Thursday, June 3

Purposes of Christ's Death, No. 10

You didn't know there were so many of them, did you? And there are at least 5 or 6 more. Today's purpose statement is found in Romans 8:3 and 4:
For God achieved what the law could not do because it was weakened through the flesh. By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and concerning sin, he condemned sin in the flesh, so that the righteous requirement of the law may be fulfilled in us, who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. (NET)
If you've been reading along with this series, you know that most frequently these purpose statements start with the words so that. This one is also a so that statement: " that the righteous requirement of the law may be fulfilled in us, who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit."

Here again we have a purpose statement that has something to do with the law. We've already seen that Christ's death removed the curse of the law from us--that it removed the condemnation due to us for disobedience to the law. The purpose statement in these verses goes one step farther. Christ's death not only opens up a way for the condemnation that comes to lawbreakers to be removed, but also makes it possible for people to actually fulfill the commands of the law.

Verse 3 tells us that that law was "weakened" through the flesh. It is because of people's fleshliness that they are always disobedient to the law rather than obedient to it. This universal human disobedience turns the law from a source of blessing into a source of condemnation. However, God took care of this problem with the law by sending His Son, who took on a body like ours and lived in a world like ours, and yet remained perfectly obedient to the law. The substitutionary death (the words the NET translates "concerning sin" probably mean "as a sin offering") of this perfectly righteous one not only removed the condemnation of the law, but opened up access to the Spirit. The Spirit could work within human beings based upon the work done by Christ in His death, and this indwelling work of the Spirit enables people to fufill the righteous requirements of the law. What the righteousness God demands of us, He enables us to do through the death of Christ.

We've seen in these purpose statements that Christ's death takes away the condemnation of the law, removes our bondage to sin, provides the grounds for us to be declared righteous, and opens the way for actual righteousness to be worked within us.

Another of the purposes of Christ's death is that people would fulfill the requirements of the law through the work of the Spirit.