“And so He condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.” Romans 8:3b-4
Most of us have heard it said many times, “Jesus died for our sins.” But how many of us have ever considered the depth of that statement? Those of us who have grown up in Christian churches can gloss over this miraculous statement. He died to set us free from the penalty of our sin – death. He took our place in death, forever freeing us from sin’s ultimate consequence. What a Savior!
I find it interesting, however, that we rarely hear the statement, “Jesus rose for our sins.” Jesus did not just die to free us from the penalty of sin, but He rose from the dead to give us power over sin. He didn’t just die so we could escape the penalty for doing wrong; He came back from the grave to give us the power to do what is right. Jesus died on the cross so that we would no longer have to try to keep the law to be right with God…which we cannot do. But Jesus was raised from the dead so that we would be right with God and the requirement of the law could be met in us. That is important!
Notice that Romans 8:3-4 doesn’t say the requirements of the law were met by us, but rather in us. When we place our faith in Christ, He comes to live in us and through us by the Holy Spirit. There is only one person who has ever perfectly lived the Christian life and that is Jesus. Christianity is not our living for Jesus, but it is Jesus living in us.
Attempting to live the Christian life without the power of the Holy Spirit will leave you frustrated, defeated, and guilt-ridden. God never expected us to be “good enough.” Jesus offers more than forgiveness; He offers new life.
Application: Are you trying to live for Jesus, or allowing Jesus to live through you?