Romans 8:1-11 (NIV)
Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death. For what the law was powerless to do because it was weakened by the flesh, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh to be a sin offering. 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.
Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace. The mind governed by the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so. Those who are in the realm of the flesh cannot please God.
You, however, are not in the realm of the flesh but are in the realm of the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, they do not belong to Christ. But if Christ is in you, then even though your body is subject to death because of sin, the Spirit gives life because of righteousness. And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies because of his Spirit who lives in you.
The Law was powerless to make us righteous. In other words, there was no way that the law was going to erase all of our misdeeds (sins of commission) and our other failures (sins of omission). The Law could tell us how to live righteously, but it could not transform us into people who live righteous lives.
Sin is a barrier that separates people from God (Isaiah 59:2). Isaiah, a prophet and a holy man of God, said “all our righteous deeds – are like filthy rags” (Isaiah 64:6). Everyone sins; really, everyone (Romans 3:23). With human nature as “it is” (i.e., weak to many different types of temptations) and sin as “it is” (i.e., alluring, cunning, deceitful and hungry), humans had no way to “escape the gravity” of sin – that is, until God took action.
Jesus announced that “The Kingdom of God has come near!” Indeed, it had come near. Jesus is the gateway to the Kingdom of God (John 10:7). God did an incredible thing through Jesus! Through Jesus death, God satisfied the righteous requirement of the law.
The Spirit of God that raised Jesus from the dead can live in us, too. If we live according to the Spirit, then we have been set free from the law of sin and death. That is not to say that you will never ever sin again or that your body will not die a physical death, but your heart will be set on what the Spirit desires and you will live a life of faith, guided by the Spirit.
Father God, give me the courage to trust you more. I’ve trusted you before, but I know that sometimes I just want to grab the “steering wheel” and turn this puppy in a different direction. Help me to set aside my own desires that take me further from you. Amen.
This music video talks about “letting go” and asking God’s Spirit to lead: “Jesus, Take the Wheel”