CONTEXT: Some have called this the greatest chapter in the Bible. It is hard to argue considering the opening verse. Paul sets up this after having spent all of Chapter 7 reminding everyone of his personal issues with sin and the law. Then he drops the promise of promises on all true believers v.1, Therefore, [there is] now no condemnation (no adjudging guilty of wrong) for those who are in Christ Jesus, who live [and] walk not after the dictates of the flesh, but after the dictates of the Spirit (AMP).
Matthew Henry breaks down the chapter as follows: The freedom of believers from condemnation. (1-9) Their privileges as being the children of God. (10-17) Their hopeful prospects under tribulations. (18-25) Their assistance from the Spirit in prayer. (26,27) Their interest in the love of God. (28-31) Their final triumph, through Christ. (32-39)
In verse 2, Paul says (further promises) under the direct inspiration of the Holy Spirit that we are free from the law of sin and of death. Does this mean we, true believers, are free from all punishment? Of course not, V.8 makes this clear that no one living a carnal or sinful life can please God.
Our text for today continues the message that the Law, (here the Mosaic Law) is not capable of saving mankind and was meant as a means of showing man thier sinful nature and the need for a redeemer.
God did what the law could not provide a means of eternal salvation. He, God the Father, sent His only begotten Son, Jesus, to earth in the form of a human, sinless, (Philippians 2:5-8, Hebrews 4:15) the perfect sacrifice for the sins of those who live not by the flesh but by the Spirit.
Maybe you are reading this today and thinking, I am a good person. I have never been to jail, I have never done anything really wrong. The bad news is mankind’s standard of good is woefully short of God’s and you will never measure up. Of course, God does not leave us hanging there. He has a counter-proposal to the Bad News and offers us The Good News, or the Gospel. As we have just read this Good news message is that we do not have to live under the Law that we can never achieve. We have a Savior who has paid the penalty for our sins. Simply put, the gospel is the good news concerning Christ and the way of salvation.
There is no magic potion, no facing or scripted prayer words needed to obtain this Good News. The Bible is clear, no one is saved by works, but ALL who sincerely …acknowledge and confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord [recognizing His power, authority, and majesty as God], and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. (Romans 10:9 AMP)