believer either walking according to the flesh, living his life according to the flesh or sin nature, or living his life according to the Holy Spirit, that's it's one or the other. If you take this phrase out of this verse, it's not that it changes the whole meaning of the context of chapter 8 but it gets fuzzy for a lot of people. It's really clear if it's added in verse one and it's not just because the scribes saw it down in verse 4 and wrote it twice which is what the Critical Text guys will say in terms of explaining it.
If it ends at "there is therefore no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus", it looks as if Paul who has been talking about justification in Romans and that if you leave out the second half of verse one, that what Paul is talking about here in Romans 8:1 is that there's no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus. In other words, if you're a believer in Jesus Christ, you're in Christ and therefore, there's no condemnation. What kind of condemnation would that be? Temporal or eternal? Eternal, that's what it looks like. But that doesn't fly. Now why doesn't it fly?
When I taught the short series several years ago I took the view that this was positional. I'm correcting myself through additional study. The context of Romans 6, 7, and 8 is not talking about how to get justified anymore. It's not talking about how to be righteous anymore. It's talking about what happens when righteous people, those who are justified, are living according to the flesh. That's all of Romans 7. Paul says, "Wretched man that I am" because he's a believer who's living according to the flesh and he just can't have any victory over the sin nature.
But it's not just related to the word that's used here for condemnation. That's this word in the Greek katakrima [katakrima].
Katakrima is a noun that's only used three times in the New Testament. And guess where it's used all three times. In Romans.
Romans 5: 16 and 18 and Romans 8:1. Now in Romans 5: 16 and 18 [we'll go there in just a minute] but if you remember that's where we saw Paul start making his transition from talking about justification and how to be justified to the implications of how does a justified person live in relationship to the sin nature. He goes into the topic then of how the saved person or the justified person now lives. That's the topic of Romans 6, 7, and 8.
In Romans 3, 4, and the beginning of 5, Paul has been talking about how to be justified. Starting in 5 and especially in 6, 7, 8 with 5 starting the transition, Paul begins to talk about how does a justified person live. So if condemnation here is talking about eternal condemnation, then Paul has reversed himself and he's gone back to talk about initial justification, rather than how a justified person lives. Now that could fit and there are definitely scholars who take that view and a number of folks who take that view but it's important to understand the difference in this word katakrima and why this particular word is used. In the Loux and Nida's Semantic Dictionary these scholars point out that the word katakrima means to judge someone as definitely guilty and therefore subject to punishment. See condemnation has the idea mostly of declaration of guilt. But the word katakrimagoes beyond guilt to punishment, the results of guilt. And that's really important to understand here because when we use the phrase that they're condemned we're thinking that they're guilty and we're thinking eternal but if the word primarily means just the idea of punishment it could relate to a) eternal punishment b) temporal Divine discipline or it can wrap the whole ball of wax up in talking about the present consequences of living according to the sin nature which fits the context here. I'll show you this in a minute; I think it's very important to understand this.
Bauer, Ardnt, and Gingrich which is the foremost Greek lexicon says that this word katakrima doesn't merely mean condemnation but it focuses on the punishment that follows the pronouncement of legal guilt. Condemnation in English and in John 3:18 focuses on guilt. That word normally translated condemnation is just krima in the Greek. Katakrima takes the preposition katawhich we'll see a lot in this passage means 'according to a standard'. Katakrimawhen its added as a prefix to another word brings in this idea of according to something. Now, I don't want to be guilty of what's called a etymological fallacy here. I'm not saying that the meaning of this word is just determined by the compound of its parts but it helps us understand this. Katakrimawould mean what? According to judgment. What's punishment? Punishment means according to the judgment. So that's really what the word katakrimameans. It goes beyond the meaning of the word krima which indicates the pronouncement of guilt. It goes beyond it to focus on the punishment or the consequences that come to the one that is guilty.
A number of years ago we had Ron Merryman who was speaking and he made some really good observations to these words and how they're used in Romans. ((CHART)) And so here's a chart based on what he put up on the screen at that particular time and I just want to show you how a little bit of observation here really helps expose some of the things that are going on in Paul's thinking.
Ron is a great scholar. Now he's living in Tullahoma, Tennessee as a vital part of Clay Ward's church there. I just want to make a comment here. I'm really proud of Ron for what he did. Ron had been a president of Western Bible College. He'd been pastor of a church in Denver and then as he got older he retired. And I think how we retire as pastors and as folks in the church are really important. Now when you get to the point where you can retire, you ought to think of going into some kind of full time ministry. You're going to have a retirement income already. Go be a missionary. Do something. Don't just quit. Don't just give up and say "I'm going to stay home with grandchildren" and sit out on the rocker. No. Go be a missionary somewhere.
