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January 30, 2005

Adoption and Condemnation

1 Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, 2 because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death. 3 For what the law was powerless to do in that it was weakened by the sinful nature, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful man to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in sinful man, 4 in order that the righteous requirements of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the sinful nature but according to the Spirit.

14. . .because those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. 15 For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.” 16 The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God's children. 17 Now if we are children, then we are heirs–heirs of God and coheirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.

Romans 8:1-4, 14-17

From Charles Hodge, on Romans:

Since men, being sinners, cannot be justified by works, but because by the obedience of one man, Jesus Christ, many are made righteous, and since through him, and not through the law, we are delivered from the subjective power of sin, therefore it follosws that there is no condemnation for those who are in him. There is no condemnation. . . Again, this does not only describetheir present state, but their permanent position. They are placed beyond the reach of condemnation. They will never be condemned.
The controlling principle for believers is not the sinful nature but the Holy Spirit who dwells in them as the source of knowledge, of holiness, of strength, of peace and love.
Paul asserts that those who are in Christ are restored to the divine favor. Why? Because they are sanctified? no; rather, because they have been freed from the law and tis demands and introduced into a state of grace.
The law could condemn sin. What it cannot do is to free us either from its guilt or power. It can neither justify nor sanctify.
What the law could not do was to reconcile us to God. It was in view of this impotency of the lasw to effect salvation to sinners that God sent his Son to make expiation for their offenses andthus bring them back to himself.
The sacrifice of Christ was the condemnation of sin. That is, he bore our sins. He was made a curse, in the sense that he endured the curse due to our sin. His sufferings were penal, as they were judicially inflicted to satisfy justice. The immediate purpose and effect of a sacrifice is expiation, and not reformation or inner purification. . . . The argument of the apostle is that no condemnation comes on us, because God condemned sin in Christ.
In saying, however, that the immediate purpose and effect of a sacrifice is to expieate sin, and therfore that sin is therby condemned and not destroyed, it is not forgotten that propitiation is the result of expiation, that our sins are atoned for by the blood of Christ, so that we can be restored to his image and favor. Justification is not on account of, or on the ground of, sanctification, but it is in order to bring it about, and therefore the two are inseparable. The justified are always sanctified.

Sidenote: This post is in progress. . .

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Comments

Ah, just what I like...a nice meaty piece for thinking! Thanks for this.

Btw, I bought the book Families Where Grace is in Place after seeing you recommend it here. I've been reading all weekend, and I'm almost done. What an awesome book!

Posted by: Kim in ON at January 30, 2005 11:52 PM

Hi, Kim!

I was hoping that if no one else read it, that perhaps you and Rebecca would. *L* Honestly, I have so many thoughts that go along with what I'm copying out of Charles Hodge's commentary, but they seem all jumbled in my brain. And, then the passage and the commentary can stand on their own. . .

I'm glad you are enjoying the Jeff VanV. book. As I read it, I have a lot of theology of grace ideas going on in my own mind. He touches on that, but not in the academic way I like. (Then again, he's writing more application/experience in that book.) So, I assume you're filling in the theological gaps he doesn't focus on, when you are reading it, too.

Posted by: TulipGirl at January 31, 2005 12:10 AM

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