Romans 8:4 Sermom

Jimmy and Lost Grant 2011

The Difference Between Justification and Sanctification
Romans 8:3-4
December 11, 2011 #101
Charles e Whisnant, Pastor-Teacher-Theologian-Student

3For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh:
4That the righteousness1345 of the law3551 might be fulfilled4137 in us, who walk4043 not after the flesh2596, but after2596 the Spirit4151.
So that the righteous requirement of the law to be satisfied of what the Law demands and be performed in us, to those who do not live by fleshly ways but in a spiritual way.

So that (In order that) (2443) (hina)

  • Is a purpose statement (purpose clause) clearly linking verse 4 with the truth Paul has just explained in 8:3 (In Greek verses 3 and 4 are in one sentence).
  •  In short, he is explaining the purpose of the death of Christ,  which is the fulfillment of the righteous requirement of the Law in believers who walk after the Spirit.

Requirement (1345) (dikaioma from dikaióo = to justify <> díkaios = just, righteous <> dike = right)

  • Refers to what God has declared to be right – His righteous demands. He is Holy and has the right to make righteous demands.

Righteousness” means “righteous requirements.” The law has certain righteous requirements.

  • The law demands and requires that a person live a righteous life of loving God (perfectly) and loving one’s neighbor (perfectly).
  • How can I fulfill what the law requires? How can I keep the law?
  • The Person and Power of the Holy Spirit makes this possible.
  •  Note carefully that the verse does not say “by us“, it says “in us“!
  • This is something God does IN ME by His power and by His Working and by His Spirit!

The flesh” is that which I do in and of myself (that which I produce).

The Spirit” refers to that which God does in me by the Person of the indwelling Holy Spirit.

Might be fulfilled in us – To reiterate, Paul does not say “by us” (not by our innate power) but “in us” (by His power, His Spirit within us).

  •  “Might Be fulfilled in us does not mean:  merely, be performed by us, for the apostle has a much deeper meaning, namely, that the aim of God in giving the law might be accomplished in us, in our sanctification, which is the ultimate end of our redemption, Colossians 1:22 and Ephesians 2:10   used, to show that the work is not ours, but that of God by His grace.

“who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit,”

  • Refers to the bent of life of the believer. He is the one who walks after the Spirit as the pattern of his life; service of sin does not characterize him


  • Is the best biblical term for the believer’s responsibility in the Christian life. It should be used rather than the word, “filled,” which has a more specialized and limited force.

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