We have been remembering and rejoicing that we are not under law but under grace (Romans 7), and that therefore there is no condemnation for those in Christ (Romans 8). It’s true, even though Jesus Himself said that He did not come to abolish the law or prophets, but to fulfill them (Matthew 5:17), and even He demonstrated that the law is actually more exacting than we sometimes allow ourselves to think.
If we are led by the Spirit we are not under the law (Galatians 5:18), and if we belong to Christ Jesus we have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires (Galatians 5:24). Because we are not under condemnation, will kill our sin. Here’s a rundown through some of Jesus’ list.
The law prohibits murder. Jesus said that those who are angry are liable to judgment (Matthew 5:22). Have you been angry with a brother? In Christ there is no condemnation! And also, anger is fleshly, hellish, and does not belong with those who walk by the Spirit.
The law prohibits adultery. Jesus said that those who lust have already committed adultery in their hearts (Matthew 5:28). Have you watched and wanted what isn’t yours? In Christ there is no condemnation! And also, you are the temple of the Holy Spirit, so glorify God with your passions.
The law said to love one’s neighbor and hate one’s enemies. Jesus said that His disciples must love and pray for those who persecute (Matthew 5:44). Have you loved only those who love you? In Christ there is no condemnation! And also you are called to greater love than what worldlings can generate.
The requirement is “Be perfect as your Heavenly Father is perfect” (Matthew 5:48). You have not been perfect, and in the Son there is no condemnation. He gives mercy to sinners. And those who have the Spirit of Christ show no mercy to their sin.