Prayer: “Father, I come to You in the glorious name of Your beloved Son Jesus and I ask for revelation as we read Your Word. I ask that the person of Jesus Christ, His work that is finished, and the amazing hope that it offers would be revealed to our hearts. I also ask that you confirm Your Word with Your power being released in us. I thank You Lord Jesus for all that You have done, may Your worth increase in our hearts through this revelation.”
Romans 8:1 ¶ There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. 2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death. 3 For what the law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh, God did by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, on account of sin: He condemned sin in the flesh, 4 that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.
Like you and I the Apostle Paul had encountered a struggle.
He discovered that although he greatly desired to please the Lord and tried diligently to do so in his flesh, he often failed to live up to the standards set.
He wanted to do the right thing and would end up doing the wrong thing. He was so aggravated with himself over this he referred to himself as, “wretched man that I am.” But through this struggle he gained a revelation about the nature and weakness of the flesh. This revelation was so eye opening Paul felt that he needed to be delivered. Paul in this same statement asked the question, “who will deliver me from this body of death?”
All this appears in Romans 7. Paul is really showing himself vulnerable and at the end of himself in all this. But before he writes what we already have read in Romans 8 he concludes something glorious and liberating at the end of chapter 7, he says, “I thank God, through Jesus Christ our Lord!”
Paul discovered identification and substituation and believed it to be something more than just a positional statement.
My boys love the game of basketball. They likely don’t remember when they were small how I would lift them up to shoot the ball into the hoop and then say to them, “you did it!” They could never had made it if I had not lifted them up to do so.
But that picture does not fully capture the essence of what is spoken in Romans 7&8. To compare with the picture given in Romans I would have to take the shot myself and then give the points to my sons. Then it would be an official substitution. I would shoot but it would count as though they had done so because I would be seen as a substitute. The points would be credited to them even though I made the shot. All they have to do is be willing to enjoy the points as if they had made them. But their celebration would be limited to their believe that it counts as theirs. They would have to become identified with their substitution.
As we will discover, Christ is our substitution not to just get us in but to bring us to the end of our journey. We are truly more than conquerors through Christ.
About The Author
- Tim Atchley
- Knoxville, Tennessee, United States
- I currently serve as Senior Pastor of Harvest Church in Knoxville, Tn. I was sent out from Trinity Chapel of Knoxville in 1993 accompanied by my wife Sheila our four children Sarah, Hannah, Josiah & Isaac and a handful of bold, brave and committed believers determined to plant our first church. Pioneering is hard work but well worth the journey. That is why we desire to make disciples of Christ who will, like us, also embrace the call to plant churches.