Romans 8:3-4 “For 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: 4 That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.”
For what the law could not do
This is a profound statement which refutes all arguments supporting the ability of the law to redeem man; and yet, so many today attempt to earn salvation by their attempt to keep the law. “For what the law could not do” is a declaration of the inability of the law. However, it is not that the law has failed, in regards to its true purpose, but rather that men have misunderstood the purpose of the law, and therefore, misappropriated the law. The law is not able to redeem man, yet what’s more, is that the law was never intended to redeem man.
For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh,
The reality is that if one were to live perfectly by God’s declared holiness and righteousness, the law, then that would prove sufficient for salvation. Yet, the problem remains that, no one can do such because they are born into sin and continue in sin because of the inherent sinful nature which is within every man.
All men have missed the mark!
This is exactly what Paul is explaining when he states that the law “was weak through the flesh.” The word weak is defined as: “a state of incapacity. The word flesh in this verse refers to the: “psychological aspect of human nature which contrasts with the spiritual nature.”
So, it is not the law itself that is weak, but rather it is the flesh that is the weak factor in relation to the law making one perfect. The flesh cannot keep or live by the law of God, and therefore, it (the flesh) is the weakness. Because of this, we understand that the law is strong and perfect in fulfilling its purpose of revealing the holiness and righteousness of God, while at the same time, exposing the wickedness and weakness of the flesh. Since it is the flesh that is the problem, if redemption were to become a reality, it was necessary that Jesus Christ confront and conquer the problem in the flesh.
God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the
Jesus Christ condemned sin in the flesh! Jesus did that which we could not do. He came in the flesh, like as we are, yet without sin. He lived a sinless life so that He might be qualified to die a substitutionary death, and therefore, rise victoriously as the Victor over sin, death, Satan, and Hell itself.
The law is righteous, and it is through Jesus Christ, that the law, the very righteousness of God, is fulfilled in us. The result of such righteousness is evident in that we, who have been made righteous by Jesus Christ, will walk in and after the Spirit and not the flesh. This is the power of the Christian life! We are not simply making an attempt to transform our lives so that we look like Jesus; but rather Jesus is transforming our lives as He lives His life through us.
As Paul declared in the book of Galatians:
Galatians 2:18-21 “For if I build again the things which I destroyed, I make myself a transgressor. 19 For I through the law am dead to the law, that I might live unto God. 20 I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. 21 I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousnesscome by the law, then Christ is dead in vain.”
Jesus Christ, in His flesh, condemned the very sin that condemned our flesh! What a Savior!