“For what the law was powerless to do because it was weakened by the flesh, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in the flesh.” (Romans 8:3 NIV)
The civil war ended over a hundred years ago in 1865 and it freed all people regardless of their race, yet those that had been slaves and their descendants for generations did not feel free. It is not my intention to deify or villainize anyone here. My point is simply that until action was taken, the law was just a law. Until the civil rights movement started to change people, freedom was not really freeing.
Where do I begin? There is so much theology in this one verse that it has been discussed generation after generation. I could write a whole paper on the first phrase alone, “For what the law was powerless to do because it was weakened by the flesh." Why was the law powerless? How was the law weakened by the flesh? What is meant by flesh? See what I mean. For now, let’s just understand that it was. Instead, let’s concentrate on the middle phrase. (“God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh to be a sin offering.”) Leading up to this verse in Romans, Paul’s tension between the flesh and Spirit has built to this one climatic statement. What God has done to change the old into the new and who Jesus was in it. God’s ushering in a new covenant, a new way of life through Jesus Christ. A life free of the bondage of sin. The phrase is God acting in creation. This, “salvation that irrupted into history with the death and resurrection of Jesus and the gift of the Spirit” is the work of Yahweh. Yahweh sent His Son, Jesus wholly and fully divine. Yahweh sent Him in the likeness of sinful flesh, Jesus wholly and fully human.
Note: I must make clear here that He [Jesus] was sent in the likeness of sinful flesh not in the likeness of flesh. He was flesh, just not sinful flesh, less we commit heresy of not believing He was both God and Man. Both fully God and fully human. He was flesh just minus the sin. Yahweh intentionally did this to fulfill the law that was powerless in order to condemn sin in the flesh. To remove its power for good. No more does sin reign in our flesh if Jesus does. He broke its power. He has transformed the old into a new way of living, living with Jesus. The old covenant into a new covenant, a new promise of life redeemed. The law that was powerless to condemn sin has been fulfilled in Jesus Christ that condemned sin once and for all because of Yahweh’s action of becoming flesh and dying on a cross for you to truly be free.
When you see Jesus do you see Him as ‘human, as ‘God, or as both?
When you think of Jesus do you think of Yahweh’s redeeming mission?