There is no condemnation, therefore, against those who are in Christ Jesus.
Paraphrase: In light of all this, we know what God’s verdict is as we stand before Him in His courtroom. We expect to hear guilty! All those, however, who are united to Christ have had a complete change of legal status. The guilty verdict is dismissed, and the new verdict is Not Guilty! just as Jesus Himself was Not Guilty!
κρίμα is the word for a judge’s verdict; κατακρίμα is a guilty verdict; see the entry for condemnation here.
For τοῖς ἐν Χριστῷ Ἰησοῦ, see syntax principle 15.
ὁ γὰρ νόμος τοῦ πνεύματος τῆς ζωῆς ἐν Χριστῷ Ἰησοῦ ἠλευθέρωσέν σε ἀπὸ τοῦ νόμου τῆς ἁμαρτίας καὶ τοῦ θανάτου.
For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has liberated you from the law of sin and death.
Paraphrase: The reason for your change of legal status is simple, you have been united to Jesus. It’s as if the two of you are bound together and what belongs to one, belongs to the other. Consider what you were before you came into union with Christ; you were under the rigor of the law. The law demanded perfect, personal, and perpetual obedience from you, a standard you could never hope to meet. All your best efforts fell short, and the law highlighted each failure with relentless and pitiless accuracy. It never missed a thing. Had you continued under this law, you surely would have been cast away from the presence of God forever and ever. Now, however, everything has changed. You have come under another “law” so to speak. You have been liberated from that terrible bondage and brought into an entirely new relationship with God. This new “law” is a law which brings life, not death. The reason for this is that coming under this “law” is the same thing as becoming one with Jesus. Didn’t I say before that as a result of this union, what belongs to the one, belongs to the other? Well then, ask yourself: is Christ perfectly righteous before God? Then so are all those who are in Him. Does Jesus have the Holy Spirit? (John 3:34) Then so do all His; and by the power of this Spirit, they are able to meet the law’s demands and to do what before was impossible.
Here you see the word νομος used both as a kind of force and power in the life of a person and as a written code. The two meanings blend together here.
Note the genitives here, νόμος τοῦ πνεύματος τῆς ζωῆς. I would suggest that πνεύματος is a genitive of apposition, the law which is the Spirit… ζωῆς is a genitive of source.
τὸ γὰρ ἀδύνατον τοῦ νόμου, ἐν ᾧ ἠσθένει διὰ τῆς σαρκός, ὁ θεὸς τὸν ἑαυτοῦ υἱὸν πέμψας ἐν ὁμοιώματι σαρκὸς ἁμαρτίας καὶ περὶ ἁμαρτίας κατέκρινε τὴν ἁμαρτίαν ἐν τῇ σαρκί,
for the powerlessness of the law… in which it was weak through the flesh; God, sending the Son of Himself in the likeness of sinful flesh and concerning sins, condemned sin in the flesh.
Paraphrase: But what about the law? Why is it so powerless? Why can’t we find life and favor with God by obeying its commands? Isn’t God’s law enough to lead us out of the tyranny and oppression of sin? Can’t we just read the commands we are given there, obey them, and thus find favor with God? The answer is simple; there is nothing wrong with the law and everything wrong with us. Human beings don’t just commit sin; humans are sinners. This means that there is a love for sin ingrained very deep within us which prevents us from obeying God’s law as we ought. We turn to sin the way a pig turns to the mud; and the truth is, every single human person who was ever born into this world proves this to be the case. (Psalm 14:3) There are no exceptions; sin controls every human person, and the law does nothing to help. On the contrary, it highlights our failures for all to see. But now let us turn from the law and its failure to see what God has done. The truth is clear; where the law failed, God succeeded, and Jesus is the proof of it. God sent His Son to this earth as a real, human person, and what do we see? We see a real human person that is not under the control of sin! This Man rebuffed sin every time it tried to tempt to walk away from God. (Matthew 4) He lived a perfectly holy life. (Hebrews 4:15) Sin tried hard to control Him as it controls every other human, but Jesus stood His ground. He remained entirely innocent; the law had nothing against him. What was the result? He conquered sin and showed it to be a loser. You might say that Jesus damned sin to hell just as the law was ready to do to each one of us.
I understand σαρκός here to be our sin nature.
τὸ γὰρ ἀδύνατον τοῦ νόμου is a nominative absolute; see Farrar §38. It has no grammatical connection to anything in the rest of the sentence but certainly introduces the subject of the entire following thought.