That's what Ron did. Initially he and his wife retired to the Phoenix area and he was writing and doing other things but then he said, "I really don't have any kind of ministry in a local church here." So he looked around. He didn't want to go into an urban environment so they had looked at some of the younger pastors coming up and said, "These guys need to be mentored by older, mature pastors." So he picked Clay Ward in Tullahoma, Tennessee and he and his wife sold their house in Arizona and moved to Tullahoma so he could be an older mentor, a voice of stability, in a young church with a young pastor and that's just fabulous.
It's passing on, it's mentoring, it's all these great, great things so that's what Ron's doing. He's doing a great job. What I would wish, but you have too many pastors who are happy to stay where they are geographically because that's where there grand kids are. I don't have kids or grandkids so I'm not going to go down a road of saying, "Okay, they're wrong." But wouldn't it be great if we could get all these guys who are retired who have independent incomes to move to one location and they wouldn't be dependent on a seminary for income because they already have their retirement and they could be the faculty of a seminary? That's really a dream. That's idealism. Because a lot of pastors when they get into their 70's already have health problems; they're near family; they don't want to move across the country someplace but that would be an ideal situation is to have 4 or 5 pastors as they retire from their ministry or whatever they've been doing, then they could just devote the rest of their lives to mentoring young men, training them up to be pastors.
Anyway this chart is Ron's observation. The way it works across in this chart is it's looking horizontally through sections in Romans, the introduction through 3:20, focusing on sin. The second column is the focus on justification by faith from 3:21 to 5:21. The third column is sanctification from 6:1 to 8:39. And you see that according to the numerical spread here that the top row deals with the two words krino, the verb and krima, the nounand katakrima and you have 10 uses of the word krima and 3 uses of the word katakrimain the first three chapters focusing on guilt and condemnation. That's really strong.
And then you get into 3:21 to 5:21 and you have no uses of katakrima and I think you have a couple of uses of krima. So the focus on 6:1 through 8:39 isn't on condemnation at all. You see that in the second row, pistis [pistij] the word for faith is mentioned one time in 1:19 through 3:20. So that where Paul is making the point that all are sinners. Faith isn't the issue. But faith is then mentioned some 24 times between the verb and the noun in 3:21 to 5:21. How are you justified? By faith. That's where that word shows up all the time so then when you get into sanctification faith isn't mentioned quite so much. Life orzoe [zwh], zao[zaw]for the verb, zoefor the noun is only mentioned a total of 3 times in the first section, none in the justification by faith section so how many times do we say, "Do you want to have eternal life?" as a synonym for "Do you want to be saved?"
Paul doesn't even use the word life in his explanation of justification, not once. Interesting. Where does he use it? The results of justification. I just think that's a great chart for showing where the emphasis is, the proportionality there in Romans. That when we get in Romans 6-8 we're talking about life, not about condemnation anymore in terms of the pronouncement of guilt but there's an important distinction there between krima and katakrima, which is the other noun for condemnation. Now the other things that comes into this and I know sometimes you think I'm probably getting lost in the weeds but these kind of details are really important. If katakrima isn't talking about condemnation like krima is and its talking about the results then that indicates that to be consistent with the use in Romans 5:16 and 18 that katakrima is emphasizing not eternal punishment but the consequences of sin.
And what Paul has been doing in Romans 7 is that even though you're regenerate and you become a new creature in Christ you're still living like you're spiritually dead but for the person in verse 1 who's not walking according to the flesh but according to the Spirit, in Christ and not walking according to the flesh but according to the Spirit, that person has no condemnation, no punishment, no Divine discipline in time. Get eternal out of your mind on that word.
When we read condemnation we think eternal punishment but when I pointed out when we went through Romans 5: 16 and 18 katakrima just focuses on the consequences of the action, not the pronouncement of guilt. It can be eternal but it can also be temporal so the context of this word is focusing on the consequences of sin in the believer's life. Paul, when he says "Oh wretched man that I am" is because he's trying to live the Christian life on his own without the Holy Spirit and he's continually dominated by the tyranny of the sin nature and he's totally frustrated and incapable of living the Christian life.
Then when he realizes the role of the Spirit, all of a sudden it's like the lights have come on. The Holy Spirit is mentioned one time in Romans 7:6 where it says "we're saved to walk in the newness of the Spirit, not in the oldness of the letter" and then in Romans 7:7-25 is just a side trail. Romans 8:1 picks up from where Romans 7:6 ended. That's the mention of the Spirit. The word Spirit is used 21 times in Romans 8. Guess what the focal point is in Romans 8. It's the role of the Holy Spirit in the life of the believer. A couple of times the word spirit is used there where it's not talking about the Holy Spirit but the rest of the time it is.
