[There is] therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.
Note 1 at Ro 8:1: The American Heritage Dictionary defines the word "therefore" as "for that reason; consequently." This word ties Paul's statement here in this verse to the previous verses. Paul was giving us the answer to the hopeless situation he described in Ro 7:14-24.
Prior to Ro 8, the Holy Spirit was only mentioned once in this epistle (Ro 5:5 - Holy Ghost). In this chapter alone, the Holy Spirit is referred to nineteen times (compare with note 1 at Ro 7:15). Paul was making the point that the only way to overcome the effects of sin in our lives is through the indwelling presence and power of the Holy Spirit.
Note 2 at Ro 8:1: Nine Greek words are used in the New Testament that were translated "now." Some of these words simply provide a transition between thoughts. However, the Greek word translated "now" in this verse is "NUN," and it is "a primary particle of present time; 'now'" (Strong's Concordance), "the immediate present" (Vine's Expository Dictionary). Thus, Paul's use of this word makes it very clear that living with no condemnation is a present-tense experience of the believer, not something reserved for the future.
Note 3 at Ro 8:1: The Greek word that was translated "no" in this verse is "OUDEIS." This is an emphatic term meaning "not even one...i.e. none" (Strong's Concordance). Wuest translated this as "There is not even one bit of condemnation" ("The New Testament: An Expanded Translation" by Kenneth S. Wuest).
Note 4 at Ro 8:1: The Greek word translated "condemnation" here is "KATAKRIMA," and it means "an adverse sentence (the verdict)" (Strong's Concordance). Paul was stating that God has no adverse sentence against us once we accept Him. All our punishment has been placed on Jesus, and we don't bear it. Those of us who still walk in condemnation are being condemned by the devil or are condemning ourselves. It's not God who condemns us (Ro 8:34).
2Co 3:9 called the Law a "ministration of condemnation." It was the Law that brought God's adverse sentence against us. Ro 3:19 says the Law was given to make us guilty before God. Guilt is the emotional response to condemnation.
This can be illustrated by the way a building is condemned. When the government condemns a building, it is declared unfit for use and must be destroyed. Likewise, when Satan condemns us, he makes us feel unfit for use and ready to be destroyed. Since we as Christians are no longer under the Law (see note 3 at Ro 4:15), we should no longer be condemned or feel unfit for use. We have been accepted by the Father through Jesus (Eph 1:6).
Note 5 at Ro 8:1: God placed the judgment that the Law prescribed against us upon His Son. Therefore, those of us who accept Jesus as our Savior will not be condemned, because Jesus was condemned for us (Ro 8:3). This truth, and the fact that this phrase, "who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit," is not in some of the old Greek manuscripts, has led many scholars to believe that this phrase does not belong here. They say it was borrowed from Ro 8:4 by some scribe who was copying out the scriptures.
Condemnation still exists, as any Christian knows. This verse has rightly portrayed that only those who are living in the power of the Holy Spirit escape that condemnation. Compare this to the law of gravity. Gravity is a law that never quits exerting its power, but it can be overcome. Through the laws of aerodynamics, man can actually fly and send space ships beyond Earth's gravity. But it takes power to do this. If the power is shut off, the law of gravity is still at work and will cause the vehicle to fall.
Likewise, the law of sin and death still exists. If Christians shut off the power of the Spirit of life and begin to start walking in the power of their own flesh, Satan will use this law of sin and death to make sure they crash and are condemned.
God convicts of sin, but He doesn't condemn (Ro 8:34). Conviction is solely for our profit and is free of malice, while condemnation includes punishment (see note 4 at this verse). Satan is the one who condemns us, but the Holy Spirit has given us the power to escape that condemnation.
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