The expression κατέκρινε τὴν ἁμαρτίαν ἐν τῇ σαρκί is difficult to understand. Hendriksen says, “Here the verb κατακρίνω clearly has the double meaning: to condemn and to punish; to sentence and to carry out that sentence. So also in 1 Cor. 11:32; 2 Peter 2:6.” cf Dunn’s commentary as well.
ἵνα τὸ δικαίωμα τοῦ νόμου πληρωθῇ ἐν ἡμῖν τοῖς μὴ κατὰ σάρκα περιπατοῦσιν ἀλλὰ κατὰ πνεῦμα·
in order that the righteous requirements of the law might be realized in us, to those who are walking not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.
Paraphrase: Now, God has shown that He is able to set humans free from the bondage and tyranny of sin, and Jesus perfect life is the proof of it. Sin was not able to control Him. And what of us? Well if we are in Christ as we said before, then what belongs to Christ, belongs to us. Does Christ have a perfect life without even the smallest stain? He surely does; and now, we too participate in that perfect life. We too are declared Not Guilty! and our criminal record is removed. (Colossians 2:14) Does God’s law demand from us perfect, personal, and perpetual obedience? (Galatians 3:10) Don’t answer this question by asking whether you have met this demand; ask yourself whether Jesus has met this demand. Of course, we know He did; and therefore, we too can claim to have met this demand not in ourselves but only as a result of our union with Him. From Him, we receive the Holy Spirit who enables us to overcome our inclinations to evil and to rise to a new and higher life. This is the new reality. Once we are in Christ, we not only receive a full forgiveness of all our past guilt, but we also receive a perfect record of obedience. Jesus’ perfect obedience to the law is reckoned to us as if we ourselves had done it. It seems impossible to believe, but it really is true that our record is no longer a criminal record but is as perfect a record as that of Jesus is perfect. At this point, we may ask ourselves how we can know that we have entered into this new reality? This is an important question and to answer it, we must look at our lives. Does our lifestyle show that we are under the control of the Spirit of God? or that we are still under sin’s tyranny? Practically, this means that we will no longer live in bitterness and anger with our neighbors, or make trouble with others by gossip and slander. (Ephesians 4:31) On the contrary, we will live under the control of the Holy Spirit who works love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control in our souls.
Abbot-Smith say about δικαίωμα, “a concrete expression of righteousness, the expression and result of the act of δικαίωσις.” source
The preposition κατὰ here (with an accusative object) has the meaning of standard or in accordance with.
τοῖς μὴ κατὰ σάρκα περιπατοῦσιν ἀλλὰ κατὰ πνεῦμα an articular participle and therefore adjectival. This one is attributive modifying ἡμῖν.
οἱ γὰρ κατὰ σάρκα ὄντες τὰ τῆς σαρκὸς φρονοῦσιν, οἱ δὲ κατὰ πνεῦμα τὰ τοῦ πνεύματος.
For those who are according to the flesh mind the things of the flesh, but those according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit.
Paraphrase: Let me say something more about this. There are two groups of people in this world. There are those who are under the happy control of the Holy Spirit. These people find delight and satisfaction in the things of God. This is where they are the happiest. There are others, however, who grind out their lives in bondage to their own sinful desires. Their master is their own sin-nature. Recall what I said previously about this; some people are slaves to righteousness; others are slaves to sin (Rom 6:16).
Lots of orphan articles here (see syntax principle 15).
τὸ γὰρ φρόνημα τῆς σαρκὸς θάνατος, τὸ δὲ φρόνημα τοῦ πνεύματος ζωὴ καὶ εἰρήνη·
For the mind of the flesh is death, but the mind of the Spirit is life and peace.
Paraphrase: Consider the end result of both of these persons. When you let your mind be full of all kinds of sinful desires, the end is death. When your mind is full of the things of the kingdom of God (Matthew 6:33), however, then you enter into life, and not just a bare living. This is the life which Jesus says is the abundant life. (John 10:10) Furthermore, it is a life marked by the shalom or flourishing that our people have always been seeking (Joel 2:19; Micah 4:4; Zechariah 3:10; 8:5).
Abbott-Smith says that φρόνημα is the content of φρονεῖν (as in the previous verse). source
διότι τὸ φρόνημα τῆς σαρκὸς ἔχθρα εἰς θεόν, τῷ γὰρ νόμῳ τοῦ θεοῦ οὐχ ὑποτάσσεται, οὐδὲ γὰρ δύναται·
Wherefore the mind of the flesh is enmity against God; for to the law of God it is not subject, for neither is it able.