So he's not talking in Romans 8 about justification; he's talking about now how can the justified believer live without temporal condemnation because he's under the control of the sin nature. Or temporal punishment. So a couple of passages just to sum up. In John 3:18 that we're very familiar with because I quote it all the time says "the one who believes in Him is not condemned." That's krino, not katakrima but it's translated by the same English word. Don't get confused. That's a good translation for John 3:18 but condemned is not a good translation for katakrimawhich is not a good translation for Romans 5 and Romans 8. "The one who believes in Him is not condemned but the one who believes not is condemned already because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God." That's focusing on that pronouncement of guilt.
Romans 5:16, though, goes on to say, "And the gift is not like that which comes through the one who sinned." That's the imputation of sin from Adam in the context, "For the judgment which came from one offense resulted in ..." Resulted in what? Punishment. It's the consequences. You can even tell from how its translated resulting in something. Katakrimaindicates the results of the guilt, not the guilt itself. So, "resulted in punishment but the free gift which came from many offenses resulted in justification."
Romans 5:18 then says, "Therefore as through one man's offense judgment came to all men, resulting in condemnation, even so through one Man's righteous act the free gift came to all men, resulting in justification of life." Now it may seem like it's splitting hairs but this really is a significant and deep, detailed analysis of this word. I wouldn't have caught this but George nailed this two years ago at that Sanctification Conference in his paper in Romans 6. He even put a whole appendix in his paper on katakrima. He did a good job pointing out the significance of this and then as I went back and studied that even more I realized even more things. George didn't come up with this. Very few of us have original ideas. We're just putting things together from what other people have come up with in their in depth scholarship.
What this emphasizes then is that in Romans 8:1, not only are we no longer under a judicial penalty from the Supreme Court of Heaven in terms of not being justified, we'd been set free from the judicial penalty related to future punishment and present spiritual death. So we're spiritually alive. We're not under condemnation; there's a freedom which is what Paul talked about in Romans chapter 6:18 "And having been set free from sin, you became slaves of righteousness." But what happens is that if we live like a slave to the sin nature we go back like we lived when we're spiritually dead. We're not but we live like we're spiritually dead and so we experience the punishment in terms of Divine discipline of living like you're spiritually dead.
The arena of application in Romans 8:1 is not to unbelievers, how to get justified, but the arena of application is to those who are already in Christ. It's clear from that. "There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ [and is further defined] who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit." So once again this just sets us up to understand that the spiritual life in the New Testament is not just a matter of morality, doing the right thing, which is the legalistic idea, going back to the Judaizers and those who thought that if they just did the Law they were okay. But there's a new dynamic and that's the Holy Spirit. The issue now isn't are you doing the right thing. It's are you doing the right thing by the right power, i.e., the Holy Spirit. It isn't enough to do the right thing, to be moral, to be obedient, to witness, to read your Bible but are you doing it in the power of the flesh, the sin nature according to the flesh, or are you doing it according to the Holy Spirit?
It's the Holy Spirit that's given to us now so that we can walk in the newness of the Spirit and not the oldness of the letter. God's gives us the ability to obey Him which the Law did not give. The Law only said, "This is a requirement." Now we have the enablement of the Holy Spirit. That's why it's so tragic today that people don't really study the New Testament like this and they don't really get into emphasizing the significance of this great spiritual life. It is totally different in the Church Age. The pattern for understanding the spiritual life in the Church Age is Jesus Christ's life, not the Old Testament believer.
And yet for much of Church Age Christianity the focus has been, "Let's go back and do it like the Jews did." They developed a priesthood and sacrificial terminology. How many times have you heard people say, "Oh, I walked to the altar at the church," and they're referring to the pulpit at the front of a church. Well, nothing ever got sacrificed down there. We didn't shed any blood down there. When I first got out into the broader stream of Christianity I heard, "Well, you need to walk to the altar and lay it all on the altar." What altar? I haven't seen an altar but that's the terminology we use because in the Church Age they thought the pattern was the Old Testament. It's not. The pattern is Jesus Christ. He's the one we follow and He lived His life in the power of God the Holy Spirit.
So Paul sets this up and what I've said today dealing with all these little details is simply to show why this is so important. Take the whole verse, don't chop it up like some translations do, because that sets the framework for understanding this chapter. The issue now is are you walking according to the flesh or according to the Spirit?