Paraphrase: You might wonder why the situation has to be so serious. The reason is this. The mind that is full of sinful desires is not just neutral toward God. Such a mind is not just agnostic as many claim. On the contrary, anyone with such a mind hates God and is His enemy. Such a person does not approach God with an attitude of submission and respect but with hostility. Indeed, these persons do not even have it within themselves to change their attitude. Many of them do not even realize that they are completely helpless and paralyzed in this respect. Already, God punishes them with spiritual death and finally with eternal death. This is why I say that the end of those whose minds are full of sinful desires is death.
The fact is stated in v6, the end of carnal persons is death. The reason is given διότι in this verse.
οἱ δὲ ἐν σαρκὶ ὄντες θεῷ ἀρέσαι οὐ δύνανται.
Those who are in the flesh, are not able to please God.
Paraphrase: So we have come to this. Those who are not one with Christ may very well do things that the public regards as moral and even praiseworthy. The simple truth is this, however. Nothing they do is motivated by glory for God; and therefore, nothing they do, in any way, pleases God.
ἀρέσαι is a complementary infinitive.
Ὑμεῖς δὲ οὐκ ἐστὲ ἐν σαρκὶ ἀλλὰ ἐν πνεύματι, εἴπερ πνεῦμα θεοῦ οἰκεῖ ἐν ὑμῖν. εἰ δέ τις πνεῦμα Χριστοῦ οὐκ ἔχει, οὗτος οὐκ ἔστιν αὐτοῦ.
εἰ δὲ Χριστὸς ἐν ὑμῖν, τὸ μὲν σῶμα νεκρὸν διὰ ἁμαρτίαν, τὸ δὲ πνεῦμα ζωὴ διὰ δικαιοσύνην.
εἰ δὲ τὸ πνεῦμα τοῦ ἐγείραντος τὸν Ἰησοῦν ἐκ νεκρῶν οἰκεῖ ἐν ὑμῖν, ὁ ἐγείρας ἐκ νεκρῶν Χριστὸν Ἰησοῦν ζῳοποιήσει καὶ τὰ θνητὰ σώματα ὑμῶν διὰ τὸ ἐνοικοῦν αὐτοῦ πνεῦμα ἐν ὑμῖν.
Ἄρα οὖν, ἀδελφοί, ὀφειλέται ἐσμέν, οὐ τῇ σαρκὶ τοῦ κατὰ σάρκα ζῆν,
εἰ γὰρ κατὰ σάρκα ζῆτε μέλλετε ἀποθνῄσκειν, εἰ δὲ πνεύματι τὰς πράξεις τοῦ σώματος θανατοῦτε, ζήσεσθε.
ὅσοι γὰρ πνεύματι θεοῦ ἄγονται, οὗτοι υἱοί εἰσιν θεοῦ.
οὐ γὰρ ἐλάβετε πνεῦμα δουλείας πάλιν εἰς φόβον, ἀλλὰ ἐλάβετε πνεῦμα υἱοθεσίας ἐν ᾧ κράζομεν· Αββα ὁ πατήρ·
Rom 8:16 αὐτὸ τὸ πνεῦμα συμμαρτυρεῖ τῷ πνεύματι ἡμῶν ὅτι ἐσμὲν τέκνα θεοῦ.
εἰ δὲ τέκνα, καὶ κληρονόμοι· κληρονόμοι μὲν θεοῦ, συγκληρονόμοι δὲ Χριστοῦ, εἴπερ συμπάσχομεν ἵνα καὶ συνδοξασθῶμεν.
Λογίζομαι γὰρ ὅτι οὐκ ἄξια τὰ παθήματα τοῦ νῦν καιροῦ πρὸς τὴν μέλλουσαν δόξαν ἀποκαλυφθῆναι εἰς ἡμᾶς.
ἡ γὰρ ἀποκαραδοκία τῆς κτίσεως τὴν ἀποκάλυψιν τῶν υἱῶν τοῦ θεοῦ ἀπεκδέχεται·
τῇ γὰρ ματαιότητι ἡ κτίσις ὑπετάγη, οὐχ ἑκοῦσα ἀλλὰ διὰ τὸν ὑποτάξαντα, ἐφ’ ἑλπίδι
ὅτι καὶ αὐτὴ ἡ κτίσις ἐλευθερωθήσεται ἀπὸ τῆς δουλείας τῆς φθορᾶς εἰς τὴν ἐλευθερίαν τῆς δόξης τῶν τέκνων τοῦ θεοῦ.
οἴδαμεν γὰρ ὅτι πᾶσα ἡ κτίσις συστενάζει καὶ συνωδίνει ἄχρι τοῦ νῦν·
οὐ μόνον δέ, ἀλλὰ καὶ αὐτοὶ τὴν ἀπαρχὴν τοῦ πνεύματος ἔχοντες ἡμεῖς καὶ αὐτοὶ ἐν ἑαυτοῖς στενάζομεν, υἱοθεσίαν ἀπεκδεχόμενοι τὴν ἀπολύτρωσιν τοῦ σώματος ἡμῶν.
τῇ γὰρ ἐλπίδι ἐσώθημεν· ἐλπὶς δὲ βλεπομένη οὐκ ἔστιν ἐλπίς, ὃ γὰρ βλέπει τίς ἐλπίζει;
εἰ δὲ ὃ οὐ βλέπομεν ἐλπίζομεν, δι’ ὑπομονῆς ἀπεκδεχόμεθα.
Ὡσαύτως δὲ καὶ τὸ πνεῦμα συναντιλαμβάνεται τῇ ἀσθενείᾳ ἡμῶν· τὸ γὰρ τί προσευξώμεθα καθὸ δεῖ οὐκ οἴδαμεν, ἀλλὰ αὐτὸ τὸ πνεῦμα ὑπερεντυγχάνει στεναγμοῖς ἀλαλήτοις,
ὁ δὲ ἐραυνῶν τὰς καρδίας οἶδεν τί τὸ φρόνημα τοῦ πνεύματος, ὅτι κατὰ θεὸν ἐντυγχάνει ὑπὲρ ἁγίων.
Οἴδαμεν δὲ ὅτι τοῖς ἀγαπῶσι τὸν θεὸν πάντα συνεργεῖ εἰς ἀγαθόν, τοῖς κατὰ πρόθεσιν κλητοῖς οὖσιν.
ὅτι οὓς προέγνω, καὶ προώρισεν συμμόρφους τῆς εἰκόνος τοῦ υἱοῦ αὐτοῦ, εἰς τὸ εἶναι αὐτὸν πρωτότοκον ἐν πολλοῖς ἀδελφοῖς·
οὓς δὲ προώρισεν, τούτους καὶ ἐκάλεσεν· καὶ οὓς ἐκάλεσεν, τούτους καὶ ἐδικαίωσεν· οὓς δὲ ἐδικαίωσεν, τούτους καὶ ἐδόξασεν.
Rom 8:31 Τί οὖν ἐροῦμεν πρὸς ταῦτα; εἰ ὁ θεὸς ὑπὲρ ἡμῶν, τίς καθ’ ἡμῶν;
ὅς γε τοῦ ἰδίου υἱοῦ οὐκ ἐφείσατο, ἀλλὰ ὑπὲρ ἡμῶν πάντων παρέδωκεν αὐτόν, πῶς οὐχὶ καὶ σὺν αὐτῷ τὰ πάντα ἡμῖν χαρίσεται;
τίς ἐγκαλέσει κατὰ ἐκλεκτῶν θεοῦ; θεὸς ὁ δικαιῶν·
τίς ὁ κατακρινῶν; Χριστὸς ὁ ἀποθανών, μᾶλλον δὲ ἐγερθείς, ὅς καί ἐστιν ἐν δεξιᾷ τοῦ θεοῦ, ὃς καὶ ἐντυγχάνει ὑπὲρ ἡμῶν·
τίς ἡμᾶς χωρίσει ἀπὸ τῆς ἀγάπης τοῦ Χριστοῦ; θλῖψις ἢ στενοχωρία ἢ διωγμὸς ἢ λιμὸς ἢ γυμνότης ἢ κίνδυνος ἢ μάχαιρα;
καθὼς γέγραπται ὅτι Ἕνεκεν σοῦ θανατούμεθα ὅλην τὴν ἡμέραν, ἐλογίσθημεν ὡς πρόβατα σφαγῆς.
ἀλλ’ ἐν τούτοις πᾶσιν ὑπερνικῶμεν διὰ τοῦ ἀγαπήσαντος ἡμᾶς.
πέπεισμαι γὰρ ὅτι οὔτε θάνατος οὔτε ζωὴ οὔτε ἄγγελοι οὔτε ἀρχαὶ οὔτε ἐνεστῶτα οὔτε μέλλοντα οὔτε δυνάμεις
οὔτε ὕψωμα οὔτε βάθος οὔτε τις κτίσις ἑτέρα δυνήσεται ἡμᾶς χωρίσαι ἀπὸ τῆς ἀγάπης τοῦ θεοῦ τῆς ἐν Χριστῷ Ἰησοῦ τῷ κυρίῳ ἡμῶν.